BCB Bank started in Bayonne, when Thomas Coughlin felt the town need a community bank that better served the needs of city’s residents and businesses. So, he opened a branch on 860 Broadway.
That was 20 years ago Sunday: Nov. 1, 2000.
Today, Bayonne Community Bank has become BCB bank — and it serves more than just Bayonne. It has more than 60,000 customers banking in 29 branch offices throughout New Jersey, including Carteret, Edison, Hoboken, Fairfield, Holmdel, Jersey City, Lyndhurst, Maplewood, Monroe Township, Newark, Parsippany, Plainsboro, River Edge, Rutherford, South Orange, Union and Woodbridge. It also has three locations in New York.
And, although the bank now has more than 400 employees and $2.8 billion in assets, Coughlin — the CEO — said it has stayed true to its roots.
“BCB has always considered the community to be our primary focus,” he said. “While growing, we never lost sight of our mission to serve the people and businesses within the communities we support. The past, present and future are rooted in the community.
“Our hallmark, in addition to outstanding personalized service and innovative products, has been our support of community causes, as well as the local small business sector. Our employees are the same people our customers see at the grocery store, coaching Little League and serving on the boards of nonprofit organizations.”
Coughlin currently serves as the president of the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce and an executive board member of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. He also is as an active member of Friends of Special Children and the Bayonne Rotary Gift of Life 7490, is the former commissioner of the Bayonne Rent Control Board, a past president of the American Heart Association, and has served as trustee of D.A.R.E. and the Bayonne P.A.L.
Along the way, Coughlin oversaw the growth of the bank.
After 10 years, BCB acquired Pamrapo Savings Bank, which also was headquartered in Bayonne but had a reach into neighboring communities. Soon after, BCB acquired Allegiance Community Bank, headquartered in South Orange. The bank continued to grow by acquiring Indus American Bank in 2018.
Earlier this year, BCB expanded its footprint further with the opening of a new branch in Newark.
Coughlin said he feels banks — especially community banks — will be vital to the post-pandemic recovery.
“Today, community banking is relied upon to help face the challenges and hurdles that the small business owners face during these difficult times,” he said. “The local community bank can be more responsive to the needs of its customers.”
BCB Bank now has 20 years of evidence of just that.