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August 6, 2020

With South Windsor expansion, Windsor Federal plays up community niche

Sketch | Windsor Federal Savings Windsor Federal Savings is planning to build a new branch on Deming Street in South Windsor.

Seeking to capitalize on the quickly declining number of community banks headquartered in Greater Hartford, Windsor Federal Savings is making a bet on South Windsor.

Windsor Federal is seeking local approvals to construct a new branch one mile north of the Buckland Hills mall, on Deming Street.

Windsor Federal opened a loan office near the corner of Deming Street and Buckland Road late last year, which represented its first-ever physical presence in South Windsor.  It converted the office into a full-service branch earlier this year, its eighth in the area.

Now, Windsor Federal, which had $477 million in deposits as of the first quarter, is planning to build a nearly 2,700-square-foot branch on a vacant site a stone’s throw away from the loan office, which it will vacate once the branch is open.

In an interview, CEO George W. Hermann said the recently converted loan office was meant to establish a local presence as the bank made preparations for the new branch.

The loan office branch has already taken in about $30 million in new deposits in just seven months, which Hermann views as a good sign for his institution’s potential in South Windsor, a town currently dominated by major national banks.

“There are no banks with offices in South Windsor with less than $10 billion in assets, so we just felt our community focus would fit in well,” he said.

Windsor Federal is a mutual bank, meaning it is owned by its members.

Hermann said it's too early to disclose the bank's total planned investment in the new branch.

Consolidation in the state’s banking industry has merged a number of longtime local powerhouses out of existence.

While Connecticut overall remains relatively flush with community banks, Hartford County has lost a disproportionate share in the past few years, after the acquisitions of Farmington Bank by People’s United Financial; Simsbury Bank by Middletown-based mutual Liberty Bank; and First Suffield Bank by Massachusetts-based PeoplesBank.

Community banks based outside of Hartford County have sought to move into the territory to poach customers and deposits, particularly following the Farmington Bank acquisition. 

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