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An Overview of PNC Bank
PNC Bank, part of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., has its roots in the mid-19th century. Founded as Pittsburgh National Corporation, it grew through a series of mergers and expansions to become one of the largest banking institutions in the United States.
The bank established the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 10, 1845. However, the aftermath of the Great Fire of Pittsburgh delayed its full operational status until January 28, 1852, when it opened its doors at Liberty Avenue and 12th Street.
The institution underwent its first name change to The Pittsburgh Trust Company in 1853. In 1858, it moved its corporate offices to the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street in Pittsburgh, which remains central to its operations today.
PNC’s evolution continued with another significant milestone in 1863. Amidst the enactment of the National Banking Act, the bank sought and received the 48th national charter on August 5, 1863, becoming the First National Bank of Pittsburgh. This notable achievement, which marked it as the first bank in the country to apply for a national charter, took some time due to paperwork issues and the fact that the bank was already operational.
Acquisitions and Growth
Through strategic mergers and expansions, what began as a local bank in Pittsburgh transformed into Pittsburgh National Corporation and, eventually, one of the largest banking institutions in the United States, known today as PNC Bank. This growth trajectory is a testament to PNC’s ability to adapt and thrive within the changing financial landscape.
In 1946, a critical merger occurred when First National Bank merged with Peoples-Pittsburgh Trust Company, a close associate since the 1930s, forming Peoples First National Bank & Trust. This collaboration was further strengthened in 1959 when Peoples First merged with Fidelity Trust Company, leading to the formation of Pittsburgh National Bank.
The bank’s growth continued with a significant organizational shift in 1969, as Pittsburgh National Bank restructured into a holding company, becoming Pittsburgh National Corporation. This change paved the way for further expansion and diversification of services.
A landmark moment in the bank’s history occurred in 1982 with the merger of Pittsburgh National Corporation and Provident National Corporation. Both entities shared the PNC abbreviation, which led to the formation of a new entity, PNC Financial Corporation. This merger was the largest in American banking history then and created a financial powerhouse with $10.3 billion in assets.
PNC’s aggressive growth strategy included acquiring more than ten smaller banks and financial institutions between 1991 and 1996. One of the most significant was the $30 billion merger with Midlantic Bank of Edison, New Jersey, in 1996. This merger was a game-changer, expanding PNC’s market base from Kentucky to the New York metropolitan area and significantly increasing its size and reach. At the time, Midlantic Bank was approximately one-third the size of PNC, underscoring the scale of this expansion.
PNC’s Acquisition of National City
In a strategic and controversial move, PNC Financial Services acquired National City Corp. on October 24, 2008, amidst the turbulence of the subprime mortgage crisis. National City, based in Cleveland, Ohio, had suffered significant loan losses due to the crisis, leading to its untenable financial position.
The deal garnered considerable attention, partly because of how PNC utilized Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. PNC accepted TARP funds and, within hours, used them to purchase National City, a move that raised questions and controversy. This was especially so considering that National City had been denied access to these funds. The acquisition changed the financial landscape and impacted civic pride in Cleveland, where National City held a significant presence.
Current Services and Mortgage Products
PNC Bank boasts a significant presence across the United States, operating in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The bank’s extensive network includes 2,629 branches and 9,523 ATMs. This expansive reach places PNC Bank among the largest banks in the nation, not only in terms of assets but also in its number of branches, deposits, and ATMs.
Beyond its considerable banking operations, PNC Bank offers a comprehensive range of financial services. These include asset management, wealth management, and estate planning, catering to the diverse financial needs of its clients. Additionally, the bank is recognized for its proficiency in loan servicing and information processing.
PNC also has a mortgage division that offers a variety of loan products. These include fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, government-backed loans such as FHA loans, mortgage refinances, and HELOCs.