Remember that 38-year-old piece of legislation that brought 40K jobs to Delaware in 24 months?

The Financial Banking Services Act changed Delaware forever.

Banks dot the skyline. (Photo by Flickr user Ryan Keene, used under a Creative Commons license)

In 1981, Delaware and banking were not yet synonymous — which is kind of a strange thought, since banks, Delaware and the ’80s are inseparably intertwined.

How did banking in Delaware go from a minor industry to a booming one in so little time? It was a piece of legislation called the Financial Banking Services Act, signed by Gov. Pete du Pont 38 years ago this week.

DELAWARE SNAPSHOTCredit for New IndustryGovernor Pete du Pont’s schedule for this week in 1981 starts with offices…

Posted by Delaware Public Archives on Sunday, February 17, 2019

By 1983, 40,000 banking jobs had been created.

The act would change Delaware forever. It still resonates, with banking and fintech continuing to be major industries in the state — even as the face of the industry has evolved.

Ben du Pont, who is Pete’s son, cofounder of Zip Code Wilmington and a prominent member of the Delaware tech community, took to Facebook on Sunday to remind us of the impact of the act, pointing out that the bipartisan effort was the result of thinking like a “pie baker,” not a “pie slicer”:

Dad signed the Financial Banking Services act this week in 1981 and it brought 40,000 banking jobs to Delaware in 24…

Posted by Ben DuPont on Sunday, February 17, 2019

It does feel like it’s been a while since something made such an impact in Delaware (in a good way). So, what’s the next big thing?


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