BREAKING: Belmont Savings Bank Acquired By People’s United For $327M

Photo: The headquarters of Belmont Savings Bank in Belmont Center.

Belmont Savings Bank, the town’s largest business with nearly $3 billion in assets, will be acquired by Bridgeport,  Connecticut-based People’s United Bank for $327 million in a stock transaction, according to a press release from People’s United issued today, Tuesday, Nov. 27.

People’s United operates more than 400 branches in Connecticut, southeastern New York State, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. It is the second largest bank in New England with approximately $45 billion in assets at the end of 2017, one of the largest in the Northeast, and the 46th largest in the US.

While People’s will be introducing its name and management to the bank, “Belmont Savings will be operating business as usual through the closing which is currently anticipated to be in the second quarter of 2019, pending regulatory approval,” according to questions answered by the People’s Corporate Communications Office. In addition, there “are no plans to close any [of the six] branches” including the main branch and now former headquarters in Belmont Center.

The Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, which has been a leading provider of grants to non-profits, community projects and education in its service area, will “remain independent and continue to operate after the People’s United acquisition,” noted People’s. 

“People’s United Bank and Belmont share a rich history in the Northeast and many synergies that will create significant value for both customers and stockholders,” said Bob Mahoney, President & CEO, BSB Bancorp, the press release.

“Our customers will benefit from People’s United’s broader array of products and services, enhanced digital capabilities and expansive branch network. In addition, People’s United’s success with in-store locations will allow for the seamless integration of our Star Market branches.”

The acquisition is a stock transaction in which BSB Bancorp, Inc. stockholders – the parent company of Belmont Savings – will receive two shares of People’s United Financial stock for each BSB share. According to the press release, the transaction is valued at $32.42 per BSB Bancorp, Inc. share, based on the closing price of People’s United’s common stock on Monday, Nov. 26. The stock transaction is expected to close by the second quarter of 2019.

BSB stock was trading at 2 p.m. at $31 per share, up $4.14 or 15.4 percent today.

The sale of Belmont Savings is not unexpected as large regional banks such as People’s and Berkshire Bank have been on a long-term acquisition campaign as they seek to break into the lucrative Boston market.


Town Accepts Belmont Savings’ Gift Of A Town Clock For The ‘Delta’

Photo: Hal Tovin, Belmont Saving’s executive vice president and Kayla Murphy, vice president, senior marketing manager with the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation’s Town Clock proposal.

Soon, commuters and residents will know just how late they are running passing through Belmont Center as the Board of Selectmen last week accepted a new town clock to be placed in the “delta” in front of Belmont Savings Bank whose foundation is providing the funding. 

The 15 foot tall, four face clock, black with gold highlights that will include a plaque from the foundation about the gift, will be manufactured by the Electric Time Company of Medfield, a leading tower, post and bracket clock firm (they made the street clocks at DisneyWorld, restored the clock at Harvard’s Dunster House and installed clocks in the scoreboards at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field). 

The Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, created in 2012 a year after the bank converted from the mutual holding company to stock holding company, is spending $26,000 for the clock and its installation on the “delta,” said Hal Tovin, Belmont Saving’s executive vice president, COO and a director of the Foundation. Since its inception, the foundation has provided $1 million in grants and gifts to non-profits in the communities the bank does business. 

The idea of a town clock was proposed by Bob Morrissey, the foundation’s chair, a gift to the town that is purposeful, recognizable and a centerpiece for “a sophisticated town center.” The delta – which had a controversial creation – was created during the renovation/reconstruction of Belmont Center completed in 2016. The town will be responsible for the maintenance and cleaning after the clock is installed. 

Just where the clock will be located is still up in the air. While the bank had proposed it close to the corner of Leonard Street and Concord Avenue near the historic horse water trough (with the upside down “1884” date), Selectmen Chair Adam Dash said town and police input should be provided to all the tower not to be a visual impediment to drivers entering the Center.

While the selectmen warmly accepted the gift from the bank, just who will have final say on where and if it can be installed without bumping up into town bylaws. Office of Community Development Director Glenn Clancy noted the clock will require a zoning review as it likely falls under the signage provisions.

