Irving Trust was a bank headquartered in New York City, and the principal subsidiary (from 1965 on) of the Irving Bank Corporation. Between 1913 and 1931, its headquarters was in the Woolworth Building; after 1931, until it was acquired by Bank of New York, its headquarters was located at One Wall Street, at what is now known as the BNY Mellon Building.
The bank had its origins in 1851, when the Irving Bank of the City of New York was founded. Since there was not yet a federal currency, each bank issued its own paper and those institutions with the most appealing names found their certificates more widely accepted. The firm was named after Washington Irving, an author, diplomat, and lawyer who had gained an international reputation as America's first man of letters. His portrait appeared on the bank's notes and contributed to their wide appeal.
In June 1865, it converted from a state bank to a bank chartered under the National Bank Act of 1863, and became the Irving National Bank of New York. In 1907, after a merger, it became the Irving National Exchange Bank of New York, changing its name to the Irving National Bank in 1912. In February, 1923, it merged with and into the Columbia Trust Company, a New York State-chartered bank, creating the Irving Bank-Columbia Trust Company. Later, in 1926, it acquired by merger the American Exchange-Pacific Bank, and changed its name to the American Exchange Irving Trust Company. Finally, in 1929, it changed its name to the Irving Trust Company, the name under which it was known until 1989.
Merged into Bank of New York
On October 7, 1988 the Irving Trust board signed an agreement to merge with Bank of New York ending a yearlong battle as Bank of New York engineered a hostile takeover. At the time of the merger the combined banks became the United States' 12th largest bank with asset of $42 billion. During that year Irving had been trying to participate in a friendly merger with Banca Commerciale Italiana.
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