Guide to African American History

Division of Finance

The State Banking Department was created in 1907, assuming some bank chartering functions administered by the Secretary of State's office. The department was renamed at various times throughout the twentieth century, and is now the Division of Finance within the Department of Economic Development. The division is responsible for the incorporation and regulation of state-chartered banks, trust companies, savings banks, and savings and loan associations.

Record Group 132: Division of Finance: Bank Charters (Inactive), c1860s - Present; arranged numerically by charter number.

In 1865, the federal government created the National Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company; a branch was established in St. Louis in 1868, but closed in 1873. Other state-chartered banks, though not specifically in business for African Americans, filled the void for those wishing to save money.

This series contains inactive bank charters from the Department of Economic Development's Division of Finance. Since its inception in 1921, the Division of Finance has been responsible for the incorporation, regulation, and licensing of state-chartered banks and trust companies. Prior to 1909, supervision of banks and trust companies was with the Secretary of State's office. In 1907, the State Banking Department was established; it managed and controlled banks from 1909 through 1921. These original bank charters, dating back to the 1860s, are certificates of organization and include information about the incorporation and dissolution of banks throughout the state. The documents primarily consist of capital stock figures and statistics regarding bank shares and stockholders.

Record Group 132: Division of Finance: Domestic & Foreign Investment Department, 1920 - 1922; arranged chronologically.

Under the Domestic and Foreign Investment Companies Act of 1920, popularly known as the "Blue Sky Law," firms were required to register with the Bank Commissioners for permission to offer for sale to the public any investment securities, such as stocks and bonds. The law was administered by the Domestic & Foreign Investment Department, almost always referred to as the "Blue Sky Commission." The correspondence in this series covers a variety of topics, including an inquiry into two "colored" companies in Kansas City selling stock without a license.