Michael Tucker, ‘quintessential community banker,’ leads trade group
RECORDER FILE PHOTO Michael E. Tucker, president and CEO of the Greenfield Co-operative Bank, says it has done well in recent years attracting customers from larger banks. Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — As the new head of the Massachusetts Bankers Association, Greenfield Co-operative Bank President Michael Tucker is “a quintessential community banker,” says Bruce Spitzer, spokesman for the 180-member trade association. But he’s also an “innovative thinker who’s able to lead a statewide association consisting of large banks, small banks and everything in between.” For the 56-year-old Tucker, who began as a teller in the old Springfield Institution for Savings in 1979 while he was in law school and came to Greenfield Co-operative as president in 2002, the banking industry has been in constant flux. It’s been driven as much by boom and bust cycles as by technological changes, with community banks still enjoying a growth spurt in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
Tucker, who’s been on the bankers’ association board for six years and has been active on its committees since 1983, said the majority of the association’s leaders are from small and mid-sized banks, and since each member bank gets a single vote regardless of how large its assets are, “no one institution can dictate the agenda.”
“I don’t think I would have been as active as I have been if that weren’t the case,” said Tucker, who said the organization is dominated by its banks from around the state, rather than those from out of state that do business in Massachusetts.
Tucker has played a key role on the committee that helped in rewriting of the state’s banking laws for the first time since 1983 — revisions that are now pending in the Legislature. The statewide association has argued for beefed up state regulation in the aftermath of a mortgage crisis that “don’t overreach” to become burdensome on the industry.
“As an industry, because we were so conservative in Massachusetts, that’s one reason we haven’t seen the real busts in this state that we saw in places like Florida and Georgia,” said Tucker, pointing out that only one bank in New England failed during the recent financial crisis.