Our History

101 years of service to our incredible communities – and counting.

1920
STARTING STRONG

A New Kind of Bank

In 1920, 14 local business leaders got together to form the Savings Bank of Ridgewood. Our founders included a butcher and a baker (but no candlestick maker), and they were headed up by an undertaker. The goal was clear: to build a bank that would be actively involved in its community.

Open for Business

Our bank was chartered on June 18, 1921. Following an opening ceremony conducted by New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, the Bank took in $50,000 in deposits and 519 accounts on its very first day.

Account #1

Our first customer was a 9-month-old baby named John J. Beach. On our opening day, John’s father was first in line to open an account for his son. (John would later become a decorated soldier in World War II, as shown above.)

Our First Location

We started on the ground floor of a three-story tenement, in a former saloon at the corner of Myrtle and Forest avenues in Queens, with a staff of three employees. (Today, Ridgewood has 35 locations and more than 550 team members.)

The Bank’s original trustees worked tirelessly to help the Bank grow. They would personally hand out flyers to their neighbors, encouraging them to keep their savings at the Savings Bank of Ridgewood.

Committed to a Greater Good

To support the Bank’s success in its infancy, none of the founding trustees and officers collected a salary during the first year – and they often pitched in as bank tellers when needed.

Record Growth

In its first two years, Ridgewood had taken in $2.8 million in deposits ($41 million in today’s dollars). It was a record for savings banks at the time.

Stability When It Mattered Most

The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression, when thousands of banks failed. Ridgewood’s resilience spoke to its leaders’ prudent financial decisions and the Bank’s close ties to the community.

This growth is a record that no other savings bank has ever attained, and I attribute this unusual achievement to the fact that all our Officers and Trustees are local... the people of Ridgewood have utmost confidence and faith in them.

Rudolph Stutzmann | First Bank President

Building Our Main Office

In 1929, we laid the cornerstone for Ridgewood’s iconic headquarters. Several renovations later, it is still our Main Office today.

 

1930
A FIRM FOUNDATION

A Cornerstone of Our Community

In the early 1930s, we celebrated the grand opening of our iconic Main Office. While the building was under construction, the Bank commissioned a mural to be painted by artist Angelo Magnanti, which can still be seen in the lobby of our Main Office today. The mural bears the inscription, “Saving Is the Secret of Wealth.” We couldn’t agree more!

Celebrating 10 Years

As the country grappled with its toughest economic crisis, Ridgewood and its customers marked their first 10 years of dependable local banking.

 

1940
GROWING & SERVING

Opening Our Second Branch

In 1940, we built our second branch in Forest Hills at the corner of Queens Blvd. and Continental Ave. In its first six years, the branch welcomed 21,000 depositors.

Today the local communities of Queens County are on the verge of great business activity.

1946 | Ridgewood’s 25th Anniversary Booklet

Opening Our Laurelton Branch

We continued to branch out into our community, opening our Laurelton location in 1948.

Celebrating 25 Years

We celebrated our silver anniversary as the fastest-growing savings bank in the nation.

Supporting Our Troops

Like other financial institutions at the time, Ridgewood helped in the war effort by selling war bonds (as seen in this advertisement on a bus map).

Welcoming Service Members Home

Thousands of soldiers were returning from World War II – including Ridgewood’s very first customer, John J. Beach, now a decorated veteran. Ridgewood was here for them with “G.I. mortgages” to help them buy their first home.

 

1950
REACHING MILESTONES

Our 30th Anniversary

As we marked another decade, the Bank was stronger than ever.

It Pays to Save

From first homes to holiday gifts, we were here to help our neighbors save for what was important.

Here for Homebuyers

Ridgewood was a trusted local mortgage lender during the post-war housing boom, and we still are today.

Keeping Our Customers Moving

As customer needs evolved, so did we. Ridgewood opened New York City’s first drive-up teller window at its Main Office in 1957.

 

1960
THE PLACE TO SAVE

Branching Out

We started and ended the decade in the best way possible: by opening new locations in Hollis (1961) and Franklin Square (1969).

Keeping Your Savings Safe

As a federally insured bank, helping to protect your hard-earned money has always been our top priority.

Here for Every Stage of Life

Whether you wanted to save your first dollar or secure your retirement, we had the financial solutions for you.

Extra, Extra!

Our employee newsletter, the Ridgewood Reporter, kept our growing team connected and up to date.

 

1970
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY

A Record-Setting 50 Years

In its first 50 years, the Bank averaged $1 million in asset growth per month. Out of nearly 500 U.S. savings banks, Ridgewood had shown the fastest growth in its first half-century.

The loyalty, enthusiasm and cooperation of a devoted staff… has done so much to make Ridgewood Savings Bank a strong Bank and a safe Bank.

Walter J. Hess | Bank President

Open for Business in Garden City Park

We were excited to join the local community in 1972.

Whitestone for the Win

In 1976, as our nation marked its bicentennial, we celebrated our grand opening in Whitestone with a sweepstakes to win a 19-inch Zenith color TV – plus special gifts for new accountholders.

