“We’re a strong bank and we’re looking to provide our services outside of our Hudson County scope,” Coughlin said.
That county scope includes eight Bayonne locations, Hoboken, and Jersey City, as well as four others in additional counties. Four new branches are being added.
“We’re in development to open them up,” Coughlin said. They are in Rutherford, Fairfield, and two in Staten Island.
After the new branches are open, the company will have a presence in seven counties, including New York’s Richmond County.
The nearly 14-year-old banking institution’s offerings include checking, bill pay, CDs, IRAs, and electronic transfers.
The bank also prides itself on services that make city residents’ lives easier.
“For Bayonne, we provide a municipal service, collecting water and tax bills,” Coughlin said. “We provide courier service for all those we have accounts with us, so they don’t have to come to the bank to pay the bill.”
Bank officials also have a major initiative soon to get off the ground.
“We’re looking into wealth management,” Coughlin said. “Basically if somebody wants to go outside their traditional IRA and CDs, we’re looking to provide them with wealth management services; investment help in mutual funds, annuities, or stocks. That's the only service we don’t provide that other banks provide.”
The launch of wealth management is about six months away.
BCB, which will observe its 14th year in the business in November, is already looking forward to its 15th anniversary celebration in November next year. Bank assets are $1.275 billion as of June 30, and Coughlin believes a November 2015 goal of $1.5 billion in assets is reasonable.
“Since the bank originated in Bayonne, our original shareholders, they’ve invested into the bank, the stock, and this will make it stronger,” Coughlin said. “When we first opened in Bayonne, a lot of shareholders were local residents who invested in the bank's beginning. Along the way, a lot of them also became our customers. As we continue to grow, they get a better return on their investment. It will enhance the value of the stock price in the future. We continue to enhance their value by expanding.”
The continued success of the bank also means additional regular jobs and college intern summer paid positions for city residents and those in adjoining towns. BCB already employs more than 300 people.
The four new branches are part of the bank’s five-year strategic plan. But those are not necessarily the only additions coming BCB’s way.
“We have growth plans going forward,” Coughlin said. “We’re looking for strategic acquisitions in areas that we’re not in.”
But Coughlin said BCB will not lose sight of its mission as a financial institution taking care of local residents.
“Bayonne residents have a full gamut of banking services with a local bank where they pick up the phone and talk to the president,” he said.
After all, the city helped the bank in its startup, which eventually allowed it to grow into the North Jersey presence that it is has now.
“It shows that being born and raised corporately in Bayonne, there are businesses in Bayonne that can be successful, and then succeed and grow outside its original area,” Coughlin said.
Although originally a Bayonne bank, BCB merged with Pamrapo Savings in 2010 and Allegiance Community Bank in 2012 to become stronger.