At the end of every year, people often take time to reflect on the year that was and what can be done to improve in the year ahead. The slate is wiped clean and resolutions are made, often complete with gym memberships, diet plans or book clubs.
Typically, however, come February, the treadmill is draped with clothes, bread is again a staple of every meal and podcasts become a more attractive alternative to lugging a hardcover onto the subway. In the case of Amalgamated Bank, however, we made big promises in 2017, and, in 2018, we delivered.
This year marked a truly pivotal one in Amalgamated Bank’s 95-year history, one that will help shape the direction of the bank for the next 95. Our merger with New Resource Bank gave birth to one of the largest socially responsible banks in America by expanding our customer base and footprint to San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado, and strategically positioning us to continue that growth trajectory. Our IPO gave us ongoing access to capital markets and liquid currency that, hand-in-hand with the merger, will aid in our long term growth strategy. But just describing these two landmark achievements, doesn’t do justice to the amount of coffee, late nights or edits to Excel spreadsheets that took place to make these historic milestones possible. This success is a testament to all of your hard work and you should be very proud of what we accomplished together.
While the IPO and merger received the bulk of the attention this year, the bank quietly had its best-performing year to date. We’re on pace to double our pre-tax income. We brought in 1,221 commercial clients and adopted a new regional structure creating East Coast, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast turf. We carved out a niche, establishing ourselves as “America’s Socially Responsible Bank” and launched the Amalgamated Foundation bringing in a whole new stream of business. We grew our IMD business to 500 total clients and launched new innovative initiatives like a fossil-free consumer investment portfolio and 2X, which is already 33 percent of the way to our 2020 goal of financing $350MM of social impact assets. Residential lending saw 300 percent YOY growth and our most recent audit received the highest rating of “satisfactory” from regulators in recent history. Internally, we hired 127 new employees, handled over 103,000 customer calls, and originated 3,700,000 ACH items. The list goes on and on.
These collective efforts not only built the framework for a successful 2018, but also strengthened our foundation as the financial institution for people, organizations and companies that are doing good for society and the planet. We’ve created the infrastructure for an institution that is now uniquely positioned to invest in impactful causes, keep union dollars safe, lend to companies that are making the world cleaner and greener and bank the campaigns electing the progressive leaders of tomorrow. We’re incredibly proud of the year we’ve had but also of the bank we’ve collectively built. When you think of where we were only five years ago, it is nothing short of remarkable how far we’ve come.
We’re excited and hopeful for what 2019 brings as we continue to help those who do good do better. Next year our resolution remains the same, to look back in December and take pride in reaching new heights in our effort to deliver on our mission and our numbers every day.