Commerce Bancshares

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Commerce Bancshares, Inc.
Company typePublic
S&P 400 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1865; 159 years ago (1865)
HeadquartersKansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Key people
David W. Kemper (executive chairman)
John W. Kemper (president and CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$1.489 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022)[1]
Decrease US$0.632 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022)[1]
Decrease US$0.488 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022)[1]
Total assetsDecrease US$31.876 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022)[1]
Total equityDecrease US$2.482 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022)[1]
Number of employees
4,594 (2022)
Commerce Bank operates from 1000 Walnut in Kansas City, one of two central hubs for the Missouri-based bank.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a regional bank holding company based in Missouri, United States, with primary hubs in Kansas City and St. Louis. It is the corporate parent of Commerce Bank, which offers a diversified line of financial services, including business and personal banking, wealth management and investments through its affiliated companies.

Commerce operates more than 275 branch and ATM locations across Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado and has operating subsidiaries involved in mortgage banking, credit-related insurance, venture capital and real estate activities.

As of March 31, 2023, Commerce Bank was the 61st largest commercial bank in the United States, as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank.[2]


Commerce was founded by Francis Reid Long with $10,000 in capital in 1865, just as communities were rebuilding during Reconstruction. Originally known as the Kansas City Savings Association, it was acquired in 1881 by Dr. William Stone Woods and renamed the National Bank of Commerce, claiming at the time to be the largest bank west of Chicago.[3] Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, worked as a clerk and cashier at the bank in the early 1900s. When describing Dr. Woods, Truman once said, "There are dozens of stories about his close accounting of the nickels and pennies, but if he chose to back a man, he stayed with him through thick and thin if that man had energy and character."[3] Dr. Woods would go on to transform the Kansas City bank into a modern financial institution.

Truman's housemate at the time was fellow Commerce employee Arthur Eisenhower, brother of future war hero and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Arthur went on to work at Commerce for more than 50 years.[3]

The bank became Commerce Bank in 1903 with William Thornton Kemper Sr. as its first president. Kemper set up one of his sons, James M. Kemper, at Commerce and his other son, Rufus Crosby Kemper Sr., at the competing City Center Bank, which later became UMB Financial Corporation. Members of the Kemper family still play a dominant role at both banks. They also are a major force in Missouri philanthropies, with their names attached to numerous buildings throughout the state, including Kemper Arena.

In 1928, Commerce opened the nation's first 24-hour banking transit department, where checks or transit items drawn from out-of-town banks could be cleared and collected.[3] The bank was an early adopter in other ways as well. In 1955, it installed the latest moving "electric stairs" in the Walnut Lobby of its Kansas City headquarters. In that same lobby, President Bill Clinton announced his 1994 plan for welfare reform, using the occasion to recognize the bank's participation in "welfare-to-work" programs.[3]

After World War II, Commerce Bank continued to play an important role in the Midwest's growth. It funded business growth, working with H&R Block, Sprint (originally called United Utilities), and Trans World Airlines, which had its main overhaul base at Kansas City International Airport. In 1954, the Commerce Trust Company allowed Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, to take out a $60,000 loan against Disney's life insurance policy to help fund the development of a new theme park Disney envisioned. Disneyland opened in California a year later, and by the end of its first year in operation, the park had already attracted 3.6 million guests.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, Commerce grew alongside the American economy, expanding throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. In 1968, Commerce became the first bank in Missouri to enter the credit card business.[3] In 1969, Commerce helped Ewing Kauffman, the owner of Marion Laboratories buy the Kansas City Royals. Commerce remains the Royals' bank.[3] After a young Johnny Morris opened a bait and tackle shop in the back of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, Commerce provided the line of credit he needed in 1974 to open a second store in a chain known today throughout North America as Bass Pro Shops.[3] When the financial crisis caused a recession in 2008, Commerce was the country's sixth largest bank to decline financial assistance from the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.[3]

Commerce Bank operates full-service branches in five Midwestern states, with commercial operations in 11 additional states and commercial payments services in 48 states.
Commerce Bank footprint

Appearing regularly on lists recognizing top banks, Commerce later added Colorado and Oklahoma to its banking footprint, with additional commercial offices throughout the Midwest and commercial payments services available in 48 states. In 2023, Commerce completed Commerce Bank Tower, a 15-story building adjacent to Commerce Bank's office building at 8000 Forsyth Blvd. in Clayton, Missouri.

