There are many reasons why you might choose a mutual savings bank over a stock bank. Stock-held banks outnumber mutual savings banks, and by and large are what most people imagine when they think of a bank, but mutual savings banks provide many of the same services with a customer-centric ethos.

The Difference Between Stock-Held Banks and Mutual Savings Banks

Unlike stock banks, mutual savings banks do not have outside shareholders. A stock bank always has shareholder interest, and therefore profit, at the center of its decision-making.

A mutual savings bank, like Piscataqua Savings Bank, is owned by its depositors. Piscataqua Savings Bank is organized under the trustee system, in which a board of trustees governs the bank’s operations. These trustees are nominated from a Board of Corporators, who are a representative group of the Bank’s customers and members of the community.

Mutual savings banks more closely resemble credit unions than traditional banks because they are owned by depositors. But unlike credit unions, mutual savings banks are subject to many of the same regulations as traditional banks, including the Community Reinvestment Act, to assure it meets community needs.

Advantages of a Mutual Savings Bank Account

1. Customer service. At Piscataqua Savings Bank, serving our customers is the core of our business. As a mutual savings bank, we make decisions based on what’s best for you the depositor, not what will enrich an outside shareholder. This customer-centric approach was at the heart of our decision to become a Certified B Corporation.

2. Long-term perspective. Being a mutual savings bank allows Piscataqua Savings Bank to take a long-term perspective, unlike a stock bank which has to increase shareholder value every year. This permits us to build beneficial relationships within the community and offer more flexibility to our customers.

3. Community-need centered growth. Traditional banks favor growth for the sake of growth in the interest of growing a profit for their shareholders. At Piscataqua Savings Bank, we grow based on customer and community needs. Our services are all available under one roof. This results in more stable and reliable community banking.

4. Depositor safety. Mutual savings banks, including Piscataqua Savings Bank, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Mutual savings banks generally make investment decisions with the interests of their depositors in mind. 

5. Benefit to the community. At Piscataqua Savings Bank, profits stay within the community: through donations to community schools, charitable causes, and local events, and in offering depositors lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. In the last ten years, Piscataqua Savings Bank has donated over $1 million to local organizations.

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