Banks Law and Legal Definition

Banks and bank accounts are regulated by both state and federal statutory law. Bank accounts may be established by national and state chartered banks and savings associations. All are regulated by the law under which they were established. Banks and banking may be regulated under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which is adopted at least in part by all states, regulations of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation program.

Article 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code "defines rights between parties with respect to bank deposits and collections." Part 1 of the Article contains general provisions and definitions. Part 2 governs the actions of the first bank to accept the check (depository bank) and other banks that handle the check but are not responsible for its final payment (collecting banks). Part 3 governs the actions of the bank that is responsible for the payment of the check (payor bank). Part 4 governs the relationship between a payor bank and its customers. