With their high fees, foreclosures and the number of families left scrambling to keep their homes, these days banks are known more for taking than for giving.
James C. Smith, president Webster Bank, is working to change that perception. He doesn’t believe that all the George Baileys, the kind-hearted banker from the holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life,” have vanished.
“George Bailey was there to help his customers when they needed him, and I think that’s a lot of what we’re all about, and that’s why it’s so meaningful to us,” said Smith.
Smith’s father founded Webster Bank during the Great Depression to help those who were struggling to buy and build their homes. The bank expanded over the years, and now has more than 150 branches in four states. Despite the growth, Smith said the notion of profiting by helping people is still its bedrock.
Instead of moving quickly to foreclose and cover losses, Webster Bank is committed to helping families stay in their homes.
“We have a…