Chase Bank and J.P. Morgan & Co helped Germany in WWII by allowing Nazi sympathizers to purchase Marks (known as Rückwanderer) with dollars to fund the war effort. The banks also turned over their client lists to the Nazis who in turn used it to recruit spies in the US.
The Russian Standard Bank was founded by entrepreneur Roustam Tariko in the 90s to circumvent the advertisement ban of alcohol in Russia and promote his Vodka, the Russian Standard. Today, it is the largest consumer bank in Russia and Tariko is one of the most successful bankers in Europe.
The Knights Templar invented international banking and payable checks.
The “Nobel Prize in Economics” isn’t a real Nobel Prize. It was established over 70 years after the death of Alfred Nobel, is sponsored by a bank and is officially only “in memory of Alfred Nobel”.
In 1958, Bank of America mass mailed 60,000 unsolicited credit cards, with a credit line of $500, to residents of Fresno, California. They chose Fresno so that if the plan failed, it wouldn’t get much media coverage. The program was wildly successful and marked the birth of Visa.
In 1836, a sewer worker accidentally discovered an old drain which ran directly into the Bank of England’s gold vault. He wrote letters to the directors of the bank and requested a meeting inside the vault at an hour of their choosing – and popped out of the floor to greet them.
Luke “Milky” Moore, an Australian, was able to overdraft over $1.5 million from his bank. He was eventually sent to prison, appealed and argued his own case, was released, and is now studying to become a criminal defense lawyer.
A young Arkansas woman spent 35 days in jail and paid thousands in fines for a $29 bounced check.
In Dante’s Inferno, bankers were placed in a lower rung of hell than murderers because Dante condemned excessive (>10%) of Interest on Loans.
British banking giant HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), but there were no criminal charges and no one went to prison.