BRIEF HISTORY 
BRIEF HISTORY


YEAR

EVENT
1601First insurance legislation in the U.K. enacted. Modern insurance has its root in this law concerning coverages for merchandise and ships.
1735Friendly Society, first insurance company in the U.S., established in Charleston, S.C. The mutual insurer went out of business in 1740.
1759First life insurance company established in Philadelphia by the Synod of the Presbyterian Church.
1762Equitable Life Assurance founded. Was the world’s oldest mutual insurer until it failed in 2001.
1782Pennsylvania chartered first bank in the U.S.
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. 
1791Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, established first Bank of the United States.
1792Insurance Company of North America, first stock insurance company, established.
 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.
1809Rhode Island was the scene of first bank failure.
1849New York passed first general insurance law in the U.S.
1850Franklin Health Assurance Company of Massachusetts offered first accident and health insurance.
1863Office of the Comptroller of the Currency established in the U.S. Treasury Department. Authorized to charter banks and issue national currency.
1875American Express established first pension plan in the U.S.
1880First corporate surety company established.
1890First policies providing benefits for disabilities from specific diseases offered.
1898Travelers Insurance Company issued first automobile insurance policy in the U.S.
1909St. Mary’s Cooperative, first U.S. credit union, formed in New Hampshire.
 Massachusetts passed first state credit union law.
1911Group life insurance for employees introduced.
1913Federal Reserve established to replace J.P. Morgan as lender of last resort.
1916National Bank Act, limiting bank insurance sales except in small towns, passed.
1920Financial options introduced.
1924First mutual funds established in Boston.
1929Stock market crash. Nearly 10,000 U.S. banks failed.
1932Federal Home Loan Bank Act established Federal Home Loan Bank System to act as central credit system for savings and loans institutions.
1933Glass-Steagall Act, separating banking and securities industries, passed by Congress.
 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, guaranteeing accounts up to $2,500, opened.
 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.
 Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation established by Congress to insure savings and loans deposits. Replaced by Savings Association Insurance Fund in 1989.
 Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 authorized establishment of federally-chartered credit unions in all states.
1936Revenue Act of 1936 established tax treatment of mutual funds.
1940Investment Company Act set structure and regulatory framework for modern mutual fund industry.
1944National Association of Investment Companies, predecessor to the Investment Company Institute, formed and began collecting statistics.
1950First package policies for homeowners insurance introduced.
1955First U.S.-based international mutual fund 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.
1962Keogh plans, providing savings opportunities for self-employed individuals, introduced under the Self Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act.
1968Mortgage insurance introduced.
1970U.S. government introduced mortgage-related securities to increase liquidity.
 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.
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.
1972Money market mutual funds introduced.
1974Automated teller machines (ATMs) widely introduced.
 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.
1975SEC deregulated broker commissions by eliminating fixed commissions brokers charged for all securities transactions.
1976First individual variable life insurance policy issued.
1977Banking industry introduced variable rate certificates of deposit.
 Community Reinvestment Act passed to encourage banks to meet credit needs of their local communities.
1978International Banking Act limited the extent to which foreign banks could engage in securities activities in the U.S.
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.
 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.
1982Garn-St.Germain Depository Institutions Act authorized money market accounts and expanded thrifts’ lending powers. 
 Stock market futures contracts introduced.
1983Federal government introduced collateralized mortgage obligations.
 Bank of America bought discount securities broker, Charles Schwab. Schwab reacquired the discounter in 1987.
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.
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.
 Savings Association Insurance Fund, deposit insurance fund operated by the FDIC, established.
1990J.P. Morgan permitted to underwrite securities.
1992European Union’s Third Non-Life Insurance Directive became effective, establishing a single European market for insurance.
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.
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.
1996Barnett Bank U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed banks to sell insurance nationwide.
 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.
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.
1998Citibank and Travelers merged to form Citigroup, a firm engaged in all major financial services sectors.
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.
2001U.S. House of Representatives Banking Committee renamed itself the Financial Services Committee.
2002Citigroup spun off its Travelers’ property/casualty insurance unit.
 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
 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.
 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. 
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.
2004New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and a number of state regulators launched investigations into the bidding and commissions practices of insurance brokers.
2005Congress passed legislation extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) to December 2007. The Act, originally passed in 2002 to provide a federal backstop for terrorism insurance losses, had been set to expire at the end of 2005.
2006President Bush signed the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Conforming Amendments Act of 2005, which merges the Bank Insurance Fund and the Savings Association Insurance Fund into the new Deposit Insurance Fund, and increases the deposit insurance limit for certain  retirement accounts from $100,000 to $250,000, and indexes that limit to inflation.
 Congress passed landmark pension reform legislation to close funding shortfalls in the nation's defined benefit system.  The Act  also provides  tax incentives for workers to enroll in individual retirment accounts,  secures the legality of cash balance pension plans, and permits automatic enrollment in employer-sponsored defined contribution pension plans such as 401(k)s.  
 Massachusetts became the first state to pass a universal health insurance law.
 NASD and the New York Stock Exchange announced a plan to form a new self-regulatory organization to serve as the single regulator for all securities firms doing business in the U.S.