1782-1799: A History of America's Banks and The ABA (2024)

  • 1782: The First American Bank
    Congress charters the Bank of North America—the first financial institution chartered by the United States and the first real bank in the young republic. A de facto central bank whose shares were held by the public, the Bank of North America raised money to support the ongoing war against Britain. Philadelphia financier Robert Morris, who had given millions of his personal wealth to support the war, was the bank’s first superintendent.
  • 1784: Hamilton and the Bank of New York
    Future Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton founds the Bank of New York, the oldest continuously operating bank in the United States—operating today as BNY Mellon. The Bank of New York and the Bank of Massachusetts, founded the same year, are the first two state banks; the latter, through mergers, becomes part of what is today Bank of America.
  • 1785: The Almighty Dollar
    The Continental Congress adopts the dollar as the United States’ official unit of currency.
  • 1791: The First Central Bank
    On the urging of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, Congress charters the First Bank of the United States for a 20-year term. Its purpose is to lend to the government, make loans to businesses and provide a stable money supply through its notes. The new central bank triggers the formation of 18 new commercial banks in just five years, compared with four in all of the United States prior to the First Bank’s chartering.
  • 1792: Dollars and Cents
    Congress passes a coinage act establishing the national mint in Philadelphia and identifying the coins of smaller amounts comprising a dollar.
  • 1792: Testing the System
    A financial panic puts the first test to Hamilton and the Bank of the United States. A collapse in securities prices triggers a run on the bank. Hamilton establishes a “sinking fund commission” to authorize the first open-market activities, sending nearly $250,000 to banks throughout the country to allow them to make securities purchases and boost credit.
  • 1799: Competition in New York
    Hamilton’s rival, Aaron Burr, co-founds the Bank of the Manhattan Company, operating today as J.P. Morgan Chase.
< Back: ABA History Next: 1800-1849 >

1782-1799: A History of America's Banks and The ABA (2024)


What is the oldest bank still in existence? ›

The oldest bank still in existence is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy, which has been operating continuously since 1472.

What family owns Bank of America? ›

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK. A 1.18%)(BRK. B 1.3%): Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is the largest Bank of America shareholder, with 1.03 billion shares amounting to a 13% stake. As of March 2024, it was the second-largest of Warren Buffett's stock holdings after Apple (AAPL -1.22%), worth almost $37 billion.

Why was Andrew Jackson against the National bank? ›

Jackson's distrust of the Bank was also political, based on a belief that a federal institution such as the Bank trampled on states' rights. In addition, he felt that the Bank put too much power in the hands of too few private citizens -- power that could be used to the detriment of the government.

What is the oldest savings bank in the United States? ›

On Dec. 2, 1816, the first savings bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.

Who is the number 1 bank in America? ›

1. JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan Chase, or Chase Bank, is the biggest bank in America with nearly $3.4 trillion in assets. It boasts a vast network of over 4,800 physical branches and more than 15,000 ATMs.

What was the first bank in the United States? ›

Congress gave the Bank of the United States, now commonly known as the First Bank, a 20-year charter that started in December 1791. The bank did not dictate fiscal policy, but it still wielded great influence over the country's finances due to its size.

How much of Bank of America is owned by China? ›

No, Bank of America isn't owned by China. BofA is an American multinational investment bank that has a partnership with China Construction Bank. In 2011 they decided to sell about half of their stake (about 13.1 billion) in the Chinese company.

What banks are owned by the Catholic Church? ›

The Institute for the Works of Religion (Italian: Istituto per le Opere di Religione; Latin: Institutum pro Operibus Religionis; abbreviated IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a financial institution that is situated inside Vatican City and run by a Board of Superintendence, which reports to a Commission of ...

What was Bank of America before it was Bank of America? ›

On November 1, 1930, the Bank of Italy in San Francisco changed its name to Bank of America. The bank today has the same national bank charter number as Giannini's old bank— #13044. When A.P.

How did Jackson destroy the bank? ›

Jackson's opponents ridiculed these “pet banks” as a source of corruption, but to no avail. The removal of the government's deposits crippled the federal bank, and it dissolved in 1836. The next year, another financial panic, the Panic of 1837, swept the country.

Did Andrew Jackson want to destroy the National bank? ›

He claimed that unless the bank was destroyed rather than reformed, "In another fifteen years, the President of the Bank...would have more influence...than the President of the U[nited] States." Almost immediately into his second term, Jackson, Taney, and their allies set to work dismantling the bank.

Which president set up the national banking system? ›

Share This Page: President Lincoln recognized that unreliable paper money and inadequate credit was problematic. Along with his Treasury Secretary, Salmon P. Chase, he conceived the national banking system and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to regulate and supervise it.

What bank is owned by African Americans? ›

OneUnited Bank is the nation's largest Black-owned and FDIC-insured bank. It was established by combining Black-owned banks from across the country.

What was the first Black-owned bank? ›

The first Black-owned bank was the True Reformers Bank, which was chartered in 1888 by Rev. William Washington Browne, but which didn't open until 1889. The first Black-owned bank to officially open was Capital Savings Bank in October of 1888.

What was the first largest bank failure in US history? ›

What are the top 3 biggest U.S. bank failures in history?
  1. Washington Mutual (WaMu), Henderson, NV ($309 Billion Assets) ...
  2. First Republic Bank, San Francisco, CA ($229 Billion Assets) ...
  3. Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, CA ($209 Billion Assets)
May 1, 2023

Is JP Morgan the oldest bank? ›

JPMorgan Chase is one of the world's oldest, largest and best-known financial institutions. With a history that traces our roots to 1799 in New York City, we carry forth the innovative spirit of our heritage firms in our global operations in over 60 countries.

Is Wells Fargo the oldest bank? ›

Wells Fargo operates under Charter No. 1, the first national bank charter issued in the United States. This charter was issued to First National Bank of Philadelphia on June 20, 1863, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Which is the top No 1 bank in the world? ›

JPMorgan Chase

What are the oldest operating banks in America? ›

Each currently is among the ten largest bank holding companies in the U.S. The oldest and smallest of the three, Bank of New York Mellon (or BNY Mellon) began in 1784 as the Bank of New York (BNY) with a charter authored by Alexander Hamilton, one of the leading U.S. founding fathers, who BNY has always identified as ...


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