By John Lynds
It was one of the most anticipated commercial development in decades, and now that First Priority Credit Union has opened its doors, thereâ€™s been no shortage of new customers.
Since the credit unionâ€™s grand opening in June, First Priority has signed up some 500 new members from East Boston, Winthrop and Revere.
â€œWith 500 accounts being opened since the beginning of June we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from East Boston and the surrounding communities,â€ said First Priority President and CEO Bill French. â€œWe could not have asked for a better welcome.â€
French said the de-facto faces of the bank, Paul Travaglini and Derek Brodin, have been working tirelessly in Eastie, Winthrop and Revere, to bring the credit unionâ€™s personal message of community banking to small businesses, government organizations, community groups and individuals.
â€œThe results have really paid off,â€ said French.
The bank broke ground last year on the construction of the 13,000 square-foot building that has become the largest full service bank in Eastie.
First Priority has constructed an attractive brick building mimicking the historic turn-of-the-century character of some Eastieâ€™s more prominent commercial properties on four separate but contiguous parcels of land on Bennington, Saratoga and Swift streets-the former site of Gem Auto Parts. The bank provides great access to memberâ€™s commuting in and out of Boston, and is near the Wood Island MBTA station.
With 9,773 members, First Priority started as a small Postal Community Credit Union when a group of postal employees banded together in 1924.
Over the past 82 years, First Priority transformed itself from a small one-office credit union with less than $10,000 in assets into a full-service financial institution with over $110 million in assets.
First Priority took its service to new levels and made tremendous efforts to meet membersâ€™ financial needs on their terms.
They did this by introducing products and services that facilitate 24-hour access to their accounts and improve the control members have over their finances. This service expansion included a 24-hour telephone lending center, a call center, which provides personalized service during business hours, CU-Talk Telephone Branch, which allows members to perform transactions via the telephone, website services, online banking, which allows members to perform transactions via the Internet, bill payment, anytime instant loan applications and an on-line check reorder service.