WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The name NewportFed has been phased out nine months after the bank’s acquisition by Willimantic, Conn.-based Savings Institute Bank & Trust, a change in original plans intended to keep the name and tradition of the Rhode Island financial institution, bank President and CEO Rheo Brouillard told Providence Business News on May 28.
Signage which previously had the NewportFed name, along with a line that said, “A division of Savings Institute Bank & Trust Company,” was changed over the weekend of May 24 to reflect only the name of Connecticut-based parent bank, Brouillard said.
“You hate to give up the legacy, since NewportFed was around since the mid-1800s, but it was confusing,” said Brouillard.
“The name change was really the impetus of NewportFed staff, including branch managers in Newport and Portsmouth, and from customers,” he said. “We had advertising under the name Savings Institute Bank & Trust and people were driving by looking for it and couldn’t find it.”
At the time of the acquisition in September 2013, Brouillard told Providence Business News that a change to the name of the parent bank, as well as a new name for the merged banks was considered, but the decision at the time was to keep the NewportFed name on the six branches, five in Rhode Island and one in Pawcatuck, Conn., and add the line on signage with the name of the new parent company.
Now, the standardization just took precedence, said Brouillard.
“I think some people will have a difficult time with it and some people will have an easier time,” said Brouillard. “From a practical point of view, we are just one institution and the name is Savings Institute Bank & Trust.”