Leah F. Chanin



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  • Introduction
  • Federal Law
  • State Law
  • Federal Regulatory Framework
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Federal Home Loan Bank Board
  • State Regulatory Framework
  • Additional Research Sources
  • Appendices and index

Title of Book

Specialized Legal Research

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Little, Brown and Company




Banking and Finance Law | Legal Writing and Research


Research in the banking field suffers from complexity, which is fueled by the imprecision of the scope and definition of banking law as a subject and the multiplicity of sources the researcher much consult.

As our banking system developed, the term bank normally referred to commercial banks—that is, depository institutions with investment and broad lending powers for short or intermediate purposes. Savings banks and savings and loan institutions, which existed early in our history but were small in number until post-World War II, were not considered banks by the above definition. The primary function of these thrift institutions was to collect passive deposits (savings) and invest in long-term real estate mortgages. The thrift industry is still closely tied (despite its broadened role) to housing and real estate interests. Thus, the field of banking law, in its most limited sense, would only include cases, laws, regulations, and secondary publications for and about commercial banks. Recent changes in definition and scope of banking institutions and the emergence of new types of institutions performing bank-link functions have muddled the definition problems even further.

For the purposes of this chapter, banking law includes resources about the law regulating commercial banks and thrift institutions (savings and loan associations and savings banks). Collectively, thrifts and commercial banks will be referred to as banking institutions. Credit unions and other types of financial institutions (i.e., those performing bank-like functions) are not included.

Banking Law

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