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A savings and loan association (S&L), or thrift institution, is a financial institution that specializes in accepting savings, deposits, and making mortgage and other loans. The terms "S&L" or "thrift" are mainly used in the United States; similar institutions in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries include building societies and trustee savings banks. They are often mutually held (often called mutual savings banks), meaning that the depositors and borrowers are members with voting rights, and have the ability to direct the financial and managerial goals of the organization like the members of a credit union or the policyholders of a mutual insurance company. While it is possible for an S&L to be a joint-stock company, and even publicly traded; in such instances it is no longer truly a mutual association, and depositors and borrowers no longer have membership rights and managerial control. By law, thrifts can have no more than 20 percent of their lending in commercial loans — their focus on mortgage and consumer loans makes them particularly vulnerable to housing downturns such as the deep one the U.S. experienced in 2007.
Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of financial institutions:
A mortgage loan or, simply, mortgage is used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or alternatively by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose, while putting a lien on the property being mortgaged. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property through a process known as mortgage origination. This means that a legal mechanism is put into place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property to pay off the loan in the event the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a Law French term used in Britain in the Middle Ages meaning "death pledge" and refers to the pledge ending (dying) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. A mortgage can also be described as "a borrower giving consideration in the form of a collateral for a benefit (loan)".
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
At the beginning of the 19th century, banking was still something only done by those who had assets or wealth that needed safekeeping. The first savings bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, was established on December 20, 1816, and by the 1830s such institutions had become widespread.
In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by the business. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by a company to produce positive economic value is an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash. The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by that firm. It covers money and other valuables belonging to an individual or to a business.
Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions. This includes the core meaning as held in the originating old English word weal, which is from an Indo-European word stem. The modern concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, and clearly so for growth economics and development economics, yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent. An individual possessing a substantial net worth is known as wealthy. Net worth is defined as the current value of one's assets less liabilities.
The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS), originally called the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, was a savings bank headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. PSFS was founded in December 1816, the first savings bank to organize and do business in the United States. The bank would develop as one of the largest savings banks in the United States and became a Philadelphia institution. Generations of Philadelphians first opened accounts as children and became lifelong depositors.
In the United Kingdom, the first savings bank was founded in 1810 by the Reverend Henry Duncan, Doctor of Divinity, the minister of Ruthwell Church in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. It is home to the Savings Bank Museum, in which there are records relating to the history of the savings bank movement in the United Kingdom, as well as family memorabilia relating to Henry Duncan and other prominent people of the surrounding area. However the main type of institution similar to U.S. savings and loan associations in the United Kingdom is not the savings bank, but the building society and had existed since the 1770s.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Doctor of Divinity is an advanced or honorary academic degree in divinity.
Ruthwell is a village and parish on the Solway Firth between Dumfries and Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
The savings and loan association became a strong force in the early 20th century through assisting people with home ownership, through mortgage lending, and further assisting their members with basic saving and investing outlets, typically through passbook savings accounts and term certificates of deposit.
Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in, for example, a deposit account, a pension account, an investment fund, or as cash. Saving also involves reducing expenditures, such as recurring costs. In terms of personal finance, saving generally specifies low-risk preservation of money, as in a deposit account, versus investment, wherein risk is a lot higher; in economics more broadly, it refers to any income not used for immediate consumption.
A passbook or bankbook is a paper book used to record bank, or building society transactions on a deposit account.
The savings and loan associations of this era were famously portrayed in the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life .
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift, which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1943. The film is one of the most beloved in American cinema, and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season.
The earliest mortgages were not offered by banks, but by insurance companies, and they differed greatly from the mortgage or home loan that is familiar today. Most early mortgages were short with some kind of balloon payment at the end of the term, or they were interest-only loans which did not pay anything toward the principal of the loan with each payment. As such, many people were either perpetually in debt in a continuous cycle of refinancing their home purchase, or they lost their home through foreclosure when they were unable to make the balloon payment at the end of the term of that loan.
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.
