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1875American Express established first pension plan in the U.S.
1974Automated teller machines (ATMs) widely introduced.
1956Bank Holding Company (BHC) Act, putting multiple bank holding companies under federal supervision, passed. Stipulates that nonbanking activities of BHCs must be "closely related to the business of banking."
1960Bank Merger Acts of 1960 and 1966 set standards for mergers and placed them under federal authority.
1961Banking industry introduced fixed rate certificates of deposit.
1977Banking industry introduced variable rate certificates of deposit.
 Bank of America bought discount securities broker, Charles Schwab. Schwab reacquired the discounter in 1987.
1996Barnett Bank U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed banks to sell insurance nationwide.
1998Citibank and Travelers merged to form Citigroup, a firm engaged in all major financial services sectors.
2002Citigroup spun off its Travelers’ property/casualty insurance unit.
 Community Reinvestment Act passed to encourage banks to meet credit needs of their local communities.
1979Congress created the Central Liquidity Facility, credit union lender of last resort.
1980Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act provided universal requirements for all financial institutions, marking first step toward removing restrictions on competition for deposits.
 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) set minimum standards for pension plans in private industry; established the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to protect pension benefits.
1762Equitable Life Assurance founded. Was the world’s oldest mutual insurer until it failed in 2001.
1992European Union’s Third Non-Life Insurance Directive became effective, establishing a single European market for insurance.
 Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 authorized establishment of federally-chartered credit unions in all states.
 Federal Deposit Corporation, guaranteeing accounts up to $2,500, opened.
1932Federal Home Loan Bank Act established Federal Home Loan Bank System to act as central credit system for savings and loans institutions.
1913Federal Reserve established to replace J.P. Morgan as lender of last resort.
1987Federal Reserve ruling interpreting Section 20 of Glass-Steagall as permitting separately capitalized affiliates of commercial bank holding companies to engage in a variety of securities activities on a limited basis.
 Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation established by Congress to insure savings and loans deposits. Replaced by Savings Association Insurance Fund in 1989.
1983Federal government introduced collateralized mortgage obligations.
1989Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, providing government funds to insolvent savings and loan institutions (S&Ls) from the Resolution Trust Corporation and incorporating sweeping changes in the examination and supervision of S&Ls, established.
1999Financial Services Modernization Act (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) allowed banks, insurance companies and securities firms to affiliate and sell each other’s products. Restructured the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
1920Financial options introduced.
1955First U.S.-based international mutual fund introduced.
1880First corporate surety company established.
1976First individual variable life insurance policy issued.
1601First insurance legislation in the U.K. enacted. Modern insurance has its root in this law concerning coverages for merchandise and ships.
1759First life insurance company established in Philadelphia by the Synod of the Presbyterian Church.
1924First mutual funds established in Boston.
1950First package policies for homeowners insurance introduced.
1890First policies providing benefits for disabilities from specific diseases offered.
2004Fourteen investment banks formed a captive insurance company to provide an extra layer of coverage for clients whose losses from investments exceed the $500,000 in insurance provided by the federal Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
1850Franklin Health Assurance Company of Massachusetts offered first accident and health insurance.
1735Friendly Society, first insurance company in the U.S., established in Charleston, S.C. The mutual insurer went out of business in 1740.
1982Garn-St.Germain Depository Institutions Act authorized money market accounts and expanded thrifts’ lending powers. 
1933Glass-Steagall Act, separating banking and securities industries, passed by Congress.
1911Group life insurance for employees introduced.
1792Insurance Company of North America, first stock insurance company, established.
1978International Banking Act limited the extent to which foreign banks could engage in securities activities in the U.S.
1940Investment Company Act set structure and regulatory framework for modern mutual fund industry.
 J.P. Morgan Chase introduced an annuity, becoming one of the first banking companies to underwrite an insurance product under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
1990J.P. Morgan permitted to underwrite securities.
1962Keogh plans, providing savings opportunities for self-employed individuals, introduced under the Self Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act.
 Massachusetts passed first state credit union law.
1972Money market mutual funds introduced.
1968Mortgage insurance introduced.
1971Municipal bonds insured for first time in arrangement between American Municipal Bond Assurance Corporation (predecessor to Ambac Assurance Corporation) and Borough Medical Arts Building in Alaska.
1944National Association of Investment Companies, predecessor to the Investment Company Institute, formed and began collecting statistics.
1916National Bank Act, limiting bank insurance sales except in small towns, passed.
 National Credit Union Administration created to charter and supervise federal credit unions.
 National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund created by Congress to insure members’ deposits in credit unions up to the $100,000 federal limit. Administered by the National Credit Union Administration.
 New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and a number of state regulators launched investigations into the bidding and commissions practices of insurance brokers.
1849New York passed first general insurance law in the U.S.
1863Office of the Comptroller of the Currency established in the U.S. Treasury Department. Authorized to charter banks and issue national currency.
1782Pennsylvania chartered first bank in the U.S.
1936Revenue Act of 1936 established tax treatment of mutual funds.
1809Rhode Island was the scene of first bank failure.
1994Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act allowed bank holding companies to acquire banks in any state and, as of June 1, 1997, to branch across state lines.
1975SEC deregulated broker commissions by eliminating fixed commissions brokers charged for all securities transactions.
 Sarbanes-Oxley Act enacted to increase the accountability of the boards of publicly held companies to their shareholders. Strengthens the oversight of corporations and their accounting firms.
 Savings Association Insurance Fund, deposit insurance fund operated by the FDIC, established.
1791Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, established first Bank of the United States.
 Section 20 of Glass-Steagall amended to allow commercial bank affiliates to underwrite up to 25 percent of revenue in previously ineligible securities of corporate equity or debt.
 Securities Act of 1933, to regulate registration and offering of new securities, including mutual funds, to the public, passed.
1934Securities Exchange Act passed. Authorized Securities and Exchange Commission to provide for fair and equitable securities markets.
1909St. Mary’s Cooperative, first U.S. credit union, formed in New Hampshire.
2003State regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched investigations into late trading and market timing in the mutual funds and variable annuities industries.
1929Stock market crash. Nearly 10,000 U.S. banks failed.
 Stock market futures contracts introduced.
 The Buttonwood Agreement, pact between 24 brokers and merchants to trade securities on a common commission basis, marks origins of The New York Stock Exchange. Bank of America is first listed stock.
1997The Financial Services Agreement of the General Agreement on Trade in Services provided framework to reduce or eliminate barriers that prevent financial services from being freely provided across national borders, or that discriminate against foreign-owned firms.
 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve authorized banks to establish securities subsidiaries to combine the sale of securities with investment advisory services.
 The President signed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), whereby private insurers and the federal government share the risk of future losses from terrorism for a three-year period. 
1790The federal government refinanced all federal and state Revolutionary War debt, issuing $80 million in bonds. These became the first major issues of publicly-traded securities, marking the birth of the U.S. investment markets. 
1898Travelers Insurance Company issued first automobile insurance policy in the U.S.
2001U.S. House of Representatives Banking Committee renamed itself the Financial Services Committee.
1995U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NationsBank vs. Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company that annuities are not a form of insurance under the National Bank Act, thus allowing national banks to sell annuities without limitation. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 enacted to reduce the number of frivolous securities fraud lawsuits filed.
1970U.S. government introduced mortgage-related securities to increase liquidity.