north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     The North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) was established in 1897 by twenty-five bankers meeting at the Atlantic Hotel a popular resort in Morehead City. The men felt the need to establish a banker’s association and their constitution described their purpose, that being “to promote the general welfare and usefulness of banks and banking institutions, and to secure uniformity of action.” The Banker’s Association eventually would affect state laws, improve protection of its members from crimes, and help establish continuity of banking practices throughout the state. The organizational effort was headed by Thomas H. Battle, and the Association’s first Chairman, J.A. Long.

     The organization grew and, by 1922, had ten permanent staff members. Several influential North Carolinians have served as the Association’s Executive Vice President, including future Senator Jesse Helms from 1953 until 1960. Succeeding Helms was T. Harry Gatton, who headed the organization for twenty-one years and steered the NCBA through difficult financial times at both the national and state level.

     In 1996, a split in the Association between large corporate banks and smaller banks occurred, with the large banks leaving the Association to form the North Carolina Association of Financial Institutions. However, with changes in the banking industry and outside competition for the public’s banking business, the two organizations re-joined under the NCBA’s original charter from 1897.
     The group funds lobbying efforts in the General Assembly and the Congress on behalf of its membership. It provides educational and training programs, media relations, insurance benefits programs, the Carolina Banker magazine, regulatory and compliance assistance, and other services to its member financial institutions. It also operates, as a wholly owned subsidiary, the Community Investment Corporation of North Carolina which provides long-term low-cost financing for low to moderate income multi-family developments in the state.

T. Harry Gatton, Banking in North Carolina (1987)
Rah Bickley, “North Carolina Banks Unite in One Group,” (Raleigh) News and Observer, October 21, 1999
“NCBA Organized Sixty-Five Years Ago,” Tarheel Banker (July 1962)
North Carolina Banker’s Association:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources