More on those NewAlliance Bancshares: Tolland Bank shareholders stepped out of the way of the NewAlliance Bancshares machine in a vote yesterday. Meanwhile, Paul Bass reports on the movement to stop the NewAlliance Bancshares and keep New Haven capital at home, and on the foot soldiers one of the members of the unholy alliance behind the NewAlliance Bancshares - United Illuminated - sent to keep an eye on the opposition: What were they doing there? They introduced themselves as members of a "community organization." Hmm. Which one? Well ... "United Illuminating." They'd heard about this event and came down from the utility's corporate offices to hear what was said... The press conference, at Varick AME Zion Church's Family Life Center, was held by a coalition of churches called Elm City Congregations Organized. ECCO called on members of its 23 congregations not to do business with New Haven Savings because the bank is going public, merging with two upstate banks, and becoming a new entity called NewAlliance Bank. This is ECCO's third boycott. Its first forced Kmart to stop selling guns in New Haven. Its second helped force the Omni hotel to recognize a union. Speakers at the Varick press conference repeated the reasons that ECCO gave for opposing the bank's plans in public hearings last year: The group feels the bank is abandoning the depositors who built up the institution's wealth throughout its history as a depositor-owned, community-oriented bank. The deal enriches execs and insiders. And the bank already has a lousy record in lending to minorities. (The bank claims in response that the deal will help it grow and serve New Haven better. Bank spokesman Paul McCraven didn't return calls for comment on the boycott.) For those reconsidering a NewAlliance Bancshares purchase or investment, the Register reports on the report card that CCNE has put out on the alternatives.


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