The history of Asheville Savings Bank is long, rich, and growing. The following are a few highlights from our many years as the local bank of Western North Carolina:
1930s - 1950s
The first charter was granted to Asheville Federal Savings and Loan Association in February 1936 and the Association opened in April that year. The first banking centers were at 12 Church Street (across the street from the current location) and Charles D. Parker was elected as the first president. In January 1942, Asheville Federal moved to 16 Church Street and by year-end the Association had almost 4,000 members and assets of just over $4 million. Continued growth resulted in moving again, to the street level floor at 18 Church Street, and by the end of 1955, assets stood at over $13 million.
The grand opening for the first banking center of Asheville Federal, the Black Mountain Office, was in May 1960. During the early 1960's, the property at 11 Church Street was purchased from First Union National Bank and renovated. In September 1965, Asheville Federal moved into the current Downtown Banking Center.
The second banking center was located in Mars Hill and opened in 1974 and the Skyland Banking Center opened in 1976.
In March 1978, the Downtown Banking Center was renovated and a drive-through window added. Departments within the bank were organized and Money Market Certificates (6 month term, tied to the Treasury Bill rates) were authorized by FSLIC. The East Banking Center opened in 1978 and the North Banking Center in 1979. Assets at the end of 1979 totaled almost $161 million.
A merger occurred in 1981 --- with McDowell Savings and Loan Association in Marion (now our Marion Banking Center). The West Banking Center opened in December 1981.
John B. Dickson assumed leadership of the bank in 1990. Also in 1990, a Federal Mutual Charter was adopted and the bank name changed to Asheville Federal Bank.
In 1993, we adopted a State Savings Bank charter and the bank name was changed to the present Asheville Savings Bank.
The Hendersonville Banking Center opened in September 1992 and a mortgage lending office opened in Brevard in 1995.
In 1998, we established a Commercial Services Division and now offer a complete line of commercial and business banking services.
At the end of 2000 our assets exceeded $407 million. In early 2001 the Brevard Banking Center expanded to offer depository services in addition to the mortgage lending services already provided.
In 2001, our Reynolds Banking Center opened in the entrance to Eastwood Village on US74E (across from Reynolds High School).
In 2002 the announcement was made that Asheville Savings Bank would restore its Downtown Banking Center at 11 Church Street to the historical beauty of the 1920's. The Executive Management Team worked with the Historical Society to research the original architecture of the building. The restoration began in 2002 by removing the siding to expose the original exterior. Renovation of 18 Church Street began in March 2003. This building would act as a temporary facility for the Banking Center, Business Banking Division and Executive Management during the restoration of 11 Church Street. In mid-July 2003 the historical restoration began.
In February 2003, the bank moved its operations divisions into the Operations Administration Center located in the West Ridge Market Place.
Construction began May 2003 on the Enka Candler Banking Center located in the West Ridge Market Place and opened on November 3, 2003.
The Downtown Banking Center temporarily relocated in July 2003 from 11 Church St to a new remodeled 18 Church St (just across Church St). The reason for this relocation was to allow the Downtown Banking Center at 11 Church St to undergo a complete historical restoration. The restoration would return the building to the grandeur of the 1928 era.
January 31, 2004, the bank achieved the milestone of Assets just over $500 million.
On January 31, 2005, the Downtown Banking Center reopened for business. The excitement and anticipation had been building and on Monday, January 31, 2005, the newly renovated and historically restored 11 Church Street Downtown Banking Center opened for business.
The Brevard Office at 4 Chestnut Square closed August 12, 2005, only to reopen its doors on Monday, August 15, 2005, in the newly constructed building at 2 Market Street, in Straus Park, Brevard and is the current location.
Suzanne S. DeFerie assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Asheville Savings Bank on January 1, 2008.
February 6, 2008 Asheville Savings Bank added its Fletcher Banking Center to the communities we serve.
The Mars Hill Banking Center moved in 2008 to its new home and current location at 105 North Main Street.
In 2011, Asheville Savings Bank honored its history by celebrating its 75th anniversary, and looked to a bright future by transitioning to a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. To mark the occasion, officials from the bank rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ market in New York City, a first for any Asheville-based company.
In 2013, Asheville Savings Bank was recognized as a 2013 North Carolina Best Employer from NC Business magazine and 2013 #1 BEST Bank and #1 BEST Banking Services for Small Business from Mountain Xpress newspaper. This was once again repeated in 2014 as the bank was awarded the #1 BEST Bank and #1 BEST Banking Services for Small Business from Mountain Xpress newspaper. Also in 2014, the bank was recognized as the #1 BEST Bank by McDowell News.
In 2015, Asheville Savings Bank was recognized for the third straight year as #1 BEST Bank and #1 BEST Banking Services for Small Business from the readers of the Mountain Xpress newspaper as well as #1 Best Bank for Mortgages. We are grateful to our customers and the community for this honor and work hard everyday to live up to these accolades.