BankAmerica Corporation History and Information

About the United States financial institution and business BankAmerica, their history and other information.




Location--Headquarters are in the Bank of America Center in San Francisco. The principal offices of the Bank of America are in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Finance America's executive offices are in Allentown, Pa. Milan is the headquarters for Banca D'America D'Italia.

How Created--Amadeo Peter Giannini opened the Bank of Italy in San Francisco in 1904. In 1909 the State of California passed a law permitting branch banking outside a bank's and by 1918 and 24 branches throughout the State. On November 30, 1930, Giannini consolidated his Bank of Italy with the Bank of California of America to form the Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association. In 1928 he had set up a holding company-TransAmerica Corporation-to own his bank's stock and to acquire banks and other investments outside California.

By 1948 TransAmerica controlled 645 bank offices in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as insurance companies, finance companies, real estate operations, and business services. TransAmerica was forced to sell its Bank of America stock between 1937 and 1952.

Meanwhile Bank of America continued to grow. In May, 1966, the bank announced a licensing plan to develop BankAmericard into a national all-purpose credit card. BankAmerica Corporation was organized as a holding company on October 7, 1968, to acquire the stock of Bank of America, which it did on March 31, 1969. On January 1, 1974, the new holding company acquired GAC Finance, Inc., the finance, loan, and insurance business of the former GAC Corporation. In August, 1974, GAC Finance, Inc., was renamed Finance-America Corporation.

Size--The corporation's subsidiary, Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association, has over 1,000 branches in California and over 100 branches in 47 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the world's largest commercial bank company. Another subsidiary, FinanceAmerica Corporation, has 442 offices in 41 States and Canada. Banca D'America D'Italia, 90% owned by the Bank of America, has 86 branches in Italy. Over 10,500 bank outlets in the U.S. and over 25,000 worldwide participate in the corporation's National BankAmericard, Inc.

Population--Work force (BankAmerica, 1973): 56,250; work force (FinanceAmerica, 1972): 2,724.

Who Rules-A 16-member board of directors.

Who REALLY Rules--Policy decisions are made by Chairman Chauncey J. Medberry, President and Chief Executive Officer Aldin Winship (Tom) Clausen, Vice-Chairman Clarence Herman Baumhefner, and the chairman of the General Trust Committee, Samuel B. Stewart.

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