Provident Bank, the oldest and second largest financial institution headquartered in NJ, was established in 1839 in a one-room office in Jersey City, New Jersey. Since its inception, it has continually reaffirmed its commitment to the customers and communities it serves, as well as its employees across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The bank’s pledge to deliver innovative services, social impact, and human connection remains true all these years later.
The importance of human connection touches every corner of the bank, down to the technology the bank uses. Provident’s first chief digital and innovation officer, Ravi Vakacherla, believes technology plays an important role in how community banks stay in touch with customers and finds the use of tech highly complementary in maintaining relationships with customers. He calls this “human plus digital touch.”
It’s because of this that banking at one of Provident’s 95 branches located throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania might feel a bit different than banking with a big bank. The tellers, managers, loan and mortgage officers, and branch managers that assist Provident customers on a day-to-day basis carry a people-first philosophy throughout all the work they do.
This sense of community is deeply rooted in Provident’s mission to maintain the values that have turned customers into lifelong advocates, all while maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage against its big bank competitors.
With $13.6 billion in assets, Provident is among the largest banks headquartered in New Jersey. The bank provides a wide range of products and services that level the playing field, including wealth management through their Beacon Trust subsidiary and insurance services through their Provident Protection Plus subsidiary – all while staying true to the community-bank feel and values that draw customers and employees in.
The bank’s community-centric philosophy and philanthropic pursuits have long been a cornerstone of the way they do business. So much so, The Provident Bank Foundation (PBF) was established in 2003 with a dedicated focus on enriching the communities the bank serves.
Since then, the foundation has granted more than $30 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward strengthening communities served by the bank. Grants provided by the Foundation provide flexible funding support for programs, projects, and/or initiatives that address one or more of PBF’s funding priority areas, which include community enrichment, education, and health, youth, and families.
It’s no surprise, then, that Anthony Labozzetta — who was appointed Provident Bank’s President and CEO in January 2022 — leads with employees, customers, and the community at the forefront of the bank’s mission. He knows that fostering a fulfilling experience for employees and delivering on the bank’s commitment to create deep emotional connections with customers are key to the bank’s success in developing an innovative, customer-centric culture that turns clients into fans and advocates.
To achieve this, the bank’s executive leadership team stresses the value of empowering and engaging the very employees who help to create long-lasting and meaningful emotional connections with customers. Provident Salutes, Provident Women, and the recently established Provident Bank Diversity Council are among the numerous employee resource groups created with this in mind. Provident’s DEI advancements have been recognized with awards from the African American Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
To become a high performing organization and advance efforts to increase employee engagement and elevate the customer experience, senior leaders at the bank established a set of guiding principles to achieve the vision and mission of the bank while providing meaningful employment for team members and a best-in-class experience for customers.
“Banking is deeply personal,” said Tara Brady, First Vice President, Customer Experience Director. “It involves a great deal of connecting emotionally, listening, and building trust. Getting our customers to share their financial goals, stressors, and concerns means meeting them where they are, and then helping them get to where they want to be.”
Both Anthony Labozzetta, President and CEO, and Brady have underscored the importance of creating a workplace environment where employees of diverse backgrounds feel seen, heard, and appreciated in order to transform customer experiences.
“Our ability to combine the personalized service and local decision making of a community bank with the resources and capabilities of a regional bank offers a unique advantage – it’s a compelling combination for our customers,” said Labozzetta. “This kind of dedication and commitment sets Provident apart from the competition as a leader in community banking,” adds Labozzetta.