Bay-Vanguard completes merger with Essex bank
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 11:32

Edgemere-based bank acquires Vigilant Federal

by Nicole Rodman

    Last month, BV Financial, Inc, the holding company for Edgemere-based Bay-Vanguard Federal Savings Bank, announced final regulatory approval for its acquisition of Vigilant Federal Savings Bank in Essex.
    The merger, which officially took effect on May 31, was approved by shareholders of BV Financial as well as members of Vigilant Federal Savings Bank at meetings held on May 6.
    The move, which was first announced last December, increases BV Financial’s assets from approximately $148.9 million to $199.8 million.

    Founded in 1873, Bay-Vanguard is headquarted at 7114 North Point in Edgemere and has branches in Pasadena, Hanover and Baltimore City.
    Located at 532 Eastern Boulevard in Essex, Vigilant Federal was founded by members of the Essex Maryland Volunteer Fire Company in 1927.
    With the acquisition made official, the Vigilant Federal branch will be known as “Vigilant Federal Savings Bank, a division of Bay-Vanguard Federal Savings Bank” for the next year.
    Those holding accounts with Vigilant became account holders with Bay-Vanguard as of May 31.
    According to Bay-Vanguard president and CEO Carolyn Mroz, the merger was based on the fact that  both banks have a “similar banking philosophy” and “similar type of client and neighborhood.”
    For Bay-Vanguard, the move is seen as a way to expand services and locations for customers of both banks.
    With the acquisition, customers of both banks will have access to five locations across the Baltimore region.
    Mroz noted that the merger will also allow Bay-Vanguard access to more assets, allowing the bank to provide better service to customers.
    “Because of the economies of scale, we will be able to provide services at lower costs than each bank individually,” Mroz explained. “This will allow us to have money to spend on expanding our products and services to better serve our customers, old and new.”
    Though Vigilant will now be a part of Bay-Vanguard, Mroz said that most of Vigilant’s employees will be retained.
    Additionally, two members of the Vigilant board of directors will be added to Bay-Vanguard’s board, and one Vigilant board member will join the boards of directors of mutual holding company Bay-Vanguard, M.H.C. and BV Financial, Inc.
    According to Mroz, the move will allow Bay-Vanguard to continue offering the community-based service that sets it apart from national banks.
    “We seek to know the needs of our communities, the community organizations, and our customers,” she explained, adding, “We also have relationships with our local politicians to make sure they are meeting the needs of their constituents and the businesses in the community.”
    As Mroz also pointed out, business done with Bay-Vanguard benefits local communities as “almost all of our loans are done in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County and Harford County.”
    While the merger adds to the bank’s locations and holdings, Mroz noted that Bay-Vanguard’s focus will remain local.
    “We are dedicated to being a community bank delivering services and products to the neighborhoods in the Baltimore metropolitan area and surrounding counties,” she noted. “We currently serve Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County. We will continue to focus on these areas.”
    Mroz was also quick to assure that Vigilant customers will receive quality service.
    “We will provide the same personal attention to the Vigilant customers that we have been determined to provide to our existing customers,” she explained. “They will not be just an account number, but a valued member of our institution.”