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Banking Timeline

1775 May 10 Paper currency called "Continental Money" is issued by the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War, circulation stopped on May 31, 1781.1
1782 January 7 Bank of North America opens in Philadelphia, the charter is granted by Congress in 1781.2
1785 July 6 Congress adopts the dollar as the currency of the United States.3
1791 February 25 The First Bank of the United States is chartered by Congress for twenty years.4
1792 April 2 Congress passes the Coinage Act which establishes the first U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.5
  May 17 Twenty-four traders meet at 68 Wall Street in New York City to create the Buttonwood Agreement, an arrangement for the buying and selling of shares and loans. 6
1812 June 16 City Bank of New York (later named Citibank) opens. 7
June 18 Congress declares war against England.
1816 April 13 Congress approves the charter for the Second Bank of the United States for twenty years. The bank is established to finance the debt accumulated from the War of 1812.8
1817 March 8 A group of New York City brokers establish the New York Stock and Exchange Board.9
1819   The Second Bank of the United States and other banks begin recalling federal loans for land; as a result many banks closed and loan holders were left bankrupt, this was later called the Panic of 1819.10
1835 March 3 Congress approves the establishment of U.S. mints in New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia.11
1838   New York passes the Free Banking Act which allows anyone to open a bank as long as they comply with certain legal conditions. Other states followed suit and these state banks began issuing their own money.12
1854 April 3 U.S. Mint opens in San Francisco, California on Commercial St.13
1861 May During the Civil War, the Confederates closed the U.S. Mints in New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia. The New Orleans Mint was later reopened in 1879 and ultimately closed in 1909.14
1862 July 1 President Abraham Lincoln signs the Revenue Act of 1862 which institutes an income tax to pay for the Civil War and establishes the Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.15
1863   New York Stock and Exchange Board is renamed New York Stock Exchange.16
  February 25 Congress approves the National Currency Act, later revised as the National Bank Act of 1864, which establishes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a national banking system, and a standardized national currency. The new national banking system is under the supervision of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.17
1864 June 3 President Abraham Lincoln signs the National Bank Act, a revision of the National Currency Act of 1863. It establishes an inspection system for national banks.18
1865   City Bank of New York joins the new U.S. national banking system and becomes The National City Bank of New York.19
1890 July 2 President Benjamin Harrison signs the Sherman Antitrust Act which prohibits trusts and other entities from preventing international and state-wide trade.20
1891   American Express is the first to create traveler’s checks.21
1894 August 27 Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act is passed by Congress to reduce tariff rates and to institute an income tax to make-up the tariff losses. During the U.S. Supreme Court case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company in 1895, the income tax was deemed unconstitutional.22
    National City Bank of New York becomes the largest bank in the U.S.23
    National City Bank of New York is the first major U.S. bank to establish a foreign department; begins foreign exchange trading.24
1900 March 14 Congress passes the Gold Standard Act which institutes gold as the standard medium of exchange for paper currency.25
1904   The National City Bank of New York introduces traveler’s checks.26
1907   The Panic of 1907 is caused by Augustus Heinze who tries unsuccessfully to corner the copper market. As a result, large groups of depositors withdrew funds from banks affiliated with the copper industry. Then, depositors begin withdrawing from other banks such as Knickerbocker Trust Company of New York. The mass withdrawals shook the stock market. J.P. Morgan and other bankers supplied wavering banks with funds to alleviate the panic.27
1913 February 25 The Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified giving Congress the right to collect federal income taxes.28
  December 23 Congress passes the Federal Reserve Act which established the Federal Reserve System (or Fed), the Federal Reserve Board, and twelve regional reserve banks.29
1927 February 25 President Calvin Coolidge signs the McFadden Act which prohibits interstate branch banking, but allows national banks to open branches in their headquarter cities if permitted by state law.30
1929   The National City Bank of New York becomes the largest commercial bank in the world.31
  October 24 The start of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, also called Black Thursday. Stock prices fall and 12,894,650 shares are traded.32
  October 28 The continuation of the crash, also called Black Monday. Stock prices continue to fall and over nine million shares are traded.33
  October 29 The worst day of the stock market crash, also called Black Tuesday. Over 16 million shares are traded.34
1930 June 17 President Herbert Hoover signs the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act. It raises U.S. tariffs which results in a decline in U.S. imports and exports.35
1932 July 22 Federal Home Loan Bank Act is passed by Congress to enable home ownership. The act establishes a Federal Home Loan Bank System, a Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), and twelve Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB).36
1932 February 27 The Glass-Steagall Act is signed by President Herbert Hoover. This act is also referred to as the first Glass-Steagall Act and the Banking Act of 1933. It increases the amount of credit Federal Reserve Banks can extend and allows commercial paper to be used as reserve.37
1933 June 16 The second Glass-Steagall Act also called the Banking Act of 1933 is signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and prohibits interest payments for checking accounts. It also separates commercial and investment banking, a bank could do one or the other but not both.38
1934 June 6 The Securities Exchange Act is signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It establishes the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to oversee security markets and to provide financial disclosure to stockholders and investors.39
1935 August 23 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves the Banking Act of 1935. The act permanently establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and expands the power of the Federal Reserve System. 40
