About Us - Our History

Commitment to Customer Service Spans Three Centuries

On June 1, 1869, the charter of Dime Savings Bank of Norwich was approved by the Connecticut Legislature. This was a momentous event for many residents of Norwich because, at the time the charter was approved, banking was not a privilege for the working classes. “Small savers” were shunned by commercial banks. Recognizing the importance of banking opportunities for all people in Norwich, a group of public spirited businessmen established the new mutual savings bank.

It is significant that Dime Savings Bank of Norwich was chartered as a mutual savings bank. As a mutual bank, Dime does not issue stock, so there are no stockholders. That means that Dime cannot be sold to the highest bidder. In theory, Dime is owned by its depositors, which means that Dime’s primary concern is the customers’ needs, not the stockholders. Dime Bank is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Directors who, along with the Bank corporators, represents the interests of the depositors in all the communities served by Dime Bank.

From 1869 until today, Dime Bank has remained a mutual bank. As such, the Bank has never wavered in its focus on and commitment to the people and businesses in the communities it serves.

Of course, Dime Savings Bank of Norwich of 1869 was a different institution than it is today. On the first day Dime was open for business, September 27, 1869, the minimum deposit was 10¢. Sixty-three customers opened accounts that day. Total deposits? $1,000! The Bank was open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 2 to 3 p.m. In the early years, it was even open Saturday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. By 1926, Dime Savings Bank of Norwich moved to a modern brick and sandstone building at 33 Broadway. By then, Dime had 7,714 depositors, deposits of $4.3 million, more than $2 million in mortgages, and a continued commitment to both customers and quality service.

The decades that followed provided milestone after milestone. In 1977 Dime established its first branch in Ledyard. In 1978, a branch was opened in Barker’s Department Store in Norwich, and closed only when the corporate center was built nearby. In 1982, a third branch opened in Taftville. Ahead of its time, Dime even had the first supermarket branch in the area when, in 1991, it opened a branch at the Better Val-U in Lisbon, and served that market for four years. 1991 was a banner year for another very significant reason. Dime Bank assets surpassed $100 million. Dime was no longer just a savings bank; it had become a financial institution offering comprehensive products and services to people and businesses throughout southeastern Connecticut.

In 1996, Dime Bank Corporate Financial Center was completed. After seventy years at 33 Broadway, Dime relocated its corporate operations to the new center on Salem Turnpike. The facility also housed a new corporate branch and Dime Investment Services, the brokerage that had been established in 1995. The Norwichtown Branch was opened in 1996 followed by new branches in Montville in 1997 and East Lyme in 1999. The long established branch in Ledyard outgrew its original and very small facility and was replaced in 2002 with a modern and spacious building. The very next year, Taftville was renovated and expanded. 2004 was a memorable year for Dime Bank. A new branch in New London brought Dime banking to a new community. In that same year, Dime crossed state lines and made history as the first Connecticut bank to open a branch in Rhode Island when it opened a new facility in Westerly. By the end of 2006, Dime added a branch in the ShopRite Supermarket in New London and welcomed the Stonington Borough branch in the summer of 2009. Lastly, Dime celebrated the grand opening of the Colchester branch in June 2016.

Growth in assets has been dynamic as well. The $100 million milestone of 1991 doubled by 1997 as assets for Dime Bank exceeded $200 million. A mere two years later, in 1999, assets reached $300 million. It took but five more years for the Bank to pass the $500 million mark. And in 2016, Dime’s assets reached $800 million with 12 convenient branch locations throughout southeastern and shoreline Connecticut and Westerly, Rhode Island. As a full-service financial institution, Dime offers consumer and commercial banking, home mortgages, trust services and through Dime Investment Services (a subsidiary of Dime Bank) - insurance and investments – all delivered with a personal touch.

A Message From Our President Nicholas Caplanson

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