What is a bank?

In everyday usage the term bank covers many different types of financial institutions. In addition to banks in the legal sense, people use it to mean a trust company, a savings bank, a savings and loan, a credit union, a thrift, a thrift and loan and some other specialized types of financial institutions.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed by Congress on November 4, 1999 and signed by President Clinton November 12, 1999. The Act is the most significant banking legislation in 60 years, and is the culmination of decades of effort to restructure the financial system in the United States.

The most significant change wrought by the Act is to allow affiliations among banks, securities firms, and insurance companies. But the Act is complex and far-reaching, and deals with a multitude of other banking and financial services issues as well. We will be modifying the following material to reflect the impact of the new law shortly. For a detailed article about the new law, prepared by one of America's leading law firms, click here.