In 1820, 34 prominent citizens of the City of Newburyport sent a request to the Massachusetts General Court requesting to incorporate an institution "for the purpose of receiving money on deposit and investing the same to the best advantage of the owners thereof." On January 31, 1820, that charter was granted, creating the third savings bank in the Commonwealth. The Institution for Savings was born. Opening deposits totaling $465.10 were collected on the first day.
Today, the Institution for Savings is widely recognized as one of the oldest and most stable mutual banks in the country, with assets totaling approximately $3.47 Billion as of December 31, 2018. It is also the largest mutual savings bank in the greater Newburyport region and the third largest on the North Shore.
The Institution for Savings' well-known reputation as strong and steady goes far beyond its elegant architecturally-significant Victorian main office building built in 1870 and long considered a historic landmark in Newburyport. The Bank has known only 16 presidents in its 198-year history, all of whom have been hired from within. This includes current President and CEO Michael J. Jones, who succeeded Mark F. Welch as President on July 1, 2010.
In recent years, the Institution for Savings has made significant strides to expand its market. In 2006, it opened its first ever full-service banking office outside of Newburyport, in the heart of Salisbury Square. In July of 2007, the Bank merged with the Ipswich Co-operative Bank, another vital community bank, after more than a year of discussions and planning. The Bank also opened a new Rowley office in October 2007, which also houses the Commercial Lending Center. In 2011 the Institution for Savings opened its second Ipswich location at 112 County Road within the Powder House Village complex, followed by the opening of its seventh full-service office in Topsfield in 2013.
In 2014, the Institution for Savings merged with Rockport National Bank. The Bank opened a full-service office on busy Route 114 in Middleton and within the Boxford Community Store & Eatery on Elm Street in Boxford. And in July 2017, the Bank opened a full service office at 545 Bay Road in Hamilton on the site of the former Hamilton Gardens.The combined Institution for Savings is now one of the region's strongest and largest community banks, with 13 full service offices in Newburyport, Ipswich, Salisbury, Rowley, Hamilton, Topsfield, Middleton, Boxford, Rockport, Gloucester and Beverly. The Bank also has a Residential Lending Center in Newburyport and a Commercial Lending Center in Rowley. A new full service office in Amesbury is slated to open in February with another new office in Vinnin Square Salem opening in early summer.
The Bank's strong and well-deserved reputation as community-minded is due in large part to its Trustees, Officers and Employees who are active in their respective communities. For 11 consecutive years the Bank has been named a Top Place to Work by The Boston Globe, including the #1 Top Place to Work in the Medium Employer category in 2013 and 2014, and #1 Small Employer in 2011.
As a mutual savings bank, the Institution for Savings has always believed in dedicating part of its assets toward making its communities better places in which to live and work. The Institution for Savings, 2 Depot Square Ipswich and recently launched Main Street Rockport Charitable Foundations are vehicles to guarantee for future generations the charitable giving that has been the Bank's hallmark since 1820. In the last five years, the Foundations collectively donated and pledged more than $13 million to community organizations and causes, including a landmark $1.5 million to construct a new single-patient unit at Anna Jaques Hospital; more than a million dollars to support field and stadium renovation projects at Newburyport and Triton Regional High Schools; a recent $1 million gift to Essex County Greenbelt Association for a land conservation fund; $1.5 million to the Ipswich Family YMCA for an aquatic center; and much more.
Another key component of the Bank’s vision of improving the quality of life for all those within its communities is financial education. The Institution for Savings was the first Bank in its market area to offer comprehensive community-wide financial literacy programs that teach various segments of the population about the importance of solid money management skills. These programs include Teach Children to Save in the elementary schools, Think, Save, Succeed! at the middle school level, Get Smart About Credit and the Credit for Life Fair in the high schools and identity theft prevention seminars to senior citizens. Additionally the Bank underwrites and operates educational school banks within Ipswich, Newburyport, Beverly, Triton and Masconomet Regional High Schools.
The Institution for Savings offers a full menu of personal and commercial financial products and services for individuals, businesses and organizations, including deposit accounts, lending services, Internet/Mobile Banking and Bill Pay, and retirement accounts.