The Newark Banking and Insurance Company was chartered by the Stat of New Jersey on February 18,1804. The capital of the bank was raised by subscription beginning in April 1804 and the Board of Directors was elected at a meeting of the stockholders on May 4. The bank opened for business on July 30.
In May 1805 the bank left its rented premises and moved to its own building on the corner Broad and Bank Streets. The bank stayed in that basic vicinity for the next 175 years.
The City of Newark continued to develop during the first half of the nineteenth century as new forms of transportation linked its markets with New York and Philadelphia. During this time the bank renewed its charter taking the opportunity to change its name to ” The Newark Banking Company” ( the bank had discontinued the insurance side of the company in 1829 because it was not as profitable as the banking business). Ten years later in 1865, the bank was reorganized as a national banking association- a distinction which freed it from the heavy taxation imposed by the Federal government on banknotes issued by state chartered banks. It was at this time the bank became the “National Newark Banking Company” . The remainder of the nineteenth century was full of challenges and advancements for the bank. The growth of the local business and industry to state and national stature were reflected in the growth of the banks resources.
Early in the twentieth century the bank consolidated with the” Essex County Banking Company”. The bank continued strategic consolidations throughout the twentieth century and in 1962 the bank changed its name to the “National Newark and Essex Banking Company ” to convey its further expansion.
By the late 1960’s the New Jersey State Legislature approved new laws that altered the way banks could do business. The change meant they could act as a holding companies allowing statewide banking (prior to this banks were barred from expanding statewide). The holding companies, once created allowed for statewide banking and provided a broader market for banking activities. National Newark and Essex took advantage of the new laws to become part of a holding company called Midlantic Bank Inc. National Newark was the lead bank in this holding company. There were three other banks in this holding company each representing a region of the state. The Midlantic Bank did experience some challenges in the ensuing years, but it endured. There are currently no Midlantic banks in Newark.
This blog features a Newark Banking Company passbook from 1861 and a postcard published circa 1931 when the National Newark Building opened.