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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND CLEARINGHOUSE ASSN.

CLEVELAND CLEARINGHOUSE ASSN.

The CLEVELAND CLEARINGHOUSE ASSN., a consortium of local banks, was one of the first organizations of its kind in the country. The association was formed on 28 Dec. 1858 by the officers of 5 commercial and 4 private banks, with TRUMAN P. HANDY as president. Headquarters were in the City Bank of Cleveland at 21 Superior St. For its first 50 years, the clearinghouse primarily served as a medium for the exchange of checks, drafted upon its members. In 1902, however, the association adopted a new constitution which increased its power to safeguard the city's financial interests by augmenting the periodic bank examinations conducted by state and federal authorities. Under Pres. JEREMIAH J. SULLIVAN, the association aided the 1914 campaign to locate the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK in Cleveland.

The Clearinghouse was housed at several different locations after 1858, but in 1923 it relocated in the new Federal Reserve Bank Bldg., which served to centralize many of Cleveland's important banking functions. In 1942 its responsibilities were assumed by the Federal Reserve Bank as an economic measure; however, by 1945 the association was operating again. After World War II, the clearinghouse was loosely organized with no central offices or staff, although it carried out its original functions and had a permanent Executive Committee. In 1992 association leadership was rotated yearly among the member banks, which included Society National Bank, National City Bank, Huntington Bank of Northeast Ohio, Bank One Cleveland, Federal Home Loan Bank, and First Natl. Bank of Akron. The Federal Reserve Bank is represented at all its meetings.