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Banking Law

Updated March 10, 2023
4 min read

Banks and financial institutions have a significant impact on America’s economy. Before these organizations can legally operate, they must comply with the US banking laws. The major purpose these laws are put in place is to ensure the protection of clients’ privacy and money. These banking laws also help minimize fraud in the banking sector.

Banking Laws

Banking laws entail the rules and standards that govern the operation of all banks and financial institutions. It comprises several laws that regulate how financial institutions such as investment and commercial banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and so on perform businesses with their customers. Banking laws in the United States handle pertinent issues such as privacy, scam prevention, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism, anti-usury lending, and encouragement of loans to lower-income groups.

The rise or fall of banks has their respective impacts and repercussions on customers and the economy as a whole. Consequently, legislators continuously formulate financial rules and regulations to ensure the transparent and proper running of banks. These laws ensure that customers’ funds and privacy are protected and safeguarded. The truth is, banking laws are not static; they change from time to time. Hence, banks must stay tuned and adjust to the dictates of these banking laws.

Federal banking laws

Many federal banking laws are contained in the twelfth chapter of the US Code. One of the important statutes is that the Federal Reserve System was created through the Federal Reserve Act passed in 1914. In line with the United States constitution, federal banking laws and other guidelines provided by federal banking regulatory agencies usually preempt state laws governing certain operations of federally chartered banking institutions and their branches. However, there are particular exceptions to the general federal preemption clause, e.g., escheat laws, contract law, and insurance regulations. Banking laws are regulated by many federal agencies, which include:

  • The Federal Reserve

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (FPB)

  • The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)

US banking laws

All banks and financial institutions in America must conform to the United States' banking laws. Many banking laws in the US govern the conduct and operations of monetary organizations and banks. Some of them include the following.

  • The Banking Act of 1993

  • The Dodd Act of 2010

  • The Right to Privacy Act

  • The Bank Secrecy Act

These and more are the laws that dictate how banks operate in the United States today.

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