Types Of Banks

There are actually five different types of banks in the U.S.  The primary difference is how they are organized, Federal or State, which agency is the Primary Regulator, and if the bank is a Thrift or not.

The term "Thrift" refers to savings and loan associations, but can also mean credit unions and mutual savings banks.  These banks originally received most of their funds from consumer saving accounts.  But with banking deregulation they now account for only one source of funds.  Almost all banks, as previously mentioned, carry FDIC insurance.

National Banks
  • Organized under federal law
  • Primary Regulator (Federal)– Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), part of the US Treasury Department http://www.occ.treas.gov
  • Banks required to be members of the Federal Reserve http://www.federalreserve.gov
  • Names often include the word “national” or end with “N.A”, which stands for National Association
Federal Savings Association
  • Organized under the Federal Home Owner’s Loan Act
  • Required to do substantial amount of business in mortgage lending
  • Is a Thrift Organization
  • Primary Federal Regulator–Treasury Department , The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) http://www.ots.treas.gov
  • Not a member of the Federal Reserve, but a member of a Federal Home Loan Banks system http://www.fhlbanks.com
  • Names often include the word “Savings” or end with “FSB”, which stands for Federal Savings Bank
State Member Banks
  • Organized under State laws, but chose to become a member of the Federal Reserve
  • Primary Regulator is the Federal Reserve
State Non Member Banks
  • Organized under State laws, but they are not members of the Federal Reserve.
  • Primary Federal Regulator–Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) http://www.fdic.gov
State Savings Association
  • Organized under State laws
  • Required to do a substantial amount of business in mortgage lending (similar to the Federal Saving Association banks)
  • Primary Federal Regulator – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) http://www.fdic.gov