Webster Financial is the holding company for Webster Bank, which operates about 170 branches in southern New England, primarily in Connecticut, but also in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. The bank provides commercial and retail services such as deposit accounts, loans and mortgages, and consumer finance, as well as government and institutional banking services. It performs asset-based lending through its Webster Business Credit subsidiary and equipment financing through Webster Capital Finance. The company's HSA Bank division offers health savings accounts nationwide. Webster Bank provides brokerage and investment services through an agreement with UVEST, a division of LPL Financial.
During 2010 investment firm Warburg Pincus invested some $115 million in Webster Financial, netting a nearly 25% stake in the company. The move came after Webster Financial suffered two consecutive years in the red, in part due to increased provisions for credit losses. After enhancing its risk management efforts, the company returned to profitability in fiscal 2010 and its number of past-due and non-performing loans went down. With the infusion of cash from Warburg Pincus, the bank contunued its momentum into 2011.
Webster Financial has reduced its number of locations in order to cut costs, but is expanding geographically by opening branches in new markets, particularly in Boston and the wealthy Westchester County suburbs of New York City. The bank is also emphasizing customer service by extending operating hours at many of its branches and by making technological upgrades. The focus on relationship banking contributed to deposit growth and higher loan volume in 2011.
To focus on being a pure regional commercial bank, Webster Financial divested or curtailed several business lines. In 2007 it closed subsidiary People's Mortgage Company, terminated its mezzanine lending operations through Webster Growth Capital, and discontinued indirect residential construction lending outside of its primary New England market.
The following year the company sold subsidiary Webster Insurance to USI Holdings and Webster Risk Services, a third-party workers' compensation claims administrator, to PMA Capital. In 2009 Webster Financial scaled back Webster Business Credit by closing offices outside of its primary market in the Northeast, and restructured (and renamed) Webster Capital Finance, formerly Center Capital, to focus on the construction, transportation, environmental, and manufacturing markets. – less