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Fortune Magazine’s namesake rankings have been around since the 1950’s. But why not take it back to America’s founding days?Bloomberg crunched the data heading back some 200 years ago and found that two banks that would have cracked the top five in 1812, still round out the top 20 today.
Those banks are Citibank and J.P. Morgan Chase.
In 1812, City Bank of New York (Citigroup today) and Manhattan Co. (J.P. Morgan Chase today) ranked fifth and eighth, respectively. Today the giants have swapped places, with J.P. Morgan at 13, and Citi one behind at 14.
Other banks that would have made the list, including Wells Fargo, are very different than the companies they were born from — mostly because mergers have changed the firms substantially.
As for the Bank of America that ranked second in 1812, it only shares a name with the Bank of America of today, nothing more.
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