Boston’s gay bank bought out
Eastern Bank purchases Wainwright Bank & Trust Co. for $163 million; promises to continue community involvement.
Eastern Bank will acquire Boston’s Wainwright Bank & Trust Co. in a deal that’s costing them $163 million in an all-cash transaction, the companies announced Tuesday, June 29.
Wainwright -- known for its annual awards oft given to LGBT leaders, free or no-fee banking for community organizations, and flexibility with allowing community groups, including Boston Pride, to use its facilities -- is among the largest 1,000 banks in America. The company pride itself on its traditions of community involvement and philanthropy, touting a "history of socially progressive banking" on its website, www.wainwrightbank.com. Inspired by the civil rights movement of the ’60s, Wainwright, which opened in 1987, aimed to continue working toward equal rights for all -- taking special care to include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
"It is a pleasure to join forces with an organization that is an acknowledged leader in many social justice issues, including development of affordable housing, support of community health centers, and leadership in improving the environment and protecting the rights of all," Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank, said in a prepared statement. "By combining our two organizations, we will broaden our horizons and do even more to make our communities a better place to work and live, while providing our customers with top-notch banking, investment, and insurance services. I cannot think of a more appropriate partnership than this one combining a 192-year-old mutual company with the banking industry’s leader on socially progressive issues."
Once the merger is complete -- a move that is expected to happen during the fourth quarter of this year -- the combined organization will offer more than 90 retail banking offices across eastern Massachusetts, including 22 in the metro Boston area.
The prepared statements released by the companies reiterated their commitment to social justice and community involvement. "The merger combines two banks with strong traditions of commitment to our customers, employees, and the communities we serve," said Jan A. Miller, President and CEO of Wainwright Bank & Trust Co., said. "We are pleased that Eastern will maintain and continue to build upon Wainwright’s community development lending initiatives and deep commitment to issues of social justice."
Following the announcement of the merger, representatives of Boston-based LGBT organizations began expressing their appreciation for Wainwright’s commitment to social justice and community service, as well as their hopes that Eastern Bank will continue the meaningful work.
"Wainwright Bank has been a wonderful friend and partner to the LGBT community and the Pride Committee," Keri Aulita, Deputy Director of the Boston Pride Committee, told Bay Windows. "Of course it remains to be seen how the sale will change the bank’s course, but we hope that Eastern Bank will continue to uphold Wainwright’s important tradition of supporting local, community-based, non-profit organizations."