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Our History

For over 100 years, CIT has empowered business owners and individuals to achieve their dreams.

The story of CIT begins

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 customers around the globe.

A New Venture (1908 - 1924)

Henry Ittleson's innovation and experience guided CIT from the beginning. We grew with the U.S. economy as it transitioned to a new era of corporate organization, mass production and consumer spending.

Standing Firm (1925 - 1945)

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 our customers.

Post War Prosperity (1946 - 1965)

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 expansion of the national economy, and passed a major milestone of our own: recording $100 billion in financing volume since our founding, with half of that volume being generated from 1955-1965.

Adapting to Change (1966 - 1985)

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.

A New Economy (1986 - 2007)

The 1980s brought a new era of business innovation, while the 1990s brought sweeping technological change. With increased productivity came opportunities to prosper and build. CIT was there to help businesses and consumers make the most of them.

The Second Century (2008 - Present)

As we celebrated the CIT Centennial and entered our second century in business, we took measures to position ourselves for long-term prosperity. We acquired a small business equipment financing provider, launched CIT Bank to offer a range of personal savings products, and acquired a network of 70 retail branches throughout Southern California known as OneWest Bank. Our acquisition of Mutual of Omaha Bank in 2020 further advances our strategic plan.