Financial institutions bank on Falmouth business
FALMOUTH — Along U.S. Route 1 and Route 100, Falmouth is home to 10 different financial institutions.
What makes the town such a great place for a bank?
“Obviously, it's a nice location with a compact business district that has a pretty wide draw of people coming down there,” said Glenn Hutchinson, president and chief executive officer at Bath Savings Institution.
Other bankers agreed. Representatives from Gorham Savings Bank, Norway Savings Bank, Key Bank, The Bank of Maine and Bank of America all said they came here because of the market opportunities the town presents.
“It's become the banking center of Maine,” said John Everets, chairman and chief executive officer of The Bank of Maine. “It's a wonderful community that has a lot of things that are attractive to banks.”
Ann Armstrong, regional senior business officer at Gorham Savings Bank, said “Falmouth is a growing community, both residential and business-wise. This is an ideal location for customers, because it's in a location in close proximity to all of their activities.”
With 10 banks in town – seven of them on Route 1 – banks in Falmouth are far more numerous than in neighboring communities. Yarmouth is home to only five banks, while Freeport has just four.
Hutchinson said that Bath Savings Institute came to Falmouth in 1993 because there were no other Maine-owned institutions in town. Since that time the bank has “back-filled” offices in Freeport and Yarmouth, because of its success on Route 1.
Many of the bank representative also said that Falmouth is ideal for banks because Route 1 is a busy commuter roadway connecting many of Maine's coastal towns to Portland.
“If you think about how people choose a bank location, often times it's what's convenient based on where they live and work,” said Karen Hakala, senior vice president of marketing for Norway Savings Bank. “They may not live in Falmouth, but they work in Falmouth or it is convenient to and from where they work and live.”
Everets said it will be interesting to see if all of the financial institutions, especially newer ones like The Bank of Maine which opened in September, are able to survive.
“If all of these banks can succeed here, I think that's a very interesting message,” he said. “I think it says that this is a vibrant area with lots going on. It would be good for neighborhoods (in Falmouth) and the state.”