Five Questions With Harold M. Horvat

5Q: Harold M. Horvat | President, CEO and chairman, Centreville Bank


1. Who owns Centreville Bank? Centreville Bank is a mutual institution, which means we operate independently without the pressure of external influences on any of our decision-making. … We are owned by and exist solely for the benefit of our depositors, borrowers and the local communities we serve. … This allows us to be much more responsive, nimble and effective when it comes to meeting their needs.

2. Do you think any of the bank’s operations should be tweaked? Our commercial-lending growth has been exceptional, and we’ve seen steady increases in both the residential and retail areas as well. … That said, we are always open to opportunities for improvement … whether that means investments in technology, revised product offerings or branch expansion.

3. If the bank does expand, where should that be? While we have already begun the process of renovating many of our current branch locations to enhance the experience for our existing customers, we also have plans for the construction of new locations. [That] includes a full-service Warwick branch by the end of 2019. Our focus over the next several years will be to continue to raise our profile and establish ourselves in the population centers of the state while organically growing our business.

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4. Do you expect as much loan and deposit growth this year as last year? We will continue to experience the type of loan growth we have enjoyed over the past several years. … I have complete confidence in our team and our approach. On the deposit side, it’s still a very competitive rate environment, yet we have seen steady growth in line with our overall philosophy. I fully expect that will remain the case.

5. How is the business landscape for community banks changing in Rhode Island? The local landscape has changed significantly over the past year, with smaller community banks being acquired by larger institutions, in addition to several out-of-state players entering the market. We see technology as an opportunity and equalizer for a bank [such as] ours, as it allows us to offer the same services and functionality as larger, national financial institutions. Lastly, while technology continues to transform the way we operate, community banks benefit from the fact that banking is still very much a “people” business.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Blake@PBN.com.