WORCESTER, Mass. -- BankWorcester Corp. has adopted a so-called shareholder rights plan, declaring a distribution of one preferred-stock purchase right for each outstanding share of common to shareholders of record July 6.

Harold Cabot, president and CEO, said the plan would "ensure that all of our shareholders receive fair treatment in the event of any proposed takeover." None is threatened, he added, but the plan would give directors time to evaluate any bids.

BankWorcester, parent of Worcester County Institution for Savings, agreed in 1990 to be acquired by Citizens Financial Group, a Providence, R.I., thrift company owned by Royal Bank of Scotland. The deal was terminated because of rising losses at BankWorcester.

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