One hundred and fifty years after it officially opened its doors, Institution for Savings recently completed extensive restoration and renovations to its main headquarters located at 93 State Street in downtown Newburyport.
The main office lobby’s original marble tile floor, patched throughout the years, was restored using the original pink, grey and dark cedar Tennessee marble tile installed when it was built, provided by Colonial Marble Company of Everett. Behind the teller line, carpet was removed, and oak hardwood floors discovered under the rug were stripped and refinished. The Bank’s unique ornate mahogany moldings and woodwork, which includes ornately carved Corinthian capitals and other sculpted details, were sanded and refinished, and the original concrete floor surrounding the vault, was repaired and preserved as well.
After stripping and repainting the 20-foot high ceilings, contractors removed the 1970s-style canned ceiling lights and installed five brass chandeliers. All of the main banking floor walls were also painted and new wall sconces installed, and new draperies and upholstered benches will be added shortly.
In addition to Colonial Marble, Perkins Painters of Salisbury, Mark Batchelder Construction of Newbury and Bill Hoyt Painting of Merrimac completed the project for the Bank. Historic preservation consultant Dr. Judith Selwyn of Preservation Technology Associates consulted on the project.
“We could not be happier with the results of this restoration,” said Bank President and CEO Michael J. Jones. “This majestic building, designed by well-known local architect Rufus Sargent in the early 1870s, was described at the time of its building as Newburyport’s major, if not singular contribution to the brownstone era of American building history, and we have made considerable efforts over the last few years to ensure its longevity. This building is a historic icon in Newburyport, both inside and out. We look forward to completing the renovations of the 1980s building in the near future.
In late 2019 the Bank completed an extensive exterior restoration of the original building. The project consisted of three main phases: repair and restoration of the original exterior brownstone; replacement of the front entrance stairs; and repainting and staining of the windows and doors.
When Institution for Savings President and CEO Michael J. Jones welcomed guests the Bank’s annual meeting last March, he told them that 2020 would be a year they would remember forever. At the time he was referring to a year honoring the Bank’s 200th anniversary with a celebration that would last throughout 2020.
Or so he thought.
At the Bank’s 201st annual meeting held this week via Zoom and attended virtually by nearly 300 corporators and employees, Mr. Jones recapped the extraordinary events of the year that concluded with the Bank recording record net operating income of $25.7 million during one of the most uncertain and challenging times in the Bank’s 200 year history. Guests also watched a 12-minute video recapping the Bank’s perseverance during this period, followed by Mr. Jones’ presentation of the annual President’s Award to three retail employees who went above and beyond to serve customers during the pandemic. (The video can be viewed on the Bank’s website, institutionforsavings.com.)
Jones reported that total assets in 2020 reached $3.964 billion, increasing by $248 million or 7 percent over 2019. Total loans and total deposits ended the year at $2.78 billion, and $3.1 billion respectively.
The Bank reported net income of $46.4 million, its second-best year ever. Total capital increased $48 million and remains strong at $455 million, providing opportunities for future growth and expansion. Strong earnings resulted in a return on average assets of 1.21 percent which once again places the Institution for Savings at the top of Massachusetts banks.
Jones noted that this past year, more than ever before, the Bank felt an obligation to further assist Bank employees, customers, and our communities in their time of need. “We did our best to help as we offered temporary loan payment relief programs, participated in the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, allowed employees to work from home, said Jones.
In 2020, the Bank’s charitable foundation donated $1.8 million. Included in that amount was $300,000 in emergency funds authorized by the Bank’s trustees last spring to help non-profits, who were adversely affected by the pandemic with concentration on food pantries.
“Throughout the ups and downs of the pandemic we never lost sight of our commitment to support the non-profits organizations in our communities,” said Mr. Jones. “Our Giving for Good program was also critically important: each month our employees went out into our communities to safely ‘pay it forward’ by buying lunch for first responders, giving gift cards to school personnel and local restaurant works, and helping those in need during this difficult time for so many. The unwavering efforts of our employees continue to solidify the true meaning of the Bank’s vision statement. I am truly honored to have led this Bank during what was without question my most challenging year as president.”
Mr. Jones cited several additional milestones for 2020:
- Recognized by The Daily News as Best Bank (11th consecutive year) and Best Customer Service
- Recognized by The Salem News as Best Bank
- Recognized with multiple Wicked Local Readers’ Choice Awards: ranked #1 in Newburyport (also covers Newbury, West Newbury, Merrimac), Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Middleton, Rowley, Topsfield/Boxford and Salisbury
- Received two Banker & Tradesman Banking Choice Awards (northeast Massachusetts): #1 in Community Contributions and #2 Overall Quality
- Recognized by the Boston Business Journal as a Top Charitable Giver and a Best Place to Work
- For the 13th consecutive year, recognized as a Boston Globe Top Places to Work.
- Named Large Business of the Year by the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce.
