Bank of America, Los Angeles

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The Bank of America, Los Angeles [1] was established in 1923 by Orra E. Monnette, emerging from a series of mergers between Los Angeles based banks between 1909 and 1923. The formation of BoA L.A. predates the creation of the Bank of America, merging with the Bank of Italy (USA) in 1928-29 to form the Bank of America.

The foundation was the Los Angeles based American National Bank of Los Angeles (ANB) which Monnette purchased controlling interest using profits from his father's silver mine in Tonopah, Nevada. In 1909, ANB was merged into Citizens Trust and Savings Bank; in 1911, Monnette purchased the Broadway Bank and Trust Company, which when merged with the family’s other holdings formed the Citizens Bank and Trust Company in 1911.[2]

In 1923, Citizens Bank and Trust Company was renamed Bank of America, Los Angeles. Monnette’s intention was to build capital for national expansion; however in 1928 Monnette was approached by Amadeo Giannini, founder of the Bank of Italy (San Francisco, California), who was interested in pursuing a merger with BoA. Both men were concerned about the state of the American economy.

One thing that the Bank of America, Los Angeles had that made it an attractive merge partner was its advanced bank branch system that employed centralized accounting and cash distribution system. BoA LA had its own secured fleet of armoured cars to transport branch cash supplies, keeping its branches stock with controlled amounts while other banks kept larger amounts on site, and thus away from investment purposes. With Monnette wishing to ease into retirement, and with no real heir apparent, BoA LA welcomed the combination of the two concerns under the name Bank of America. (Monnette would use this same design to help the Los Angeles Public Library - the Board of which he chaired - create a modern, full service branch library system that is still in use today.)

The resulting Bank of America emerged prior to the stock market crash of 1929.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ira Brown Cross, Financing an empire: history of banking in California (The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1927), pp. 318, 330 and 370.
  2. ^ State of California, Annual Report of the Superintendent of Banks, State of California, Citizens Bank and Trust Company Vol. XII (State of California, 1921), pp. 366-377.