Sunday, July 14, 2024

I have been made redundant by those whippersnappers at the Harvard Crimson! Viewing with alarm the coming incursion of Sovereign Bank into Harvard Square, already thick with the stench of bank branches, I intended to alert the world, be hailed as a hero and get my blog responsibilities over with for the day.

But all I can do is link to the Crimson’s story. With gratitude, actually, for its efforts, comprehensiveness and overall competence.

I can also note some amusing minutiae about the Citizens branch, though, that the Crimson doesn’t.

Not only will the branch have “a staff of 11 bankers who are able to speak seven different languages,” a community room with a 40-person capacity and a wall advertising city facts and events, but — and I hope you’re sitting down for this — “plasma screens broadcasting Citizens’ special offers for customers”!

Let’s all bank there!

Or not. Banks, especially big ones such as Bank of America, are crazy for the business of businesses and tend to do their best for them on fees, while smaller accounts such as ours take the hit for increased expenditures. Leasing expensive space (with plasma screens) in Harvard Square hardly bodes well for small-customer bargains. Cambridge Savings Bank, which owns, is more or less exempt from this. (In fact, it’s a landlord in the square. To repeat one thing from the Crimson: The Citizens branch squats in some of the 100,000 square feet owned by Cambridge Savings Bank, because Abercrombie & Fitch passed the lease on without warning.)