As head of the newly-named Customers 1st Bank, Jay Sidhu will be in competition with his old employer, Sovereign Bank.
But the two banks will practically be neighbors as Customers 1st locates some of its offices in Wyomissing, Berks County, where Sovereign is headquartered.
Customers 1st Bank announced today both its plans to expand and the change in name from New Century Bank, which began operations in 1997.
?The new name reflects our passion to provide an entirely new level of high-tech, high-touch banking convenience and customized service to our customers," said Warren Taylor, executive vice president/president of community banking for Customers 1st Bank. "We are not a new bank, we are about a new way of banking."
Customers 1st Bank presently has five branch offices in Chester and Delaware counties. The bank said it plans to open four new locations in Berks and Bucks counties and in Mercer County, New Jersey by the third quarter of 2010.
"Looking ahead, over the next few years we hope to become a multi-billion dollar-asset community bank by focusing on providing exceptional value, service and convenience to all our customers in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Central New Jersey,? said Sidhu, chairman and CEO.
As of March 31, 2010, Customers 1st Bank had assets of $500-million.
?Our success in large part is due to the new leadership philosophy that touches every area of our organization: putting the needs of our customers first,? said Richard Ehst, president and chief operating officer of Customers 1st Bank. ?We are ardent about changing what a customer can expect from a bank and for this reason are changing our name to better reflect that philosophy.?
Ehst served as a regional director of Sovereign while Sidhu was the bank's CEO. Sidhu resigned in 2006 after 17 years at the helm. Ehst then followed. Spain-based Santander acquired Sovereign in 2009 for $1.9-billion.
Customers 1st Bank's first location in Berks County will be in the former News & Chews building on Penn Avenue in Wyomissing. Besides being a branch, bank officials said the building will also include offices for Sidhu, Ehst, and the chief financial officer, Tom Brugger.