Belmont Saving’s Foundation Passes $500K in Charitable Giving

Photo: A new court will be installed in the Wenner Field House thanks in no small part of the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation. 

There will be a new varsity and junior varsity court in the Wenner Field House, thanks in no small part to the generosity from the same people that came through with the seed money for the new Underwood Pool. 

This week, the Belmont Youth Basketball Association received a $35,000 matching grant from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation for the $180,000 it will cost to resurface the Belmont High School gymnasium floor.

Previously the Foundation successfully pledged a $200,000 matching grant to preserve Belmont’s new Underwood Pool.

With the gift to BYBA, the Foundation has surpassed $500,000 in charitable giving with its latest round of contributions to 13 other local organizations that received $82,000 in the past quarter, the Foundation announced Tuesday, May 19.

Formed when the bank became a public company in October 2012, the Foundation is dedicated to community activities and the promotion of charitable causes in the communities in which Belmont Savings Bank operates. Since its creation, the Foundation has contributed $552,580 to local groups in Belmont, Cambridge, Watertown, Waltham and Newton.

“We are thrilled to announce this important milestone of the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation,” said Robert J. Morrissey, chairman of the board of directors of Belmont Savings Bank as well as the Foundation.

“The mission of the Foundation is to provide financial support to organizations in the communities we serve, particularly those committed towards education, health and human services, youth programs, and affordable housing. We are very pleased with the impact our local partners have as a result of these contributions, including this latest round of giving.”

In addition to the BYBA, the Waltham YMCA and the West Suburban YMCA each received $10,000 for their youth programming, which will enable children and families to attend high quality YMCA programs such as teen leaders club, summer day camp, preschool and licensed after school care, and aquatics.

Additional grant recipients include:

  • African Cultural Services, a Watertown child care program committed to the beauty of African and Haitian culture through dancing, storytelling, and performance, for the purchase of new instruments.
  • Alzheimer’s Association, local chapter, for a 2015 water stop sponsorship at their Walk to End Alzheimers in September.
  • Bais Yaakov, which seeks to provide comprehensive Judaic studies and secular education, for their performing arts program.
  • Belmont High School for their Educational Speaker Series beginning in September.
  • Family Access of Newton received a matching grant for their 2015 Spring Annual Appeal.
  • Friends of Belmont Wrestling received funding for their 2015 scholarship & Brendan Grant Memorial wrestling tournament
  • JDRF received a sponsorship for their Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes.
  • Metro West Collaborative Development for their housing programs.
  • Springwell for their money management program to assist seniors and individuals with disabilities with organizing bills, providing guidance on financial scams, learning budgeting skills, and relieving anxiety over financial matters.
  • Watertown High School Robotics Program to support their team.
  • Women of Means for nursing care at their Waltham Shelter.

“With these contributions, our Foundation continues to ensure community organizations in our footprint will provide high quality services to many of this region’s residents,” said Bob Mahoney, President and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank and an officer on the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation.

“This is a very worthy group of recipients, and it is our pleasure to support them with these grants.”

Want to Show Off Your Dog, Car, Family? Town Day Has Something for You

Photo: A cute dog.

Got a cute dog? How about a really cool car? Is your family worth a photo? How about all three? 

In less than two weeks, you’ll get your chance to show them off as Belmont Savings Bank will be hosting those and other activities during this year’s Town Day, Saturday, May 16, which is sponsored by the Bank. 

“Belmont Savings is again thrilled to serve as presenting sponsor for this year’s Town Day, a wonderful annual celebration and spotlight for what makes Belmont such an extraordinary place to live and work,” said Bob Mahoney, president and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank.

Events include:

  • Belmont Savings’ second annual Dog Show will begin at noon on the main stage on Leonard Street in front of CVS. Prizes will be awarded for categories such as Best Trick and Cutest Puppy while the “Best-in-Show” will be selected by the loudest applause. “Best-in-show” will receive a $100 Belmont Pet Supply gift card while each entrant will receive a gift bag. Dogs should be entered before Monday, May 11 to become eligible in the bank’s Facebook Favorite contest.
  • The 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. The cars will be at the bank’s headquarters at 2 Leonard St. and along Moore Street. Participating cars will be displayed in the “Monterey” style, parked angled to the sidewalk. Anyone interested in displaying their cars can contact Mike DeMarco, Belmont Savings Bank marketing director, at 617-484-6700.
  • New this year is a photo booth for family photos which will be open from 11 2 p.m.
  • There will also be face painting and a Cash Cube in front of the Belmont Savings main branch and pony rides from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. under the Leonard Street Bridge, also sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank. 

