Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

What's in a Name? Quaint Oak Savings Bank, Southampton, Pa

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

What's in a Name? Quaint Oak Savings Bank, Southampton, Pa

Article excerpt

Quaint Oak Savings started as a state-chartered and privately insured building and loan association in 1926. In that era, the Philadelphia area, which includes Southampton, was no stranger to building and loans, says Robert Strong, current president and CEO of Quaint Oak. The small cooperative savings societies sprang up here and there, enabling members to pool their savings to facilitate other members' mortgage borrowing.

Strong says that the "oak" part of the bank's name came from the traditional attitude towards savings: "From little acorns great oaks do grow." The "quaint" part arose from a meaning of that word that connotes something of an unusual nature that stands out. "It was small, and so it was not a lot of trees, but it was one tree," explains Strong.

Quaint Oak spent the decades puttering along, mostly making home loans, and grew only very gradually. But in 2000, when it had reached about $15 million in assets, major change arrived.

In January of that year, Pennsylvania ceased accepting private deposit insurance coverage, and, in order to be able to apply for FDIC deposit insurance, Quaint Oak had to go through a charter and name change, to Quaint Oak Savings Bank, its current label.

At that point, Strong came aboard from another institution and he and the savings bank's board of trustees, all local business figures, determined to change the general direction the company had been moving in.

First off, the company has downplayed mortgages, which are now widely available to customers, and has concentrated on commercial real estate credit instead. The return on these is higher than on mortgages, which enables the bank to pay its depositors somewhat higher rates on savings and CD products. …

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