Union Savings Bank unveils renovated Bethel branch

BETHEL — With features such as transactional pods and teller cash recyclers, it’s no wonder Union Savings Bank’s renovated and redesigned Bethel branch also serves as the community bank’s FutureTrack headquarters.

“I love it. It took a few years of planning, but I think we got it right,“ Union Savings Bank President and CEO Cynthia Merkle said of the branch at 24 Grassy Plain St. “From an engagement perspective with our customers, it is more open and comfortable.”

Union Savings Bank unveiled the branch Tuesday evening with a Business After Hours event held in conjunction with the chambers of commerce from Bethel and Danbury. Union Savings Bank board of trustees members were also invited.

Transactional pods have replaced the traditional teller lines. The pods, according to branch manager Richard Mark, offer a more personal and private interaction with tellers. Teller cash recyclers add a layer of security as the machine handles the incoming and outgoing money at the pod.

The Union Savings Bank Bethel CT also features an open layout with bright colors and inspirational quotes on the walls.

“It is open and welcoming like their staff,” Heather Hansen O’Neill, president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, said. “I especially like the new conference/training room. I’ve already used it a couple times and it is high tech and seating can be configured to fit different agendas.”

The conference room is available for community nonprofit organizations to use without charge. It is another example of the bank’s community-minded approach, Mark said. Union Savings Bank recently created a new department focused on community outreach.

The branch did not close during the renovation. As one of the largest of Union Savings Bank’s 26 branches, banking operations were moved to the spacious entrance lobby during construction.

FutureTrack, a new personal finance goal program, now has a base at the Bethel branch. The director of FutureTrack, Karina Towne, meets with customers at all of the bank’s locations, but the program’s headquarters are at the new branch.

“Everyone has their own personal journey,” Towne said. “We focus on saving and retirement. FutureTrack is a philosophy focused on an individual’s savings goals.”

Paul Bruce, the bank’s CFO, said FutureTrack is for customers of all ages. Young people, he said, do not often think about retirement, but encouraged them to “at least start small.”

“We have all types of options available,” he said.

Courtesy of News Times