Ridgewood Savings Bank celebrates 100th anniversary

Ridgewood anniversary shot
Ridgewood Savings Bank celebrates its centennial with activities and promotions throughout the year. (Courtesy of Ridgewood Savings Bank)

Ridgewood Savings Bank is marking its 100th anniversary by hosting a year of festivities and sweepstakes for the community.

The centennial celebration will serve as a continuous reminder of the “enormous resiliency” the bank has demonstrated while serving its communities, according to Ridgewood Saving Bank President and Chairman Leonard Stekol.

Activities that are mostly customer focused are inspired by Ridgewood’s mutual savings bank tradition: its commitment of serving customers and communities.

“For 100 years, Ridgewood Savings Bank has been a steadfast supporter of the communities through challenges that we have faced together, as well as times of prosperity and innovation,” Stekol said. “Through it all, our bank has been one constant in a rapidly changing world because the strengths with which we started are the strengths that make us successful today. We’ve been multiplying the good for 100 years in the communities we serve.”

The bank is planning special promotions with free gifts. Included are $100 gift card give-a-ways in a monthly sweepstakes, random $100 gift cards will also be given away encouraging recipients to use them to perform a random act of kindness for another member of the community. There will be a short online quiz about the bank for a chance to win a $100 gift card with winners chosen monthly, and the bank is also asking customers to share how Ridgewood has helped them on their financial journey in which winners will receive a $100 gift card.

The bank received its charter from New York State in 1921 when 14 community leaders in Ridgewood wanted to open a savings bank to serve residents, who had limited access to New York’s commercial banks. Ridgewood’s founding trustees were determined to grow the bank, which was originally known as the Savings Bank of Ridgewood.

“The intention of the founders was to create a financial institution in which neighbors helped neighbors,” Stekol said. “The bank allowed residents to safely save money and earn interest, and the money they deposited was used to provide home mortgages and loans which helped the community grow.”

Over the next 100 years, Ridgewood Savings Bank grew from a single branch in Queens to 35 branches today located in the borough, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Westchester; from five employees a century ago to more than 550 today; and $50,000 in deposits on day one to nearly $5 billion in deposits at the end of 2020.

“Today, we offer modern solutions such as mobile banking as we still offer affordable mortgages and competitive deposit products for the New York market,” Sekol said. “We have held fast to our traditional values as a community bank, which include building long-term relationships with our customers and using our customers and using our specialized knowledge of the people and business owners in the community to provide financial solutions.”

Through prudent guardianship of customers’ assets and avoiding unnecessary risk, the bank has helped generations of New Yorkers save and achieve financial security. As it approaches its centennial, the bank remains well-capitalized, profitable, as well as providing a workplace where employees are valued.

Ridgewoord has launched a centennial website here to thank the community for its support. One of the highlights in the bank’s 100-year timeline which follows its founding in a former saloon where the Ridgewood MainBranch is located at Myrtle and Forest Avenues. The timeline shows how Ridgewood branched out to other locations in the metropolitan area and it has vintage ads, photographs, and articles that help bring the past to life.

“It’s been an honor to serve our community over the past 100 years,” Stekol said. “And we’re excited to continue serving you for many years to come.”

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