Great Lakes Bank

About us: Our history

In 1896, John Zacharias, William Werner and Oliver Bourke, three businessmen from Blue Island, opened a private financial house. This early form of banking was their investment in the future development of the area. The founders knew that local entrepreneurs would need strong financial backing to grow their businesses.

In the years since, the area has experienced sweeping change and rapid growth-and so has the bank set up by the three founders. The bank's reach has grown to cover a broader range of communities-while keeping ownership local. Today the bank serves the Chicago Southland with 8 locations stretching from Blue Island to Homewood to Mokena and beyond.

Key dates in the history of Great Lakes Bank:

  • 1896 John L. Zacharias, William H. Werner and Oliver W. Bourke start their private financial house, an early type of bank
  • 1898 Changes name to Zacharias, McCord and Company
  • 1905 Registers as a state bank, becoming The Commercial Bank of Blue Island
  • 1925 Charters as a national bank, becoming The First National Bank of Blue Island
  • 1983 In first expansion, acquires Community Bank of Homewood-Flossmoor
  • 1988 Acquires 50-year-old Bank of Homewood
  • 1992 Acquires First State Bank of Alsip
  • 1992 Opens Matteson Banking Center
  • 1994 Opens Lansing Banking Center
  • 1997 Opens Mokena Banking Center
  • 2001 Now regional, bank is renamed Great Lakes Bank

Today, Great Lakes Bank continues to serve local businesses and individuals, offering a full range of financial services, including deposit and investment accounts, cash management, internet banking and remote capture products and flexible financing solutions.

Thanks to a 1984 ESOP, the bank is now one of the oldest and largest majority employee-owned banks. With deep roots in the community, these employees are committed to the success of the company as well as its customers. And through the work of the Great Lakes Bank Foundation, that commitment is extended through contributions to local charities and community organizations.

In 1896, the three founders believed in developing strong and lasting relationships with their customers-who were also friends and neighbors. Over 100 years later, Great Lakes Bank-the bank of choice-continues that tradition.

 


 

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