October 2023 Newsletter

Derek Plourde









Derek Plourde

President & CEO

With news of military activity, political division, climate change and inflation dominating headlines, I hope that you are able to enjoy some cherished time with your family and friends, and experience the beauty and bounty of autumn in New England.

We have good news to share! Charles River Bank (CRB) won medals in 3 categories at the 2023 MyFM 101.3 Quest for the Best Awards. We brought home Gold in Bank, Silver in Wealth Management, and Silver in Mortgage Lending, all thanks to your continued support.

Over the past year, the banking industry has experienced some challenges with a rapid increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. In March, some of our nation’s large banks encountered the perfect storm.  These institutions had notable risk factors that made them susceptible to the sudden interest rate changes, along with concentrations of loans and deposits in more volatile industries.  The result was a liquidity crunch that ended in their collapse. In contrast, CRB’s assets include a wide variety of loans to homeowners and business entities throughout our community, and other diversified investments, with no specific concentrations in any one industry. CRB has continued to have strong financial results throughout the year, with above average results vs. our peer group in key metrics including: Net Interest Margin, Return on Assets, Return on Equity, and Efficiency Ratio.

Recently, some mega banks have announced plans to close offices within the communities we serve.  If you or your family, friends or colleagues are impacted by this, the CRB team is here to help.  Our bank was founded in this community 109 years ago, and our success is intrinsically tied to the people and businesses here.  And unlike the big national banks, or many other local banks, every dollar deposited at CRB is insured in full with FDIC covering the first $250,000 and DIF covering all deposit balances in excess of FDIC limits.

CRB’s continuing success is thanks to our customers, dedicated customer care team, and experienced leadership.  Rest assured that CRB will be here with the personalized solutions to meet your financial needs delivered with the highest level of service you deserve and expect, now and into the future.

I thank you for choosing Charles River Bank as your financial service provider.

Derek Plourde

President & CEO


Your Personal Financial Management Tool – Manage My Money (MX) – is Here!

In response to the growing need customers have for real-time financial updates across all financial institutions, Charles River Bank introduces Manage My Money (MX).  This new feature is now available within CRB’s Online and Mobile Banking. With this powerful personal financial management tool, you can:

  • View all of your accounts (at CRB or ANY financial institution) including savings accounts, checking, 401k, investments and loans, along with transaction amounts and details.
  • Get the most complete picture of your financial health while logged into your CRB online or mobile banking.
  • Set budgets and track spending by specific categories across all of your credit cards and deposit accounts.
  • Get recommendations to create the most effective, money saving plans for loan pay downs.
  • Easy to read charts and graphs give you simple visual summaries of current finances and your progress over time.

Stop in any CRB branch or give us a call and we will happily demonstrate Manage My Money  functions and answer any questions you may have.  Manage My Money can be found at the top right Tab when logged into online banking, or from the upper left function menu in your CRB mobile APP.

Mega-Banks:  Too big to stay?

Recently a number of larger regional and national banks announced that they closing offices in our local communities, leaving their customers with challenges accessing ATMs, Safe Deposit Boxes, and in branch services. Other national banks have stopped offering specific products like retirement account CDs.  It seems that service is secondary to profits with these giants.

Charles River Bank (CRB) was founded locally 109 years ago and is here to stay. As a mutually controlled bank, our priority is our depositors and the communities we serve, not corporate shareholders.  Our continued success is intrinsically tied to the financial success of the individuals, families, businesses and organizations here. We are here for you, today and in the future.

So if you are looking for the convenient services, e-banking solutions, competitive interest rates, with personal connections that the big banks lack, CRB is here for you.  CRB customers have easy access to more than 40,000 surcharge free ATMs at our offices and across the country at SUM or MoneyPass ( ) ATM locations.  Safe Deposit Boxes are also available in a variety of sizes at all CRB offices.

