Reading Cooperative Bank was established in 1886, shortly after the end of the first decade of Cooperative banking in the Commonwealth. As Massachusetts focused on gaining rights and freedoms for all of its residents, the banking system began to follow suit. At that time, the mission of Reading Cooperative Bank was to enable the "workingman" to purchase a home.
While larger banks loaned substantial sums to businesses and people of prominence and means, it was clear that the common man was unable to compete successfully for mortgage money in such a market. Continuing its long heritage of being progressive and committed to its customers, RCB is proud to remain the center of local banking in your community today.
Reading Cooperative Bank Founded
November 22: Officers elected and bylaws established.
December 6: first share offering held at the Old South Methodist Church.
December 11: 401 shares valued at $1.00/share fully subscribed; The Reading Chronicle reported "This is a very favorable start for the bank."
First loan granted to a woman, Carrie I. Mace, who borrowed $1,200.
Meetings held in rented space at The First National Bank of Reading, rent was $55.00/year.
First branch established in North Reading at the Carpenter & French building.
Second branch established at 22 Devonshire Street, Boston.
Board voted to acquire a telephone at the cost of $2.50/month.
H. Raymond Johnson
H. Raymond Johnson elected to the position of Treasurer, a job he held until 1960.
Headquarters for Reading Cooperative Bank shared with Mechanics Savings Bank located at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets.
North Reading Wagon Company became a new collection point for deposits.
Wilmington branch opened at McLaughlin and Dennison's Drug Store.
Stock Market Crash
Stock Market Crashed – Reading Cooperative maintained its health and did not lose one penny.
Cooperative Central Bank established as a source of cash reserves for its Massachusetts member banks.
Reading Cooperative Bank contributed $22,000 to Central Bank to help preserve its sister institutions.
FDIC established under the Banking Act of 1933 to insure bank deposits, in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and early 1930s.
In response to the Great Depression, the bank waived all fines for the month of March.
Reduced Mortgage Interest Rates
RCB reduced mortgage interest rates in an attempt to help customers avoid foreclosures.
Share Insurance Fund established to further protect deposits in the state's Cooperative banks.
Since its founding in 1886, no customer has lost a single cent on deposit with Reading Cooperative Bank.
Dorothy Tucker elected Assistant Treasurer of the bank, becoming its first female officer.
Board voted to close on Saturdays.
New headquarters for Reading Cooperative Bank opened in the spring. After over seventy years of rented space, the bank built its own branch. In 1986, the building was enlarged by adding a second story and the front dormer windows.
Travelers' checks and Christmas Club products added.
Leslie D. Stark
Leslie D. Stark became President & CEO – a position he held for the next 29 years.
Although the Wilmington connection had long been established through representatives who received deposits on behalf of the bank, Wilmington's own branch opened at 352 Middlesex Ave.
The bank started offering credit cards to its customers through BankAmericard.
Reading Cooperative Bank began offering IRAs to its customers for the first time.
The bank petitioned to become a member of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and was granted membership in the spring.
Philip G. Dalrymple assumed title of President & CEO for four years.
Donald G. Hicks
Donald G. Hicks, Jr. became President & CEO for nine years.
Reading Cooperative Bank embraced online technology and established its first website.
RCB Charitable Foundation
Reading Cooperative Bank established the RCB Charitable Foundation.
The RCB Charitable Foundation donated over $35,000 to Fire Tech Safety for thermal imaging equipment.
Susan H. Muse
Susan H. Muse appointed President & CEO.
North Reading branch opened at 170 Park Street.
RCB's South Wilmington branch opened at 230 Lowell Street.
Julieann M. Thurlow
Julieann M. Thurlow appointed President & CEO.
The bank celebrated its 120th anniversary.
High School Branch
Fully functioning, high school student-run educational branch opened at Reading Memorial High School.
Julieann Thurlow appointed to the American Bankers Association Task Force on Regulatory Reform and has since been asked to testify before Congress on critical issues.
Julieann M. Thurlow
Julieann M. Thurlow chosen by Women's Business Boston as a Top 10 Banker.
Green Business Certification
Reading Cooperative Bank awarded Green Business Certification from The Institute for Green Business Certification, Inc.
Two New Branches
RCB opened two new branches, the first in Andover located at 20 Central Street, and the second in Burlington located at 10 Wall street.
RCB expanded the Residential and Commercial Lending departments.
RCB launched a new website and mobile banking app.
20% Annual Growth
Over the past five years, RCB has averaged 20% annual growth in assets and doubled the number of employees. As a result, on July 1st, RCB moved the operations center across town to Walkers Brook Drive.
Cash Management Services
RCB started offering Cash Management services to customers.
Established Operations Center at 55 Walkers Brook Drive.
Freshened RCB brand with a new logo and tagline.
Began teaching financial literacy seminars at Abbot Academy in Lawrence High School.
Opened High School Branch
Opened high school branch at Northeast Metro Tech Regional Vocational High School branch in Wakefield.
Became one of the first community banks in MA to introduce EMV chip cards.
Received first place for Overall Brand Campaign from New England Financial Marketing Association.
Organized Reality Fair
Organized Reality Fair for students at Reading Memorial High School.
Celebrated 10-Year Anniversary of educational branch at Reading Memorial High School.
Kevin Powers and Paul Bolger are elected to Board of Directors.
Julieann Thurlow selected to American Banker’s “25 Women to Watch” List and RCB is dubbed one of the “Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts” by the Boston Globe.
Held our first Bruins Alumni Benefit Hockey Game to raise money for the Reading Schoolhouse Condo Fire Fund.
Brand new website launched that reflects RCB’s true identity and its commitment to the community it serves.
Roaming Reading Scavenger Hunt organized by the bank to help celebrate the Town of Reading’s 375th anniversary.
Participated in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP), assisting local small business owners with much-needed forbearance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collaborated with the Town of Reading on their Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (RAMA), which helped to facilitate leftover CARES Act funds to families in need.
RCB Celebrates 135th Anniversary
See our Interactive History here!
Julieann Thurlow Becomes ABA Chair
RCB President & CEO Julieann Thurlow is elected Chair of the American Bankers Association Board of Directors.