CIT was born in 1908 when Henry Ittleson found a new way to make financing available to businesses in St. Louis, Missouri. Soon CIT was forging paths across the country, into Canada and overseas. After 100 years, financing remains at the heart of the company. But time and experience have produced innovations unimagined a century ago. True to its pioneering legacy, CIT remains an agent of opportunity, providing new resources and fresh perspectives to over one million clients across thirty industries around the globe.
Henry Ittleson's innovation and experience guided CIT early growth. The company grew with the U.S. economy as it transitioned to a new era of corporate organization, mass production and consumer spending.
Through the Great Depression, World War II and in a time when reservations about installment buying ran deep, CIT maintained an unshakeable belief in the soundness of American institutions and the good judgment of its customers
When America turned its energies to post-war production, it demonstrated the confidence of victory as well as an awesome capacity for growth and widely shared prosperity. CIT helped provide the capital fueling this unprecedented expansion of the national economy.
By the late 1960s the postwar boom was ebbing: drift and doubt began to creep back into the economy. Through the 1970s CIT redefined its business lines in a successful effort to stay ahead of landmark changes in politics, culture, and the economy.
The 1980s brought a new era of business innovation, while the 1990s brought sweeping technological change. With unprecedented productivity came opportunities to prosper and build. CIT was there to help businesses and consumers make the most of them.
The CIT Centennial coincided with the global financial crisis that severely impacted financial markets and posed a grave threat to all financial institutions, including CIT. The Company took dramatic measures to withstand the downturn and position it for long-term prosperity.