Bank of America
Now one of the Big Four banks and with a presence in all 50 states, Bank of America traces its roots, and its banking licence, back to October 1904 when Amadeo Pietro Giannini started the Bank of Italy.
Despite its name, the San Francisco-based Bank of Italy it had no formal ties to the country of Italy. In fact, it’s name comes from the fact that the original bank targeted migrants from Italy and Italian-Americans, many of whom were discriminated against by other major local banks.
The Bank of Italy merged with Bank of America, Los Angeles, which was run by Orra E. Monnette. The Bank of America, Los Angeles was an early pioneer of a bank branch system with a centralised accounting system and relied on headquarters to distribute cash via armoured trucks to branches.
With expansion throughout California and the west coast planned, the merged bank formally took on the Bank of America name in 1930.
Fun Fact: In 1958, Bank of America issued the first bank-backed credit card, BankAmericard. After letting other banks license and use the system, the system grew into own company in 1970 and eventually adopted the Visa name in 1978.