Our Heritage

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At Bank of America, our heritage is woven into our very name. When our earliest predecessor, the Massachusetts Bank, opened for business on 5 July 1784, the United States Constitution had yet to be adopted. The inauguration of George Washington as America's first president would not take place for another five years.

In his role as the Massachusetts governor, John Hancock signed the bank’s charter, making us the second bank to receive a state charter and one of only three commercial banks in existence in the U.S. at the time.

Since then, we have has grown steadily. A series of acquisitions has drawn together several thousand companies, connecting people and resources, and expanding capabilities to benefit customers, clients and communities around the world.

Through the centuries, generation after generation, the financial institutions that are part of our legacy have played a role in the development of our company’s culture. With a commitment to ensuring that our success is linked to that of our stakeholders and communities, around the world, Bank of America continues a proud tradition of innovation, performance and service.

Learn more about our heritage