CRB also offers an important benefit that national banks and most local banks can’t – full deposit insurance.  Your deposits are Charles River Bank are insured up to 250 thousand dollars through FDIC and every dollar above FDIC limit is insured by DIF ( ). So you can rest easy knowing ALL your money deposited at CRB is always safe and secure.

If you or anyone you know is being affected by these big banks leaving or reduced product offerings, call us at (508) 533-8661, email or visit any CRB branch! We’re happy to help in any way we can!

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Personal Banker I


Department: Retail Banking

Reports to: Branch Officer

SummaryProcesses customer transactions and cash handling. Provides customer service (in person, via phone, or online) such as addressing online and mobile banking inquiries, places check orders, assists with ATM/Debit Card issuing and PIN resets, and conducts ATM balancing when requested. Assist customers with queries concerning financial institution and recognizes and acts upon opportunities to expand customer relationships. Responsible for achieving established customer engagement and service goals.

JudgmentWork is performed under the direct supervision of the Manager, Assistant Manager or Head Teller, following established routine and standard banking procedures. Requires some judgment and initiative in identifying customer needs for Bank services and products. Refers all questionable situations to supervisor or bank officer.

Supervisory Responsibilities:


Job Requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent, supplemented by on-the-job training; college degree is a plus
  • Bank-related and computer courses. Above average computer and keyboard skills, proficient in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and Outlook.
  • Six months or more experience in the teller function or cash handing, as well as sales experience, particularly in cross-marketing products and services.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good understanding of financial products and services.
  • Strong organizational skills


Specific Job Functions:

  • Processes all transactions including deposits, withdrawals, loans payments, currency requests and other teller transactions.
  • Assists with proving ATM, processing Night Deposit transactions.
  • Provides a range of customer service at the financial institution, engaging with customers to identify needs, explaining available financial institution products and services.
  • Answers online, telephone and in person inquiries.
  • Daily use of online banking systems, debit card, credit card, check ordering, and other partner systems to provide high level of service to customers.
  • Completes arrangements and documents for special services such as exchanges of foreign currency and processing savings bond transactions.
  • Identifies customer needs and actively refers loan, investment, insurance, and brokerage services to appropriate financial institution specialists.
  • Participates in sales, service and product training meetings.
  • Follows policies and procedures related to retail and lending.
  • Performs related duties as assigned by supervisor.


Physical Requirements:

Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with customers; eyesight and hearing at a level that does not interfere with customer communication. Mobility to move throughout the Bank building and to climb stairs, such as providing access to the safe deposit area and moving outside of the Bank to make calls, participate in community or networking events to promote the Bank.

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Steps to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Together we create the best defense against Fraud.

Every day, fraudsters, scammers and thieves get more creative in their attempts to access your personal information, gain access to your accounts, or convince you to send money.  Banks across the country are seeing even more fraud attempts during the Holiday Season.  There is nothing more important than keeping your banking secure and your information safe.  Charles River Bank has multiple layers of protection for any banking transactions, including online, mobile, debit MasterCard®, ACH, Wire and others.  But the ability of our systems to offer the highest level of protection relies on you to also take proactive steps.  As always, please be alert and never give out your personal information unless you know it’s a trusted and verified source, and please do not click on any links if you are unsure if they are from a legitimate source.  Some of the most important things you can do to protect yourself are outlined below.