Record Quarter Sends Belmont Savings Stock Soaring to All-Time High

Photo: A branch office of Belmont Savings Bank. 

It was a record-setting quarter for the holding company of Belmont Savings Bank as the Belmont-based state-chartered savings bank saw net income more than double compared to the same first three months in 2014. 

BSB Bancorp reported on Thursday, April 24, net income of $1.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to $680,000, for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

“We experienced a solid quarter across the bank and are well positioned for further improvement in profitability.” said Robert M. Mahoney, the bank’s resident and CEO. Since coming on board in 2010, Mahoney has lead the bank in tripling its assets under management.

After the report was released, the bank’s stock (BLMT) reached an all-time price high of $20.81. 

And that activity has grown the bank’s balance sheet to where total assets reached $1.47 billion as of March 31, a jump of $43 million (about three percent) in the past three months.

“Reaching $1 billion in deposits was a significant milestone for Belmont Savings. It was achieved through a consistent focus on relationship selling and targeted marketing by our retail, business banking, municipal banking and commercial real estate teams,” said Hal Tovin, the bank’s executive VP and COO.

In the past year, Belmont Savings has the distinction as being the fastest growing Massachusetts bank regarding asset growth without acquiring another financial institution. 

Net loan growth increased by $52 million, or 4.4 percent, in the first three months of 2015.

  • Residential one-to-four family loans, $26 million,
  • Commercial real estate loans, $16 million,
  • Construction loans, $9 million, and 
  • Home equity lines of credit, $3 million.

Long an institution in Belmont, the bank provides financial services to individuals, families, municipalities and businesses through six full-service branch offices located in Belmont, Watertown, Cambridge, Newton and Waltham. 

It’s Official: Town Day Set for Saturday, May 16 in Belmont Center

Photo: Town Day in Belmont.

Town Day will take place on Saturday, May 16 in Belmont Center after the Belmont Board of Selectmen gave the annual event its blessing at its meeting on Tuesday, April 21. 

Hosted by the Belmont Center Business Association and sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank, kiddy rides, a petting zone sponsored by the Belmont Lions Club, food, and tables manned by organizations and businesses will be located along Leonard Street.

Any group, business or individual seeking to rent a table at Town Day can do so until May 1 at the BCBA web site.

The morning and afternoon event takes place the day after Belmont High School celebrates its prom. 

Hop Over to Belmont’s Egg Hunt Saturday at the Chenery

Photo: Get out of the way!

You’ll probably need to put on your Wellingtons, pack an umbrella and wear your rain slicker, but a little rain – that’s the prediction as of today – this Saturday morning, April 4, should not deter folks from coming down to the Chenery Middle School’s playground to participate in the Belmont Savings Bank’s 15th Annual Belmont Egg Hunt.

The dash for eggs will begin at 10 a.m. sharp – do not be late! – come rain or shine.

Just like last year, there will be a special area for toddlers to hunt for eggs on their own in the playground.

In addition to being the prime sponsor, Belmont Savings Bank will be giving everyone a chance to win a bike through a free raffle, offering a second chance for all attendees. You can enter to win at the Belmont Savings Bank tent. Also, eggs with “gold coin” slips inside can be redeemed at the Belmont Savings tent during the hunt.

The Big Bunny will be on hand to pose for pictures and free refreshments will also be offered.  Face painting will be provided.

Other sponsors of the Egg Hunt include:

  • Pediatric Dental Arts
  • Hammond Residential Real Estate
  • Cultural Care Au Pair
  • Moozy’s Ice Cream and Yogurt Emporium
  • Paprika Kids
  • Rancatore’s
  • Toy Shop of Belmont

For additional information on the egg hunt, please visit the Bank’s website.

