American Banker

American Banker is a daily trade newspaper and website covering the financial services industry. Founded in 1836[1][2] and based in Manhattan, American Banker has approximately 50[3] reporters and editors in six U.S. cities who monitor developments and breaking news affecting banks.

American Banker
TypeOnline service
FormatOnline only; formerly a tabloid
Owner(s)Arizent (formerly SourceMedia)
Editor-in-chiefAlan Kline
HeadquartersOne State Street Plaza, 27th Floor
New York NY 10004

Throughout its history, the newspaper has won praise for its coverage of important policy issues. In the 1980s, American Banker won two Gerald Loeb Awards and the George Polk Award for its coverage of two of the decade's major stories: The Chrysler bailout and the collapse of Penn Square Bank.[4][5] Subsequently, the newspaper was recognized for its coverage of the passage of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, congressional debates surrounding regulation of government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the near-constant wave of mergers and acquisitions that affect banks.

Traditionally published as a five-day-a-week print daily, halted its print edition in January 2016, citing the growth of its web edition.[6] receives more than 1 million page views per month, and is updated continuously.[7] Alan Kline, a 22-year veteran of the newspaper, was named editor-in-chief in January 2020, succeeding Rob Blackwell.[8] Other former editors of American Banker include Marc Hochstein, Neil Weinberg,[9] Barbara A. Rehm, who was editor in chief from 2008 to 2010, and David Longobardi, who was editor in chief from 1999 to 2009, when he was named Chief Content Officer of SourceMedia Inc., the business media company that had owned American Banker since 2004. Edwin A. Finn topped the masthead in 1990–92,[10] and Phil Roosevelt from 1995 to 1999.[11] As of May 2012, Finn was editor and president and Roosevelt was deputy managing editor of Barron's.

The newspaper sponsors several banking industry conferences and the Most Powerful Women in Banking[12] awards dinner in New York. It awards the Banker of the Year and other Best in Banking honors annually in a special edition.[13] The annual Banker of the Year awards dinner that had been an American Banker tradition on and off since the early 1990s was halted in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–09.


Although often confused with the American Bankers Association or other industry trade groups, American Banker is an independent newspaper and is unaffiliated with any portion of the banking industry. The newspaper was founded as "Thompson's Bank Note Reporter" in 1836 by American financier John Thompson. In 1885, the renamed "Thomson's Bank-Note and Commercial Reporter" was purchased by Anthony Stumpf (1856-1927)[14] and Charles David Steurer (1859-1933),[15] master printers who renamed the weekly publication The American Banker.[16] The article "the" was dropped from the title decades later. American Banker became a daily newspaper in 1899.[17]

The Otis years, ca. 1910-1983Edit

Members of the Otis family of Boston purchased the newspaper and its sister publication, Bond Buyer, around 1910, and for several decades it remained a family-owned enterprise. Charles Otis, a former president of The Wall Street Journal and its parent company, Dow Jones & Company, became president and publisher in 1913 and remained in that role until his death in 1944. In 1936, Charles Otis announced the newspaper was marking 100 years of continuous publication by producing a century edition.[18] In 1976, the newspaper's management was overhauled. Willard S. Rappleye Jr., a former Time magazine editor was dismissed after 13 years at the helm. American Banker's president, Edward F. McDougal, resigned in protest, and financial editor Ben Weberman also resigned. William S.Shanks, president and minority owner of Bond Buyer, was named president of American Banker.[19] A year later, Shanks was dismissed from both posts by Derick Otis Steinmann (1943-2002),[citation needed] an Otis family descendant.[20]

Steinmann was Chairman and CEO of American Banker and Bond Buyer from 1976 to the mid-1980s.[21] Steinmann transitioned the newspapers to the computer era, and facilitated their sale in 1983 to International Thomson, from the estate of Charles Otis.[22]

Subsequent ownershipEdit

Thomson Corporation began selling its North American newspapers in 2000 and announced its intention to put American Banker and Bond Buyer on the market in 2001.[23] In 2004, American Banker and Bond Buyer were sold to Investcorp,[24] which operated it as part of its SourceMedia business.[25] In 2014, Investcorp sold SourceMedia to Observer Capital, a private equity firm founded by Joseph Meyer, the publisher of The New York Observer.[26]


  1. ^ American Banker masthead
  2. ^ Dillistin, William H. 1949. Bank note reporters and counterfeit dectectors 1826–1866. Numismatic Notes and Monographs, no. 114. New York: American Numismatic Society.
  3. ^ Verified count from American Banker masthead, April 7, 2010
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Source Media Corporate Press Release, "American Banker Audience at Record High," December 3, 2015,
  7. ^ "American Banker Celebrates 175th Anniversary, Preps for Relaunch,", June 4, 2011, retrieved May 7, 2012
  8. ^ SourceMedia news release, "Source Media's American Banker Announces the Appointment of Alan Kline to Editor in Chief," distributed via PR Web, January 10, 2020. Found at:
  9. ^
  10. ^ Bloomberg Business week executive profile of Edwin A. Finn Jr., retrieved May 7, 2017
  11. ^ American Banker mastheads
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Anthony Stumpf Dies Suddenly," The New York Times, August 18, 1927
  15. ^
  16. ^ Men of the Century, an Historical Work: Giving Portraits and Sketches of Eminent Citizens of the United States, Charles Morris, January 1, 1896, I. R. Hamersly & Company
  17. ^ American Banker 150th Anniversary, 1836 to 1986, a Commemorative Edition, Library of Congress catalog number HG2461 A4B3 1986
  18. ^ "Banking Paper 100 Years Old," The New York Times, March 31, 1936, page 35
  19. ^ "American Banker Shifts Top Management," The New York Times, January 8, 1976
  20. ^ "Bond Buyer Makes Management Shifts," The New York Times, March 16, 1977
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Thomson to Buy American Banker," The New York Times, February 15, 1983
  23. ^ "Bond Buyer and American Banker to Be Sold," The New York Times, February 28, 2001
  24. ^ "Investcorp Pays $350 Million for Thomson's Media Group," The New York Times, October 9, 2004
  25. ^
  26. ^ Corporate press release: "SourceMedia Announces Acquisition by Observer Capital," August 7, 2014

External linksEdit