A PeoplesBank VideoBanker ITM at an unspecified branch's drive-through. Photo courtesy of PeoplesBank

PeoplesBank has made three major announcements to the start of the year: reaching the $4 billion mark in assets, executive changes and promotions in its top leadership team and plans to open two more branches in Connecticut.

CEO Tom Senecal is now the chairman of the board in addition to retaining his current title, while longtime chief operating officer Brian Canina added “president” to his titles and Hayes Murray was promoted to executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.

The board of directors also approved plans of opening branches in Glastonbury and Avon in Connecticut as the bank continues to look for opportunities to expand, the bank said in an announcement, citing the importance of increasing its presence in the market.

PeoplesBank is based in Massachusetts, but operates four of its branches in the Hartford area, and has $400.58 million of its $2.81 billion in deposits in Connecticut according to the most recent FDIC data, from the second quarter of 2023.

“We surpassed $4 billion in assets in 2023,” Senecal said in a statement. “We have more than 300 employees, and operate across two states with 20 banking centers with an additional five locations when our headquarters, ATM and VideoBankerITM locations are included. That’s quite a bit of recent growth which is a credit to the hard work of our entire team.”

Senecal joined the bank in 1995 and held positions in finance and commercial lending until he was elected president, CEO, and chairman in 2016.

New president Canina said a combination of growing the bank’s deposits and commercial loans, among others, contributed to PeoplesBank hitting the $4 billion asset milestone.

The bank saw growth in all deposit areas, including retail, commercial and institutional, he said, with “a majority” of the growth due to the pandemic-era surge in deposits all lenders experienced. The bank also saw “steady growth” in its commercial loan portfolio, he added, and recorded success in small business banking, serving the solar and renewable energy industry, serving municipalities, and expanding its relationships with commercial customers.

“Another factor has been our expansion — both geographically, as we have had great growth in Connecticut as we extended our footprint into Connecticut starting in 2018, and also digitally, as we have not only enabled new technology within our footprint, such as VideoBankerITMs, but we have also launched a digital-only bank brand, ZYNLO, to have a presence in other markets across the entire country,” he added. “But, if pressed for a “Simple” answer, I guess I’d sum it up as: great customer service, local relationships, our mutuality, and our commitment to the communities we serve.”

Aside from continuing his current responsibilities handling finance, facilities, PeoplesWealth, the Business Solutions Group, and information technology, Canina will expand his areas of responsibility to include human resources, marketing and corporate responsibility. He joined PeoplesBank in 2009 and was executive vice president, COO and CFO before being appointed as president.

Murray, the new CFO has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and joined PeoplesBank in 2021. Before that, he was the CFO of New Valley Bank and Trust in Springfield and spent over a decade in public accounting.