Supervising Agencies

Bank supervision and regulation in the United States is carried out by the state and federal governments. A bank's supervisor is determined by its chartering authority and whether the bank is a member of the Federal Reserve. To conduct business, organizers of a bank need to obtain a charter from one of two sources:

Federal Government

  • If a bank is chartered by the federal government, it is a national bank. The chartering authority and primary supervisor is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). National banks must have the word "national" or letters "N.A.," meaning national association, in their name.

State Government

  • If a bank is chartered by the state government, it is a state bank. It is supervised by its state chartering authority as well as the FDIC or the Federal Reserve as shown in the graphic below.
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