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Berkshire Bank to open office in Post Office Square

Berkshire Bank executives Torrance Childs (left) and Jim Brown are planning to open a new branch at the One Post Office Square tower early next year.Berkshire Bank


Berkshire to open office in Post Office Square

Berkshire Bank is opening a new office at the first and second floors of the One Post Office Square tower in Boston early next year as the bank looks to beef up its private banking business. Berkshire plans to relocate its retail operations from a branch on Congress Street, on the other side of the PO Square park to the new space, along with commercial bankers from Berkshire’s nearby headquarters at 60 State St. Roughly two dozen employees would work out of the 10,000-square-foot space on any given day. The new space is part of an effort led by executive vice president Jim Brown, a former Boston Private Bank executive hired early last year by CEO Nitin Mhatre, to better coordinate Berkshire’s private banking and commercial banking operations. Along those lines, Brown recently recruited former Boston Private colleague Torrance Childs to be Berkshire’s chief commercial deposit officer, to help integrate Berkshire’s commercial and private banking services. Berkshire is among several banks in the area that are looking to take advantage of the disruption caused by the government-orchestrated takeovers last year of First Republic and Silicon Valley Bank, which acquired Boston Private in 2021. — JON CHESTO



Shell sells interest in wind project off Mass. coast

Energy giant Shell has sold its stake in the SouthCoast Wind project planned for waters south of Massachusetts to its partner in the joint venture, Ocean Winds North America. Financial terms were not disclosed. Ocean Winds now has full ownership of SouthCoast Wind, which controls a 127,000-acre lease area south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket with enough room to put up wind turbines that could supply up to 2,400 megawatts of electricity to New England. SouthCoast Wind originally had contracts with Massachusetts utilities to build out half of that capacity but walked away from those contracts due to rising costs. The venture is expected to bid again for contracts in a competition that Massachusetts regulators are coordinating with their counterparts in Connecticut and Rhode Island. — JON CHESTO



Bank of England keeps interest rate unchanged

The Bank of England has kept its main interest rate unchanged at a 16-year high of 5.25 percent even though inflation continues to drop from multi-decade peaks. Thursday’s decision was widely anticipated in financial markets and comes a day after the US Federal Reserve also left its key interest rate unchanged. Unlike the Fed, the Bank of England gave few indications that it was getting ready to cut borrowing costs. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


BMW says high-end EVs will drive profit

BMW said its top-end electric vehicles like the 7-Series sedans, X7, and Rolls Royce Spectre will drive profit this year, even as faltering global demand weighs on broader EV sales. The German luxury-car maker expects its priciest models to be key contributors to a 8 percent to 10 percent margin for its automotive segment, in line with its long-term target. BMW sees overall sales increasing slightly. BMW is facing fierce competition in China, its biggest market, where a sluggish economy and price war led by Tesla is weighing on the industry. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


UnitedHealth and Mount Sinai agree on new contract

UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Mount Sinai Health System agreed to a new multiyear contract that will prevent thousands of New Yorkers from losing access to their in-network doctors. The agreement reached Tuesday immediately restores access to the health system’s hospitals for people with employer-sponsored and individual plans, including the Oxford Health Plan, according to a statement on the UnitedHealth website. Several of Mount Sinai’s hospitals left UnitedHealth’s insurance networks earlier this year over a dispute about how much they should be paid for their services. Mount Sinai’s physicians were slated to be out of network starting March 22. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Rates climb, pushing 7 percent

The average long-term US mortgage rate climbed back to nearly 7 percent this week, pushing up borrowing costs for home shoppers with the spring home buying season underway. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage rose to 6.87 percent from 6.74 percent last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the rate averaged 6.42 percent. The average rate is now just below where it was two weeks ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Target to double bonuses for salaried workers

In a rare show of financial strength, Target is doubling bonuses for salaried employees. The Minneapolis-based company will pay 100 percent of employees’ eligible 2023 bonuses, up from 50 percent the year prior, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. The move comes as Target tries to reverse three consecutive quarters of sales declines. But the company’s profits rose higher than it was expecting last year, providing an extra pot of $2 billion in operating income from which to dole out bonuses as it tries to retain employees. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Airbus scores wins with Asian airlines

Airbus secured two major orders from the flagship carriers of Japan and South Korea, giving the European manufacturer a strategic win in markets that have traditionally leaned toward archrival Boeing. Japan Airlines said it’s buying 21 Airbus 350-900 as well as 11 A321neos, breaking Boeing’s exclusive hold as the sole single-aisle jet supplier for the carrier. Boeing brought home a smaller deal, for 10 Boeing 787 widebody jets. Two hours later, Korean Air Lines announced the purchase of 33 Airbus A350 jets in a winner-takes-all contest that left Boeing empty-handed. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



German soccer trades Adidas for Nike

German soccer and Adidas are breaking up. American sportswear giant Nike will supply all of Germany’s national teams with its apparel and equipment from 2027, the German soccer federation (DFB) announced Thursday. The new deal extends to 2034 and ends Germany’s long-standing association with Adidas, which goes back some 70 years. German teams wore Adidas gear for all four of the men’s World Cup titles, their three European titles, and the women’s two World Cup and eight European titles. Adi Dassler, the founder of the German sportswear brand, sat on the bench beside West Germany coach Sepp Herberger when the German team won the World Cup for the first time in 1954, wearing his company’s screw-in stud boots. — ASSOCIATED PRESS