The History of Banking

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A common definition of a bank is a financial intermediary that accepts, transfers, and, most important, creates deposits. This includes such depository institutions as central banks, commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and mutual savings banks. Banks are most frequently organized in corporate form and are owned either by private individuals, governments, or a combination of private and government interests. Although noncorporate banks-that is, single proprietorships and partnerships-are found in other countries, since 1863 all federally …

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…in mortgage loans. A large part of their portfolios is held in stocks and bonds. Mutual savings banks (MSBs) are found primarily on the eastern seaboard. Deposits in most MSBs are insured by the FDIC, including some MSBs that have converted to federal charters. The 1982 Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act blurred many of the distinctions between SLAs and MSBs, permitting savings banks to convert to federal charters, and creating a new type of banking system.