Corporate Sustainability

Dear fellow TrustCo Shareholder: 

I am very pleased to announce that the proposed reverse stock split of TrustCo Bank Corp NY common stock was approved at the Annual Meeting held yesterday. The result of this will be that every five shares of existing stock will combine into a single share. We expect that this will result in a correspondingly higher share price. We anticipate that the reverse split will be effective as of May 28, 2021.

This is great news for the company. We expect that the reverse split will better position us in the stock market with a share price that we believe will be attractive to a broader pool of investors. Additional details will follow.

The shareholders also resoundingly approved the recommended slate of directors and the advisory vote on executive compensation. Finally, the company's independent auditors Crowe, LLP received a strong vote of confidence.

As always, we are very grateful for the trust you, our owners, place in our management team. We are excited for the reverse stock split and for the many great things that are happening at Trustco Bank, particularly our efforts with respect to corporate sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion. You can find out more about these important initiatives by scrolling down on this page.

Very truly yours,

Robert J. McCormick Chairman
President and Chief Executive Officer 

The Chairman, President, and CEO of TrustCo Bank Corp NY and its subsidiary, Trustco Bank, Robert J. McCormick, explained in a letter to shareholders TrustCo's perspective on corporate sustainability:

Investors increasingly are focused upon corporate sustainability. This means different things to different people, but for us, the meaning is clear and the state of our achievement of it is readily ascertained. Beginning in 1902, Trustco Bank built a venerable financial institution on a foundation of quality banking products delivered at a fair price. Upon that solid foundation, and with the support of investors like yourselves, we constructed and refined an efficient and modern bank that remains committed to the same bedrock principles. In other words, the means and methods have changed, but the heart of what we do has not. By any definition, it is fair to call that sustainability.

To be specific on means and methods, we have improved and enhanced our technology from the platform through which we originate loans, to the teller platforms in our branches where we take deposits, to the mobile devices that enable our customers to easily integrate banking into their busy daily lives. Importantly, all of this has been done with keen focus on data protection. We have adapted the way we do business in order to sustain the core franchise.

Of course, the effort is dynamic and the real-world attainment of it is realized only through the implementation of fresh ideas. What follows are some examples of the things that TrustCo does every day to bolster its sustainability and, in the process, drive long-term shareholder value. If you have questions or comments about the information provided, or the company's efforts in this regard, please contact General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Michael Hall, at [email protected].

ESG Board Oversight

The charter of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, a standing committee of the board of directors, has been updated to document the Committee’s oversight of environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) matters.  Specifically, the Committee:

  • oversees the Company’s ESG program, activities, and related policies, operational controls, and disclosures;
  • receives updates about such matters as needed, but at least quarterly;

Operationally, management has designated the Chief Risk Officer, Robert M. Leonard, as the company’s lead in charge of ESG-related matters.  The CRO is supported in this regard by General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Michael Hall, and Assistant Vice President Lauren A. Maxwell, an American Bankers Association Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.  The Committee is Chaired by Independent Director Lisa M. Lucarelli.  Mr. Leonard reports directly to Chairman, President, and CEO Robert J. McCormick.

On February 17, 2021, TrustCo Bank Corp NY Nominating and Corporate Governance Chair, Lisa Lucarelli, participated in Director Dialogue Day with BlackRock Investment Stewardship. Ms. Lucarelli was joined in the session by Board Chairman and CEO Robert J. McCormick, Chief Risk Officer Robert M. Leonard, and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Michael Hall. The group gained valuable insight from BlackRock Americas Head of Investment Stewardship Ray Cameron, BlackRock Global Head of Investment Stewardship Sandy Boss, and BlackRock Founder, Chairman, and CEO Larry Fink.


Combatting Climate Change

Kona Electric Car

Trustco Bank continues to take proactive steps to combat climate change risk throughout our various geographic regions, including in the state of Florida. We have strong controls in place and consistent compliance oversight to ensure all loans in designated flood zones are covered under the appropriate level of flood insurance. Being mindful of our carbon footprint, we are in the process of installing energy efficient branch signage and LED bulbs at select internal and branch locations. We continue to update our robust Disaster Recovery Plan, enhance virtual capabilities, and cross-train staff in order to mitigate the increasing threats associated with climate change.

To further combat climate change, Trustco Bank installed its first electric car charging station at its headquarters complex in Glenville, New York in 2017. As part of a larger effort to limit carbon emissions and fuel consumption by reducing the number and frequency of trips by couriers to the bank's branches in the Northeast Region, Trustco Bank has deployed a new all electric car in its fleet of vehicles. Plans are in the works to install electric car charging stations in strategically located branches throughout the network.

