On September 29, ATB branches across the province celebrated the 80th anniversary of the opening of the first ATB in Rocky Mountain House in 1938.
According to the ATB website, the first customer to make a deposit in Rocky Mountain House was Levi Smith who is quoted as saying at the time, ““My pension cheque came yesterday. I’ve saved this bill, hoping I can become the first person in Alberta to open a Treasury Branch account.”
Following the opening of the Rocky Mountain House branch, the following day, Friday September 30, branches opened in Edmonton, Andrew, Killam, Saint Paul and Grande Prairie.
At the time, William Aberhart known as Bible Bill was premier of Alberta. The ATB was the initiative of Aberhart’s Social Credit Government in its effort to rest some control from the banks over the province’s financial industry.
One key factor of the original ATB was issuing special credit to those who purchased goods made in Alberta.
Over those eighty years, ATB has become a firmly established financial institution that is now a $53-billion crown corporation with 175 branches and 141 agencies throughout the province.
While the Falher ATB opened forty-six years ago in 1972, the branch staff, Tracy Gagne, Linda Corriveau Shannon Talbot, Patty Turnquist and Stephanie Foster had the coffee and cookies waiting for customers on September 29 to mark the financial institution’s eighty years of offering financial services to Albertans.