January 10, 2019

Liberty's retiring CEO still on the job

HBJ PHOTO | Steve Laschever
HBJ PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Chandler Howard, who planned to retire year-end 2018, remains as Liberty Bank's CEO while the Middletown lender continues searching for his successor.

Longtime Connecticut banker Chandler Howard, who previously planned to retire at the end of 2018 as president and CEO of Liberty Bank, remains in place as the search for his successor continues, the Middletown lender says.

The $4.8 billion-asset community lender, one of New England's oldest banks, announced last May that Howard would step down Dec. 31, ending more than four decades as a Connecticut banker.

Liberty spokesman Anna Brothers said Thursday the bank's search committee continues to seek Howard's successor, and that no new date for his exit has been set.

The bank issued Thursday a formal statement that said Howard "has generously agreed to continue his role at Liberty Bank until a successor has been selected."

Howard also was re-elected last fall to serve a three-year term as a Class A director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a spokesman for the Boston bank confirmed Thursday.

Howard is one of only a handful of African-American bankers to achieve key Connecticut leadership slots. He joined Liberty in 2007 after several career banking stops. He started as a teller in 1974 for the thrift now known as People's United Bank.

Later, he worked at other bank and non-bank institutions, including First City Fund Corp., Connecticut Innovations, Bank of America, and its New England predecessor, former Fleet Bank.

According to Liberty, Howard nearly doubled its assets during his tenure, to $4.8 billion from $2.7 billion.

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the National Consumer Law Center in October sued Liberty, accusing it of violating federal laws by allegedly denying at higher rates or not providing adequate mortgage lending-services to consumers living in African-American or Latino neighborhoods.

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