Rockland Trust

While much of the recent focus has been on Rockland Trust’s planned acquisition of Blue Hills Bank and its expansion in the Boston area, the company has also been busy building out its franchise in Worcester and Central Massachusetts.

Rockland Trust announced on a recent earnings call that it is planning to open a combined loan production and investment management office in downtown Worcester, its first actual physical presence in the city. The news comes several months after Rockland’s parent company announced the purchase of the parent company of Milford National Bank.

That deal, which is expected to close soon, will give Rockland three branches in Worcester County – two in Milford and one in Mendon – and more than $350 million in assets. Rockland already had one branch in Milford before purchasing Milford.

“This will definitely strengthen our position in that market, where we already have a solid base of customer relationships,” Chris Oddleifson, CEO of Rockland Trust and its parent company Independent Bank Corp., said on the earnings call. “The acquisitions we’ve completed over these many years have added considerable franchise value to our company. However, organic growth continues to be our primary engine for sustained financial performance and value creation.”

Oddleifson said the new loan production office in downtown Worcester is similar to ones its opened in Boston and Providence, which have been very successful.

“This is an exciting time for Worcester,” Michael Crawford, senior vice president at Rockland and the head of the new Worcester office, said in a statement. “Rockland Trust is deeply committed to serving our communities and highly values each customer relationship. My team and I look forward to helping businesses achieve all of their goals.”

During the earnings call, Rockland also said it is planning a new branch in Boston’s financial district, which is slated to open before the end of this year. That will be a nice complement to the Seaport branch Rockland will get when it completes its purchase of Blue Hills Bank, which is scheduled for the second quarter of 2019.

For the third quarter overall, the parent company of Rockland Trust reported net income of $33 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, up almost $10 million from the third quarter of 2017. Total deposits are up almost $300 million year-over-year, but down slightly from the linked quarter.

“I want to note that less than 1 percent of our total households are CD (certificate of deposit) only households; that’s 1 percent of our total households are CD only households and another 2.5 percent are loan only households,” Oddleifson said. “I think that speaks to the strength of our deposit franchise.”

Total loans reached about $6.53 billion at the end of the quarter, up over $360 million year-over-year, led by increases in commercial and residential real estate loans.

Rockland Trust Continues to Build Franchise in Worcester Area

by Bram Berkowitz time to read: 2 min