In 1938, the Social Credit government created a system of temporary financial institutions called Treasury Branches to give Albertans an alternative source of credit. The first ATB branch opened in Rocky Mountain House.
In the 1950s, while bankers flocked back to Alberta to cash in on the oil and gas windfall, the Treasury Branches were also extremely active. ATB was scrambling to find new employees to staff 29 new branches and agencies, recruiting young people as they finished high school and hiring young men from farms.
In the 1960s Alberta’s first massive oil patch downturn left Albertans concerned about employment and growing government deficits. But in 1962, oil and gas development incentives created another boom. Budget surpluses quickly returned, and Edmonton expanded as the gateway to the North.
In the 1970s when the OPEC oil embargo boosted oil prices and the Alberta government began to formally encourage oil sands development, Alberta became the hot spot in Canada. As the province flourished, ATB opened new branches and established the first mobile branch in Canada to meet the needs of a growing population.
In the 1980s in the face of a struggling economy and high interest rates, ATB implemented a program for farmers and small businesses to offset some costs, such as keeping a line on interest rates for them, and helping residential customers by giving them buy-down opportunities on high interest rates.
In the 1990s the recovering economy, ATB focused on aligning services more closely with customer needs and positioning ATB as a competitive financial services provider. New technologies were adopted, but ATB remained focused on Albertan values.
In January 2002, we launched a new look, ATB Financial. We made the change to confirm the business we are in—providing a full range of financial services to Alberta—and our commitment to the people of our province.
Today, ATB Financial is taking a giant leap forward to deliver the best possible financial services to Albertans.