Dear Community Bank of Bergen County Customers and Shareholders,
Growth (progressive development) and Stability (the strength to stand or endure) are our main objectives each year and were so for 2012. It is not only about financial growth and stability, but also growth in new banking products and services and growth in the Bank’s role within the community.
Financial growth was a struggle in 2012, but we achieved our goal of maintaining the bank’s financial footing. Operating efficiently was especially crucial last year as we continued to manage regulatory changes and requirements. This will continue to be a prime focus this year as will reducing our legacy non-performing loans. We have made progress in 2012 and will continue to be diligent in 2013 to minimize losses and allow ourselves to grow safely.
Growth in Innovative Products and Services
Despite the economic and regulatory challenges of 2012, we were able to realize growth in the innovative products and services we offer our customers. We launched e-statements which allow customers to receive electronic account statements. Not only are electronic statements more eco-friendly, reducing waste and clutter, but they help reduce the risk of identity theft. We also began offering Easy Switch Kits to help customers manage the time consuming process of switching to a new bank. The kit provides easy instruction and basic forms that will facilitate the transition. Lastly, we launched the CBBC Visa Platinum Credit Card through a partnership with ICBA Bancard for individuals and businesses. The new card has no annual fee and offers customers the opportunity to accumulate ScoreCard bonus points for every net dollar spent as well as the added benefit of travel accident insurance, fraud monitoring and advanced security using Verified by Visa™.
Growth in Our Commitment to the Community
Every year our commitment to and support of the community grows.
We hosted two Shred Day events in 2012 to help reduce paper clutter and to educate the community on reducing the risks of identify fraud and theft.
We promoted literacy through the Bank’s participation in Read Across America which allows CBBC employees to volunteer to read to the children at the Hackensack/Lodi Boys and Girls Clubs in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday in early March. CBBC also sponsored the Business Volunteer Council’s (BVC) Books in a Bag program, collecting new books for young school age children in low income areas.
For the second year now, CBBC sponsored and participated in planting a Community Food Garden located in Hackensack, one of many installed throughout Bergen County by the Northern New Jersey Business Volunteer Council (BVC) to help address childhood hunger by expanding access to fresh produce and promoting healthy eating.
We ran two food drives, our Annual Summer 2012 Food Drive and a Hurricane Sandy Emergency Food Drive, collecting non-perishables in all of the Bank’s locations for the Helping Hands Ministry in Rochelle Park.
We supported the Annual PBA Toy Drive, collecting new, unwrapped toys at all of our branches to benefit military families, Sanzari Children’s Hospital, victims of Hurricane Sandy, Tomorrow’s Children and the Wounded Warrior Project. In addition to the toys collected, supplies and non-perishable goods were also received for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims.
We wrapped up 2012 by hosting the town of Maywood’s annual tree lighting and visit by Santa Claus which took place in the lot of the Maywood office. It was a joyous event filled with caroling, hot chocolate and cookies, and it was replicated every Friday night until Christmas.
Needless to say, 2012, while challenging, was a very busy and productive year!
2013 is an exciting year for the Bank as we celebrate our 85th anniversary. It is a celebration of our success, and it is a celebration of the people, our staff and our customers, who have made our success possible.
On behalf of our management team, I want to thank you for your continued support and patronage. We look forward to serving you in 2013 and beyond.
Peter A. Michelotti, CFP®
President & CEO