New Valley Bank & Trust Co. Officially Opens Its Doors
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield’s first startup bank in 11 years has officially opened its doors.
New Valley Bank & Trust Co. received final regulatory approval and staged a press conference on June 10 to celebrate what co-founder Jeff Sullivan called “a business bank for the ambitious.”
“We’re mindful of the privilege we’ve been granted, and we intend to not only be responsive to our shareholders, but to be responsible to the communities we serve,” co-founder Frank Fitzgerald added during a gathering of supporters, co-investors, business leaders, and elected officials.
The bank’s headquarters are up and running, located on the ninth floor of Monarch Place in downtown Springfield. This site will be coupled with a drive-thru location at 1930 Wilbraham Road in Sixteen Acres, which will be opening in a few months.
The founders of the bank include Fitzgerald, chairman; Jeff Sullivan, president and CEO; Jim Garvey, president of St. James Check Cashing; and Dennis Murphy of Ventry Associates.
Fitzgerald admitted he and Garvey kicked the idea around for a few years, but it wasn’t until Sullivan, a long-time banking leader in the region, became involved that the bank became a reality.
“We’re fortunate to have Jeff,” he said. “His credentials and his experience are perfectly aligned with the job description for the CEO of this bank.”
Sullivan said Valley Bank has set several goals, first and foremost being a high level of engagement with customers, which he says has been missing at a lot of banks. Secondly, he hopes the bank will build off the recent successes in Springfield and connect the small-business community to that success.
“We hope to provide access to the banking system to build wealth for workers and their families, in addition to building wealth for business owners,” he explained.
Mayor Domenic Sarno praised the founders and staff of the bank, and said that, when the bank examiners and commissioner presented the idea to him, it was a “simple decision.”
“Every businessman or businesswoman deserves to make a dollar. These individuals, led by Attorney Frank Fitzgerald, many times, if not all the time, do this out of the goodness in their heart because they believe in the city of Springfield,” said Sarno, adding that economic development in the city of Springfield is not restricted to large projects. “There’s a lot of other development going on with small to mid-sized businesses, and they need access to capital, and that’s exactly what the New Valley Bank is looking to do.”
Sullivan said New Valley has created something that “runs on a different set of rails” than other local banks, and promised that, in a quickly-changing industry, the new bank is ready for those changes.