1936 National City Bank of New York is the first bank in New York City to offer consumer checking accounts with no minimum-balance requirement.41
1944 July 1-22 United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference also called the Bretton Woods Conference was held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Forty-four governments attended and create the Articles of Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund. The agreement creates the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund to regulate international economic policy. 42
1945 December 27 The Articles of Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund also called the Bretton Woods Agreement is signed by almost thirty governments. The signatures implement the agreements made at the Bretton Woods Conference.43
1947 October General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)is signed at the Geneva Trade Conference. It is established to improve international trade by reducing tariffs and revising trade regulations. During the conference, a charter is drafted for an International Trade Organization (ITO) to oversee international trade but the ITO was never approved by Congress and was not established.44
1950 Diners Club Card is first issued. It is the first charge card.45
1955 The National City Bank of New York is renamed the First National City Bank of New York.46
1956 May 9 Bank Holding Company Act establishes new regulations for bank holding companies to purchase banks and prohibits interstate bank purchases. It also prohibits bank holding companies from engaging in non-banking activities.47
1958 October 1 American Express launches its own credit card, and other companies quickly follow.48
1960 National City Bank of New York installs Bankographs, the predecessor of Automatic Teller Machines (ATM), in their lobbies.49
1961 National City Bank of New York invents the negotiable certificate of deposit (CD).50
1966 Citibank introduces Dollar Certificates of Deposit in the London market, the first new negotiable instrument in the London market since 1888.51
1967 Citibank introduces its first credit card, "First National City Charge Service," popularly known as the "Everything" card.52
1968 May 29 The Truth in Lending Act which is part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968 is passed by Congress. The Act regulates the information that is provided to the consumer. It provides full disclosure to consumers of credit terms.53
First National City Corporation, a bank holding company, becomes the parent of First National City Bank.54
1969 The "Everything" card is converted to Master Charge (today's MasterCard).55
1970 December 31 The Bank Holding Company Act (BHCA) Amendments are passed by Congress. The Amendments are created to clarify aspects of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. It requires the Federal Reserve Board to regulate bank holding companies and establishes what non-bank activities are or are not permissible.56
1974 The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) is formed by regional Automated Clearing Houses. The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) is established to oversee the payments of Automated Clearing Houses. Automated Clearing Houses were established as a payment system to clear checks electronically.57
1974 The First National City Corporation holding company changes its name to Citicorp to better suit its global businesses. Citicorp introduces the floating rate note into the U.S. financial market.58
1975 New York City is on the verge of bankruptcy partially because of overextending their budget; however, there are other contributing factors. To prevent future fiscal issues, several organizations are established to oversee the city's finances such as the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) and the Emergency Financial Control Board (EFCB). In addition, the Governor of New York, Hugh Carey, petitioned the U.S. government for assistance. President Gerald Ford initially refused, but in November 1975 provided the city with short-term loans.59
1975 December 31 The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) is passed by Congress. The Act requires financial institutions to collect loan information, report the information to the government, and make it available to the public.60
1976 First National City Bank becomes Citibank, N.A.(for National Association).61
1977 Citibank launches Citicard Banking Centers, anchored by ATMS and the Citicard. The 24-hour ATMs are for the first time used for more than emergency cash.62
1978 September 17 The International Banking Act is passed by Congress. The Act delegates the regulation and supervision of foreign banks in the U.S. to the Federal Reserve.63
October 27 The Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act, also called the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, is signed by President Jimmy Carter. The Act is established to improve employment conditions. It instructs the government to balance the budget and trade and to establish a monetary policy.64
November 10 Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act is signed by President Jimmy Carter. The Act establishes the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and regulations for bank insider transactions and electronic fund transfers.65
1980 November 10 President Jimmy Carter signs the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act. The Act establishes reserve requirements for all banks including ones not in the Federal Reserve System. It also begins phasing out Regulation Q which dictates what banks can pay on deposits; and it authorizes savings and loans associations to issue credit cards among other rights. Finally, it exempted mortgage and other types of loans from state usury laws.66
1981 August 13 President Ronald Reagan signs the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA). It reduces individual income taxes and corporate taxes. It also provides tax incentives for savings and real estate investment as well as deductions for charitable donations and reductions for estate and gift taxes.67
1985 Citibank introduces Direct Access in New York, linking personal computers in homes and offices with Citibank.68
1986 Citicorp introduces unique touch-screen automated teller machine in New York City and Hong Kong.69
1986 October 22 President Ronald Reagan signs the Tax Reform Act (TRA) which is created to simplify the income tax code and to eliminate tax shelters.70
1989 August 9 President George H. W. Bush signs the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA). It abolishes the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) absorbs the responsibility of insuring deposits. It also abolishes the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), but creates the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) to take its place. The Act establishes the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to handle savings and loan failures. It also creates two insurance funds the Savings Association Insurance Fund (SAIF) and the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF).71
