The Story of Washington Trust Bank

Since 1902, Washington Trust Bank has strived to provide quality service and financial stability for our customers. Four generations of Stanton family leadership later, we continue to focus on integrity and commitment to community.

 

As the oldest and largest privately-held commercial bank in the Northwest, with more than 40 financial centers and offices in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, we enjoy an advantage over our publicly-owned competitors. We base our decisions and policies on what’s happening right here in the Northwest—not in distant locales. Being independent, we are able to set our sights on long-term goals rather than quarterly results. We stay focused on doing the right things for our clients and our communities.

 

WTB Timeline

photo of the original washington trust company

1902
Washington Trust Company Opened for Business

Wanting to start a bank that would offer a full line of services, J. Grier Long, a mortgage and investment specialist, Martin B. Connelly, a successful real estate man, and R.L.Webster, form Washington Trust Company.

photo of an old ledger

1905
Checking Accounts Now Available

Washington Trust begins offering what was a new idea at the time in financial services…checking accounts!

photo of the original teller line

1912
Time of Growth/Expansion

Washington Trust’s assets grow to more than one million dollars, but the country’s economy faces hard times. While scores of banks fail Washington Trust stays open and meets all withdrawals on demand.

photo of Mr. E.H. Stanton sitting at a desk

1919
Stanton Family Purchases Controlling Interest in Washington Trust

After giving up his career as a meat packer, Mr. E.H. Stanton and his family purchase the controlling interest in Washington Trust. "Our efforts will be to make the Washington Trust Company second to none in the Inland Empire." –E.H. Stanton

photo looking down sprague avenue in 1932

1932
Headquarters Moved to 715 W. Sprague

Washington Trust adds a location at 715 Sprague Avenue just before the depression.

aeriel photo of downtown Spokane in 1933

1933
Great Depression

8,000 banks fail, 25% of the labor force is unemployed and business across America is at a standstill. Washington Trust, however, stays open for business six days a week and meets every request for withdrawal on demand.

photo of Fred Stanton sitting in a wooden chair

1941
Fred Stanton Becomes Bank President

After starting at the bank as an assistant messenger 22 years earlier and working his way up, Fred Stanton becomes the youngest bank president at the time, at the age of 54.

checkmaster advertisment of a cartoon man

1942
Checkmaster Introduced

Washington Trust introduces Checkmaster—a service that allows customers to open checking accounts in person or by mail with as little as one dollar.

photo of an old car at the drive up window

1950
First Drive-Up Window

Washington Trust opens the first drive-in branch in the Pacific Northwest. Under Fred Stanton’s leadership the bank looks toward expansion and by the 50’s, Washington Trust is a $54 million institution with four branch offices.

photo of the first washington trust bank sign

1951
Official Name Change

The bank changes its name from Washington Trust Company to Washington Trust Bank.

photo of Philip Stanton

1962
Philip Stanton becomes bank President

Philip Stanton becomes Spokane’s youngest bank president at the age of 31. The bank installs one of the first data-processing systems in the country in a bank of its size.

photo of the construction of the curent Washington Trust Bank headquarters

1974
WTB 16-Story Office Building Opens

Washington Trust plays an instrumental role in the success of Expo ’74, an event that helps to shape Spokane’s future. Construction starts on a sixteen-story office tower and headquarters.

photo of the side of a building which has the wtb logo on it

1979
14 Branches & $254 Million Assets

The bank has accumulated assets totaling $254 million and has fourteen branches.

state of washington lieutenant governor seal

1984
Governor's Award, Community Involvement

Washington Trust receives a prestigious governor’s award for outstanding community involvement.

photo of peter stanton

1990
Peter F. Stanton Becomes President & CEO

Peter Stanton becomes the fourth generation in the family to be elected president of the bank at the age of 34.

photo taken outside the columbia bank

1994
Movement into Central Washington

Washington Trust expands into central Washington after a merger with The Columbia Bank.

photo of a bank's enter / exit sign

1996
Merger to Extend Services into Northern Idaho

Washington Trust grows again with another merger with our affiliate, Northern State Bank that extends our services to northern Idaho.

photo of an old ATM and a teller 24 sign

1997
Enhanced ATM’s and Telephone Bill Payment Introduced

For the convenience of WTB customers, an enhancement of services begins with an expanded call center, new ATMs and a telephone bill-paying service.

a photo of an old computer displaying the washington trust website

1998
Washington Trust Bank Website Launched

Washington Trust adds convenience for our customers with the addition of our website, watrust.com.

photo of the watrust website on a computer screen

1999
Online Banking/Bill-Payment

Washington Trust begins offering online banking and bill paying products.

photo of Jack Heath

2000
Growth for Washington Trust

Washington Trust grows their presence in central Washington, the Columbia Basin, Idaho and Puget Sound. The bank receives the Inland Northwest Philanthropy Award. Jack Heath is appointed president and COO with Peter Stanton serving as Chairman and CEO.

photo of the cover of the seattle business magazine

2001
One of the Best Companies to Work For

Washington CEO Magazine selects Washington Trust as one of the “Best Companies to Work For."

100 years 1902 to 2002

2002
Celebrates a Century of Service

Washington Trust celebrates a century of service.

photo of spokane downtown

2003
Spokane Chamber of Commerce Agora Award

Washington Trust receives the Agora Award from the Spokane Chamber of Commerce. New features and enhancements are introduced to online banking, such as free online bill payment.

photo from inside a washington trust bank branch

2004
Expansion into Oregon Markets

Washington Trust enters the Oregon market with the opening of a Portland private banking and commercial office and expands their markets in Western Washington and Southern Idaho with openings in Bellevue and Boise.

photo of the bloomsday finish line

2006
Bloomsday Lead Sponsor

Washington Trust becomes the lead sponsor of Spokane’s Bloomsday, the largest timed road race in the country.

photo of a washington trust bank banner

2009
Pinnacle Bank/Beaverton Oregon

Washington Trust acquires Pinnacle Bank in Beaverton, Oregon complementing our office in downtown Portland.

photo of Philip Stanton

2010
Philip Stanton

Washington Trust and Spokane lose a great leader, father and man, Philip Stanton at the age of 80.

photo of the Oregon Business Magazine cover

2011
Oregon Best Places to Work

Washington Trust is recognized as one of the top 100 “Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” by Oregon Business Magazine. The small business lending center is opened and becomes a preferred lender with the government’s Small Business Administration (SBA).

photo of the Washington Trust Bank bus

2013
WTB Retail Mobile Truck

Washington Trust Bank introduces the WTB mobile truck, giving them the power and flexibility to easily bring their bank and brand to new and current customers.