Hello colleagues and friends, we’ve gone through some extraordinary times. In the past year, a team of archival experts uncovered our long and storied past, from our first High Street bank in Providence 185 years ago to our 219 constituent banks today.
Looking at some of our histories, I was struck by how close the language of the original charters is to the words in our credo. Our history and legacy is extremely unique and remarkable, it’s something we can embrace and so I want to share this with you now. Because in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.
To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island, in Providence plantation in the South Kingstown, a banking company was formed on the last Monday of October 1827, this is where it all started, our first branch, in this town, on this spot. It was named Citizens which links to our faith, the well-being of our customers.
So it is not our bank, it is a bank for all citizens. And for 185 years, we’ve helped our citizens prosper from the homes they live in to the cars they drive, to the ideas that create small businesses. Our roots are tied to the roots of this country, farming, mining, fishing are served by banks, we are linked to the industries, especially with those emerging industries like automotive technology, health care and others.
When social classes citizens like you and me, who need loans, our bank is one of the first banks to step up to help, no one else would, that’s who we are. This is the oldest banking office which is still in operation since 1803, we were the first Savings Bank in the country founded by women, Woman’s Federal Savings Bank in 1922. We are one of the first banks to serve free men after the Civil War, Star Savings Bank in 1878. The immigrant population turned to us instead of stock, said paparazzi, Charter One Bank was founded to serve them in 1934.
We were there for the citizens, even during the Great Depression. Everyone looked at us for home loans, commercial loans, college loans, we built businesses, schools, factories, hospitals, ball fields. We built trust, it’s not just a bank with branches, safety deposit, boxes, ATMs, mobile, banking.
It’s a good and personal bank for the people, a bank that knows your name, listens, coaches your kids and stands for accountability, accessibility, innovation, community and values that lasts forever. One thing we learnt over time is that anyone can offer banking, but not everyone can offer good bank.