Steps to Protect Yourself from Fraud

  1. Review your account activity regularly. You can do this anytime, day or night, by using CRB’s online banking or the CRB mobile app. If you don’t use digital banking, check your account statements as soon as they arrive. Notify CRB, by phone or via online/mobile banking, if you see any account activity that you did not authorize so we can take steps to protect your account.
  2. Set up Alerts & Notifications. This is an easy way to get regular notification by text or email of any transactions you choose (e.g. withdrawals over a specified amount, low balance warnings, debit card transactions, transfer notices, etc.) They can be easily set up in your CRB online or mobile banking.  Just click on My Profile, then select Additional Services and Manage My Alerts.
  3. Keep tabs on your debit card. If you lose a card or think it might be lost or stolen, you can contact us, or deactivate your debit card anytime using your CRB online/mobile banking. Our processing systems are always on the lookout for unusual debit card activity and may reach out to you via text message or phone to verify. If you ever have a question regarding communication you have received, you can always call CRB’s main phone number 508-533-8661 during business hours or (833) 337-6075 after hours for assistance.
  4. Password Safety. Create long, strong passwords, utilizing upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Do not reuse passwords for multiple websites, apps, or online banking. Reused passwords make it easier for fraudsters to access multiple sites to access your credit card, debit card, or bank account information associated with shopping apps or other websites.
  5. Update your Software & Apps Regularly. The majority of people do not know if their antiviral software on their laptop or PC is up to date, while others are not automatically updating apps on mobile devices. If these are not regularly updated, malware and other viruses can be easily transmitted to your software that allow fraudsters to record your keystrokes or allow tracking of your online activity. It’s like giving your UserID and passwords to strangers. Software and app companies are constantly monitoring and advancing their products to stay well ahead of hackers. They push updates to you that fix general software problems and provide new security patches and tools, protecting your data from being exposed to criminals. Be safe and perform the update as soon as you are notified.
  6. Check theft and fraud still occurs. Thieves still target checks, stolen or copied, as a way to access your account.  In our local area, many people have mail boxes at the end of their driveway.  Never place your outgoing mail – like bills with checks enclosed – in your mail box since those envelopes can be easily stolen, which gives a thief your name, address, bank account number, signature, and potentially the account number of other accounts you are paying.  With digital technology, they can easily replicate your checks and signature to transfer money from your account. Always use official USPS drop boxes inside the post office, hand your mail directly to your mail carrier, or use online bill pay for more secure payments.

We hope you find this information helpful.  Your CRB Customer Care Team is here to help answer questions about your accounts or any security related matters. If you notice any unusual account or debit card activity, call us immediately at 508-533-8661.  To report fraud or a lost or stolen CRB Debit MasterCard® after business hours, call (833) 337-6075. These numbers can also be found on our website and are printed on the back of your debit card.

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Plourde Elected President & CEO of Charles River Bank as Hamilton retires after 20 years

Charles River Bank President & CEO Derek Plourde

The Charles River Bank (CRB) Board of Directors, at the December 21, 2021 meeting, appointed Derek Plourde to the office of President & Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2022. Mr. Plourde succeeds John (Jack) Hamilton who will retire as of December 31, 2021, after a 20-year tenure with the Bank.

Prior to this promotion, Plourde served as CRB’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Plourde joined CRB in 2018 as Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lending Officer.

Plourde has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, with extensive knowledge of commercial lending, financial analysis, specialty lending, special assets, and relationship management. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 1994 with degrees in Economics and Government Legal Studies and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Plourde will graduate in 2022 with a degree from the intensive 3-year program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking, along with a Certificate of Executive Leadership from the Wisconsin School of Business.

Steven M. Richardson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Charles River Bank stated, “With his professional experience, industry knowledge, familiarity with our customers and community, and rapport with the entire team, Derek is the best person to lead Charles River Bank. We are confident that Derek can successfully navigate challenges presented by the ever-changing regulatory environment of banking, continual advancements in technology, and the impact of the ongoing global pandemic so that Charles River Bank remains the preeminent community bank in our market area.”

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as Charles River Bank’s President & CEO. I look forward to leading a phenomenal group of talented, seasoned, and dedicated community bankers. Our team will continue to provide exceptional product offerings, creative financial solutions, and personalized service to the individuals, families, and local businesses that are the foundation of our thriving community,” stated Plourde.

Plourde lives in Uxbridge with his wife, Laural, and two sons, Riley and Hayden. He is an active member of the Milford Rotary Club and served on the Board of Directors for the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce. In his free time, Plourde enjoys golfing and martial arts.

