The Provident Bank Appoints New International Banking Officer

Leanne Spees brings technical expertise, specialized service to The Provident


June 15, 2017 – The Provident Bank announced today that it has expanded its international banking platform with the addition of a dedicated lender to help open global markets to local businesses.


Leanne Spees has joined The Provident Bank as Senior Vice President, International Banking Officer. She will be based in the bank’s executive offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


“Leanne comes to us with 30-plus years of experience in the international market,” Provident President and Chief Lending Officer Chuck Withee said. “We are now authorized to do medium-term financing through the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), which has very specific needs. Leanne is very practiced in that. With her resume and experience, we felt she’d be a perfect fit.”


Spees, of Rye, New Hampshire, earned her master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University with a specialization in International Finance and Banking. She spent more than 30 years at financial institutions and businesses in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire with a focus on international finance. Prior to joining The Provident Bank, she served as International Trade Finance Manager at Goss International Americas, Inc. in Durham.


“Leanne has a deeper understanding of the international finance needs of a company,” Withee said. “Having a banking and finance background can be very helpful, but knowing the inner workings of a company that uses something like medium-term financing is an incredible benefit. The offerings we now have in the international program are second to none.”


Spees said she was attracted to The Provident Bank’s innovation and its focus on community and local businesses.


“One of the things that was appealing to me about The Provident is that it had already formed partnerships with many of the other entities in state and federal government that can support exporters to meet their international needs,” she said. “Now we can do things that not every smaller bank can do, so we’ve made great inroads into providing international services. I view it as a great opportunity for clients to increase their sales by exporting.” 


“Whether you're an exporter who's just starting out or someone who is more experienced, we can help exporters to make sure that they're using all the opportunities available to support their export programs. It is unique for a bank this size.”


The Provident Bank was recently named the Community Lender of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States – one of only five businesses in the country and the only banking institution to be recognized by EXIM in its awards.


“It shows the recognition that we’re in the international space,” Withee said. “But we didn’t have one dedicated person who owned it. Our commercial lenders had these skills as an arrow in their quiver, but now we have a practiced hand focusing on it.”


In addition to its certification by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, The Provident also offers its customers the ability to move money from overseas sales using its SWIFT code.

“As has often been said, more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S.,” Spees said. “This provides an incredible opportunity for these businesses in The Provident’s footprint to increase their sales and profits through exports. The Provident is in a perfect position to help customers promote their international business with a dynamic array of products ranging from short and long-term financing to international wire transfers. We look forward to working with our customers to grow their international sales.” 


About The Provident

Established in 1828, The Provident Bank is an independent bank that focuses on commercial lending and business services and has nine offices throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The Provident is an innovative, commercial bank that finds solutions for its business and private clients. It is committed to strengthening the economic development of the regions it serves by working closely with businesses and delivering superior products and high-touch services to meet their banking needs. All deposits are insured in full through a combination of insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). For more information about The Provident Bank, visit theprovidentbank.com.