Commerce Bancshares

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Commerce Bancshares, Inc.
S&P 400 Component
HeadquartersKansas City, Missouri, USA
Key people
David W Kemper, Chairman, President and CEO
ProductsFinancial services
$275.4 million (2016-12-31)[1]
Total assets$25.6 billion (2016-12-31)[2]
Number of employees
Commerce Tower headquarters in Kansas City
Commerce Bank footprint

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. is a Kansas City, Missouri, based U.S. bank holding company with branches of its Commerce Bank in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma.

Commerce Bancshares is the corporate parent of Commerce Bank, the successor of the Commerce Trust Company and the National Bank of Commerce. With roots dating back to its first charter in 1865, Commerce Bank is the oldest and largest bank in Kansas City.

As of December 31, 2010, it was listed as the 48th largest bank holding company in the United States as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank.[3]


Commerce was founded in 1865 by Francis Reid Long as the Kansas City Savings Association with $10,000 in capital. William Stone Woods acquired it in 1881 and it became the National Bank of Commerce, which at the time claimed to be the largest bank west of Chicago, Illinois.[4]

It became Commerce Bank in 1903 with William Thornton Kemper, Sr. as its first President. Following the Panic of 1907, it was briefly placed into receivership by the Comptroller of Currency. The bank paid its depositors and ownership returned to its owners.

Kemper set his son, James M. Kemper, up at Commerce and his other son, R. Crosby Kemper, at the competing City Center Bank. This later became UMB Financial Corporation. The Kemper family, from both institutions, still play a dominant role at both banks. They also are a major force in Missouri philanthropies, with their names applied to numerous buildings throughout the state, including Kemper Arena.

Harry S. Truman worked at the bank from April 24, 1903 to May 15, 1905 in the predecessor building to today's Commerce Tower. The evaluation in his first year said:

He is a willing worker, almost always here and tries hard to please everybody. We never had a boy in the vault like him before. He watches everything very closely and by his watchfulness, detects many errors which a careless boy would let slip through. His appearance is good and his habits and character are of the best.[5]

Truman signed the last steel beam added to the Commerce Tower.

In April 2007, Commerce purchased an Aurora, Colorado, based Commerce Bank with plans on expanding its business into the state of Colorado.[6]

For the fifth year in a row, Commerce Bank was ranked among the top ten on Forbes' 2014 list of America's Best Banks.[7]

Commerce Bank has assets totaling over $20 billion. Commerce Bank has been a successfully growing company for 150 ongoing years. [8]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ FFIERC.GOV - Retrieved March 17, 2011
  4. ^ Commerce History - - Retrieved November 16, 2007
  5. ^ Truman Places - National Bank of Commerce - Retrieved January 4, 2007
  6. ^ "Commerce Bank to Merge with Missouri-based Commerce Bank" (Press release). Commerce Bank Aurora. 2007-04-03. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "150 Years of Building Commerce Timeline | Commerce Bank". Retrieved 2018-11-02.

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