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Charles River Bank Delivers a Merry Christmas for 35 Children with the Milford, MA Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

Vice President/Retail Banking Officer Paul Saia, Marketing and Customer Engagement Coordinator Allison Diebus, and Salvation Army Captain Kevin Polito, display a van filled with hundreds of toys, books, bikes, clothes, etc. donated this year by the bank to the Milford, MA Salvation Army Angel Tree Program.

We once again shared in the spirit of Christmas this year through their partnership with the Milford, MA Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. Through the generosity of the bank’s employees, community, and customers, the 35 children’s wish list Angel tags were claimed, and all wish list requests were fulfilled. Children received their donated Christmas gifts including bikes, toys, clothes, books, shoes, and more. Marketing and Customer Engagement Coordinator Allison Diebus organized the yearly tradition for CRB by getting the children’s lists from Captain Kelley Polito at the Salvation Army and coordinating with the community to make sure each tag was claimed and requests fulfilled.

“Our incredible community members and amazing team show over and over again what it means to come together for the greater good. The amount of response and toys/clothes purchased for the Angel Tree children was astounding. We are happy to partner with the Salvation Army for this wonderful program, and seeing the generosity from participants reminds me how lucky we are to be involved with such a caring community,” said Charles River Bank Senior Vice President Ann Sherry.

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program helps provide Christmas gifts for hundreds of thousands of children around the country each year. Once a child has been registered and accepted as an angel, their Christmas wish list is shared with the community who then purchase the items and clothes on the wish list.

“Thanks to all of the beautiful people associated with Charles River Bank. You will enrich many children’s Christmas holiday!” said Captain Kevin Polito of the Milford, MA Salvation Army.

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Charles River Bank Proudly Sponsors 28th Annual Medway Christmas Parade

Left to right – Julie Harrington, Derek Plourde, Richard Parrella, and Joanne Russo

Charles River Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Plourde (center left) presents a donation check of $1,000 to the Medway Christmas Parade Committee, represented by (L-R) Julie Harrington, Director of Medway Parks and Recreation; Richard Parrella, Vice President of EPCO Inc.; and Joanne Russo, Town of Medway Treasurer/Collector. The 28th Annual Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, November 27th, and will begin at 5:30 pm at the Medway High School and proceed left onto Summer Street, left on Milford Street to Franklin Street, left onto Village Street into Medway Village continuing onto Holliston Street, left onto to Main Street, and ending at Choate Park and the Thayer House. The parade will culminate with ceremonies at the Thayer House that includes the presentation of service awards with music, food concessions, and a visit from Santa Claus! A spectacular fireworks show and festive tree lighting conclude the evening’s events.

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Terry Katsaros Joins CRB As SVP/Senior Commercial Lending Officer

Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lending Officer Terry Katsaros

Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lending Officer Terry Katsaros

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Plourde, is pleased to announce that Terry Katsaros has joined Charles River Bank (CRB) as Senior Vice President/Senior Commercial Lending Officer. Katsaros will manage CRB’s Commercial Lending Department, including responsibility for portfolio growth, loan quality, loan originations, operations, servicing, and compliance. Katsaros will lead the Commercial Loan Officers and work closely with other CRB experts to help ensure that business customers have the tools and solutions to meet their financial needs and achieve their goals.

Katsaros has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, spending the past two decades as First Vice President/Commercial Lending Officer in the Franklin/Milford market area at Rockland Trust and Benjamin Franklin Savings Bank. In addition to his commercial lending experience, Katsaros has held positions in retail banking, branch management, consumer lending, and compliance. He completed the School of Commercial Lending Program at Babson College, studied Business Management at Florida Atlantic University, and earned a degree in Business Administration from Palm Beach Community College.

Katsaros is a Franklin resident and is active in community organizations. He is an active member of the Board of Incorporators of the YMCA, a past President of the Franklin Rotary Club, and served on the Board of Directors of the United Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Alpha Omega Council and the Board of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston, MA.

