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President's Message

A note from William R. "Bill" Eccles, Jr.
BankFive President and CEO.

In the last few years, community bank consolidation has happened at a record pace. At the same time, studies show that customer service approval ratings at large institutions are declining and the demand for trustworthy financial advice is growing. As a result, the need for a community bank has never been greater.

As I enter my ninth year as BankFive's President & CEO, I see that to remain successful, we must remain true to our community roots, focus on the proper innovations, and be a trustworthy resource for our customers. I'm pleased to report that in 2018 the bank had record profits and finished the year at $961 million in assets and $4.7 million in net income. Growth was also seen in our ability to serve new customers. In 2018, we added 4,100 customers and helped 263 individuals buy or refinance a home. Nearly 300 homes became more efficient with one of our Heat or Solar loans. The bank continues to be well regarded by our regulators, maintains solid capital ratios, and remains a steward of community service.

At the heart of all we do is our community. From volunteer hours to investment in our charitable foundation, giving back to our neighbors is at the essence of our being. As a community leader, BankFive demonstrated its commitment with financial support of $325,000 to 59 organizations, as well as 2,800 volunteer hours donated from 80 employees. We once again supported United Way of Greater New Bedford's Mobile Market, Greater Fall River RE-Creation, and YMCA Southcoast. And true to our mission, our financial accomplishments resulted in a contribution to our charitable foundation, maintaining our reason for being - to serve our community.

As a mutual bank, we don't let profits rule our decision-making; we make decisions that are in the best interest of our customers and the communities we serve. Our customer feedback echoes are commitment. We regularly hear things like BankFive "treats me like an old friend", "gives the best advice", and "has dedicated staff".

The definition of innovation is the act of transforming, remodeling, or restyling. No business can be successful without constantly adapting to the changing needs of its clientele. While we rely on the history that's made this bank strong, the changing economic environment makes innovation a necessity. In 2018, we saw rates rise and through innovative problem-solving, found a way to balance the need for strong deposit rates and competitive loan rates, manage cash flow, maintain the initiatives we had planned, and provide our employees a stable work environment.

As we look ahead, 2019's plan includes themes around growth, acquiring and retaining our employees, and careful consideration and use of our strategic technology. We aim to be the best financial institution on the Southcoast and we are grateful to the employees who work hard each day, the families and businesses who trust us with their financial health, and organizations who make this area a thriving community.

Warmest regards,

William R. "Bill" Eccles, Jr. President and CEO
Headshot of Bill Eccles, BankFive's President & CEO
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