WAKEFIELD — While there are plenty of banking options in downtown Wakefield, Pawtucket Credit Union CEO George Charette hopes community members pay a visit to their new branch on Old Tower Hill Road.
“It’s nice to finally be in that area,” Charette said during a phone interview earlier this week, explaining that Pawtucket Credit Union has been hoping to open a branch in Wakefield for some time now. “It’s been a long time coming.”
The 17th location officially opened its doors more than a month ago, according to Charette, and the reception from community members so far has been very positive. Already, the branch has seen a fair bit of traffic and a lot of new accounts opened.
For those who were already banking with Pawtucket Credit Union, up until last month, North Kingstown has been the southernmost branch. Charette hopes this newest location will provide a greater convenience for Southern Rhode Island residents.
“We’ve been doing business across the state, and moving into South Kingstown just adds that little extra convenience for people who live close to that area – both current members of ours and people who might want to become members of ours,” Charette said.
While existing members may have chosen to bank with Pawtucket Credit Union because of another branch’s proximity to their work or even a former residence, Charette hopes new members come for convenience and stay for excellent service.
“Financial services and banking is a convenience service, and most of the time, people will bank within two or three miles of where they live,” Charette explained. “Some of our new members who live in that area, that new branch is likely to be the most convenient for them.”
“We like to pride ourselves on service and having a full range of financial products and services – on the deposit side and the loan side,” he added.
This new branch has created five new, local jobs – a branch manager, an assistant manager and three tellers/member services representatives, according to Charette. Creating new jobs and positions is nothing new for the credit union, however.
“We’ve done that year over year, and with the pandemic, we have not cut any staff,” Charette said. “We’ve kept everybody on, we’ve kept everyone paid, we’ve tried to do our best by our employers and the community.”
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the financial hardships it’s caused many Rhode Islanders, Pawtucket Credit Union has continued to further assist the communities they service.
In recent months, the credit union has made donations to more than a dozen food banks across the state and donated $10,000 towards the JonnyCake Center of Peace Dale. According to Charette, the credit union has also made charitable donations towards Habitat for Humanity South County, the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County and Welcome House of South Country, among others. Since the onset of the pandemic, Pawtucket Credit Union has also donated more than $50,000 toward charitable COVID-19 relief efforts.
“We always like to feel that we’re committed to making a positive impact in the lives of our members and on the communities throughout Rhode island,” Charette said. “That’s what we try to do every day – fulfill people’s financial needs and help them through whatever they need to get through.”