Human Capital Initiatives & Talent Development

At Trustco Bank, we actively encourage and support the growth of our employees throughout their educational and career development. In 2020 alone, we are proud to announce that 155 (roughly 18%) of our employees were promoted within the Bank. Additionally, our employees participated in over 16,400 hours of training, which included a recently expanded course on Diversity in the Workplace. Branch managers and assistant branch managers participate in a monthly meeting consisting of in-depth presentations and discussions. We also consistently host voluntary educational seminars, giving employees the opportunity to network with fellow colleagues and refresh their knowledge on highlighted products or services, all while enjoying delicious coffee and donuts!

Additional initiatives can be found in our Human Capital Management Disclosure, which was recently published in Trustco Bank’s 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report.

View a complete copy of our 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report.

New Team Member Welcome Program

Based upon feedback received during employee interviews by our Human Resources Department, Trustco Bank has initiated a "Welcome Call" program. Newly hired employees are welcomed to the company with a personal phone call from Chairman, President, and CEO Robert J. McCormick. Additionally, a company executive meets, in person or by video conference, with each new group of employees completing an orientation or training program. The purpose of these interactions is to communicate to the new team members that they are valued by the company.

Follow up conversations have revealed that this personal touch creates a better work environment, accelerates the employees' assimilation into the workforce, and motivates employees to commit to their jobs and thereby facilitates retention. Retaining employees in whom the company has invested orientation and training contributes to the financial success of the enterprise by saving the cost of repeat training and increases the level of experience and expertise of our people.

Mentoring Program

Seeking to better understand and address a need in the bank's human resources area, Chairman, President, and CEO, Robert J. McCormick, began a mentoring program through which he had a group of newly-hired assistant managers report directly to him for their first 10 weeks on the job. The assistant managers regularly met with Rob one-on-one for mentoring and professional development. The participants also received specialized job training. The program was extremely well received by the managers, the Human Resources Department, and the Branch Administration Department in which the managers ultimately worked. The program has been expanded so that, in addition to Rob, all of the bank's Executive Vice Presidents now mentor new assistant manager-level employees in the same way. The professional success, job satisfaction, and retention of program graduates has been monitored and preliminary results are excellent. Further, the mutual benefits of "reverse mentoring" in this program are evident, with knowledge and innovative ideas being exchanged between the mentor and the mentee. More than 40 people have been mentored through the program.

Business Ethics

Trustco Bank's Code of Conduct manual must be reviewed and acknowledged by each new hire, and a copy is easily accessible to all employees and the community.

Download a copy of our Code of Conduct, along with other charters and policies we've made available to you.

Information Security & Data Privacy

Trustco Bank makes it a priority to continuously educate our customers, employees and communities about the importance of data privacy and keeping confidential information secure. Our Security and Fraud Prevention and Fraud Prevention: Alerts webpages contain useful tips and resources and are updated periodically. Quarterly monitoring and ongoing training for employees on cybersecurity threats and identity theft, along with consistent oversight by multiple committees within the Bank further strengthen our risk management processes to keep you - and your information - safe.

Community Engagement

Click here to see additional community outreach activities

Trustco Bank donating to Catholic Charities Regional Food Bank Volunteers

At Trustco Bank, we take pride in being a longstanding pillar in the community since we opened for business in 1902. We actively give back to our communities through volunteerism, donations, and educational opportunities. Trustco Bank employees have given their time in support of a growing list of organizations and non-profits, contributing roughly 7,000 volunteer hours in the last two years. Over the same amount of time, the Bank has donated more than $1 million to over 200 organizations that make positive impacts in our communities.

Trustco donated 2,000 turkeys to regional food banks in New York and Florida Trustco donated 2,000 turkeys to regional food banks in New York and Florida

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trustco has increased aid for our communities in need. In August 2020, Trustco donated 450 backpacks containing school supplies, lunch bags, face masks, and sanitizer for the students of Pleasant Valley Elementary School, located in Schenectady, New York. To prevent families from going hungry on Thanksgiving, Trustco also donated 2,000 turkeys to regional food banks in New York and Florida.

BSA-AML Certificate with SUNY Schenectady

BSA Program

Trustco executives, joined by officials from SUNY Schenectady County Community College, presented a certificate to a Trustco Bank Risk Department Manager. The certificate recognizes the manager as the first person to complete the newly created certificate in Bank Financial Security and Money Laundering Prevention offered by SUNY Schenectady. The program was created through the combined efforts of the bank and the college in a unique partnership. The certificate program, which has been approved by the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department, is believed to the first of its kind in the nation.