Charles Clark, the Planning Board chair, said the best way to look at the clock is as a sign “and if so it doesn’t meet the signage bylaw” due to height and other considerations. But Clark also said that since clocks are not specifically noted in the zoning code, it will likely fall under a catch-all “other” category which will free it from a lengthy special permit process.

According to Tovin, the clock could be up and running soon after final approval by the town is completed. 

Belmont’s Battle Of The Bands Opens Payson Park Music Festival June 20


The fifth annual Battle of the Bands sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank opens the 28th season of the Payson Park Music Festival on Wednesday, June 20 at Payson Park. Middle school and high school bands from local communities will compete to be Battle of the Bands Champions. The concert begins at 6:45 p.m.

The band competing this year are:

  • Moonkite Buzzards
  • Fourshadow
  • Sweet Relief
  • Flip the Page

The Payson Park Music Festival runs every Wednesday evening until Aug. 29. June and July concerts start at 6:45 p.m. Beginning mid-August, start time is 6:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. due to the earlier sunset. In addition to the evening program, four children’s programs will be offered on consecutive Fridays at 10:30 a.m., beginning July 6 and ending July 27.

All the participating bands will receive a $25 AMEX gift card. The winning band will get a $250 grand prize, courtesy of Belmont Saving. The bank will be giving away a Sony XB30 speaker.

The bank will also post a video of each band in advance of the concert on its Facebook page. The band with the most votes (“Likes”) will receive a “Favorite on Facebook” award: a $50 AMEX gift card.

There’s Still Time To Nominate Educators For Outstanding Teacher Awards

Photo:(from left) Janice Darius, Assistant Superintendent, BPS; Jennifer Pressey, 2017 OTA Honoree; and Danielle Betancourt, Principal, Butler Elementary School.

You have 10 days left to nominate a Belmont educator for the Foundation of Belmont Education’s Outstanding Teacher Awards. The awards are proudly sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank Foundation.

Belmont parents and community members, Belmont Public School colleagues, and high school and middle school students have until March 31 to submit nominations for teachers – of any grade, subject, or specialty – who deserve this special recognition.

To be eligible for nomination, a teacher must:

  • Have completed three consecutive years teaching in the Belmont Public Schools and currently teach in the Belmont public schools
  • Teach students on a regular basis (40% of the time)

Based on nominations from the community, teachers from Belmont’s six schools are chosen for this award. Each award winner will be honored, first at a surprise celebration at their school, and then at a district-wide awards ceremony to be held on Tuesday, May 1 at the Chenery Middle School.

Nominate an Outstanding Teacher Today! 

Nomination Criteria and Online Nomination Form (submit before March 31):

For more information:


Belmont Savings Announces Free Screening of ‘Black Panther’ for Belmont High Students

Photo: Black Panther poster art.

Belmont Savings Bank today announced it will be sponsoring a free screening of Marvel Studio’s Black Panther on Friday, March 9 at 8 p.m. at the historic Capitol Theatre in Arlington for Belmont High School students. Following the movie, there will be a student-led panel discussion on race relations.

“Black Panther is an inspiring film, and we look forward to the important conversations it will generate following the screening,” said Bob Mahoney, president, and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank. “Cultural dialogues on diversity and inclusion are essential to our community fabric, which is why we approached the school with this idea.”

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Belmont Savings Bank on this unique and exciting opportunity to our student body,” said Daniel Richards, principal at Belmont High School. “Once again, the bank continues to support the Belmont community through ingenuity, implementation and a generosity to fund local events. It is a pleasure to be collaborating with them on this screening and student panel.”

Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station), Black Panther is the first superhero blockbuster to center fully on a black cast. Since its release, hundreds of grass-roots campaigns have sprouted up in communities worldwide, focused on screening the film for disadvantaged children. 

The Capitol Theater was built in 1925 by the Locatelli family, and is one of the area’s finest early motion picture theaters. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Santa’s ‘Turning On’ Belmont Center Thursday, Nov. 30

Photo: It’s Santa!

