Video Transcript: First 100 Years of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

VOICEOVER: The story of the last 100 years of the Cape is also the story of the first 100 years of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. In 1921, the towns on Cape Cod were communities largely built around the land and the sea, farms and lumber mills dotted the landscape, a vibrant fishing industry dominated the harbors, and storefronts on main streets provided most of the goods and services residents needed.

As demand for housing grew, the board of the First National Bank of Yarmouth was inspired to establish the Cape Cod Cooperative Bank as a mutual institution with profits returned to the community through loans and philanthropic support. Honoring the New England traditions of thrift, integrity, and community service, the new bank offered systematic savings plans and economical home mortgages.

During the next 25 years, the Cape and the bank saw significant changes as well as steady and consistent growth. After the Great Depression and World War II, prospering Americans fell in love with vacations by car and many fell in love with Cape Cod.


VOICEOVER: New visitors and new residents spurred a boom in the housing market. Families with property saw opportunity in land development. Other families built bigger year-round residences with plans to pass them to future generations.

As the Cape continued to develop, the bank added branches to serve its increasingly mobile customers. More people created more demand for restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, landscapers, home improvement businesses, and more.

BOB MCPHEE: As the Cape grew, we recognized the need to service the growth needs of businesses on the Cape. We got into the commercial lending business. As a result, it brought additional business to the bank. It benefited the bank as far as us being able to grow, maintain our independence, and give our employees the opportunity to advance.

VOICEOVER: The next 50 years brought incredible change in society, lifestyle, and technology. The Cooperative Bank kept pace by creating new ways to operate to connect with customers and to support the community.

JOEL CROWELL: A lot of people would question that I was the person who brought technology here based on my own technology skills. But I clearly realized that we could not survive unless we started to do things on an automated basis, and therefore technology was a big necessity.

VOICEOVER: Even with all the changes underway in banking and in the community, The Cooperative Bank was ahead of its time when it came to diversity and leadership.

SHEILA VANDERHOEF: I think it’s important to note that this bank has always promoted people who have skills and talent. So it doesn’t really matter whether or not they’re women or men. It really matters about whether or not they can do the job. The board is definitely mixed in terms of skills and talents that people bring to the board, and that’s really what we’re looking for.

VOICEOVER: The Cape continued to grow dramatically, as did its businesses, as did the bank. They expanded their presence and offerings to meet new customer and community needs and consistently hewed to the fundamentals of being a true community bank, acquiring a new nickname along the way. The era of The Coop had arrived.

CROWELL: We never called ourselves that in the ’70s and into the ’80s, and suddenly our customer base started to refer to us that way. We probably went through a period where we were trying to do away with it, and the customers kept bringing it back to us as a nickname. So in my view, the nickname was customer-driven.

VOICEOVER: The relationship between customers and employees has always been a point of pride for Coop leadership. And it starts with a team that knows working at The Coop is more than just a job.

VANDERHOEF: When I first came to the Cape, one of the things I noticed is that they had in the lobby in the fall they always had a basket of apples. It’s a little thing, but it kind of sets the tone. When you go through the drive through now, if you’ve got your dog in the car they’ve always got dog biscuits for the dog. Those are little things that don’t necessarily go to the bottom line in the way you might think, but I think what they say is that our nature here. And our approach to you is to be kind of open and friendly and family forward.

VOICEOVER: The Coop’s leadership has always worked to position the institution and its people for success even under the challenging circumstances of a global pandemic.

LISA OLIVER: The core principles that shined through last year have been the same ones that we’ve lived by through our hundred years. Really a focus on the community, our employees, and our customers and nowhere is that more evident than the outreach we made during the pandemic to support all of those groups within our family.

VOICEOVER: Today the bank continues to offer expert financial counsel from knowledgeable staff along with the digital access clients expect from a modern bank.


The Coop’s historic success informs the perspective shared by current leadership and will pave the way for future success.

OLIVER: So our view for the future is to create a seamless generational banking view, where we can take every decade of the five decades of people banking with us and make sure we’re meeting them where they are. From the time they join us, maybe in their 20s, if not earlier, all the way through their golden years. Community will continue to play a critical role in who we are and what we do in the future we would not be who we are we would not be where we are without the community’s support. Believing in us, trusting in us to provide the right advice and right service and that partnership is what will continue to carry us into the future.