Before concluding the meeting, Mr. Jones announced the recipients of the 2020 President’s Award, given annually to one employee who consistently goes above and beyond his or her duties to serve the Bank and its customers. This year, Mr. Jones presented awards to three employees who staffed the Bank’s critical and busy drive-up windows when all other offices were closed during the height of the pandemic. Bonnie Antoniou of the Storey Avenue Newburyport office, Eileen Burnham of the Gloucester office and Justin Landy of the Depot Square Ipswich office received the coveted awards which comes with a generous cash gift and extra week of vacation. “These employees processed hundreds of transactions daily and never lost their kindness and compassion even when the line went out to the street,” said Mr. Jones in announcing the recipients. “They went above and beyond every day to serve our customers in the most challenging of times, and they are the Bank’s true frontline heroes.”
The Bank will award a total of six $20,000 scholarships this year. Graduating seniors from Newburyport, Amesbury, Triton Regional, Pentucket Regional, Beverly, Gloucester, Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Rockport, Salem and Beverly High Schools are eligible for this scholarship. To qualify, students must be ranked in the top 50 of their class, be accepted for admission at an accredited college or university, and demonstrate traits consistent with the Bank’s vision of having a positive effect on the lives of others through leadership, volunteerism, innovation, service and academic achievement.
“Offering these scholarships to students in our communities is one of the cornerstones of what we do,” said President and CEO Michael J. Jones. “Every year it’s an honor for me to read the hundreds of applications we receive from intelligent and promising graduates. Our past recipients have gone on to become doctors, engineers, teachers, writers and more, all having a positive impact on our world.”
Applications are available online at the Bank’s website by clicking on the Community link. Applications are also available in each school’s respective guidance offices. Completed applications are due by March 31st and can be sent to Institution for Savings, PO Box 510, Newburyport, MA 01950.
To honor the life of one of its longest serving employees, Institution for Savings has established the Patricia D. (“Pat”) Connelly Memorial Scholarship, announced president and CEO Michael J. Jones today. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating Newburyport High School senior who embodies Pat’s love of the City of Newburyport and her spirit of kindness and giving back to her community.
“Pat was one of the Bank’s most tenured employees but that wasn’t what made her so special,” said Mr. Jones. “She cared deeply about those who were less fortunate than herself, and always strived to find ways to ease their burdens, whether it was a kind gesture, giving of her time or making a personal donation. Pat was also immensely proud of her Clipper roots as a 1964 graduate of Newburyport High School, following the activities of the many sports teams, attending plays in the auditorium and more. As a member of the Bank’s scholarship committee Pat loved that the Bank’s support helped make college attainable for many worthy students. I know she would be proud and pleased to know that future generations of passionate Clippers will be helped in her name.”
More information about the scholarship criteria as well as an application can be found on our Scholarship page.
Bank recognized as One of Top 50 Charitable Contributors in Massachusetts
For the fifth consecutive year the Institution for Savings has been named one of the region's top 50 corporate charitable contributors by the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) in its annual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards.
The BBJ annually publishes the list to showcase companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities — a feat that is even more important during times of turmoil and challenge.
“Charitable giving is one of the cornerstones of our vision of having a positive effect of every person, business and organization within the communities we serve which makes this recognition so gratifying,” said Institution for Savings President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Jones. “Supporting those in our communities who are struggling, particularly during these last six months, has never been more critical. We will continue to do everything we can to make a difference where it is needed the most.”
"During a year filled with unprecedented events and change, it’s incredible to think that this year’s list is the largest we have ever compiled," said BBJ Market President and Publisher Carolyn Jones. "Philanthropic companies like the Institution for Savings prioritize the welfare of our communities, and we are excited to be able to honor them.”
This year 107 companies — a record number — have qualified for recognition on the complete list by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year. The honorees this year include companies from health care, technology, financial and professional services, retail, professional sports and more.
The companies were honored at a virtual awards ceremony on September 10th.
Gift of 200 Trees Rooted in Hope
10th Annual Credit for Life Fair Goes Virtual
Bank Turns 200: Raises Anniversary Flag to Commemorate its Bicentennial
In early 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. Opening deposits totaling $465.10 were collected on the first day.
Now, 200 years later, the Institution for Savings is a $3.7 billion bank, but on the same path on which its was founded in 1820: making life better for its customers and its community. Earlier this week Institution for Savings President and CEO Michael J. Jones raised the 200th anniversary flag outside the Bank’s 93 State Street Main Office campus, officially kicking off a yearlong bicentennial celebration. The event was attended by the Bank’s employees, Board of Trustees, employees and customers.
“For 200 years we have provided our depositors with a safe and stable place to see their savings grow,” said Jones. “Our depositors have trusted us to lend their savings to their families, friends and neighbors to buy homes, businesses, automobiles, and finance education. Our financial success has allowed us to support local nonprofit organizations and causes to help those less fortunate and ensure that our community continues to be a good place to live and work. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate so many accomplishments and milestones throughout this year, and especially to say thank you to our loyal customers who have made this 200th anniversary milestone possible.”
In addition to flying the anniversary flag at all of the Bank’s offices, other things planned for the Bank’s bicentennial year include a dedicated website with information and historic photos (ifs200.com); a commemorative coin; a series of activities and events throughout the year marking 200 years; a historic wall calendar (now available at all offices); a video; and a hardcover history of the Bank to be published later this year.