CHARLESTOWN TWP. — It was “opening day” for Customers Bank on June 15 as the financial institution marked the grand opening of its new headquarters in Charlestown Township, Chester County.
To mark the occasion, Customers held a celebration at the 40 General Warren Blvd. location that included baseball-themed activities for employees and a “first pitch” by Customers Bank Executive Chairman Jay Sidhu, who told those in attendance how nice it was to see so many of them in person again.
“The world, the county, our company have gone through a lot in the last two years,” he said.
Customers Bank employees and guests gathered Wednesday, June 15 for the grand opening of the bank’s new headquarters in Chester County. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CUSTOMERS BANK)
The new headquarters for Customers Bank operations is a 40,000-square-foot space that will accommodate 175 employees. Some are returning to the office five days a week, while some hybrid workers will split their work week between the office and remote work. Other employees will continue to work completely remotely.
The new offices are located in an office park close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Route 29 exit ramp of Route 202. The General Warren Boulevard location had been the former home of Swiss tech firm Temenos, which provides processing services and software to banks and financial technology firms. The space became available when Temenos downsized its office space as it embraced a hybrid workforce.
The bank had outgrown its space at 99 Bridge St. in Phoenixville, according to David Patti, communications director for Customers. What triggered the decision to move, he said, was Hurricane Ida in September 2021. That storm left devastation across the region, and Customers’ Bridge Street location was not spared.
In this photo, left to right are: Jay Sidhu, executive chairman, Customers Bank; Jennifer Frost, executive vice president, chief administrative officer, Customers Bank; Endre Walls, executive vice president, chief information security officer, Customers Bank; and Josh Maxwell, Chester County Commissioner. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CUSTOMERS BANK)
According to Sidhu, as the company considered relocation, it was important to stay in Chester County, saying the county is the “home of Customers Bank,” which had previously been New Century Bank.
The headquarters for the holding company remains in West Reading, and the company also maintains its office in New York City. But the bank’s headquarters, according to Sidhu, “is right here.”
During the event, Sidhu took the opportunity to talk with employees about some of the bank’s activities over the past two years.
“COVID created tremendous challenges but with every challenge comes an opportunity,” he said.
Sidhu referenced the Paycheck Protection Program saying that Customers embraced the program. He told employees Wednesday that thousands of businesses “are alive because of your efforts and the efforts of every other team member in this company, and at a minimum — one million jobs were directly impacted by us and our stepping forward to help them. That is something we all can be proud of.”
He also talked about Customers’ decision to embrace blockchain technology — one of only three banks in the country to get behind the technology — and explore how it can be used in the financial services business.
He said the company will continue to take advantage of technologies, “but never give up on the human touch that customers are looking for from us. We call it high touch supported with high tech and that is our strategy.”
Sidhu said the new Chester County headquarters is an innovation and technology center for the company.
Because the previous tenant was a technology firm, the space was already set up to accommodate the technology needs of Customers Bank and features a variety of areas for collaboration
“Increased availability of collaboration areas that is extremely important to this idea of innovation we have as a company,” said Endre Walls, executive vice president, chief information security officer for Customers.
He referenced nine conference rooms that have been named after innovators that “innovated in the face of adversity,” including George Washington Carver, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Alva Edison. Each room has a QR code employees and visitors can access to find out about that innovator.
The space also features areas that allow for informal collaboration, including a game room and cafeteria area.
Customers Bank has taken 40,000 square feet of space as its new headquarters in Chester County, at 40 General Warren Blvd. in Charlestown Township. (DONNA ROVINS – MEDIANEWS GROUP PHOTO)
Jennifer Frost, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said there was “intentionality” in the choice of the new location — with the company considering where team members live, where they commute from, school districts, higher education institutions, safety and easy access to transportation corridors.
“This location allows us to retain and grow jobs in a region that has been so much a part of our history and our legacy,” she said.
“We feel that talent acquisition, talent development and talent retention is one of the most critical aspects for any business to succeed in this rapidly changing environment,” Sidhu said.
Joining the festivities, Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell told the group that Customers Bank had been integral to helping to cultivate a culture of economic growth in Chester County.
“Without access to a good quality bank, businesses wouldn’t be able to get started or expand. Of course, all of you know that,” he said, adding that talking with small businesses in the county he hears about the good banks — those willing to listen and to invest in an idea. “We have all benefited either directly or indirectly from this bank.”