Keep Asheville Savings Bank out of the NYSE

I'm sure many of your readers, like myself, bank at Asheville Savings Bank, our wonderful Mutual bank, owned by the depositors, and very community-minded. For 15 years I've received excellent service there. (Maybe because I'm an owner?)

The current board of directors, however, would like to change that, by making the bank a corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. If that happens, the Wall Street bankers — who brought us the collapse of the economy, took million-dollar bonuses for themselves (from our tax money) and now are not very forthcoming with mortgage loans — will probably gobble up this bank too.

Luckily, the board of directors must get our permission to change the legal form of the bank, and have sent us each a packet with a proxy form in it.

I urge those who bank with Asheville Savings to vote against the conversion, which can be easily done, because not returning a proxy card is counted as “against.”

If you want to know more, there is a meeting of members at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 at the bank’s administrative center in Candler.

— Amina Spengler

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4 thoughts on “Keep Asheville Savings Bank out of the NYSE

  1. artart

    I have an MBA and looked over all the relevant information the Bank mailed to me and I see absolutely no benefit whatsoever to the depositors (like I am) in voting for this change. The benefits (if any) will only go to present and future management and the firms involved in the proposed change.

  2. mparentice

    artart is spon on with his/her comments. Changing to a stock form of ownership is a ploy by bank management to enrich themselves. If the conversion accurs, bank managements’ strategy will be to improve Net Interest Margin to the point where it will become attractive for another bank (SunTrust, Bank of America?) to purchase it. When that happens, bank management will cash in their chips and go off to a cushy retirement.

    Furthermore, if ASB is acquired by a larger bank, do you think they will maintain their record of favorable rates? You can kiss the Worlds Best Checking Account that pays 1.75% goodbye.

    ASB’s prposed conversion to a stock company is a cruel ploy to stick it to current depositors.

    • Mzuckerman

      The proxy indicates that new bylaws will very nearly prevent a takeover of the bank. It will require, among other things, a super majority vote of directors. The messages on this message board are mostly anti-corporate. But the terms of the conversion of the bank are anti-shareholder (and anti-depositor). I do agree that the conversion is designed to enrich officers and directors who get stock options and grants, but who are committing only a pittance of their own money to the offering.

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