Lee Bank announces new student loan debt relief benefit for employees

LEE, Mass. (July 6, 2017) – Lee Bank is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Gradifi, a Boston-based leader in student loan pay down benefits programs, to offer student loan debt relief as part of its employee benefits package. The independent community oriented bank is among the first in Berkshire County to offer this new and differentiating benefit that holds particular appeal to millennials and those entering the workforce.

“As an independent community bank without the pressure of expansion into new geographies, shareholders, and quarterly earnings, we’re able to truly focus on our employees and the Berkshire community. We fully appreciate how hiring and retaining the right people has made our organization successful for 165 years. Student loan relief is a relatively new and highly coveted benefit in today’s marketplace and we are thrilled to offer it to our employees,” said Lee Bank’s President and CEO Chuck Leach.

Lee Bank joins more than 130 progressive workplaces in the U.S. that are now providing Gradifi’s SLP Plan™ (Student Loan Paydown) to attract and retain top talent, and the number is growing monthly. Gradifi’s student loan debt relief plan was recently endorsed by the American Bankers Association (ABA).

A proprietary consumer survey conducted by the ABA found:

57 percent were more likely to work for a company offering it

  • 62 percent were more likely to use the services of a company offering the benefit to employees; and
  • 67 percent would recommend a company’s services to friends and family

“We hope this added benefit will improve the quality of life for our employees and in turn benefit our community, as ultimately it may enable our employees to put roots down and invest in our local backyards sooner and with a greater impact,” said Leach.

About Gradifi

Gradifi is a best-in-class, student loan repayment solution aimed at tackling the nation's $1.4 trillion student loan problem. Gradifi helps employers attract and retain talent by enabling them to make direct contributions to their employees’ student loans and accelerate the pay-off of the debt. A wholly owned subsidiary of First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), Boston-based Gradifi is a pioneer of this employee benefit and the SLP Plan™ (Student Loan Paydown). To learn more, visit www.gradifi.com.

 About Lee Bank

Established in 1852, Lee Bank is a leading community focused bank in Berkshire County. As one of the few remaining local and independent full-service banks in the area, Lee Bank provides premier financial services to businesses and individuals in Berkshire County and upholds a superior level of simple, direct and exemplary personal customer service. Lee Bank has branch offices in Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and Lenox and a mortgage loan office in West Springfield.

Lee Bank was named the Massachusetts Small Business Association’s top lender in the second quarter of 2013. For four consecutive years, Lee Bank has been designated the leading originator of loans for first-time home buyers in Berkshire County by the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency. To learn more, visit www.leebank.com

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