1991 December 19 President George H. W. Bush signs the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA) which increased the powers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It also gives the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) the authority to borrow directly from the U.S. Treasury to replenish the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF) and authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to close failing banks in the most cost-effective manner for the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF).72
December 19 The Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act (FBSEA) is part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA). The Act establishes federal standards for the creation of foreign banks in the U.S.; and the Federal Reserve Board is authorized to supervise and regulate foreign banking operations in the United States.73
1993 Citicorp becomes the largest credit card and charge card issuer and servicer in the world.74
1994 September 23 President William J. Clinton signs the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act (RCDRIA) which restricts non-bank lenders from abusive lending practices towards the low and moderate income homeowners, minorities, and the elderly. The Act also contains provisions to reduce bank regulatory and paperwork requirements.75
September 29 President William J. Clinton signs the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act which enables banks and bank holding companies to branch across states. It also enables interstate bank mergers if concentration limits, state laws, and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations are met.76
1998 October 8 All Citicorp and Travelers Group divisions merge to become Citigroup, Inc.77
1999 November 12 President William J. Clinton signs the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) which repeals the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Act allows commercial and investment banks to merge and enables competition between banking, insurance, and securities businesses.78
2001 October 26 President George W. Bush signs the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act which is also called the U.S.A Patriot Act. The act expands the authority of U.S. law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism, and expands the authority of the U.S. Treasury to investigate any activities which finance terrorist acts. It increases law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone and email communications and other personal records.79
October 26 The International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act is part of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act which is also called the U.S.A Patriot Act. The International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act is established to prevent money laundering. The Act requires additional record keeping and reporting by U.S. banks for accounts held by foreign banks and peoples; and it also requires banks to enact anti-money laundering programs.80
December 2 Enron Corporation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was revealed in 2001 that the Enron Corporation was committing accounting fraud.81
2002 July 30 President George W. Bush signs the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which is enacted as a result of Enron and other accounting scandals. The Act establishes the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to oversee public accounting firms that audit publicly traded companies. It also prohibits accounting firms from providing both auditing and consulting services; and requires Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to certify the annual and quarterly reports of publicly traded companies. It also requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide rules and regulations for audits.82
2003 December 4 President George W. Bush signs the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) which is designed to improve the national credit reporting system and to reduce identity theft. The Act provides consumers with a free copy of their credit report each year, if they request it, and allows consumers to put a fraud alert on their credit report. In addition, the Act requires businesses to partially conceal credit card numbers on receipts.83
2004 October 28 President George W. Bush signs the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act which is also called Check 21. The Act reduces some of the legal restrictions of check truncation which is removing the paper check from the processing system and substituting it with a digital image of the original paper check. The substitute check can be used to process the check electronically.84
2006 October 13 President George W. Bush signs the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act which is designed to reduce the regulatory burdens on banks, savings and loans, and credit unions.85
2006 December 12 President George W. Bush signs the Financial Netting Improvements Act which revises the Bankruptcy Code and clarifies the safe harbor protections.86

1. James W. Gilbert, The History of Banking in America (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green &Longman, 1837; reprint New York: Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, 1967), 3-4.
2. Ibid., 4.
3. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1780-1789, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1600-1799.shtml#4 (accessed October 26, 2007)
4. James W. Gilbert, The History of Banking in America (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, 1837; reprint New York: Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, 1967), 6-7.
5. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1790-1799, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1600-1799.shtml#5 (accessed October 26, 2007)
6. NYSE Euronext, Timeline, http://www.nyse.com/about/history/timeline_events.html (accessed October 26, 2007)
7. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
8. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1810-1819, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1800-1899.shtml#2 (accessed October 26, 2007)
9. NYSE Euronext, Timeline, http://www.nyse.com/about/history/timeline_events.html (accessed October 26, 2007)
10. Richard Hildreth, The history of banks: to which is added a demonstration of the advantages and necessity of free competition in the business of banking (London: Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1837; reprint 1996), 64-72.
11. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1830-1839, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1800-1899.shtml#4 (accessed October 26, 2007)
12. Richard H. K. Vietor, "Regulation-Defined Financial Markets: Fragmentation and Integration in Financial Services," in Wall Street and Regulation, ed. Samuel L. Hayes, III (Boston: Harvard Business School Press: 1987), 9-10.
13. United States Department of the Treasury, United States Mint at San Francisco, http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/mint_facilities/index.cfm?action=SF_facilities (accessed October 26, 2007)
14. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1830-1839, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1800-1899.shtml#4 (accessed October 26, 2007)
15. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1860-1869, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1800-1899.shtml#7 (accessed October 26, 2007)
16. NYSE Euronext, Timeline, http://www.nyse.com/about/history/timeline_events.html (accessed October 26, 2007)
17. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1860-1869, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1800-1899.shtml#7 (accessed October 26, 2007).
18. Ibid.
19. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
20. United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division Manual: Chapter II Statutory Provisions and Guidelines of the Antitrust Division § 1 Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/foia/divisionmanual/two.htm#a1 (accessed October 26, 2007)
21. American Express Company, Our History: Innovation and Expansion, http://home3.americanexpress.com/corp/os/history.asp (accessed October 26, 2007)
22. Steven R. Weisman,The Great Tax Wars: Lincoln to Wilson the fierce battles over money and power that transformed the nation (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), 133-153.
23. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
24. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
25. A.T. Huntington and Robert J. Mawhinney, Laws of the United States concerning money, banking, and loans, 1778-1909 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910), 704-705.
26. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
27. Elmus Wicker, Banking Panics of the Gilded Age, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 88-98.
28. United States Department of the Treasury, History of the Treasury: 1910-1919, http://www.treas.gov/education/history/events/1900-present.shtml#1(accessed October 2007)
29. Richard H. K. Vietor, "Regulation-Defined Financial Markets: Fragmentation and Integration in Financial Services," in Wall Street and Regulation, ed. Samuel L. Hayes, III (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1987), 12.
30. Eugene Nelson White, The Regulation and Reform of the American Banking System, 1900-1929, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1983), 164-165.
31. Citi, Citigroup's History, http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/corporate/history/citibank.htm (accessed October 26, 2007)
32. John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), 103-104.
33. John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), 114.
34. John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972), 116-117.
35. U.S. Department of State, Hawley-Smoot Tariff, 1930 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/id/17606.htm (accessed November 5, 2007)
36. Federal Home Loan Banks: A National of Local Lenders, FHL Bank History, http://www.fhlbanks.com/html/history.html (accessed November 5, 2007)
37. Allan H. Meltzer, A History of the Federal Reserve: Volume I, 1913-1951, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003), 357-358.
38. Allan H. Meltzer, A History of the Federal Reserve: Volume I, 1913-1951, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003), 429-434.
39. Richard H. K. Vietor, "Regulation-Defined Financial Markets: Fragmentation and Integration in Financial Services," in Wall Street and Regulation, ed. Samuel L. Hayes, III (Boston: Harvard Business School Press: 1987), 22.
40. Kerry S. Cooper and Donald R. Fraser, Banking Deregulation and the New Competition in Financial Services, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1986), 50-54.
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44. John H. Jackson, The World Trading System: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1989), 32-39.
45. Diners Club International, Company History, http://www.dinersclubus.com/dce_content/us/aboutdinersclub/companyhistory (accessed November 8, 2007)
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47. Richard H. K. Vietor, "Regulation-Defined Financial Markets: Fragmentation and Integration in Financial Services," in Wall Street and Regulation, ed. Samuel L. Hayes, III (Boston: Harvard Business School Press: 1987), 26-28.
48. Lewis Mandell, The Credit Card Industry: A History, (Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers, 1990), 28.
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81. CNN.com Europe, Enron in Chapter 11 filing , http://edition.cnn.com/2001/BUSINESS/12/02/enron.filing/index.html (accessed November 9, 2007)
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83. The White House, Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031204-3.html (accessed November 9, 2007)
84. The Federal Reserve Board, Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, http://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/truncation/ (accessed November 9, 2007)
85. David F Freeman Jr., "Banking Law Developments: Arnold & Porter, LLP-Washington, DC," The Investment Lawyer 14, no 1 (January 2007), 29(2), ABI/INFORM (accessed November 9, 2007)
86. David Dykhouse, "The Financial Netting Improvements Act Of 2006," Mondaq Business Briefing (February 14, 2007) General OneFile (accessed November 9, 2007)