The people bank for people like you.

1970s | Ridgewood Tagline

Keeping Your Money Growing

As one of our pamphlets proclaimed, “When you keep your money in a Savings Bank, the only way it can go is up!”

Beyond Banking

We also offered affordably priced life insurance as well as financial education, such as this 1976 tax guidebook.

 

1980
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BANK

It’s smart to bank with your neighbor.

1980s | Ridgewood Tagline

Branching Out

In the ’80s, we continued to meet our customers where they were by opening branches in Breezy Point, Bay Ridge and Glendale.

Leading the Way

James E. McCartney served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 1985 to 1989.

Staying in Touch

We kept in touch with our neighbors through the local newspaper, The Ridgewood Times.

A Beloved Local Landmark

Now over 40 years old, Ridgewood’s first branch – our Forest Hills location – was receiving widespread attention (and awards) for its stately Art Deco design. It would later be designated a historic landmark.

 

1990
CELEBRATING SERVICE

Branching Out

Ridgewood acquired three new branches from Beacon Federal Savings Bank, reaching new customers in Bellmore, Baldwin and Hicksville.

Ridgewood has enjoyed a three-quarter century tradition of community service.

William A. McKenna | Bank President

Leading the Way

William A. McKenna Jr. served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 1990 to 2003.

75 Years in Our Community

As we turned 75, we were primed for continued growth, with new branch locations on Grand Avenue in Elmhurst and in West Babylon.

 

2000
STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY

Still Growing

In 2007, Ridgewood completed its first whole-bank acquisition by bringing City & Suburban Federal Savings Bank into the Ridgewood family. We were thrilled to welcome so many new customers, along with many new branches: Allerton Ave., New Rochelle, McLean Ave., Gun Hill Road, Crosby Ave., Yorkville, Jerome Ave., Sedgwick Ave. and 73rd St.

Mourning with Our Community

The attacks of September 11, 2001, changed us all. While we grieved with our neighbors in the aftermath of this unprecedented tragedy, we’ve never been so inspired by our hometown – from the bravery of our first responders to the kindness and solidarity we saw throughout our community.

Our Mobile Branch Hits the Road

In 2005, Ridgewood’s one-of-a-kind mobile branch brought convenient banking to customers who couldn’t easily access a traditional branch. Our branch on wheels has served 20+ locations, primarily senior living facilities.

A Decade of Branch Openings

Maintaining a presence in our local communities has always been a priority. Throughout the decade, Ridgewood continued to open new branches, bringing our hometown service to Lindenhurst, Bensonhurst, Astoria, Cobble Hill, Dyker Heights, White Plains Road (Bronx), Bayside, Morris Park and Sheepshead Bay.

Leading the Way

William C. McGarry served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 2004 to 2011.

 

2010
STILL INNOVATING

Turning 90

In 2011, we celebrated our 90th anniversary in the place where it all began.

Multiply the Good

2010–Today | Ridgewood Tagline

Digital Banking Goes Live

Giving our customers easy ways to bank has always been important. In 2012, we were excited to roll out our online and mobile banking platforms. Since then, we’ve added many other timesaving innovations, including smartwatch banking, voice banking and contactless cards.

Two New Branches in Two Years

Online access is great, but there’s nothing like friendly local service. In 2017 and 2018, we opened two more branches back-to-back, in Clinton Hill and Plainview.

Leading the Way

Peter M. Boger served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 2012 to 2017.

 

Today
MOVING FORWARD

We’re Grateful for a Great Team

Today, we’re proud to have more than 550 employees serving you at your local branch, by phone or behind the scenes, and many have been with us for decades. Their professionalism and dedication have made all the difference for our Bank and our customers.

In Your Community

You won’t just see us at your local branch. Year after year, Ridgewood’s team has been actively involved in the community by volunteering and partnering with respected local organizations.

First-Class Customer Service

Visit our 35 branches for friendly, local service.

Supporting Local Events

Ridgewood branch employees volunteer at the annual Run for Richie 9/11 memorial fair.

Bringing the Branch to You

Our mobile branch brings banking directly to the people – at senior living facilities, schools and community events.

Protecting Your Privacy

We help protect our communities with FREE shred events throughout the year.

Here for Life’s Journey

We’re continuing to welcome new customers by meeting them exactly where they are on their financial journey. Whether you’re in college, starting a family, building a business or enjoying your retirement, depend on us for financial solutions to fit your needs today and your goals for tomorrow.

Now Open in Norwood

Numerous officials and community leaders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for our newest branch in the Bronx.

Tradition + Innovation

The renovation of our iconic Main Office in Queens provides an open and welcoming environment for our loyal customers.

A Century of Community

Throughout 2021, we celebrated a century of local banking and the incredible community that made it all possible.

Leonard Stekol | Current Chairman, President & CEO

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

 

Contact Center:
(718) 240-4778 Monday - Friday: 7AM - 7PMSaturday - Sunday: 8AM - 2PM

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