The Dunfermline was established in 1869 in the town of Dunfermline from which it takes its name.
It expanded throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and acquired over 20 other organisations including: the Stenhousemuir, Peebles, Fourth Fifeshire Investment Company, the Stirlingshire, and the Edinburgh and Paisley Building Society.
A telephone banking service, Dunfermline Direct, was launched during Spring 1999.
By the end of 2005, the Society had 34 branches and 38 agencies throughout Scotland. Around 20% of its business is generated from outwith Scotland. The Society also has a large commercial lending book and is leading the way in investment in social housing.