President/CEO of Dime Bank
Dear friends and neighbors,
The past year has been an important year for Dime Bank. 2015 was defined by impactful decisions and strategic initiatives that will shape the bank’s operations in the short term and far into the future.
We went beyond our competition to introduce innovative checking products that provide new and existing Dime Bank customers with distinct value that has not previously existed in our market. We invested in core technology and infrastructure that will empower our employees with efficiency beyond that which was previously possible. We finished preliminary planning and design for the opening of a 12th branch that will fulfill the community banking needs of customers previously beyond our physical footprint. For these reasons, the theme of the 2015 Dime Bank Annual Report is Banking Beyond Limits.
Overall it has been a positive year and we have made significant progress. Our financial performance finished very close to our expectations. We saw a healthy growth in deposits and loans, and grew in assets to over $785 million. This is certainly a testament to our stability and reliability in the continued low-interest rate environment that has been challenging for both savings-focused consumers and financial institutions. As the country continues its gradual economic uptick, we must bear in mind that trends in the southeastern New England economy are different from many national trends. To successfully navigate in this economy we must continue to truly differentiate ourselves from competitors while embracing growth and diversification strategies that ensure our long-term value as a local community bank.
During 2015, the unveiling of our new DimePerks checking account products introduced a unique value proposition into our local market.
We picked up the phone and hit the streets to partner with hundreds of local merchants and created an unmatched portfolio of local discounts for DimePerks customers. We took the time to consider what value-added services matter to our customers – things like identity theft protection, roadside assistance and cell phone protection – and we delivered them so that we can deepen our relationship with our customers – that’s banking beyond limits. We also completed a 9-month evaluation of the bank’s core technology platform that will result in our conversion in 2017 to a new, more advanced technological infrastructure that provides enhanced customer-facing technology while creating back-end efficiencies for our employees. Our continual evaluation of our customers’ experience enables our ability to strategically evolve and improve the way we provide banking services.
In 2015, we also laid the groundwork to open a 12th Dime Bank branch in Colchester, CT, that will be the embodiment of our commitment to the modern banking experience. The branch is slated to open in the spring of 2016. It will be staffed by a team of universal bankers whose ability to perform a broad and diverse spectrum of transactions means better service in less time. At this branch, customers will be able to literally take banking into their own hands with our interactive banking tablets and displays, and free in-branch Wi-Fi will let customers stay connected.
Our Colchester branch will be a brick and mortar symbol of the strong relationships Dime Bank already holds in the Colchester community.
Many of our existing loan customers in the Colchester market are encouraged that we will be offering a full service branch that is conveniently located near them. And as we are committed to meeting the evolving needs of our customers, our roots as a community-first mutual bank is always the bedrock upon which our bank is built.
I often mention Dime’s continued commitment and dedication to supporting our communities and this past year was yet another example of that focus. Our employee “Blue Crew” volunteers as well as the Dime Bank Foundation completed yet another year of stellar community service and charitable giving. The positive impact that we have on our communities spanning from East Lyme and New London to Norwich and Westerly could not be possible without the steadfast generosity of our employees and directors.
In closing, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Dime Bank’s employees, dedicated directors, corporators and our highly valued customers for the trust and confidence they place in us. Thank you for another great year of Banking Beyond Limits.
With pride and best regards,
Chief Executive Officer