Central Bancompany History

  • Creation of Central Bank

    Central Bank began its legacy on January 9, 1902, when Lon Stephens helped create Central Missouri Trust Company. He served as Missouri State Treasurer and then as Governor until January 1901.

  • Sam Baker Cook

    S. Baker Cook

    Sam Baker Cook arrived in Jefferson City in 1900 and assumed the presidency of the Central Missouri Trust Company in 1905 after serving as Missouri’s Secretary of State. He began a legacy of service that continues to this day.

    Cook was committed to serving Jefferson City. After the Capitol building burned in 1911, he fought with city leaders to ensure that Jefferson City would remain the state capitol.

  • Bank - First City Skyscraper

    Main Bank in Jefferson City

    In 1916, Cook moved the Central Missouri Trust Company into a seven-story Carthage stone building on the corner of Madison and High Street where it remains today. Jefferson City residents christened this building “the first skyscraper.”

    In the first 15 years, the resources available to the bank more than tripled, and the company increased its commitment to help Jefferson City grow.

  • New Leadership

    Howard Cook

    Sam Baker Cook continued to promote the company and his adopted hometown until his death in 1931. He was succeeded by his son, Howard, who began working at the bank as a high school student in 1905.

    Howard took over the bank in the heart of the Great Depression, a period when the economic crisis threatened local and state government. When the state of Missouri could not make its payroll, or offer relief, Howard Cook agreed to make a $1 Million loan available to the state. Meanwhile, the bank continued to operate without any changes, and was one of the two banks in Jefferson City that survived the Depression.

  • Sam B. Cook

    Sam B. Cook

    Like his father before him, Howard Cook passed along the leadership of the bank to his son, Sam B. Cook in 1961. A veteran of World War II, and a graduate of Yale University, Cook presided over unprecedented expansion of the bank and its operations.

  • Renamed The Central Trust Bank

    Logo of the Central Trust Bank

    The company was renamed The Central Trust Bank in 1969, and then shortened to Central Bank in 1987.

    Over the years, Central Bank continued to grow into a corporation, Central Bancompany, in 1970. Central Bancompany currently operates 13 banks throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma with over $14 Billion in assets.

  • Expanded into St. Louis, Missouri

    All aboard the Gateway to the West! Central Bank expands into St. Louis, Missouri, and acquires the bank that helped fund the 1904 World’s Fair. And to think, without the fair, ice cream cones, Dr. Pepper, and puffed cereal might not have been introduced to the world.

  • First Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

    ATMs began revolutionizing the banking industry as early as 1969! Central Bank is excited to be an early adopter of the technology that makes it easier to connect customers with their accounts. We called it “The 24 Hour Bank” at the time.

  • Five Straight Years of Growth in Missouri

    During these years, Central Bank expanded its reach in Mid-Missouri markets to include Columbia, Mexico, Moberly, Springfield, and the Lake of the Ozarks.

  • The Dogwood Becomes Central Bank’s Official Logo

    dogwood logo

    Dogwood trees symbolize durability and the ability to withstand various challenges in life and thrives under the cover of larger and taller trees, just like our company and the large national banks. In 1987, Central Bank adopted the flower of this tree as a symbol to represent our brand. Being strongly rooted, withstanding the test of time, and blooming endless possibilities. The Dogwood is more than a mission symbol for our company, it’s a promise to ourselves and the communities we serve.

  • Added Our 50th Location

    Central Bank is committed to serving the communities we’re in, and we’re happy to be able to make banking easier for more customers across our footprint.

  • Launched Internet Banking

    Customers can now complete their banking business easier than ever! As an early leader in Internet Banking platforms, this functionality was an important advancement. This technology paved the way for more development – like our award-winning Mobile Banking App!

  • Expansion in the Midwest

    Headed East, South, and West! During this time, Central Bank expanded into Illinois, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

  • New Family Leadership

    Bryan Cook

    Cook, who served as a chairman of both Central Trust Bank and Central Bancompany starting in 1981, continued the bank’s family legacy when he named his son, S. Bryan Cook, Chief Executive officer in 2008.

    Recognized on the First Forbes Best Banks in America List

    Forbes Magazine began its Best Banks in America list in 2008 to rank the safest and most stable banks in America during the financial crisis. Forbes included Central Bancompany as a top ten bank in the country to illustrate strength and stability during the Great Recession.

  • Officially Changed Name to Central Bank

    Before this time, Central Bank operated under different bank names as we expanded our footprint. Since our name change, it’s easier for customers to recognize the Dogwood symbol and know there is someone at any location who can help.

  • Passing of Sam B. Cook

    Central Bank flag flown during Sam B. Cook's funeral

    After a lifetime of business success and amazing generosity in the form of philanthropy, Sam Cook passed away in July of 2016. As a leader in the community, Cook left a legacy of innovation.

    He had an interest in higher education, serving at different times on the boards of William Woods College (now University) in Fulton, Washington University in St. Louis and the statewide University of Missouri Board of Curators.

    He also served on statewide committees and boards charged with improving Missouri's public higher education system.

    After his passing, we released a statement describing Cook as "a visionary who took a prominent bank in Jefferson City and transformed it into a multi-bank holding company with banks in four states. Under his leadership, Central Bancompany grew to be one of the largest and most respected bank holding companies in Missouri.

  • Expanded into the State of Colorado

    state of Colorado on a map with central bank logo inside

    It just got a little more colorful! Central Bank expands into “Colorful Colorado,” and opens a full-service branch.

  • Ranked for the 12th Straight Year on Forbes Magazine List

    Forbes Magazine recognizes Central Bancompany on its list of Best Banks in America for the 12th consecutive year. This year, we were ranked as the 17th best bank in America.

  • Named Fourth Best Bank in America by Forbes Magazine

    Forbes top 4 best banks in America

    Forbes recognized Central Bancompany as the Fourth Best Bank in America, and best bank in the markets we serve. Bryan Cook, Central Bancompany President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is a tremendous testament for our Company, especially, in the face of the extraordinary challenges brought on by the global pandemic. Our employees and management team rose to the challenge and continued to serve our customers in an exemplary manner, making this recognition possible.”

  • Expanded into the State of Florida

    Central Bank opens a full-service branch in Naples, FL.

  • Recognized in the Top 25 Banks for the 13th Straight Year on Forbes’ List of “America’s Best Banks”

    Central Bancompany was ranked 16th on Forbes’ annual list for 2022. This designation marked the 13th consecutive year Central Bancompany has been ranked in the top 25, and will continue to uphold the highest service standards in the markets we serve.
  • Central Bank Named “Best Customer Service Bank” by Newsweek, and Central Bancompany Inc. named one of “America’s Best Banks” by Forbes

    Central Bancompany Inc. has been included on Forbes’ “America’s Best Banks” list, ranking 33rd in 2023.

    Central Bank, as part of Central Bancompany, has been named “Best Customer Service Bank” by Newsweek. The bank is grateful for this honor and appreciates the recognition of its efforts to provide high-quality banking services to its customers.
  • Staying True to Our Strong Roots, While Growing Endless Possibilities

    The future is bright! Central Bank continues to commit to taking an integral role in the community and serving our neighbors as we have for more than 100 years. We’re dedicated to continuous advancement, and providing our customers with the tools to make banking easier. Using the same vision and mission that guided our predecessors more than a century ago, we will continue providing cutting-edge technology, and offering legendary service at any opportunity.