Under articles written by Alexander Hamilton, the Bank of New York began in 1784, however, the bank took seven more years to gain an official charter. The first home of the Bank of New York was in the home of William Walton, and the first president of the bank was General Alexander MacDougal. The bank's existence as its own entity lasted until it merged with Mellon Financial Corporation on July 2, 2007.
In 1792, the bank's stock was the first corporate stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The next major event in the bank's history occurred in 1922 when it merged with the New York Life Insurance & Trust Company. It then acquired two New York City banks over the course of the next 44 years with the the Fifth Avenue Bank in 1948 and Empire Trust Company in 1966.
In 1968, the bank created the Bank of New York Company, Inc., its holding company. The bank then moved in 1988 to One Wall Street, also known as the Bank of New York Building, and made its headquarters there. The bank continued to acquire smaller banks within the metro area, such as the National Community Banks in New Jersey and the Connecticut-based Putnam Trust Company in the 1990s.