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ABA History

The American Bankers Association has always been at the heart of the innovations that have helped bankers serve their customers.

In the aftermath of the economic Panic of 1873, bankers from across the country conceived a new organization that would them stay connected, share resources and solutions and advocate on behalf of a united banking industry. On July 20, 1875, 350 bankers representing 32 states and territories gathered in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to charter the American Bankers Association.

The new organization would, uniquely for the time, represent the interests of national banks, state banks, savings banks and trust companies, as well as banks in both cities and small towns—overcoming previous divisions along lines of charters and bank size.

And thus, out of a deep panic was born a dynamic and progressive organization—one that would provide not just infrastructure to help banks operate day-to-day but furnish the time and space for bankers to plan for the future and innovate.

Much has changed and evolved since 1875, but at its core, the business of banking remains the same: keeping deposits safe, giving customers convenient choices and making loans to help people buy homes and grow businesses. All along, the association has always been at the heart of the innovations that have helped bankers serve their customers.

Explore the History of Banks and of The ABA