On March 1, 1887, The State of New York, County of Richmond approved Northfield Building Loan and Savings Association to begin operations. The first meeting was held in the store of C.F. Gallis on Union Avenue in the village of Northfield. The organizers decided they would issue 2,000 shares of capital stock at $200 per share as the foundation. John P. Kohler, Lester A. Scofied, Edward Doyle, and George J. Egbert formed this Building Loan and Savings Association to provide the community with a safe and secure way to save and promote home ownership.
The bank grew prosperously over the first several years, advertising mortgage rates in the local newspaper and performing merger and acquisitions of other loan and savings associations. By 1906, Northfield had $365,000 in assets and its main office was located on Richmond Terrace in Mariners Harbor.
Though The Great Depression shook many financial institutions across the nation, Northfield was able to withstand the economic turbulence. In the 1930's Northfield joined the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which assured depositors of adequate liquidity under almost any circumstances. This made the association one of the first savings and loan associations to have this feature on a savings account.
In 1938, the bank moved their main office to Port Richmond after the acquisition of Port Richmond Cooperative Saving and Loan. At the same time the bank converted their Mariners Harbor office to a new branch location.
On September 20,1948, Northfield opened their second branch location, one which is still serving customers today. The Victory Boulevard branch in Castleton Corners opened a total of 123 accounts with $44,044.05 in deposits on their grand opening day.
As Northfield marked its 70th year in operation, they announced they would be joining tenants in the new Staten Island Plaza Shopping Center. Northfield's President Joseph Holzka explained at the time, "It indicates an awareness that though our service may be attractive it also must be made convenient. The growth of our offices on the Island has proved the time-saving value of convenient locations."
A New Chapter
In 1971, Northfield had $40 million in assets, three offices on Staten Island, and became the first savings and loan association in New York to convert to a savings bank.
Mr. Paul E. Proske was elected Chairman and President in 1973, which began a new chapter in Northfield's history. In 1977, Northfield merged with Richmond County Mutual Savings and Loan Association, giving the bank 7 branches in Staten Island. In 1978, Northfield expanded their Castleton Corners branch into their new headquarters. This two-story brick building cost about $500,000 and took close to a year to complete.
The nation again faced tough economic time in 1981 as the U.S. suffered through a Savings and Loan crisis. By remaining true to their core values, Northfield sustained steady growth and profitability during these times of turmoil.
In 1983, Northfield acquired several branch locations through an acquisition of Security Federal Savings and Loan Association of Staten Island. In 1987 Northfield celebrated their 100th year of operation.
Mr. Albert Regen joined the bank and was appointed President in 1990. He was responsible for the branch network, operations, finance, and managed the bank's investment portfolio.
In 1998, Paul Proske retired after 25 years of leading the company. Mr. John W. Alexander, who joined Northfield in 1997, filled the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
In 2002, Northfield crossed their first bridge into New Jersey through the acquisition of Liberty Bank. Liberty Bank had a rich history in the New Jersey market and operated 7 locations in Union and Middlesex Counties.
Mr. Albert Regen announced his retirement in 2006. During his 16 years at Northfield, the bank grew from 11 Staten Island branches with assets of $341 million to a leading regional financial institution with $1.35 billion in assets and 20 locations in Staten Island and New Jersey.
In January 2007, Northfield changed its name to Northfield Bank from Northfield Savings Bank to more accurately reflect the bank's expanded relationship with its customers as a full service consumer and commercial bank, beyond the traditional role of a savings bank.
With a new name Northfield was excited to cross one more bridge. In June 2007, Northfield opened up their first Brooklyn office in Bay Ridge.
Northfield ended 2007 with another milestone. In November of that year, the bank underwent their initial public offering and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with the symbol NFBK. The Northfield Bank Foundation was also formed as part of this initial public stock offering.
Northfield is celebrating 125 years of operation. The company was built on tradition, history, and commitment to the community. The founders of Northfield, wanted to provide the community with a safe and secure way to save and promote home ownership, which is now part of Northfield's mission and vision.
As we begin our celebration of 125 years with 23 branches in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and New Jersey and $2.3 billion in assets, we look to the future and will build on the traditions and history laid before us.