Banking roundup: New branches; a former Sea Dog takes on mortgage lending

At a time when banking apps have become a routine part of personal finance management, bank branches continue to pop up across Maine.

Chase Bank opened the first of four planned branches in Monument Square, Portland. Three more branches are opened in newly built premises.

Chase has a freestanding “Pad” site set to open on Rock Row in Westbrook. A branch in Falmouth is planned for the ground floor of a four-story building being built on US Route 1 in Falmouth. In the not too distant future, the groundbreaking will take place at another Pad Site office in front of Hannaford in Yarmouth.

Maine Community Bank recently opened a branch in a three story building on Larrabee Road in Westbrook, just across from Rock Row. The three-story building serves as the operations center and a branch of Sparkasse Biddeford is located on the ground floor. The Maine Community Bank also owns Mechanics Savings.

Bangor Savings Bank is putting the finishing touches to remodeling a former university credit union branch, which it will move to in January. His move is a short one, across Brighton Avenue. Each of these Bangor Savings branches has Portland addresses but is not far from the Chase branch on Rock Row and a proposed credit union.

Photo / Peter Van Allen

In Westbrook, the Atlantic Federal Credit Union is planning the groundbreaking for a new branch in the near future.

This credit union will be for the Atlantic Federal Credit Union, which plans to build on a pad lot in front of the mall with Shaw’s, Kohl’s, and Pizza Hut among other tenants. It will be on the west side of Riverside and have a Westbrook address.

Christopher McGorrill, Atlantic FCU’s chief marketing officer, said the groundbreaking ceremony will be soon and the store is well on its way to opening next year.

In Waterville, Katahdin Trust Co. has a branch under construction not far from the Maine Turnpike.

All of this happens at a time when major banks are closing branches, not drastically, but with caution – a cut rather than a full haircut. US Bancorp, Wells Fargo, PNC, Capital One and Chase all closed US branches in 2020, according to Financial Brand.

But physical branches remain an important part of doing business in Maine, which has 30 active commercial banks. Bricks and mortar are still an important part of working for the Maine communities.

By market share in Maine, the top five banks are, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. TD Bank, Bangor Savings, Camden National, KeyBank, and Bank of America.

“Pitching” mortgages

Michael MacDonald is a Mortgage Development Associate at Bangor Savings Bank.

Portland Sea Dogs fans may remember Mike MacDonald, as he was called, as an efficient, dependable right-handed pitcher who was here for the 2012 season.

Photo / Courtesy Bangor Savings

Michael MacDonald of Bangor Savings’ mortgage lending division.

MacDonald, 40, was born in Camden and played baseball at the University of Maine. He was the first Mainer to play for the Sea Dogs.

After drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, he spent nine seasons in the minors, playing for a dozen teams at single-A, double-A, and triple-A levels. For his career, he had a career record of 61-62 and a earned run average of 4.63, according to

His long time as a minor bears little resemblance to the fictional life of Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner in Bull Durham.

“There was none of that weirdness,” he told Mainebiz. “It is torture to play 142 games in 164 days.”

Aside from AAA, where the teams flew commercial flights, there was a lot of bus travel and a lot of wakes up at 4:30 a.m., he says.

Photo / Courtesy of the Portland Sea Dogs

Michael MacDonald, former Portland Sea Dogs pitcher.

MacDonald said his longevity earned him the nickname “Poppy”. It was for his age, he quickly points out.

“Not like Big Papi,” he says, referring to the Red Sox bat David Ortiz.

MacDonald, who lives in Saco with his family, is assigned to the southern Maine region by Bangor Savings.

In recent years he worked in sales for Patriot Subaru in Saco.

His goal at Bangor Savings is to do business “less transactional and more fun.”

He said he was “100% excited” to join Bangor Savings. “There is a real team atmosphere.”

Bangor Savings, the largest Maine-based bank, has $ 6 billion in assets and 60 branches.

“We’re thrilled to have Mike join the Bangor Savings Bank mortgage team,” said Stephen Jordan, vice president and regional sales manager. “We are confident that Mike’s dedication to customer service will result in a great customer experience.”

Give bank clerk

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, the third largest Maine-based bank, said it donated $ 11,000 to four charities in northern New England. Funds came from the bank’s employee-run charity program, Casual for A Cause.

The recipients of the grants raised in the third quarter of 2021 are: Easterseals New Hampshire, Safe Harbor Recovery Home for Women and Children, Veterans Inc., and the Vermont Institute for Natural Science.

“These donations are a testament to our employees’ commitment to and invest in the health and vitality of the communities we live and work in,” said Jack Frost, vice president and director of community donations for Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “The four organizations selected this quarter serve our friends and neighbors importantly, and we are honored to support their efforts.”

As of 2018, Bar Harbor Bank employees have donated $ 139,000 to dozen of organizations in northern New England.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB), the parent company of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, has $ 3.6 billion in assets and 50 branches in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It is based in Bar Harbor.

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