Lines of business[edit]

St. Louis serves as one of two central hubs for Commerce Bank, which operates from 8000 and 8001 Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton, Missouri.

Commercial Banking Commerce Bank serves more than 13,000 businesses through its commercial banking and payments solutions.[4] The bank's commercial services include corporate lending, merchant and commercial card products, payment and treasury solutions, leasing and international services, as well as business and government deposit, investment and cash management. The commercial banking business contributed 53% of Commerce Bank's pre-tax income in 2022.[4]

Consumer Banking – Commerce Bank's consumer banking serves more than 812,000 households from more than 275 branch and ATM locations in its retail network, along with online and mobile banking. The bank's consumer services include checking, savings, installment loans, personal mortgages and debit and credit cards. The consumer banking business contributed 23% of Commerce Bank's pre-tax income in 2022.[4]

Commerce Bank Tower, 8001 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton, Missouri, was completed in 2023.

Wealth Management – Commerce Trust, a division of Commerce Bank, provides investment management, financial planning, trust and private banking services to high-net-worth individuals and institutions. Commerce Family Office, an operating unit of Commerce Trust, provides investment consulting, tax planning, trust administration, philanthropy and family governance to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. With more than $37.2 billion in total assets under management on December 31, 2022, Commerce Trust ranked 20th in bank-managed trust companies in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.[5] Commerce Bank’s wealth management businesses contributed 24% of the bank’s pre-tax income in 2022.[4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Forbes' World's Best Banks In 2023, Forbes named Commerce Bank one of the World's Best Banks for the fifth consecutive year.[6]
  • Forbes' America's Best Banks As of 2023, Commerce Bank has been named one of America's Best Banks 13 of the past 14 years.[7]
  • Forbes' Best Banks in Missouri In 2023, Commerce Bank was ranked the 4th best bank in Missouri on Forbes' list of America's Best Banks in Each State.[8]
  • Forbes' America's Best Midsize Employers In 2023, Commerce Bank was recognized on Forbes’ America’s Best Midsize Employers List for the sixth consecutive year.[9]
  • Forbes' Best Employers in Missouri In 2022, Commerce Bank ranked 49th on this list.[10]
  • Newsweek's America's Greatest Workplaces In 2023, Newsweek named Commerce Bank to its list of America's Greatest Workplaces.[11]
  • Global Finance named The Private Bank at Commerce Trust the 2021 Best U.S. Regional Private Bank in the Midwest.[12] The award recognizes The Private Bank's efforts to stretch its capabilities during the pandemic to work with clients experiencing cashflow difficulties.
  • Human Rights Campaign's 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) Commerce Bank received a score of 90 on the nation's foremost benchmarking survey and report that measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Commerce Bancshares, Inc. 2022 Annual Report". December 31, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  2. ^ "FRB: Large Commercial Banks-- June 30, 2023". Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "150 Years of Building Commerce". 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d "Commerce Bank 2022 Annual Report". Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  5. ^ "S&P Global Market Intelligence". Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  6. ^ Bisnoff, Jason. "The World's Best Banks 2022: As Covid Recedes, Banks Get A Boost From Higher Rates But Inflation Could Spoil The Party". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  7. ^ Bisnoff, Jason. "America's Best Banks 2022". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  8. ^ PEACHMAN", "RACHEL RABKIN. "America's Best Banks In Each State 2023". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  9. ^ SCHWARZ", "ALAN. "America's Best Midsize Employers 2023". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  10. ^ SCHWARZ", "ALAN. "America's Best Employers By State 2023". Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  11. ^ Newsweek (July 5, 2023). "America's Greatest Workplaces 2023". Newsweek. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  12. ^ "Global Finance Magazine - World's Best Private Banks 2021: US Regional". Global Finance Magazine. July 18, 2023. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  13. ^ "The 2022 Corporate Equality Index". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved August 31, 2023.

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