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From the remnants of the Civil War, a new America emerged. The country was shifting from an agrarian society to one that was more modernized, and various financial reforms compelled the formation of banks throughout the country. While many of those institutions have disappeared into history, Apple Bank continues to stand strong, tracing its roots to the founding bank that was established in 1863 in the Dutch community of Haarlem, New York.
In prosperous Haarlem, a group of men committed to serve the financial needs of their neighbors under the auspices of the Haarlem Savings Bank. The Haarlem of that time would be unrecognizable today, with working farms and undeveloped lots dominating the landscape. In April 1863, these men convened at the Rosenbourgh Haarlem Bridge House, a tavern owned by one of the bank’s first trustees, to finalize paperwork that led to the bank opening its doors in June, about a month before the infamous draft riots tore apart the city. At the time, the bank was one of the few structures in the neighborhood.
Haarlem Savings Bank enjoyed prosperity through the remainder of the 19th century and into the new millennium. At the other end of the city, the German Savings Bank also had been thriving after opening its doors in 1859. Its charter members included Daniel F. Tiemann, mayor of New York City, and the bank first occupied the Cooper Union building, now a city landmark. At the close of World War I, the German Savings Bank renamed itself Central Savings Bank. Its eventual headquarters at Broadway and West 73rd Street, designed by the architectural firm York and Sawyer, is a National Historic Landmark and is today the flagship Apple Bank branch.
As many banks became insolvent in the midst of war and financial panic, Haarlem Savings Bank and Central Savings Bank remained strong, focusing their investments on residents and local businesses. Both banks emerged from the ashes of the Great Depression and several wars in expansion mode and acquired insolvent banks to expand their service areas into midtown Manhattan and Long Island. Following the local community lead, the Haarlem Savings Bank dropped the second “a” from its name in 1933.
Another spate of expansion occurred during the tumultuous 1970s and 1980s when, again, Harlem Savings Bank’s consistent and disciplined risk-management program maintained its position of financial strength. This time, Central Savings Bank was experiencing difficulty. The banks’ merger led to the creation of Apple Bank in May 1983.
In 1989, Apple Bank expanded into eastern Long Island by acquiring the historic Sag Harbor Savings Bank. In the 1990s and into the new millennium, the bank continued to grow with other acquisitions and new branch openings in the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. Apple Bank’s most recent acquisition of 29 Emigrant Bank branches occurred in 2013 and significantly expanded our presence in greater New York.
With conservative financial management and strong credit quality, Apple Bank remained solidly profitable with virtually no non-performing loans during the credit crisis that began in 2008. Today, Apple Bank stands as one of the strongest banks in the nation, a full-service institution that delivers quality products and personalized attention to customers, led by bankers who live in the areas we serve and thoroughly understand individuals’ and businesses’ needs.
Continuing the proud heritage that began when we planted our seed in Harlem in 1863, Apple Bank remains committed to core neighborhood banking. We deliver the full range of banking services to individuals and businesses in greater New York through our 79 branches, online banking and commercial mortgages. As a “global local bank,” we also provide government-guaranteed aircraft financing and other specialty financing.
We work hard to meet the financial needs of our customers and strive to improve the quality of life in our communities. We look forward to a future filled with opportunity, while always putting our customers’ best interests first.
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