Belmont Savings Running Commercials Highlighting Customer Service

Photo: Jamie, an employee at Belmont Savings Bank who is part of a commercial campaign by the bank.

If the people in the commercials being aired during televised Boston Red Sox games looks familiar, they probably are. And you likely saw them working for Belmont’s own savings bank.

That because Belmont Savings Bank launched last week an employee-driven TV/video campaign aimed at demonstrating their commitment to personalized customer service.

As part of the campaign, created by Boathouse Group in Waltham, the bank will begin airing a series of commercials featuring employees offering personable, active and knowledgeable customer service.

“By offering commercials focused on our actual colleagues, we capture the personalities driving our bank and connecting us to the community,” said Bob Mahoney, President and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank.

“These commercials highlight our greatest asset – our people – and what makes banking at Belmont Savings such a uniquely local, and professional, experience.”

The commercials spotlight different employees, with each colleague sharing their personal commitment to their customers and why working in community banking matters to them.  This is the latest innovation from Belmont Savings designed to contrast the bank from the traditional banking campaign which often relies on actors playing bankers.

“With these commercials, we present our employees’ unscripted, passionate responses to why they love working with customers, a contrast to the way big banks traditionally operate,” said Hal Tovin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Belmont Savings Bank.

As the brainchild of Boathouse, the campaign is the result of the agency’s collaborative relationship with bank. The settings for the commercials include the bank’s bustling supermarket in-store branches and even the homes of several employees.

“We believe the Belmont Savings team approaches banking the right way, demonstrating genuine understanding of their customers in the communities they serve,” said John Connors, founder of Boathouse Group.

The commercials began airing Thursday, March 26 in the markets north and west of Boston using Comcast spotlight. The spots will be viewable on the following stations: AMC, TBS, MTV, ESPN, Discover, Brave, LMN, ABC Family, and on NESN during telecasts of the Boston Red Sox.


Belmont Business Leader Backs School District as Selectmen Discuss Override Tonight

Photo: Robert Mahoney (right) of Belmont Savings Bank with Ellen Schreiber. 

As the Belmont Board of Selectmen prepare to discuss tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 17, a recommendation from the Financial Task Force for a possible property tax increase to fund the town’s structural budget deficit, one of Belmont’s leading business leaders has threw his support behind the town’s school district as it faces substantial cuts in staff and programs under current budget assumptions for next year.

Belmont Savings Bank’s President and CEO Robert Mahoney wrote a comment to an article in the Belmontonian (Belmont Schools Face ‘Significant, Negative Impact’ in Fiscal ’16 Budget; Loss of 22 Positions, Larger Class Sizes, Feb. 12) that highlighted a pending $1.7 million gap in the district’s fiscal 2016 budget if the schools are required to work within the available revenue that the town has calculated for next year.

Mahoney is the first prominent individual outside of the district to speak out concerning the negative impact on Belmont from possible inaction in securing the necessary funding to keep town schools high ranked.

“[Belmont Superintendent] John Phelan is so right. It took decades for Belmont’s schools to become top tier. At the rate we are going we will be third tier soon,” Mahoney bluntly wrote in a comment posted Feb. 14.

“Once the parents of high potential students move out, and they will, the biggest economic engine in Belmont will sputter to mediocrity and property values will quickly follow the schools down. This is not theory. This pattern has happened over and over in short-sighted communities that have not invested in their future,” Mahoney wrote.

In the past few years, Belmont Savings has become more involved in Belmont, starting a foundation to assist organizations and individuals funding community activities. The most prominent of those was the foundation’s donation of $200,000 this fall that jump started a community drive to raise $400,000 to start construction of a new Underwood Pool adjacent to Concord Avenue.

At Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting – at 6 p.m. in the Selectmen’s room at Town Hall – the board will join up with the Belmont School Committee for a presentation from the district concerning the pending $1.7 million deficit in the pending fiscal ’16 available revenue budget totaling $47.5 million. In two previous public meetings to discuss the budget, Phelan has said the rapid increase in enrollment over the past five years and for years to come has sent expenses skyrocketing as the district. Phelan has advocated the selectmen call for, and voters pass a three-year, $4.5 million Proposition 2 1/2 override to fund the gap.

