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NUVO Bank ready to launch new way of banking

Jim Gardner and Jeff Sattler, the founders of NUVO Bank, think this is the best time to start a new bank because it will have a clean slate. Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs
By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD With the financial crisis dominating the news, one might think opening a new bank would be a risky proposition. Not to Jim Gardner and Jeff Sattler, the men behind NUVO Bank.

At a shareholders event conducted last week in the bank's quarters on the ground floor in Tower Square, Sattler, president and COO, noted an advantage the new bank has over some others: NUVO has no bad loans or bad investments.

"Is it a good time to start a new bank?" Sattler asked. "It is when so many banks have lost their charter in the past two weeks. Where are you going to put your money?"

Operating out of a temporary office in Monarch Place next door, NUVO has already begun booking commercial loans and has $2 million in deposits on the books, he added.

Gardner, chair and CEO, said that 100 percent of the bank's 348 shareholders are also customers of the bank and noted that some deposits had been accepted that night.

"There's a lot of excitement tonight," Gardner said.

Over two years in the formation, NUVO is expected to be operating in its permanent home -- the space once occupied by BayBank Valley -- by Nov. 13 when its grand opening will be celebrated.

NUVO just might be the most unusual bank in Western Massachusetts. There won't be tellers waiting behind windows. Instead, standard banking business will be done at electronic "pods" with "concierges" lending assistance. WiFi will be available and there is a 1,200 square foot community meeting room that is open for use by non-profit groups. There will be an art gallery and fresh brewed coffee for customers.

NUVO will target small to medium sized businesses and is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Services (CDARS). It is the only bank in Western Massachusetts offering CDARS, which gives NUVO CD customers access to full FDIC insurance coverage for their bank deposits.

"Within the current banking environment, NUVO Bank is a local, state-chartered commercial bank that is starting with a clean slate," Gardner said. "As a new commercial bank, we have no credit problems, plus we can offer our depositors the comfort of full FDIC insurance. It really doesn't get any better than banking with NUVO, where your money can be completely FDIC insured and is reinvested locally, thus helping support our regional economy."

NUVO Bank will have a grand opening event for the public on Nov. 13 when it sponsors a noontime fall-themed festival on Main Street in front and inside the bank featuring live music, fun and prizes.

"Supporting the local community and businesses is what NUVO Bank is all about," Sattler said. "When a locally owned bank does business with a local company, the money doesn't head out to another state to help other communities, it's channeled right back into Springfield; buying local, doing business with other local businesses and helping our region re-invest in itself is the key to success for all of us."

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