Santa is coming to Belmont Savings Bank on Thursday, Nov. 30 during Belmont’s 27th annual “Turn on the Town” celebration. The festivities will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Leonard Street in Belmont Center.

“We are excited to kick off another holiday season with the Belmont community at this year’s Turn on the Town celebration,” said Bob Mahoney, president and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank. “As always, we are thankful for the opportunity to sponsor this special festivity bringing together families, friends and residents of Belmont. We look forward to seeing everyone there.”

On Nov. 30, Santa will arrive and light the tree at 6:20 p.m. He will then ride his sleigh to the Belmont Saving Bank main branch located at 2 Leonard Street to pose for free photos from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Inside the branch, attendees will also have the opportunity to win holiday prize stockings stuffed with goodies provided by local businesses.

Outside the branch, Bank employees will be handing out hot chocolate and offering free train rides on Moore Street. Inside the bank’s garage will be a petting zoo.

Residents are encouraged to celebrate the season of giving and bring non-perishable food items or unwrapped toys to be donated to the Belmont Food Pantry.

In anticipation of the event, the Bank has launched its fifth annual “Santa’s Helper Contest.” This contest offers kids a chance to win a ride in the horse-drawn Sleigh with Santa and Mrs. Claus from the tree lighting to the Bank’s Belmont Center branch. The winners will also be first in line to have their photo taken with Santa inside the Bank’s branch. Parents may enter their children to win on the Bank’s website.

For more information, please visit

Belmont Savings Streaks To 16th Consecutive Quarter of Growth

Photo: Bob Mahoney, president and CEO of BSB Bancorp, Inc.

Everyone can appreciate a good “streak.” The Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio is still remembered for hitting in 56 straight games while the Boston Celtics won eight consecutive world championships in the 1950s and 60s, a record unlikely to be broken.

And you can add another familiar name to those holding impressive streaks as the parent company of Belmont Savings Bank, BSB Bancorp, Inc., announced recently it had achieved 16 straight quarters of increased earnings.

At the end of the second quarter on June 30, the bank’s net income reached $4 million, a 36 percent increase over the same quarter last year as strong loan creation and deposits drove the results. Since the beginning of the year, the bank reported net income of $7.7 million as compared to $5.5 million for the six months, a 40 percent jump.

“The bank’s success is due to our focus,” said Robert Mahoney, BSB’s CEO and president who since he was hired in 2010 has led the 132-year-old bank from a sleepy $400 million mutual savings bank into a stock-ownership holding company with $2.37 billion in assets, placing it in the top 400 banks – 376th to be exact – in the US.

“We created a road map seven years ago that has worked successfully in a terrific community with dedicated customers,” said the Wellesley resident who helped build Citizens Bank into a regional powerhouse in the early 2000s.

Unlike the recent trend of building through rival acquisitions or relying heavily on technology, Belmont Saving’s formula powering its growth is, well, boring; over the past seven years it has concentrated on writing mortgages on lots of residential homes and lend to commercial real estate ventures that fall in the bank’s Goldilocks range – not too big and not too small.

“We’re not into selling wealth management services or insurance or other financial products,” he said. ‘We decided back in 2011 to have a narrow view of where our growth would come from. I like the notion of controlling our own destiny,” said Mahoney.

And the numbers show it. Total loans – 1 to 4 family homes and commercial properties – grew by 11 percent comparing the first half of this year with last year to $201.6 million while deposits increased in the first six months to $1.61 billion from $1.47 billion.

What that vanilla portfolio produces besides earnings is safety: The bank’s total nonperforming assets have dropped to $1.7 million, or about three-quarters of one percent of total assets while outright net charge offs was $32,000 in the first half of the year. 

The four years of steady growth has rewarded bank shareholders with its stock price breaking the $30 barrier recently as total stockholders’ equity increased by $8.9 million to $169.8 million as of June 30.

Mahoney said matching the recent record of double digit growth will be harder to achieve as the bank continues to grow ever bigger – there are only so many home mortgages a bank can write in the competitive Metrowest market  – “so all I can do is focus on earnings since can’t control the other parts of the economy.”