An interest-only loan is a loan in which the borrower pays only the interest for some or all of the term, with the principal balance unchanged during the interest-only period. At the end of the interest-only term the borrower must renegotiate another interest-only mortgage, pay the principal, or, if previously agreed, convert the loan to a principal-and-interest payment (amortized) loan at the borrower's option.
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan.
The US Congress passed the Federal Home Loan Bank Act in 1932, during the Great Depression. It established the Federal Home Loan Bank and associated Federal Home Loan Bank Board to assist other banks in providing funding to offer long term, amortized loans for home purchases. The idea was to get banks involved in lending, not insurance companies, and to provide realistic loans which people could repay and gain full ownership of their homes.
Savings and loan associations sprang up all across the United States because there was low-cost funding available through the Federal Home Loan Bank Act.
Savings and loans were given a certain amount of preferential treatment by the Federal Reserve inasmuch as they were given the ability to pay higher interest rates on savings deposits compared to a regular commercial bank. This was known as Regulation Q (The Interest Rate Adjustment Act of 1966) and gave the S&Ls 50 basis points above what banks could offer. The idea was that with marginally higher savings rates, savings and loans would attract more deposits that would allow them to continue to write more mortgage loans, which would keep the mortgage market liquid, and funds would always be available to potential borrowers.
However, savings and loans were not allowed to offer checking accounts until the late 1970s. This reduced the attractiveness of savings and loans to consumers, since it required consumers to hold accounts across multiple institutions in order to have access to both checking privileges and competitive savings rates.
In the 1980s the situation changed. The United States Congress granted all thrifts in 1980, including savings and loan associations, the power to make consumer and commercial loans and to issue transaction accounts. The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980was designed to help the banking industry to combat disintermediation of funds to higher-yielding non-deposit products such as money market mutual funds. It also allowed thrifts to make consumer loans up to 20 percent of their assets, issue credit cards, and provide negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts to consumers and nonprofit organizations. Over the next several years, this was followed by provisions that allowed banks and thrifts to offer a wide variety of new market-rate deposit products. For S&Ls, this deregulation of one side of the balance sheet essentially led to more inherent interest rate risk inasmuch as they were funding long-term, fixed-rate mortgage loans with volatile shorter-term deposits.
In 1982, the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Actwas passed and increased the proportion of assets that thrifts could hold in consumer and commercial real estate loans and allowed thrifts to invest 5 percent of their assets in commercial, corporate, business, or agricultural loans until January 1, 1984, when this percentage increased to 10 percent.
During the Savings and Loan Crisis, from 1986 to 1995, the number of federally insured savings and loans in the United States declined from 3,234 to 1,645.Analysts mostly attribute this to unsound real estate lending. The market share of S&Ls for single family mortgage loans went from 53% in 1975 to 30% in 1990.
The following is a detailed summary of the major causes for losses that hurt the S&L business in the 1980s according to the United States League of Savings Associations:
While not specifically identified above, a related specific factor was that S&Ls and their lending management were often inexperienced with the complexities and risks associated with commercial and more complex loans as distinguished from their roots with "simple" home mortgage loans.
As a result, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) dramatically changed the savings and loan industry and its federal regulation not the regulation at all. Here are the highlights of this legislation, signed into law on August 9, 1989:
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 had also eliminated the ability for investors to reduce regular wage income by so-called "passive" losses incurred from real estate investments, e.g., depreciation and interest deductions. This caused real estate value to decline as investors pulled out of this sector.
The most important purpose of savings and loan associations is to make mortgage loans on residential property. These organizations, which also are known as savings associations, building and loan associations, cooperative banks (in New England), and homestead associations (in Louisiana), are the primary source of financial assistance to a large segment of American homeowners. As home-financing institutions, they give primary attention to single-family residences and are equipped to make loans in this area.
Some of the most important characteristics of a savings and loan association are:
Accounts at savings banks were insured by the FDIC. When the Western Savings Bank of Philadelphia failed in 1982, it was the FDIC that arranged its absorption into the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS).[ citation needed ] Savings banks were limited by law to only offer savings accounts and to make their income from mortgages and student loans. Savings banks could pay one-third of 1% higher interest on savings than could a commercial bank. PSFS circumvented this by offering "payment order" accounts which functioned as checking accounts and were processed through the Fidelity Bank of Pennsylvania.[ citation needed ] The rules were loosened so that savings banks could offer automobile loans, credit cards, and actual checking accounts.[ citation needed ] In time PSFS became a full commercial bank.
