Back in 1910, a group of Dixon folks believed they weren't getting the kind of banking services they needed and decided to do something about it. In the spirit of the independent, do-it-yourself tradition of their farming community, these men and women organized their state-chartered savings bank, Northern Solano Bank.
The bank was to be backed with all local capital and no outside investment or affiliation. Those present elected a board of directors and appointed a committee to go to San Francisco to obtain a safe and other necessary supplies. Just twelve days after the organizational meeting, Northern Solano Bank opened for business in a remodeled former ice cream parlor with a staff of two.
The following year, the bank had purchased "the Old Corner" property at North First and B Streets after heated bidding against the Bank of Dixon. A portion of the structure was torn down and replaced by a new bank building. Northern Solano Bank moved from the former ice cream parlor into the new banking quarters in May of 1911, sharing space with a haberdashery, a harness maker, cigar maker, the Wells Fargo Express Company, and Pacific Telephone.
For the next 43 years, the Northern Solano Savings Bank, a savings bank and the First National Bank of Dixon, a commercial bank, operated under the same roof with the same shareholders, management, and board of directors. In an effort to increase efficiency of operation, reduce operating expenses, and improve lending capacity, the two banks were consolidated and became the First National Bank of Dixon.
The bank continued to grow and evolve from a small farm bank to a full service financial institution addressing the needs of the area's growing population. By 1962, deposits had increased to $7,700,000. In June 1963, the bank moved into the new state-of-the-art banking facility in which it remains to this day.
On January 1, 1980, in order to reduce Federal Reserve requirements and operate with higher lending limits, the Federal Charter was relinquished in favor of a State Charter, and the Bank's name was changed to First Northern Bank of Dixon. As with the earlier consolidation, only the name changed. Management, directors, and shareholders remained the same.
BRANCHING AND EXPANSION:
- The Bank expanded from its Dixon base by opening its first branch in Winters, Yolo County.
- Full service Branch opened in Davis, Yolo County, bringing the first automated teller machine to Davis.
- The opening of this office was a significant step toward reducing the Bank's dependence on agriculture.
- A depository Branch was opened in South Davis. (In 1986, this depository office was consolidated into the Davis Office.)
- Full service Branch opened in West Sacramento, Yolo County (at the Yolo/Sacramento County line).
- Real Estate Department opened in Davis in order to accommodate the demand of the Bank's customers for long-term residential real estate loans and has enabled the Bank to access the secondary real estate market.
- Vacaville Branch in Solano County was added to the Solano/Yolo I-80 corridor network.
- A new 33,000 sq. ft. Operations Center was built in Dixon and centralized seven departments, six of which had been housed in leased space. These Departments currently include Human Resources, Central Operations, Data Processing, Audit, Credit Services, Special Assets, and Central Loan Department. The Annual Meeting of Shareholders is held here. The Operations Center also includes training rooms, and meeting rooms, central storage for supplies/records and expansion space to accommodate anticipated growth for 10–15 yrs.
- A full service Branch in Fairfield, Solano County, was added to the Solano/Yolo network on the I-80 corridor.
- The El Dorado Hills Real Estate Loan Office, El Dorado County, was opened to serve the growing mortgage loan demand in the Foothills area north of Sacramento. (Due to its close proximity, this office was consolidated into the Real Estate Loan Office in Folsom when the Folsom Financial Center was opened in 2006.)
- An SBA Loan Department was opened in Sacramento to provide government guaranteed small business loans for the Bank's entire market area.
- The Bank opened a full service Branch in Woodland in June to serve the agricultural, commercial and personal needs of this rapidly growing community.
- The Downtown Financial Center was opened in Vacaville to better serve the individual and business financial needs on the west side of I-80.
- The Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of creating a bank holding company--First Northern Community Bancorp.
- The Bank opened a Real Estate Loan Office in Roseville.
- The Bank opened its first satellite office in June at Davis' Covell Gardens, a senior living community.
- The Bank opened a second satellite office of its Davis Branch in November at the University Retirement Community.
- A full service Branch was opened on the Harbor in Suisun City. (In March 2007, the Suisun Branch was closed due to slower than projected growth in the city. The Suisun Branch customers are being served from the Bank's Fairfield Branch, located just three miles away.).