“Terry has a great reputation as a lender in our market. His extensive lending experience and in-depth knowledge of our region will support the continued expansion of our commercial lending and business banking services. We are excited to have him join our team,” said Charles River Bank EVP & COO, Derek Plourde.

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What is Person-to-Person Bank Transfer?

What is Person-to-Person Bank Transfer?

Say goodbye to checks, cash, and third party online financial services. With Pay A Person (person-to-person or P2P bank transfer), you can send money to family and friends through Online and Mobile Banking anytime and anywhere. This payment option allows you to simply enter your information and enter the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number to initiate the money transfer directly to their account.

Before we dive into the instructions on ‘how to’, we want to emphasize how secure this payment option is. In addition to multi-level security measures to access your Online and Mobile Banking CRB accounts, Pay A Person requires an extra level of security between you, as the sender, and the receiver. You will be prompted to ask a unique security question only the receiver will know the answer to and it must match 100%. If the answer does not match 100%, the payment will be canceled.

The Pay A Person feature is already set up on your Online and Mobile Banking account. Here are instructions on how to send the payment and how to receive the payment.

When you are sending the payment:

  • Log on to your CRB Online Banking or CRB Mobile App.
  • On the menu, click “Pay A Person.”
  • If this is a new person, click “add,” otherwise, click the name of the person you would like to send the money to.
    • If new, enter their name, email, and their email a second time to confirm.
  • After selecting the person, you will be taken to a screen where you input the amount of money you would like to send, the unique security question that only YOU and the RECEIVER know the answer to, and the answer. Click “send.”
  • On the Pay A Person page, your screen will display the pending payment to the other individual.
  • You will then receive an email confirming the P2P Payment and it will disclose the amount and to whom.

When receiving the payment:

  • Lucky you! You’ve been sent money. You will receive an email from the person initiating the payment.
  • Click “Deposit now,” and you will be taken to a screen where you need to input your email address and the answer to the security question asked by the payer. If the question is incorrectly answered three times, the payment will be canceled.
  • Once this has been filled out, the payer will receive a follow-up email saying the payment was sent from your Charles River Bank X (whichever account you chose to withdrawal from) account on DATE. It will also confirm that the receiving Financial Institution should post the deposit within a day or two.

As always, if you have any questions, call us at 508-533-8661 for assistance.



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How to Sign Up for Online and Mobile Banking

Signing up for Online and Mobile Banking is quick and easy! Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1. Go to and click the Login Button and select register or download the app in your mobile app store to register. Just search Charles River Bank Mobile.

Step 2. Accept the disclosure text.

Step 3. Enter the requested personal authentication information. Click submit.

Step 4. Enter your User ID and Password. Click submit.

Step 5. Enter your email and enter again to confirm. Click change.

Step 6. Sign in to online banking with your User ID and Password.

Step 7. Choose your challenge questions and answers and your authentication image and text, or defer until a later date. NOTE: a maximum of two deferrals are allowed.

Your password must use alphanumeric characters (i.e. letters or numbers) and your password is case sensitive. Also, your password cannot contain leading or trailing spaces. You may set up Biometric Identification on supported devices for extra security (i.e. fingerprint or facial ID).

Note: Your internet banking password ensures that only you can access your confidential information. Please remember this password and keep it secure.

If you have questions, contact our Customer Care Team at 508-533-8661.

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Control Your Financials Right From Your Screen

Control Your Financials Right from Your Screen with Online and Mobile Banking

We understand that life can get busy and making a trip to the bank takes time – whether it’s to access account information, make a check deposit, or complete a payment on your CRB loan.

Well, what if we told you there was a quick and easy tool that saves you time and effort? With Charles River Bank’s Online and Mobile Banking feature, you are able to do just about everything you can do in a branch with just a few clicks from your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is! And best of all, it’s secure and safe, with 24/7 access to your accounts.

