In 1847, famine wiped out a substantial part of the Irish population. Many emigrated from the island with little to show for, some finding their way to the “Land of Opportunity”. These Irish-Americans carried with them an important lesson that would be passed along to subsequent generations. “Don’t get too carried away with success, because we came from nothing and there’s always the chance you could lose everything.”

Don’t get too carried away with success, because we came from nothing and there’s always the chance you could lose everything.

It’s this sort of reminder that forms the bedrock of Country Bank’s foundation and company culture. A culture where people, community and relationships hold the highest value. Where anyone is capable of creating something from nothing.

Meet the Murphys

Joseph Murphy grew up in Inwood at the northern tip of Manhattan. He was the son of a teamster, who came straight off the boat from Ireland, with nothing. His education began at a Catholic grammar school, which was built to support a burgeoning city. A city that was once bucolic countryside.

He was 16 when his mother passed too young. Despite the hardship, he pushed onward.

After high school, he attended Iona College with a scholarship, before enlisting in the Marines. Upon his return from Korea, he resumed school and obtained a B.B.A. with a major in Accounting. By then, he was already a father to twins, Joe Jr. and Patricia. Little did he know that his legacy was just beginning…

Hard work pays off

Through working with real estate developers, Joseph had the good fortune of meeting with members of the Rothschild related Belgian consortium, He was asked to head up the Lambert Brussels Real Estate Corporation and for 15 years, he ran the Corporation through mergers and a changing business landscape, until one day when he took a drive up to the country. Country Bank was founded in 1988, in a rustic town in the Hudson Valley of NY. Something clicked for Joseph and he invested in Country. Within four years, he became the controlling shareholder.

“We are family controlled like 70% of American businesses, so we understand our clients in a way that commercial bankers can’t.”


Soon after taking the reins, Joseph invited a fellow Irish-American to breakfast. He asked him if he would come to work at Country Bank. The man replied, “Well, jeez, I’ve never heard of that bank.” Joseph then mentioned that it was located upstate in Carmel NY and again the man replied, “Jeez, I’ve never heard of that either.” In 1993, William J. Burke became President of Country Bank.

He was an icon in the Irish-American banking world. Grand Marshal of the St. Patricks Day Parade, Vice President for Barclay’s and the Bank of Ireland.

There was a saying that you couldn’t throw a stone in Manhattan without hitting an Irish-American business that Bill Burke helped grow. Now he was helping Country grow and they were making there way back to the City opening new locations in Westchester and the Bronx along the way.


Four years later, Joe Jr., well-versed in Real Estate Finance, joined his father’s efforts and relieved Bill as the President and CEO. His sister Carolyn also came on board as the Director of Marketing and Development, making Country a bonafide family affair. Over the next decade, Country found itself servicing more and more commercial clients in New York City. Their focus had shifted from the rural community to commercial real estate lending and Manhattan based middle market businesses.

It was time to commit fully to the new paradigm, without losing the values that created Country. It was time to take Country, to the City.

On St. Patrick’s Day of 2015, Country Bank took a leap of faith and officially cut the ribbon, raising it’s new Flagship Location on Third Ave., right in the heart of Manhattan.

“Our flagship location gives us the opportunity to grow organically right alongside the very new yorkers we do business with.”


New York City. It’s the land of opportunity. People come here to create new lives for themselves and opportunities for their families. But it can be difficult to grow a business here, let alone start one.

We take pride in offering opportunities for smaller businesses that are often brushed aside by the larger banks.

Even though Country is technically a New York City bank, it retains it’s country sensibility. The hospitality factor has been here since its inception. You can sense it from the moment you enter. The Murphy Family will never forget their roots. They remain involved in the community and know their clients and customers personally. They listen to their stories and make decisions based on trust and genuine relationships, not just numbers. Today, these principles are what make Country Bank successful. We invite you to visit our Flagship Location and experience country values for yourself.

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