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In banking, the term national bank carries several meanings:
- especially in developing countries, a bank owned by the state
- an ordinary private bank which operates nationally (as opposed to regionally or locally or even internationally)
- in the United States, an ordinary private bank operating within a specific regulatory structure, which may or may not operate nationally, under the supervision of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
In the past, the term "national bank" has been used synonymously with "central bank", but it is no longer used in this sense today. Some central banks may have the words "National Bank" in their name; conversely if a bank is named in this way, it is not automatically considered a central bank. For example, National Bank of Canada of Montreal, Canada, is a privately owned commercial bank. On the other hand, National Bank of Ethiopia is the central bank of Ethiopia and National Bank of Cambodia is the central bank of Cambodia.
Argentina's national bank is the Banco de la Nación Argentina, founded in 1891.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was founded by an Australian Act of Parliament in 1911. Bank Nationalisation was the policy of the Andrew Fisher Labor Government. In a rare move for the time, the bank was to have both savings and general bank business. The bank was also the first bank in Australia to receive a Federal Government guarantee.
In 1958 and 1959, there was a controversy concerning the dual function of the bank as the central bank on the one hand and a general bank on the other. As a result of this, the bank was split, giving the reserve bank function to the Reserve Bank of Australia and the general bank function to the Commonwealth Banking Corporation.
The Commonwealth bank was privatised in the 1990s by the Keating Labor government. As of 2016, it is one of the big four banks, along with the National Australia Bank which has always been privately owned.
Bulgarian National Bank is the central bank of Bulgaria, founded in 1879 and it is the 13 oldest central bank in the world.
The national bank in Chile is BancoEstado. It was created in 1953 by merging several state-owned financial institutions. The bank operates in competition with private banks but in addition to profitability its goals include having a positive social impact.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an Indian government development bank that was established on 18 July 1981 to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981.
National Bank of Kenya is a commercial bank founded in 1968. Its shares are listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and are majority owned (70%) jointly by the Government of Kenya and by the state owned National Social Security Fund of Kenya.
The New Zealand government formerly owned two other banks in New Zealand: The Bank of New Zealand, from 1945 to 1992 when it was privatised and sold, and Post Office Savings Bank, which was created as a separate entity with the privatisation of New Zealand Post. PostBank was sold to ANZ New Zealand in 1989.
United States of America
In the United States, the term national bank originally referred to the Revolutionary War-era Bank of North America (later the First Bank of the United States) or its successor, the Second Bank of the United States. Both are now defunct.
In the modern United States, the term national bank has a precise meaning: a banking institution chartered and supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC"), an agency in the U.S. Treasury Department, pursuant to the National Bank Act. Inclusion in the bank's name of the word National, the designation National Association, or its abbreviation N.A. is a required part of the distinguishing legal title of a national bank, as in "Citibank, N.A." or "CIT Bank, N.A." Many state banks, by contrast, are chartered by the applicable state government agencies (usually the state's department of banking). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits at both national and state banks.
The advantage of holding a National Bank Act charter is that a national bank is not subject to state usury laws intended to prevent predatory lending. (However, see also Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, L. L. C., stating that federal banking regulations do not preempt the ability of states to enforce their own fair-lending laws.) There is currently no federal cap on rates. The federal government only requires that whatever rates, fees, or terms are set by issuers be disclosed to the consumer in accordance with the Truth in Lending Act.
Notwithstanding the name, not all national banks have nationwide operations. Some national banks have operations in only one city, county, or state. National banks should also be distinguished from federal savings associations, including federal savings and loans and federal savings banks, which are financial institutions chartered by the Office of Thrift Supervision, an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department that was merged with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on July 21, 2012.
The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States; it is not a national bank but rather a unique system of institutions specially chartered by Congress to serve in this capacity.
- http://www.en.corporativo.bancoestado.cl/Investor_Relations/Corporate_Information/Strategic_Pillars.aspx[dead link]
- "Welcome to Official Website of NABARD". Nabard.org. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "General Information". Cbi.ir. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Audited December 2012 Financial Report" (PDF). Nationalbank.co.ke. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "National Bank sale to investor dropped in new funding plan - Corporate News". Businessdailyafrica.com. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- Huo, Jingjing (2009). Third Way Reforms: Social Democracy After the Golden Age. Cambridge University Press. p. 307. ISBN 9780521518437.
- Beneficial National Bank v. Anderson, 539 U.S. 1 (2003).
- Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, L. L. C., 557 U.S. ___ (Supreme Court of the United States 2009).