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Minority Banking Timeline


Women's Savings & Loan

Opened in 1922, the Women's Savings & Loan was founded by sisters Lillian and Clara Westropp. This was the first bank, located in Cleveland, OH, founded and operated by women.

At the turn of the century, Cleveland had more than 100 banks; however, by the end of the 1920s, that number had dropped to below 20. Many of the banks had either failed, merged, or were acquired by the "large giants." However, Clara and Lillian Westropp saw a need to establish a bank that would serve the needs of women.

Clara and Lillian first founded the Women's Savings & Loan Co. along with a group of business and professional women in 1922. The business quickly outgrew its original offices and had to move to larger quarters. In May 1935, the Women's Savings & Loan Co. acquired a federal charter and reorganized as Women's Federal Savings & Loan

In June 1983, Women's Federal Savings & Loan converted from a mutual savings and loan to an investor-owned savings bank. In 1993, the bank merged with Charter One Financial, Inc.


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