Union Savings Bank celebrates 150 years – News Times

By Chris Bosak, NewsTimes

DANBURY — Many Union Savings Bank customers say they don’t dread a trip to the bank. In fact, they downright enjoy it.

“It’s friendly and I feel comfortable here,” Danbury resident Mary Fredlund said. “It’s just a good bank.”

It’s a feeling the mutual bank has fostered for 150 years. To mark the milestone, Union Savings Bank has started a yearlong celebration that will include special events such as a summer concert series and other community relations programs.

Fredlund has been using Union Saving Bank since 1962, when both the banking industry and Danbury were 2ery different.

“I was a small-town girl and now I’m still a small-town old lady,” she said.

Lenbert Wilson, originally from Jamaica and now a Danbury resident, was introduced to Union Savings Bank by his parents. He also appreciates the down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere of the bank.

“They’re not stuck-up people here. They talk to you and greet you nicely,” Wilson said after a visit to the Danbury office on Thursday morning. “Excellent customer service.”

The bank continued its 150th anniversary celebration by unveiling a monument at Danbury City Hall on Monday. The statue, created by New Fairfield sculptor David Boyajian, is a tribute to Danbury’s industrial roots and shows a factory worker making a hat.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton attended the ceremony and expressed his appreciation for the bank’s commitment to the city.

“Union Savings Bank has shown unwavering support of the City of Danbury and we were honored to recognize them on their 150th anniversary celebration, especially with the unveiling of the Hatters’ Monument,” Boughton said. “We recognize USB as our community partners and appreciate the commitment Union Savings Bank gives to our city through countless community organizations, businesses and initiatives.”

The bank also held a birthday card contest for local students and will sponsor a series of concerts this summer on the Danbury Green.

Union Savings Bank was established in 1866 and is now a $2.3 billion mutual bank. It is based in Danbury and has more than two dozen branches throughout Fairfield, Litchfield and surrounding counties. In 2010, it merged with The First National Bank of Litchfield.

“Through 150 years, Union Savings Bank has (supported) the individuals and businesses that have driven Connecticut’s economy and generated jobs for its residents,” Cynthia C. Merkle, the bank’s president and CEO, said. “This support is similarly evident in the extensive, wide-ranging programs we’ve established and implemented to improve the lives of those in the communities we serve.”

Merkle said that the banking industry has changed greatly over the years, but Union Savings Bank’s “core values are as evident today as they were back in 1866.”

One of those values is giving back to the community, she said. In the past five years, the bank has given more than $5 million to help local nonprofit organizations. Bank employees have also donated about 80,000 hours of volunteer time to help nonprofits, Merkle said.

“Innovation, dedication to our clients and giving back to our local communities are the foundations that we’ve lived by in the past, and will lead us in the decades ahead,” she said.

Courtesy of NewsTimes

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