In mid 1871, a group of neighbors from Concepción led by Aníbal Pinto, who would later become President of Chile, drew up the by-laws of Banco de Concepción. The Bank began business that year, on October 6th, and has continued operating uninterrupted until today, which makes it the oldest bank in Chile. Following nationalization of private sector banking in 1971, the ownership of the Bank changed and came under the control of CORFO. That same year, Banco de Concepción acquired the local interests of Banco Francés and Italiano, which provided the institution presence in Santiago. Later, in 1972, the bank purchased Banco de Chillán and, in 1975, Banco de Valdivia. In November 1975, CORFO sold shares to private sector businessmen who took control of the bank the following year. After a period of growth, in 1980 Banco de Concepción was redefined as a nationwide bank; it changed its name to Banco Concepción and moved its headquarters from Concepción to Santiago. In 1986 the National Mining Corporation (SONAMI) acquired the Bank and took special interest in financing small and medium mining projects, increased its capital and sold its riskier portfolio to the Central Bank. In late 1995, SONAMI sold the majority of its shareholding in the Bank to a group of investors led by Mr. Alvaro Saieh B., through the holding company INFISA (now Corp Group).
Since the acquisition, the new shareholders defined a new strategy; restructuring and repositioning its business in order to compete with Chile's leading institutions. To promote growth, the controlling group redefined the Bank's objectives making its target market personal financing and developing products for the middle-income population and small and medium sized companies. In the first quarter of 1997 the shareholders of Banco Concepción reached an agreement with the Chilean Central Bank over extinguishing the subordinated debt that had existed since the early 80's. As part of the repositioning strategy the bank's name was changed to CORPBANCA. In 1998, through the acquisition of Corfinsa (consumer loan division of Banco Sudamericano) and Financiera Condell, the bank formed Bancondell initiating its presence in the medium - lower income consumer business (massive banking). The defined strategy has helped CORPBANCA achieve the financial sector's second strongest loan growth over the past seven years and, in addition, reversing the 1999 losses and achieve an adequate ROE since 2001.
The words of the then Chairman of the Board, Carlos Abumohor Touma, were visionary and unerring: “CorpBanca begins 2000 not only with balanced accounts, but also, thanks to its capital, organizational development, sales strategies and the quality of the people committed to the project, impeccably poised to face the new and growing service demands of our clients. The Bank’s challenges are great, but the will and resources to face them are greater.”
The Bank, of regional origin, was founded to support the economic development of its city, later extended services nationally and, in 2004, took a giant step toward its aim of internationalization by completing the listing process in the United States. As of that point, the Bank was able to trade its American Depositary Receipts—ADRs—on the New York Stock Exchange. The internationalization plan was completed in 2009 with the successful opening of the New York branch. Having already commemorated a year in operation, it has exceeded all goals for serving Chilean customers, expanding their financing possibilities and facilitating trade relations in the United States.
Also in 2009, SMU Corp S.A. was formed in Chile as a banking support company to issue, operate and manage credit cards to be used by clients of Unimarc Supermarkets.
In 2010, the Bank has remained faithful to its origin: supporting its clients in their activities, and thus providing support for the country as a Chilean-owned bank.
The impact of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in early 2010, precisely in the Bank’s city of origin, resulting in personal and material damages, has clarified and allowed us to demonstrate our commitment to be present, with tangible solutions to our clients’ needs at this difficult time.