'Job redundancies' cause Berkshire Bank to cut staff


PITTSFIELD — Because of its pending merger with SI Financial Group of Windham, Conn., Berkshire Bank is eliminating positions throughout the bank's footprint because of "job redundancies" that have been discovered while negotiations between the two financial institutions take place.

"After careful assessment, we have identified a limited number of job redundancies and opportunities to create efficiencies with the integration of Savings Institute Bank & Trust into Berkshire Bank," Berkshire Bank said in a statement.

"Berkshire Bank consistently evaluates our operations to assure that our staff roles match the needs of our customers and create a high values experience."

The bank declined to say how many positions will be eliminated, or where those employees work. But in the statement, Berkshire said the affected employees will receive a "generous" severance package, and be given the opportunity to apply for other roles within the company.

Berkshire Bank's holding company announced in December that it planned to merge with SI Financial Group, and acquire its subsidiary, Savings Bank and Trust Co., in an all-stock transaction valued at $180 million. The bank recently filed an interagency bank merger application with the Boston office of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The merger is subject to the approval of SIFI's shareholders, federal regulators and regulatory agencies in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. It is expected to be approved during the second quarter of 2019. If the merger is approved, Savings Bank and Trust Co. will become part of Berkshire Bank.



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