chapter  6
19 Pages

Green Grass and High Tides Forever: Regulating Bank Holding Companies

WithJeffrey Worsham

This chapter offers a different interpretation of the Holding Company Act. By law, bank holding companies include at least one chartered bank, the controlling interest of which is held by a single nonbank corporation. Banks that are part of multiple-bank holding companies can be distinguished from branches in that the various banking offices, although associated with a single corporate entity, are themselves legally distinct institutions. Central city banks in New York and Chicago used holding companies and chain arrangements to circumvent branching prohibitions and gain access to the lucrative savings bank business, which had developed in outlying districts. Robertson bills targeting bank holding companies were introduced in nearly every session of Congress following the passage of the Banking Act of 1933. Variation in subsystem politics clearly shaped holding-company regulation.