Philadelphia’s big banks are the subject of two new books

Image via Tom Gralish, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The building was once owned by the National Bank of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s major banks, including Girard and Fidelity, Provident and PSFS, and PNB and First Pennsylvania, prospered for generations and founded factories, transportation, and commerce in the area, Joseph N. DiStefano writes for The Philadelphia Investigator.

But all disappeared in the merger craze of the 1980s and 1990s, with many workers losing their inner-city jobs amid the mass layoffs that followed. Today, the largest remaining bank in the metro area is WSFS, which has managed to grow in the vacuum created by the passing of great leaders.

Now, the history of these banks is the subject of two new books: “A Banker’s Journey” by Charles Coltman III and “From Failing to Phenomenal” by Marvin “Skip” Schoenhals.

Coltman, a former CoreStates bank executive, writes about his adventures as a young PNB agent working in Asia, his rise through the ranks, and a credit culture he says has been stripped away by rigid, tax-focused regulators. the mega-banks of Wall Street.

Meanwhile, Schoenhals’ book, co-authored with Brittany Kriegstein, recalls the near failure and rescue of the WSFS after the savings and loans crisis of the early 1990s.

Learn more about the books in The Philadelphia Investigator.

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