Accounts at savings and loans were insured by the FSLIC. Some savings and loans did become savings banks, such as First Federal Savings Bank of Pontiac in Michigan. What gave away their heritage was their accounts continued to be insured by the FSLIC.
Savings and loans accepted deposits and used those deposits, along with other capital that was in their possession, to make loans. What was revolutionary was that the management of the savings and loan was determined by those that held deposits and in some instances had loans. The amount of influence in the management of the organization was determined based on the amount on deposit with the institution.
The overriding goal of the savings and loan association was to encourage savings and investment by common people and to give them access to a financial intermediary that otherwise had not been open to them in the past. The savings and loan was also there to provide loans for the purchase of large ticket items, usually homes, for worthy and responsible borrowers. The early savings and loans were in the business of "neighbors helping neighbors".
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a United States government corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. commercial banks and savings institutions. The FDIC was created by the 1933 Banking Act, enacted during the Great Depression to restore trust in the American banking system. More than one-third of banks failed in the years before the FDIC's creation, and bank runs were common. The insurance limit was initially US$2,500 per ownership category, and this was increased several times over the years. Since the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2011, the FDIC insures deposits in member banks up to US$250,000 per ownership category.
The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States from 1986 to 1995: the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) closed or otherwise resolved 296 institutions from 1986 to 1989 and the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) closed or otherwise resolved 747 institutions from 1989 to 1995.
The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation is a Canadian federal Crown Corporation created by Parliament in 1967 to provide deposit insurance to depositors in Canadian commercial banks and savings institutions. CDIC insures Canadians' deposits held at Canadian banks up to C$100,000 in case of a bank failure. CDIC automatically insures many types of savings against the failure of a financial institution. However, the bank must be a CDIC member and not all savings are insured. CDIC is also Canada's resolution authority for banks, federally regulated credit unions, trust and loan companies as well as associations governed by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act that take deposits.
The Federal Home Loan Banks are 11 U.S. government-sponsored banks that provide reliable liquidity to member financial institutions to support housing finance and community investment. With their members, the FHLBanks represents the largest collective source of home mortgage and community credit in the United States.
The Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) was a board created in 1932 that governed the Federal Home Loan Banks also created by the act, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) and nationally-chartered thrifts. It was abolished and superseded by the Federal Housing Finance Board and the Office of Thrift Supervision in 1989 due to the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, as Federal Home Loan Banks gave favorable lending to the thrifts it regulated leading to regulatory capture.
An industrial loan company (ILC) or industrial bank is a financial institution in the United States that lends money, and may be owned by non-financial institutions. They provide niche financial services nationwide. ILCs offer FDIC-insured deposits and are subject to FDIC and state regulator oversight. All "FDIC-insured entities are subject to Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, which limits bank transactions with affiliates, including the non-bank parent company." (FDIC.gov) ILCs are permitted to have branches in multiple states. They are regulated and supervised by state-charters and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are authorized to make consumer and commercial loans and accept federally insured deposits. Banks may not accept demand deposits if the bank has total assets greater than $100 million. ILCs are exempted from the Bank Holding Company Act.
Chevy Chase Bank, F.S.B. was the largest locally based banking company in the Washington Metropolitan Area. It was acquired by Capital One in February 2009, and rebranded as Capital One Bank in September 2010. Despite its name, Chevy Chase Bank was a federally chartered thrift regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision, rather than a bank.
The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), is a United States federal law enacted in the wake of the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s.
The Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) was an institution that administered deposit insurance for savings and loan institutions in the United States. The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) abolished it and transferred the responsibility for savings and loan deposit insurance to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FSLIC Resolution Fund was created to assume all the assets and liabilities of the FSLIC, which was to be funded by the Financing Corporation (FICO).
The Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005, was an act of the United States Congress on banking regulation. It contained a number of changes to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
All regulated financial institutions in the United States are required to file periodic financial and other information with their respective regulators and other parties. For banks in the U.S., one of the key reports required to be filed is the quarterly Consolidated Report of Condition and Income, generally referred to as the call report or RC report. Specifically, every National Bank, State Member Bank and insured Nonmember Bank is required by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) to file a call report as of the close of business on the last day of each calendar quarter, i.e. the report date. The specific reporting requirements depend upon the size of the bank and whether or not it has any foreign offices. Call reports are due no later than 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter. Revisions may be made without prejudice up to 30 days after the initial filing period. Form FFIEC 031 is used for banks with both domestic (U.S.) and foreign (non-U.S.) offices; Form FFIEC 041 is for banks with domestic (U.S.) offices only.
The Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) was an independent agency of the United States government established in 1989 in the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis to take over management of the Federal Home Loan Banks from the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), and was superseded by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in 2008.
Bank regulation in the United States is highly fragmented compared with other G10 countries, where most countries have only one bank regulator. In the U.S., banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. Depending on the type of charter a banking organization has and on its organizational structure, it may be subject to numerous federal and state banking regulations. Apart from the bank regulatory agencies the U.S. maintains separate securities, commodities, and insurance regulatory agencies at the federal and state level, unlike Japan and the United Kingdom. Bank examiners are generally employed to supervise banks and to ensure compliance with regulations.
Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan was a thrift based in Portland, in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1925, the company was seized by the United States Government in 1990. In 1996 the United States Supreme Court found that this and similar seizures were based on an unconstitutional provision of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA). Shareholders of the thrift sued the federal government for damages caused by the seizure, with the shareholders winning several rounds in the courts. In 2013, $9.5 million was allocated for disbursement to shareholders.
The Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) is a program adopted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on October 13, 2008 during the global financial crisis of 2008 to encourage liquidity in the interbank lending market.
Aurora Bank is a federal savings bank (FSB) headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a mid-size bank that offers full-scale banking services. Aurora Bank was founded on January 1, 1921, in Wilmington, Delaware, under the name of Delaware Savings And Loan Association. On January 2, 1958, deposits made to the bank were first insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In 1988, the bank was renamed to Delaware Savings Bank, FSB. On April 1, 2009, the bank changed its name to Aurora Bank, FSB. Aurora Bank was a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Bancorp. In June 2012, Aurora Bank exited most of the financial services business, with accounts transferred to other companies.
The National Mortgage Crisis of the 1930s was a Depression-era crisis in the United States characterized by high-default rates and soaring loan-to-value ratios in the residential housing market. Rapid expansion in the residential non-farm housing market through the 1920s created a housing bubble inflated in part by ad hoc innovation on the part of the four primary financial intermediaries – commercial banks, life insurance companies, mutual savings banks, and Building & Loans (thrifts). As a result, the federal overhaul stemming from New Deal legislation gave rise to a paradigmatic shift in mortgage lending, popularizing longer-term maturity, fully amortizing mortgages and creating a thick secondary market for mortgage-related securities.
This article details the history of banking in the United States. Banking in the United States is regulated by both the federal and state governments.
The Financing Corporation (FICO) is a mixed-ownership United States government-sponsored enterprise that assumed all the assets and liabilities of the insolvent Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) and operated as a financing vehicle for the FSLIC Resolution Fund after the former was abolished by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA). As of July 1997 its outstanding debt stood at $8.2 billion. Its bond interest payments are funded by the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) premiums of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Franklin Savings Association was an Ottawa, Kansas-based American Savings and loan association that was one of the largest seizures of the savings and loan crisis. Subsequent litigation established that the institution had always been in full capital compliance, a fact to which the FDIC stipulated in 2011, after 21 years of legal challenges by Franklin's shareholders. Also, the FDIC refused to open its books to a bankruptcy judge and never demonstrated that the seizure resulted in a loss to the American taxpayers. It is widely believed that Franklin's assets, which had a book value of more than $380 million when seized, were ultimately sold by the government to private investors at a significant profit.