American Banker names WashTrust among ‘Best Banks to Work For’

WASHINGTON TRUST strives to be a place where people are proud to work and build their careers, said Edward O. Handy III, the bank’s CEO and chairman. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

WESTERLY – The Washington Trust Co. was recently named one of the nation’s “Best Banks to Work For” by American Banker magazine.

Among 85 community banks on the list, Westerly-based Washington Trust ranked No. 71. It was the only bank in Rhode Island or in Bristol County, Mass., on the list.

The “Best Banks to Work For” initiative identifies, recognizes and honors United States banks for high employee satisfaction. The list is based on workplace policies and practices, as well as a survey of employees about life in the workplace, including work environment, morale, benefits and growth opportunities.

“As an employer, we strive to be an ‘employer of choice’ – a place where people aspire to work, are proud to work, and stay to build their lives and careers with us,” CEO and Chairman Edward O. Handy III said.

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Particularly, American Banker commended Washington Trust executives for their traveling “face-to-face” chats with employees.

“Chairman and CEO Edward O. Handy III cherishes the opportunity to have in-person dialogue with employees since he believes that is the most effective form of communication,” the magazine wrote.

“He asks the senior management team to get out of the main office and visit other branches and departments,” it continued. “The bank also organizes quarterly luncheons called ‘Meet the CEO and President,’ creating an informal environment for employees to mingle.”

Washington Trust, the largest community bank in Rhode Island, was listed by the magazine as having $5.2 billion in assets and 589 employees.

“One of the critical factors in a bank’s success is how it treats its employees. This year’s list honors those institutions which have gone above and beyond to invest in employees’ personal and professional growth,” Rob Blackwell, American Banker’s editor-in-chief, said in a statement.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at

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