CITY UNION BANK formerly called ‘The Kumbakonam Bank Limited’, was incorporated as a limited company on 31 October 1904. On the first memorandum of association, Ms. R. Santhanam Iyer, S. Krishna Iyer, V. Krishnaswamy Iyengar and TS Raghavacharya. TS Raghavacharya was the first agent of the bank. In 1908, Shri R. Santhanam Iyer succeeded him, becoming secretary of the bank under the amended Articles of Association, which created the office of a secretary to be in charge of the management of the bank in place of the agent to which he posted. Held until his death in 1926. After him Mr. s. Mahalinga Iyer as Secretary, who later became the first full-time Managing Director of the Bank in 1929 as per the amendment of the Articles. He held the position of Secretary from 1926 to 1929 and Managing Director from 1929 to 1963.
Initially the bank preferred the role of a regional bank and slowly but steadily carved a niche for itself in the delta district Thanjavur. The first branch of the bank was opened on 24 January 1930 at Mannargudi. Thereafter, branches were opened at Nagapattinam, Sannallur, Ayyampet, Tirukattupalli, Tiruvarur, Manapparai, Mayuram and Porayar within a period of twenty five years. The bank was included in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 on 22 March 1945.
The Bank, headed by Shri CR Srinivasan, Editor, ‘Swadeshmitran’ and Director, Reserve Bank of India, celebrated its Golden Jubilee on November 14, 1954 at Kumbakonam.
In 1957, the bank took over the assets and liabilities of Common Wealth Bank Limited and in the process added five branches of Common Wealth Bank Limited at Aduthurai, Kodavasal, Valangaiman, Jayakondacholopuram and Ariyalur.
In 1963 Mr. R A Venkataramani Iyer took over as the chairman of the bank, a position he served till 1969.
In April 1965, two other local banks, namely ‘The City Forward Bank Limited’ and ‘The Union Bank Limited’ were merged with the bank under a scheme of amalgamation, resulting in the addition of six more branches, namely Kumbakonam Town, Nannilam, Koradachery, Tiruvidaimarudur, Tirupanandal and Kuttalam. Consequently, the name of the bank was changed to ‘The Kumbakonam City Union Bank Limited’.In November 1965, the first branch of the bank was opened at Thyagaraya Nagar in Madras. In May 1969 the bank acquired the services of Sh. OR Srinivasan, a former Reserve Bank of India official, was at the helm of affairs as chairman and chief executive officer, an event which proved to be a turning point in the bank’s history. Under the new management branch expansion got a new impetus and branches were opened in Eravanchery, Sembanarkoil, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Thanjavur, Dindigul, Keelapalur, Tirumakkottai, Kottur, Tiruvarur Town & c.