After the budget meeting, the Selectmen will reconvene to discuss placing an override before voters. If it decides to move in that direction, the board will also have to set a date for the override vote.



Ho Hum: Belmont Savings Reports Another Record For Annual Earnings

Another year, another new benchmark as Belmont Savings Bank reported record annual earnings for 2014.

In a press release dated Feb. 12, the bank’s holding company, BSB Bancorp, Inc. reported net income of $1.4 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014, compared to net income of $645,000, or 7 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter in 2013.

For the year ending Dec. 31, the bank had net income of $4.3 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, as compared to net income of $2.0 million, or 22 cents per diluted share for 2013.

“2014 was another year of balance sheet and income growth. As our scale increases, we would expect further improvement in profitability,” said Bob Mahoney, the holding company’s president and CEO.

That growth was seen on both overall assets and in the bank’s core business, lending. By the end of the year, the bank’s total assets were $1.4 billion, an increase of $371 million or 35 percent from $1.1 billion on Dec. 31, 2013. At the end-of-the-year, deposits totaled $985 million, an increase of $220 million or 29 percent from $765 million in 2013.

On the lending side of the ledger, the bank witnessed end-of-the-year annual net loan growth of $340 million, up an impressive 41 percent from 2013. Increases were seen in:

  • Residential one-to-four family loans; $163 million.
  • commercial real estate loans; $87 million.
  • home equity lines of credit; $39 million.
  • indirect auto loans; $32 million.

“The continuing momentum in core deposit growth was an important contributor to our success in 2014. Each of our business segments, retail, business banking, municipal banking and commercial real estate, grew their customer relationships and their deposit base consistently throughout the year,” said Hal Tovin, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

As of 10 a.m., Feb. 13, the bank’s stock was reported at $18.76/share, just off its 52-week high of $19.35.


Clang, Clang, Clang Goes the Holly Jolly Trolley on Saturday, Dec. 13

The Parents of Music Students and the Belmont Savings Bank are sponsoring the inaugural Holly Jolly Trolley, a half-hour tour on an old-style trolley (just like the one in the movie “Meet Me to St. Louis” which showcased the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) of the holiday lights of Belmont accompanied by Belmont High School musical groups.

The tours take place on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 with children that can sit on your lap riding free.

All proceeds benefit the outstanding music program in the Belmont public schools.

Tickets are available at Belmont Savings Bank headquarters at 2 Leonard St. or on-line at

Santa Makes Annual Arrival (with the Mrs. This Time) to Turn On Belmont

Photo: One youngster got very shy when greeting Santa Claus at the Belmont Savings Bank during the 24th annual “Turn on the Town” in Belmont Center, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2015.

Why was Santa and Mrs. Claus coming out of the basement of Champions Sporting Goods? It was expected the famous couple was coming down from their workshop beyond the Arctic Circle using the sleigh pulled by reindeers on the annual visit to Belmont Center to light the Christmas tree and say hello to all the town’s kids.

But there they were, climbing out of the section of the store where hockey and baseball equipment are located.

Turns out there was a “reasonable” answer to the question so many were asking on Thursday, Dec. 4.

“There’s a tunnel from the North Pole to the store. It’s easier,” said Champion’s owner Gerry Dickhaut.

Another mystery solved.

And before you could say “Ol’ Saint Nick,” Santa was on top of a Belmont Fire Department Engine for the short trip to the town’s tree and the official start of the 24th annual “Turn on the Town” celebration.

Residents came out with their children while pre-teens and some high school students wandered closed Leonard Street to participate in the night’s activities.

After the tree was illuminated, the Claus’ headed to the Belmont Savings Bank’s headquarters for a round of photos with a larger than usual number of toddlers who made it quite clear they didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be around somewhere before Christmas,” said Santa to a child and her mother.

Outside, Leonard Street was filled with free eats, the Belmont High School Madrigals (many who were auditioning at the same time for the spring musical), a petting zoo, Frosty and Rudolph and a train ride.

And in a sign of the times, one young girl took a “selfie” with Rudolph rather than wait for her mother to show up to take a photo.