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This research guide will introduce users to major primary and secondary resources in U.S. federal and state banking law.

United States Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. There are twelve federal reserve district banks. For information about the Federal Reserve System, see FRB: The Fed Explained: The Federal Reserve System Purposes & Functions.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The OCC's primary mission is to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and federal savings associations. The OCC also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. In regulating national banks and federal thrifts, the OCC has the power to:

-Examine the national banks and federal thrifts.
-Approve or deny applications for new charters, branches, capital, or other changes in corporate or banking structure.
-Take enforcement actions against national banks and federal thrifts that do not comply with laws and regulations or that otherwise engage in unsound practices.
-Remove officers and directors, negotiate agreements to change banking practices, and issue cease and desist orders as well as civil money penalties.
-Issue rules and regulations, legal interpretations, and corporate decisions governing investments, lending, and other practices.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $250,000. It identifies, monitors, and addresses risks to deposit insurance funds, and limits adverse effects to the economy and financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails.

An independent federal agency, the FDIC was created in 1933 after thousands of bank failures during the Depression. The FDIC receives no Congressional appropriations – it is funded by premiums paid by banks and thrift institutions for deposit insurance coverage and earnings on U.S. Treasury securities. The FDIC insures more than $7 trillion of deposits in U.S. banks and thrift institutions.


U.S. banks, bank accounts, and banking transactions are extensively regulated. The banking industry is subject to overlapping regulations promulgated by federal and state agencies:

  • The Federal Reserve Board has general regulatory authority over the operations and disclosure obligations of all banks, both nationally- and state-chartered.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency charters all national banks and is responsible for supervision and examination of those banks.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), created in 1933, is the primary regulator of state banks and has collateral authority over national banks, and insures depositors against bank losses.
  • State banking departments charter, supervise, and examine state and community banks.

Federal Statutes


   Comptroller of the Currency, 12 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq.

   National Bank Act of 1864, 12 U.S.C. §§ 21 et seq.

   Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall), 12 U.S.C. § 24

   Federal Reserve Act of 1913, 12 U.S.C. §§ 221 et seq.

   Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 12 U.S.C. §§ 265-266, 1811-1832

   Savings Associations, 12 U.S.C. §§ 1461-1470

   Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, 12 U.S.C. §§ 1841-1850

   Expedited Funds Availability, 12 U.S.C. §§ 4001-4010

   Emergency Economic Stabilization, 12 U.S.C. §§ 5201 et seq. (Troubled Assets Relief Program [TARP], 12 U.S.C. §§ 5211-5241)

   Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 5301 et seq.


   Consumer Credit Protection, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq.

   Wall Street Transparency and Accountability, 15 U.S.C. §§ 8301 et seq.

The Volcker Rule

The "Volcker Rule," proposed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, sought to address the problem of proprietary trading by federally-regulated banks that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. New regulations developed jointly by the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission went into effect July 21, 2016.

Financial Stability Oversight Council

Federal Banking Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations: TITLE 12 - Banks and Banking:

     Chap. I - Comptroller of the Currency, Dept. of the Treasury (Parts 1 - 199)

     Chap. II - Federal Reserve System (Parts 200 - 299)

     Chap. III - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Parts 300 - 399)

     Chap. XV - Department of the Treasury (Parts 1500 - 1599)

TITLE 31 - Money and Finance: Treasury:

   SUBTITLE A: Office of the Secretary of the Treasury  (Parts 0 - 50)

   SUBTITLE B: Regulations Relating to Money and Finance.

Government Accountability Office Reports

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Subject Guide

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Gail Whittemore
Pace University School of Law Library

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(914) 422-4357; fax: (914) 422-4412