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$5.8 billion in total assets …

348,000 members …

750 local employees …

These simple facts give you a quick introduction to ESL. But there’s more to the story...

George Eastman
  • ESL Today

    Did You Know?

    We’re now the largest locally led financial services institution in the Greater Rochester area. With deposits of $5.8 billion, ESL is one of the largest credit unions in New York State. And we rank in the top 1% of more than 7,000 federally insured credit unions in the U.S.

    All of us at ESL take great pride in those achievements. 

    We also appreciate the fact that our members—the people who know us best—have helped us win the Democrat & Chronicle Rochester’s Choice Award in the Bank/Trust Company category every year since 2002. 

    We’ve even made the nationally recognized Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list seven of the past eight years (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, and 2010).

    It’s all a reflection of our wholehearted efforts to meet the financial needs of people throughout the Greater Rochester area.

  • Century of Growth

    Turning back the clock

    Of course, many things have changed at ESL over the course of our long history. 

    But the essential spirit that motivates us to do our best for our members is part of our DNA. And it dates back to our founding in 1920 by George Eastman, one of the greatest philanthropists of the 20th century.

    A gifted entrepreneur and inventor, Mr. Eastman built Eastman Kodak Company into one of the world’s leading corporations. But he also had a heartfelt interest in his employees and the surrounding community.

    “I want to make Rochester for the thousands of people I have gathered here the best place on the face of the earth to live in and bring up their families,” he once wrote.

    During his lifetime, he made generous contributions to education, music, and healthcare. He helped launch the Community Chest, the forerunner to our local United Way.

    He was also a visionary business leader who recognized the importance of helping employees manage their finances. Which is why he launched Eastman Savings & Loan Association in 1920.

    According to the February 1921 edition of Kodak magazine, “One of the prime objectives of the Eastman Savings & Loan Association is to encourage and aid as many as possible of our employees in purchasing and owning a home.”

    Decades of steady growth lead to a time of transformation

    In the first week of the association’s existence, more than 3,500 employees signed up to become customers. And the number continued to grow over the next several decades.

    Then, in the final decade of the 20th century, a dramatic evolution took place.
    On February 1, 1996, a historic change in our charter resulted in a name change: Eastman Savings & Loan Association became ESL Federal Credit Union. 

    The following year we launched ESL Investment Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary that dramatically expanded the range of financial services we could offer to our members.

    A few years later, we made our services available to more people than ever before, since membership was no longer limited to Kodak employees and their families. We also began opening branches and ATMs throughout the community.

    It was all part of our effort to help thousands of people in Greater Rochester manage their money wisely, save for the future and borrow for their needs.

  • George's Vision

    Keeping George Eastman’s spirit alive

    Since that time of great change, we’ve more than doubled the number of ESL members and tripled our assets. 

    From our perspective, those numbers speak volumes about the wisdom of making our members the top priority.

    That’s why we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services. So we can meet all of their financial needs.

    That’s why we provide trustworthy advice, award-winning service, and a variety of convenient ways to bank with us. So our members can make sound decisions, simplify their busy lives, and actually enjoy the experience of doing business with us.

    That’s also why we work hard to help our community...just like George Eastman.

    It’s all part of our effort to answer to you.

  • ESL Milestones

    ESL History

    Key Dates
    George Eastman launches Eastman Savings & Loan Association.
    ESL continues to grow and prosper.
    Our first community branch opens in Irondequoit.
    A charter change results in a new name ... ESL Federal Credit Union.
    ESL Investment Services, LLC, is established as a wholly owned subsidiary of ESL.
    ESL opens its new corporate headquarters in the heart of the community, downtown Rochester.
    ESL begins offering services to the business community after launching its Business Banking division.
    Our 20th branch opens at Twelve Corners in Brighton. Our regional network of branches and ATMs now stretches from Batavia to Newark and Irondequoit to Geneseo.

    Next up on our agenda? We look forward to helping you.