Five Questions With: Christopher J. Lynch

Christopher J. Lynch last month joined Taunton-based Mechanics Cooperative Bank as a vice president and commercial loan officer. Lynch began his banking career at Citizens Bank in the early 2000s before moving to Rockland Trust Co. in 2005 and serving as vice president of business banking. He’s held several jobs since, including most recently as a self-employed sales consultant.

For Mechanics, Lynch “will take an active role in sourcing, reviewing and facilitating new business and real estate relationships,” according to the bank.

PBN: In your new role, what type of commercial lending will you be most involved with?

LYNCH: I will actively be supporting all bank borrower lending needs regardless of type, however we continue to see commercial and residential real estate development as the driver of loan growth at Mechanics Cooperative Bank.

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PBN: What opportunities do you see for the bank to boost its real estate loan portfolio?

LYNCH: There is an opportunity in the near future to increase real estate lending as interest rates rise and existing variable rate loans reprice. The bank is well positioned to support new customer relationships that may be searching for refinancing opportunities. Although the cost of lending has increased for borrowers, there continues to be an active real estate development market.

PBN: Will lending be tightened after the Federal Reserve’s recent raising of interest rates?

LYNCH: Mechanics Cooperative Bank’s lending policies have not changed since the recent Fed interest rate increase, and we continue to be in a strong position to support the credit needs of our customers. The bank is actively financing our business and mortgage loan customer projects and is actively seeking new lending relationships.

PBN: How would you describe the current lending environment?

LYNCH: I would describe the current lending environment since the Fed rate increase as always changing. As a result, borrowers are experiencing a level of uncertainty and tentativeness that we have not seen for a few years.

The federal funds rate, which is set by the central bank, is the interest rate at which banks borrow and lend to one another overnight. And although this is not the rate that consumers pay directly, the Fed’s moves still affect the borrowing and deposit rates we see every day.

PBN: Do lenders try to anticipate what the Fed will do in lending decisions?

LYNCH: For the most part, no, lenders do not try to anticipate how the Fed will react with interest rate changes. Since individual banks do not have any influence on this rate, we react to these changes in much the same way as everyone else and adjust loan pricing accordingly.

Tim Norton is a PBN contributing writer.