Author: Luke Botsolis, BSU student
Managing your finances is important. That is why having a bank that understands your financial needs, while also being located locally is also important. South Shore Bank was founded over 180 years ago in 1833 as Weymouth Savings Bank. In the years since, South Shore Bank has grown to 14 locations throughout the South Shore and is headquartered in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Part of what makes a business successful is who is leading the business, their visions, and their expertise. South Shore Bank is led by James Dunphy, C.P.A., C.M.A. Jim, as he is known around the bank, is a South Shore native, born in Quincy, raised in Abington, and currently residing in North Quincy. Jim graduated from Bridgewater State University with a B.S. in Accounting, started his career in public accounting, and was ultimately recruited into finance by one of his clients. He quickly learned about the importance and advantages of community banking. Jim had the opportunity to be the founding CEO of a de novo bank in New Hampshire prior to his position at South Shore Bank. When the position for CEO at South Shore Bank was open, Jim stated, “I could not pass on the opportunity to lead South Shore Bank, a great institution that has been serving the South Shore community for more than 180 years. It is great to help people in the same communities where I grew up”.
As any business owner/operator knows, challenges always arise, and it takes knowledgeable leaders to navigate the challenges and implement effective resolutions. Jim recognizes that one of the main challenges of leading South Shore Bank is balancing the culture of accountability while also empathizing with the specific circumstances and skillsets of each employee. Noting that the employees of the bank are the most valuable key to the success of the bank, Jim has encouraged a strong culture of coaching, mentoring, and training to ensure employees are as knowledgeable and helpful as possible.
South Shore Bank stands out amongst its competitors in a number of ways. One such way is that South Shore Bank is chartered as a mutual bank, meaning that the bank does not have shareholders, and is completely vested in its clients. South Shore Bank prides itself on delivering a unique and personal experience for its clients. Recently, South Shore Bank underwent a rebranding and unveiled its new brand of ‘Sharing Success’. Jim explains:
“The South Shore Bank brand of Sharing Success means that we believe the most valuable success is success that is shared with those around us. Our experienced team of professionals want to help our clients and communities make informed decisions, whether it be starting a new business, buying a first home, applying for a new grant, investing their money and making sound financial decisions. As we are successful, we share that success back in our community. For example, we created a Community Fund that provided $500,000 to assist clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with making monthly rent or mortgage payments.”
In the digital era, South Shore Bank keeps the personal touch many other businesses have foregone. Personal relationships and connections remain of the utmost importance when welcoming new clients to the bank. Jim wants clients to think of the bank as a trusted and essential partner, he also wants the clients to know that not only does the bank care about its own success, but the financial success of its clients as well. As Jim puts it, “Technology makes it easier for clients to bank, but it can never replace personal connections with a client”.
However, South Shore Bank is also committed to investing in the latest technologies in order to make banking easier and convenient for its clients. South Shore Bank has been on the forefront of implementing new banking technology, as evidenced by their use of Face2Face virtual tellers. Clients of the bank can use this service by going to a South Shore Bank ATM, and interact with a live teller through the ATM, allowing staff to assist clients without them having to go directly into a branch.
In the near future, with the vaccine rollout underway, Jim hopes to return to running operations without limitations. Branches could be opened without lobby closures and staff can return to working on site. Having a Work from Home workforce has allowed for added flexibility; however, it has impacted the culture of communication and interpersonal relationships at the bank. Jim adds that “…the interpersonal communication of holding in-person meetings, collaborating on projects in person, etc., has an added value that is immeasurable”. In the long term, Jim expects the traditional branch model to look differently with technology being a significant driver in how the bank serves its clients.
South Shore Bank is a leader not only in banking, but in technology, customer service, and in the communities it serves. Under the leadership of James Dunphy, South Shore Bank will continue to be a valued asset to the community while Sharing Success with its clients and employees.
If you have questions, or would like to have your banking needs serviced by South Shore Bank, stop by one of their 14 branches or get in touch via one of the methods below.