- The Bank opened a full service Branch on a prominent corner in downtown Sacramento.
- The Bank opened a full service Real Estate Loan Office in the same commercial office complex as First Northern Bank's Woodland Branch. In 2008, this office was consolidated into the Woodland Branch.
- A Branch was opened in the bustling business district in Roseville.
- The Bank opened its Folsom Financial Center, a one-stop shop housing a Branch, the Folsom Real Estate Loan Office and the Investment & Brokerage Services Department in a rapidly growing business district in Folsom.
- The Fairfield Branch was expanded to include an Investment & Brokerage Services Office and to accommodate the additional customer volume resulting from the closure of the Bank's Suisun City Branch.
- The Bank opened an Investment & Brokerage Services Office in Davis. The Office is located across the street from the Branch.
- The Bank opened its Auburn Financial Center, housing a Branch and the Investment & Brokerage Services Office.
- Responding to customer trends, the Bank consolidated its Folsom commercial banking office into its Sacramento and Roseville Branches.
- The Bank opened an Investment & Brokerage Services Office in West Sacramento, just a few buildings down from its West Sacramento Branch.
- First Northern Bank celebrated its first 100 years in business.
- Responding to customer demand, the Bank consolidated its Vacaville Regency Park Branch into its Vacaville Downtown Financial Center.
- The Bank expanded into neighboring Contra Costa County with a loan production office in Walnut Creek. The East Bay Commercial Loan Office will serve businesses throughout the communities of the East Bay.
Celebrating Our First 100 Years
Today more than ever, people are seeking peace of mind and trust, particularly when it comes to their financial institution. For over 100 years, First Northern Bank has been a pillar of strength in the communities we serve. Since our inception, we have successfully navigated all 12 of our nation's documented economic recessions, as well as The Great Depression. We believe it's this experience that differentiates First Northern Bank from so many banks, credit unions, and brokerage houses.
First Northern continues to thrive as one of the oldest independent community banks in the greater Sacramento region. Our goals and objectives are not driven by Wall Street. We focus on the local economy rather than reaching into unfamiliar markets. Our First Northern offices consist of 10 full service branches throughout Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Placer counties, a Mortgage Loan office, two Investment & Brokerage Services offices, and a Commercial Loan Office in Contra Costa County.
Our Bank's Core Values are paramount in every decision we make:
- People First
- Absolute Integrity
- Zest for Excellence
Our unwavering commitment to these Values has helped fuel our history of continuous growth and expansion of our services and market areas. We are proud of our past and we are excited about our future.
Other key factors that differentiate First Northern Bank include:
- First Northern Bank utilizes new technology to make banking faster, more convenient, mobile, and secure.
- First Northern Bank adheres to a Policy of Independence. While other banks have come and gone over the years, First Northern Bank remains steadfast in its commitment to remaining independent so it can set its own course and make decisions at the local level.
- First Northern Bank is known for reinvesting in the communities it serves. Through volunteerism, monetary and in-kind contributions, and grant assistance, First Northern Bank is there for the community.
- First Northern Bank's customer deposit base is broad and resilient. We serve a wide range of consumers and business markets throughout the local region.
- First Northern Bank hires only the best people, and they stay at the top of their game through ongoing technical and customer service training. We have created a culture that truly motivates employees to perform as if their name was on the door. Currently, almost 90% of our full-time employees own Company stock, so chances are our customers are being served by an owner of the Bank.
- First Northern Bank has made it a priority to do its part to adopt green initiatives to help preserve our Earth's natural resources. Hybrid vehicles have been used in the Bank's fleet of courier cars since 2005. And in 2008, the Bank installed rooftop solar systems on all buildings owned by the Bank.
First Northern Bank is proud to be a well-capitalized, well-managed financial institution that continues to grow and provide safe and secure banking for our customers. During these challenging economic times, the Bank has never wavered from its adherence to the core principles that have guided its growth and sustained its strength in the marketplace for over 100 years. We remain focused on: strong liquidity, disciplined underwriting standards, a consistent and conservative credit philosophy, having knowledgeable and experienced staff, and delivering superior customer service.
We are steadfastly committed to our role in the community--we look forward to continuing our 105-year tradition of forging long-lasting relationships and providing honest guidance and financial services to area businesses and residents.