But streaks, whether on the playing field or in business, can end suddenly if the person or organization doesn’t recognize potential roadblocks before them. The big one is a change in the national economy. Mahoney said he sees headwinds on the horizon, noting that the current economic recovery is entering its seventh year which is the usual length of financial rallies while other signs such as rental rates, occupancy and equity values that are “overheated.”

“It looks a lot like 1999, 2003 and 2007,” said Mahoney, reeling off the years the most recent of the downturns began.

Yet Mahoney doesn’t believe a decline, when it does come, will be severe, especially in New England with the economy driven by strong sectors such as biotech, medicine, universities and specialized manufacturing, saying “we are on a better ship to weather the coming storm.”

While bankers have well-honed strategies to ride out a downturn, there is a new and potentially greater threat to Belmont Savings and the entire banking structure: technologic disruption.

Like many industries, the banking sector is seen as a prime target for new tech-based firms that are looking to nimbly take advantage of an industry that they see as underserving their customers. An article in Inc. magazine points to startups that are “debanking” customers with mobile financial services. 

While recognizing the push towards technology creating fundamental changes to the industry, Mahoney contends banks such as Belmont Savings are meeting that challenge with apps and online services that are making a trip to a branch or the main office unnecessary and putting its customers in control.

“Amazon can’t transfer funds any faster than we can. And we have free ATM transactions around the world,” said Mahoney. Nor does he think that large firms such as Apple or Google will want to venture into the banking due to the burden of regulatory demands.

“If [the tech companies] think that dealing with the [Securities and Exchange Commission] is rough, they will not want to see the federal and state regulations we have to meet. That’s why, I think, they haven’t entered the business,” said Mahoney.

After engineering the bank’s multi-year streak, Mahoney said he isn’t ready to take the accolades and retire, who, at 69, is the same age as Aerosmith’s frontman Steven Tyler who is about to go on tour.

“I failed at retirement twice before so why try it a third time?” Mahoney said.

Hump Day: Belmont Town Day This Saturday, And Yes, That Is A Camel

Photo: Belmont Town Day is Saturday.

Belmont Savings Bank today announced it will again be the proud sponsor of Belmont Town Day, this Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Belmont Center.

Town Day is a community-wide event that features a number of Belmont Savings sponsored activities, including a car show, cash cube, face painting, pony rides, and a dog show.  

New to this Town Day will be free Belmont Savings Bank Camel Rides. Attendees can line up for the rides from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. starting on Moore Street adjacent the bank.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to this year’s Town Day on May 20,” said Bob Mahoney, President and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank. “It’s always a pleasure to come together with this wonderful community and enjoy a great day with friends, colleagues, and familiar faces. We hope to see everyone there enjoying the many activities we have planned.”

“It’s always a pleasure to come together with this wonderful community and enjoy a great day with friends, colleagues, and familiar faces. We hope to see everyone there enjoying the many activities we have planned.”

Back for its fourth year is the Belmont Savings’ Dog Show which will begin at noon on the main stage. Town Day attendees will select the “best-in-show” by the loudest applause. “Best-in-show” will receive a $100 Belmont Pet Supply gift card. 

Dogs can enter the show until Saturday, May 20, and all entrants will receive a gift bag. You can enter your dog into the show by submitting the following to name, town of residence, dog name, dog age, dog breed and a photo of the dog.

The seventh annual Belmont Savings Vintage Car Show will be held this year in front of the bank and down Moore Street. Belmont Savings Bank introduced the car exhibit in 2011, giving proud area collectors an opportunity to show off their pristine cars. Originally showcasing 12 cars, the show has grown to more than 40 cars. Anyone interested in displaying their cars can email Mike DeMarco, Marketing Director at Belmont Savings Bank, with the car year, make and model at 

The Town Day schedule includes face painting by the green space in front of Belmont Savings Bank’s main branch located at 2 Leonard St. and pony rides from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. over in the Town Common adjacent the First Church Belmont under the Leonard Street Bridge on Common Street. 

