Our History

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.     

 

1886

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.” 

 

1887

First loan granted to a woman, Carrie I. Mace, who borrowed $1,200. 

 

1894

Meetings held in rented space at The First National Bank of Reading, rent was $55.00/year. 

 

1900

First branch established in North Reading at the Carpenter & French
building. 

 

1902

Second branch established at 22 Devonshire Street, Boston. 

 

1908

Board voted to acquire a telephone at the cost of $2.50/month. 

 

1918

H. Raymond Johnson elected to the position of Treasurer, a job he held until 1960. 

 

1919

Headquarters for Reading Cooperative Bank shared with Mechanics Savings Bank located at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets. 

 

1922

North Reading Wagon Company became a new collection point for deposits. 

 

1928

Wilmington branch opened at McLaughlin and Dennison's Drug Store. 

 

1929

Stock Market Crashed – Reading Cooperative maintained its health and did not lose one penny. 

 

1932

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. 

 

1933

In response to the Great Depression, the Bank waived all fines for the month of March. 

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. 

 

1934

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. 

 

1944

Dorothy Tucker elected Assistant Treasurer of the Bank, becoming its first female officer. 

 

1947

Board voted to close on Saturdays. 

 

1958

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. 

 

1959

Leslie D. Stark became President & CEO – a position he held for the next 29 years. 

 

1976

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. 

 

1982

The bank began offering IRAs to its customers. 

 

1986

The bank petitioned to become a member of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and was granted membership in the spring.

Reading Cooperative Bank 1886-1986: A Century of Service 

 

1989

Philip G. Dalrymple assumed title of President & CEO for four years. 

 

1993

Donald G. Hicks, Jr. became President & CEO for nine years. 

 

1998

Reading Cooperative embraced online technology and established its first website. 

 

1999

Reading Cooperative Bank established the RCB Charitable Foundation. 

 

2000

The RCB Charitable Foundation donated over $35,000 to Fire Tech Safety for thermal imaging equipment. 

 

2002

Susan H. Muse appointed President & CEO. 

North Reading branch opened at 170 Park Street. 

 

2005

South Wilmington branch opened at 230 Lowell Street. 

 

2006

Julieann M. Thurlow appointed President & CEO. 

The Bank celebrated its 120th anniversary. 

 

2008

Woburn branch opened at 300 Trade Center. 

Fully functioning, high school student-run educational branch opened at Reading Memorial High School. 

Thurlow appointed to the American Bankers Association Task Force on Regulatory Reform and has since been asked to testify before Congress on critical issues. 

 

2009

Julieann M. Thurlow chosen by Women's Business Boston as a Top 10 Banker. 

 

2010

The Bank was awarded Green Business Certification from The Institute for Green Business Certification, Inc. 

 

2012

RCB opened two new offices, the first in Andover located at 20 Central Street, and the second in Burlington located at 10 Wall street. 

 

2013

RCB expanded the Residential and Commercial Lending departments.
RCB launched a new website and mobile banking app. 

 

2014

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. 

 

2015

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. 

 

2016

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. 

 

2017

Organized Reality Fair for students at Reading Memorial High School. 

Celebrated 10-Year Anniversary of the 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. 

 

2018

Held first annual Bruins Alumni Benefit Hockey Game to raise money for the Reading Schoolhouse Condo Fire Fund.