Lawyers and bankers. Two professions that haven’t always inspired warm and fuzzy feelings inside. Visions of busts, bubbles, bailouts, and the infamous “R” word (recession) still linger about in our not-so distant memory. But that hasn’t always been the case. Much how practicing attorneys, skilled in their way of the word, laid out the founding documents of our nation, bankers have always in the background helping to lay the financial groundwork underneath the cities that we love. Banking and finance actually go back quite a ways here in Charlotte. The first documented gold find in the U.S. took place just 26 miles east of Charlotte at Reed Gold Mine (Cabarrus County) and from 1804 to 1828, N.C. was the source of all gold produced in the entire country (take THAT sunshine state!). This helped to spur the establishment of Charlotte’s first bank in 1834 and the Charlotte Mint in 1835, specializing in gold coinage mined right here in Mecklenburg County. Several notable banks played a major role in the city’s growth, such as First National Bank of Charlotte (which was the first home of the Charlotte branch of the Federal Reserve), Commercial National Bank (1874) and American Trust Co. (1901) (which would later merge and change its name to North Carolina National Bank (NCNB). 80’s babies will remember NCNB and its subsequent name, NationsBank. A few game changing and quite frankly, gutsy moves by NCNB CEO, Tom Storrs, and top executive, Hugh McColl, in the late 1970’s and early 80s opened the acquisition “flood gates,” giving new meaning to “big bank take little bank.” Interested in reading more about how the Queen City became the #2 banking center in the country? Click here to see how it all went down. Charlotte & Banking. Till death do us part? Only time will tell.
Bank of America's corporate headquarters is shown in Charlotte, N.C.
North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) branch location. 1963.
The First National Bank was located at 112 South Tryon Street. 1931.