Here are some of the benefits of Online and Mobile Banking:

Convenience 24/7

Wondering what your account balance might be prior to making a purchase? No problem. With Online and Mobile Banking, you can log in at any time to check the details of your bank accounts.

Our smartphones and computers are typically readily available, allowing 24/7 account access to complete many banking tasks quickly. Having access to your accounts right at your fingertips enables you to view your account balances, banking statements, or transaction history in real-time, as well as set up account alerts to your mobile number or email to notify you of specific account activity. There are many alert options, so be sure to sign up today to keep your accounts extra secure and keep you up-to-date on your account information.

Other tasks that can be done on your Online Banking or Mobile app just like in a physical branch includes transferring money between your CRB accounts, setting up transfers to your deposit accounts at other banks, pay bills online from your CRB checking account, make a payment to your CRB loan, deposit a check using your smartphone, deactivate or reactivate your CRB Debit MasterCard or ATM card if it’s ever lost or stolen, utilize wire and ACH services if you have a business account, or pay a friend or family member with person-to-person transfer using funds from your CRB checking, savings, or Money Market account.

Transfer Funds Fast and Effortlessly

You’ve most likely heard of mobile payment services like CashApp and Venmo, but did you know you can avoid the third party and do it directly from your CRB account with Online and Mobile Banking? If you need to send money to someone you know and trust, instead of writing a check or paying them in cash, you can do it digitally. After you log on to your mobile or online account, click on “pay a person,” add recipient, add either their email or mobile device number, and send your payment! For a more detailed step-by-step process, check out our blog on person-to-person transfers.

Additionally, you can transfer funds between your CRB accounts and your deposit accounts at other banks. This is particularly useful if you notice an account balance is low and have an upcoming automatic payment or a recent purchase that could overdraw your account.

Mobile Check Deposit – Deposit checks from anywhere

On your Mobile App, there’s a feature to deposit your checks, virtually. The process is simple: endorse the check as instructed and use the CRB app and your mobile phone’s camera to capture an image of the front and back. You’ll have to fill in key check data, as you would on a deposit slip, then wait for it to process. Remember to hold on to the check until it has been officially processed in case there are any issues.

If the majority of your trips to the bank are to deposit checks, you’ll be able to witness how much of a time saver this feature truly is.

Yes – it is secure!

Keeping your financial information secure is a top priority at Charles River Bank. Our Online and Mobile Banking functions automatically encrypt all transactions. When setting up your online and mobile account, you will need to create a login and password. Be sure to use a strong password that is hard to guess by others – even close friends and family.

Here are some other tips to make sure your online and mobile account is as secure as possible:

  • Create passwords for your phone, tablet, and computer Any device that has access to your accounts should have a password. If you have the mobile app on your phone or tablet, make sure you set up auto-lock, which will engage after a set amount of time has passed. This is a smart way to protect sensitive financial information if you accidentally leave your phone somewhere, if it’s stolen, or left unlocked.
  • Always access your online and mobile banking accounts with secure networks. When you’re out in public places and need to access your financial information and you’re using public Wi-Fi, make sure you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or stick to using your cellular data. Public Wi-Fi is often unsecured and taking these steps ensures your data is kept safe.
  • Use Strong Passwords. When creating your accounts, make sure your password is strong which consists of X amount of characters, which are a combination of letters (capitalized and lower case), numbers, and symbols.
  • Use Biometric Authentication. Our mobile banking app allows you to use biometric authentication to log in. Enrolling in this feature on your mobile app will enable the biometric authentication technique your phone uses (for example fingerprint, facial recognition, etc.). In addition, CRB scans for certain risks automatically, including if it does not recognize the device you are logging in on. It will ask for additional verification to solidify the individual logging in is the account owner.

Online and Mobile Banking is easy, quick, and secure. It allows you to bank on your schedule, right from your mobile device or computer.

You can sign up for Online Banking here or download the app in your smartphone’s Mobile App Store. If you have any questions, you can reach us at 508-533-8661.

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