As part of its 125th Anniversary celebration, WBA is digging deep into its archives to share a variety of historic gems. In this particular case, we’ve created a timeline of significant events related to Wisconsin’s banking industry that occurred between 2001 and 2010.


On September 11, terrorist attacks rock New York City and Washington, D.C., eventually resulting in the passage of the U.S.A Patriot Act, which gave the Treasury extra authority to investigate money laundering. Enron Corporation files for bankruptcy.


In response to increasing accounting scandals such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco, Congress passes the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.


Electronic payments outnumber paper checks for the first time in history. New regulations continue to pile on with the enactment of the FACT Act and Check 21.


Three U.S. banks cross $1 Trillion asset threshold, largely due to commercial and investment banks merging: Bank of America, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan Chase. By the end of 2005, the ten largest banks will hold nearly 60 percent of the industry’s total assets.


Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson engages in a failed campaign for U.S. President. On June 29, the first iPhone goes on sale.


The Treasury takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on September 7. On September 16, investment bank Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy. On September 18, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tell key legislators if they don’t approve a $700 billion emergency bailout the U.S. economy will collapse. Global markets plummet as ongoing struggles in the U.S. subprime mortgage market develops into a full-blown global financial crisis.


President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law on July 21. On November 19, the FDIC and Wisconsin DFI closed Burlington-based First Banking Center, making it the fifth Wisconsin financial institution closed since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. Nationally, 317 banks failed between January 2008 and December 2010.