Many ‘independent’ banks are owned by chains.
Scores of supposedly independent banks are actually part of chains that evade interstate banking rules by never formally joining together, according to a study scheduled to be released today by the House Banking Committee. The study of 6,900 bank ownership changes between 1967 and 1982 found that 1,426 independent banks were actually part of 535 chains, 128 of which crossed state lines. The chains were made up of separate banks, often with different names, that had common owners and management. “What may appear as a small, hometown bank may actually be a member of a large, interstate bank chain,” the committee said.