Who We Are

George Hague, banker from Montreal, who was the first president of the CBA in 1879
George Hague, banker,
Montreal, QC, 1879
Notman & Sandham

One of Canada’s oldest business associations, the CBA was founded in Montreal on December 17, 1891 and subsequently incorporated by a special act of Parliament in 1900.

During the revision of the Bank Act in 1890, both bankers and the government realized that a more formal banking organization was required, similar to what existed in the United States and Britain. George Hague, General Manager of the Merchants Bank of Canada, was elected President of the new association in 1891.

The Journal

George Hague, first president of the CBA, 1891-1893 First page of the first issue of the Journal of the Canadian Bankers’ Association, 1893
George Hague, first
president of the CBA,
1891-1893
First page of the first
issue of the Journal of
the Canadian Bankers’
Association, 1893

At the second annual meeting of the association held in June 1893, George Hague suggested “the publication of a “Quarterly” purely in the interest of banks and their officers.” The first issue of the Journal of the Canadian Bankers Association, was published in September of the same year with a lead article on “Banking in Canada” by B.E. Walker, General Manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and then president of the CBA.

Subscriptions could be purchased for one dollar per year. In 1968, the editor wryly remarked that the magazine “represent[ed] one of the staunchest bulwarks against inflation in Canadian economic history [given that] its subscription of $1 per year for 1893 had increased only to $2 per year by 1968.” In 1936, the name of the Journal was changed to The Canadian Banker and was published continuously under that name until the final issue was printed in the autumn of the year 2000.

Membership

public notice published by the CBA
This public notice,
published by the CBA
during the First World
War, demonstrates the
effect of the war on Canadian
bank employees and their
ability to provide service

Back in the 1890s, the Association was a voluntary organization with about 600 individuals – bank associates from the nation’s banks including the Bank of British North America, the Canadian Bank of Commerce, the Merchants' Bank of Halifax (which became the Royal Bank of Canada), Molson’s Bank, Banque Nationale, the Bank of Montreal, the Dominion Bank (which amalgamated with the Bank of Toronto) and the Bank of Nova Scotia.

The CBA and Canada’s Game

Canadian Bankers and Montreal Bankers Hockey Leagues cups, 1924 Wm. Notman & Son
Canadian Bankers and Montreal Bankers Hockey Leagues cups, 1924 Wm. Notman & Son

Canada’s banks and Canada’s game have long been linked. The Canadian Bankers Hockey Association Challenge Cup was first presented for competition by Clarence Bogart, General Manager of the Dominion Bank of Canada and then President of the Canadian Bankers Association in 1921. Awarded annually, the Cup was last presented in 1938 and is now on exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Further reading about the history of the CBA

The following are further sources of information about the history of the Canadian Bankers Association and of the banking industry in Canada:

Crawford and Falconbridge Banking and Bills of Exchange – A treatise on the Law of Banks, Banking, Bills of Exchange and the Payment System in Canada, Bradley Crawford, Canada Law Book Inc., 1986.

Adam Shortt’s History of Canadian Currency and Banking 1600-1880, Canadian Bankers Association, 1986.

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