Time appears to be running out for Peoples Bancshares.
Angry shareholders who nearly took control of the New Bedford, Mass., company in June are calling for the immediate resignations of its two top executives and have vowed to wage another proxy battle if Peoples fails to find a merger partner before next years annual meeting. And given the string of troubles that has beset Peoples in recent months, the dissidents are likely to succeed. Indeed, there are hints that management is preparing to sell the $1.1 billion-asset bank. Last month Peoples brought in as chief financial officer James K. Hunt, a veteran New England banker who negotiated the sale of the last three banks that hired him.