Trustco also supported the effort with a $10,000 cash donation to the school for use by its Business, Criminal Justice, and Law Department and for scholarships to assist students in paying for program participation. Further demonstrating its commitment to the undertaking, as part of its ongoing effort to recruit and retain the finest talent, Trustco is paying the tuition of its employees who enroll in the program. Fifteen individuals have enrolled so far.

Trustco Chairman, President and CEO Robert J. McCormick originally conceived the idea for the partnership. Mr. McCormick said "We at Trustco Bank could not be more proud of this great achievement. We are pleased to present this certificate to recognize this success and express our appreciation for the hard work, determination, and academic accomplishment that it represents."

With respect to the program, Mr. McCormick said "Trustco Bank is deeply connected to all of the communities it serves and SUNY Schenectady is its equal in terms of having a strong community-based foundation complimented by a much broader vision." The courses that make up the Certificate Program are offered online and are, therefore, available to students nation-wide.

The Federal Reserve Bank requires employees at U.S. financial institutions to be trained on the Bank Secrecy Act aimed at assisting government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering. While the new Certificate program is designed to train current bank employees to detect instances of money laundering and fraud in personal and commercial accounts, it is ideal for anyone interested in professional opportunities in banking industry forensics.

"Our new partnership with Trustco Bank is a fine example of how the College responds to the needs of the workforce," said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. "The certificate program benefits not only students, but the banking community and public, as we educate students about anti-fraud practices."

The certificate program includes courses in accounting, business, law, and computer applications. Students take a culminating course covering the Bank Secrecy Act. That course is taught by Lynn Hallenback, who holds a masters degree in accounting and is a Senior Officer in Trustco Bank's Accounting Department. After completing the certificate program, students will qualify for employment in an anti-fraud division at a financial institution or may continue their education toward earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in Accounting or Business Administration.

Financial Access

Trustco Bank takes pride in hosting a wide range of financial education seminars for every generation. Our free Hometown First Time Home Buyers Program seminars and our participation in home show events across our footprint serve as additional channels to inquire about homeownership. We also offer free savings accounts for minors and seniors, and we have just introduced a "barrier free" savings account product for employees of our business customers. Our Gallery Account products have low minimum opening requirements and are geared toward helping customers invest or save for retirement.

Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for additional financial tips and tricks!

Barrier Free Savings Account Product

Responding to published research, Trustco Bank is seeking to do its part in helping people overcome the barriers that result in the average American household being unable to handle an emergency expense of $400 or more. As a step toward this goal, Trustco Bank has developed a "barrier free" savings account product, as a benefit to employees of business customers, in order to encourage saving by removing minimum balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees.

This savings program is seen as an ideal sustainability initiative because it will create quality of life improvements for our people, enhance human capital management (including retention), and bolster long-term shareholder value by increasing core deposits and multiple-account customer relationships.

New York Financial Literacy Course

CRA Presentation

In December 2019 the Bank partnered with a Schenectady County not-for-profit, Northern Rivers, to develop a financial literacy course for their clients. Bank staff met with Northern Rivers to determine specific topics the audience was interested in learning more about, then developed course content to meet their needs. Northern Rivers was pleased with the first presentation and hopes to have the Bank present annually in the fall for each new group of clients.

As presented on the agency's web site, Northern Rivers is family of human services agencies providing help and hope to those who struggle with abuse, neglect, trauma, mental health challenges, educational difficulties, career training and employment, and service navigation through an innovative continuum of home-, clinic-, school,- community- based, vocational rehabilitative, supported employment, and senior-supporting programs that provide person-centered, trauma-informed innovative solutions to ensure clients live their best lives.

Northern Rivers has a 190-year heritage. Their 1,400-strong workforce provides services for 16,000 children, adults, and families throughout 41 counties in New York State.

Florida Financial Literacy "Reading Time"

Financial Literacy

Trustco Bank's Lake Nona, Florida Branch Manager goes to local schools and daycare centers to read a book about saving money. The manager makes it very interactive by asking questions and teaching kids words like "Savings Account" and "Deposit." Robert's work recognizes that it is crucial that young people start saving money at an early age for their future, so he explains things like working hard and receiving rewards. In the reading sessions, he and the children discuss a scenario where a child works hard for a new game and opens up a Savings Account at his local bank where he receives a passbook to manage his account. The manager reports that he has had tons of fun reading this book to Pre-k all the way to 4th grade students.