Our history & heritage

The oldest parts of our company extend back 240 years. Since that time, we’ve come together from many sources to become what we are today: A company united in our purpose to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection.

Our story is all about the impact clients and communities can have and the progress they can make. And we are here to serve them, and to help them do it. This starts with a single idea for our company, across all of our businesses based on a simple question that has been core to our legacy of capabilities and service for 240 years: “What would you like the power to do?”

“ 'What would you like the power to do?' Listening to how people answer it is how we find out what matters most to them. This is why we’re here. And above all else, it’s what people want from us ”

-  Brian T. Moynihan,  Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America

Our roots

Our roots, from 1784 to 1850, are set in stories of our earliest heritage members and their roles in the evolution of a young United States. Learn about the making of the national anthem, the survival of our capital through the War of 1812, the discovery of comets, building a foundation for economic growth and more.

video button VIDEO: An independent bank for an independent nation Massachusetts Bank first depositor, Moses Michael Hays

VIDEO: An independent bank for an independent nation

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Handwritten copy of Star Spangled Banner composed by Francis Scott Key, an early Bank of America customer

Preserving the National Anthem

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Illustration of Bank of the Metropolis, circa 1817

Rebuilding our nation’s capital

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Flagscape

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Who wrote the poem that our national anthem came from?

Answer: Francis Scott Key

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State Bank of Albany, first location, 1803

The making of the financial capital of the world

The Shawmut Bank headquarters, Boston

The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution

video button VIDEO: The bank that saved Nantucket Ship on fire
1873 Interior of Boatmen’s banking quarters, circa 1870

The bank that helped St. Louis survive and thrive

The rise of industry

Between 1850 and 1900, the American Industrial Revolution sparked enormous social, political and economic advancement throughout the country. Our heritage includes stories of people who played a significant part in these events, from the making of great cities to revitalization after the Civil War to the vision of enterprising young bankers and beyond.

video button VIDEO: The building and rebuilding of Chicago Chicago

VIDEO: The building and rebuilding of Chicago

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Continental National Building 1906

Stabilizing Chicago's economy during the Civil War

U.S. Trust IL Central Railroad

Laying the groundwork for American Industry

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Flagscape

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What government-secured paper currency was created by the National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864?

Answer: The Greenback

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video button VIDEO: The making of Los Angeles into a metropolis LA metropolis

VIDEO: The making of Los Angeles into a metropolis

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Commercial National Building

Charlotte's textile industry roots, from emerging to booming

Early Seattle

Seattle’s first banker: Dexter Horton

First Merchants logo on building

Rebuilding Richmond after the Civil War

The modern era

From 1900 to 1950, our country entered the modern era, a time when our heritage stories tell of rapid progress with political and economic advancements. From Hollywood filmmakers to bridge engineers to the London stage, our legacy of people in support of innovation is rich.

video button VIDEO: Building the most photographed bridge in the world Golden Gate Bridge contruction

VIDEO: Building the most photographed bridge in the world

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Cecil Demille

Financing Hollywood through the Great Depression

Annie Grimes

America's first bond saleswoman

Flagscape

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Which national landmark, financed by Bank of America, is considered the world’s most photographed bridge?

Answer: The Golden Gate Bridge

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Disneyland financial center A

Building a small world

video button VIDEO: Every woman's bank Women's Department
Wine financing

The making of wine country

New York Times paper

The advice that helped many clients survive The Great Depression

Move Powers Brokers

The making of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid

London

Bringing Hollywood to London after World War II

Technology & innovations

In the half-century from 1950 to 2000, our heritage stories tell of people whose revelatory achievements led to technological advancement and international expansion. Learn about the advent of automated banking, the world's first electronic recording machine–accounting (ERMA) system, the development of magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR) and more.

video button VIDEO: Bank of America revolutionizes the banking industry 'ERMA' going to work for Bank of America

VIDEO: Bank of America revolutionizes the banking industry

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video button VIDEO: Introducing the modern credit card Bank of America card ad - 1960
China 1979

Expanding Merrill Lynch around the globe

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Flagscape

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What was the original name for Visa prior to 1976?

Answer: BankAmericard

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Today

In 1998, we introduced the Bank of America brand and our iconic Flagscape logo – signifying the merger of BankAmerica and NationsBank to create the first coast-to-coast bank in the U.S. In the two decades since, we have become a global financial services company that serves one out of every two households in the U.S. and the majority of Fortune 500 companies around the world. We are driving responsible growth, and our commitment to that has resulted in record results – strong earnings with high customer and employee satisfaction.

Along the way, we have made advances in technology and in how we serve clients, helping to transform financial services. We have pioneered the use of mobile and digital capabilities to put banking in the palm of your hand, and we continue to make it more convenient with the advent of mobile check deposit, peer-to-peer payments through Zelle, and our AI-assistant Erica. We have made investing accessible and affordable through Merrill Edge, while continuing to strengthen Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. And we bring global capabilities to help companies transact, access the capital markets, and, together, to drive the economy ahead.

In November 2018, we updated our logo to reflect this contemporary brand – one that delivers both cutting-edge technology and high-touch solutions for our clients. It is a symbol of a culture of service today, but one that is always looking to what the future holds for our clients and for the communities we serve.

And so today, we recognize how we got here, and the progress we have made, but we aren’t standing still. It all comes back to why we are here: To help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We continue to innovate how we deliver so our clients, communities and employees have the power to do more.