Attendees will also have a chance to enter the cash cube adjacent to the Belmont Savings booth, where they can try their luck at catching flying dollar bills. Running from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., participants may enter the cash cube, with half the collected dollars being donated to the Foundation for Belmont Education.

Belmont’s 2017 Outstanding Teachers Named With A Surprise Visit and Balloons

Photo: (from left) Janice Darius, Assistant Superintendent, BPS; Jennifer Pressey, OTA Honoree; and Danielle Betancourt, Principal, Butler Elementary School.

The Foundation for Belmont Education announce t0day, Tuesday, April 25, the recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Teacher Awards and of the S. Warren Farrell Award for Educational Excellence, sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank Foundation. The teachers received their notification with a surprise visit from administrators and foundation members carrying the certificates and balloons. 

The ceremony to honor this year’s recipients of the Outstanding Teacher and the S. Warren Farrell Awards will be held on Tuesday, May 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School. The award celebration, sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, is open to the public.

Outstanding teachers are recognized for their excellence in the classroom and for consistently making a difference in the lives of Belmont’s students. Recipients were selected from nominations submitted by students, parents, colleagues, and community members. 

In addition to the teaching honors, a newly-established award for educational excellence named after S. Warren Farrell in recognition of a teacher or other educator for their longstanding dedication and leadership in Belmont’s public schools.

This award honors Farrell, a former managing director for Smith Barney and an independent director at BSB Bancorp., for his many years of volunteer leadership in Belmont and its public schools.

The 2017 Outstanding Teacher Honorees are:

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Meaghan Clow, Wellington Elementary School, Grade 3

Fun, interactive, energetic, clever, and engaging are only a few words that describe
Ms. Clow’s personality and ability to engage students in the classroom.

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Kathryn Doyle, Winn Brook Elementary School, Kindergarten

Ms. Doyle works with each student’s needs, knowing that each child arrives in kindergarten with a wide range of skills in reading, writing, and math.

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Cliff Gallant, Burbank Elementary School, Grade 4

Mr. Gallant consistently delivers and maintains the highest quality teaching in a way that meets the individual needs of each of his students.

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Daniel Moresco, Belmont High School, Mathematics

As a student in AP and honors courses, I am under a lot of pressure. Mr. Moresco genuinely cares about my well-being and helps manage my work and stress.

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Jennifer Pressey, Butler Elementary School, Grade 1

It is evident that Mrs. Pressey has acquired a wealth of tools over the years and yet she has maintained the joy of sparking ‘aha’ moments in young minds.

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Dorothy Pulizzi, Chenery Middle School, Grade 5

Ms. Pulizzi consistently goes above and beyond to support her students’ learning and social and emotional health, and she connects with students at numerous after-school and extracurricular events.

2017 S. Warren Farrell Award Honoree is:

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John McLellan, Chenery Middle School, Music; and Saturday Morning Music School

Thousands of young people have benefitted from Mr. McLellan’s ingenious methods of instruction. Students display the utmost respect for his experience, direction, and wise and witty words.

For more information about this event or the Foundation for Belmont Education, please visit its website or contact

Second Becca Pizzi Family Run Fun Set For Sunday, April 30

Photo: Becca Pizzi Family Fun Run 2017

The second annual Becca Pizzi Family Fun Run organized by the Belmont Boosters and sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank will take place on Sunday, April 30, starting at the Belmont High School track at Harris Field. 

  • 7:30 a.m.: Registration/Bib Pick Up Open
  • 9 a.m.: 1-Mile Kids Race begins
  • 9:30 a.m.: 5K Race begins

Register on RaceMenu.

The race will include a 5K run. It will also include a 1-mile run for kids around the Belmont High School track. Registration fee is $25 for 5K runners and $10 for kids running in the 1-mile race (ages 12 and under).

The Becca Pizzi Family Fun Run celebrates Becca Pizzi, the first American woman to win the World Marathon Challenge, in which contestants run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

Registration for the 5K will be $35 the day of the race. Proceeds will benefit the Becca Pizzi Scholarship Fund and Belmont Boosters.

Bibs can be picked up on site or at Belmont Savings Bank in Belmont Center on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Check out our Facebook event page.