Banks in the United States

Legal Materials

General information sources: The FDIC posts a great deal of information about FDIC-insured banks. Information on U.S. thrifts is available from the Office of Thrift Supervision, and information on National Banks is available from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (see the entries for “Office of Thrift Supervision” and “Office of the Comptroller of the Currency”). Also see the financial reports available from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

More information may be available from the banking department of the state where the bank is located. For example, the New York State Department of Financial Services (212-709-3530 or 1-877-BANK-NYS) provides information on NY banks.

Finding Banks: Many banks are listed in Polk’s North American Financial Institutions Directory and The Rand McNally Bankers Directory, though neither directory is comprehensive.

The FDIC offers a BankFind tool which provides basic information on particular US banks. You can also try searching the Federal Reserve’s Institution Search lets you look up FDIC-insured banks, savings associations and bank holding companies including branch locations, online banks and failed banks. as well as foreign banks and bank holding companies. You can also see which banks have bought or been bought by other banks as of a given date and identify headquarters and branch locations.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) posts a database for Researching A Credit Union.

Lexis has a combined database that lets you simultaneously search several bank directories (BANKNG;TDIR).

Profiles: Profiles for many banks are available in the Mergent Bank & Finance Manual; more information is available in the Sheshunoff Bank Quarterly Rating Service. Probably the best source going for information on individual banks is the Thomson Bank Directory (“The Banker’s Blue Book”) and the Thomson Savings Directory. See also the sources mentioned in “Finding Banks,” above.

The Credit Union Directory provides profiles of U.S. Credit Unions; an electronic edition is available on Lexis (BANKING;TCRDIT).

Rankings: Every September the Wall Street Journal publishes a list of “The World’s 100 Largest Banks,” as well as “The World’s 25 Largest Securities Firms.” TheAmerican Banker compiles lists of the largest U.S. banks. The Federal Reserve posts a list of bank holding companies with Assets Greater Than $10 Billion.

The EIU Country Finance Reports list the largest banks in a particular foreign country.

Web Sites: The Bank for International Settlement links to central bank Web sites. Some key bank Web sites include:

Finding the law: Banks in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to banks, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines banks topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.


See Also

Bank for International Settlements
Document Retrieval Services
Federal Reserve System
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Office of Thrift Supervision

Further Reading

Banks: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Banks. This part provides references, in relation to Banks, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Banks by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Banks and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Banks or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Banks and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Banks. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Banks should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Banks when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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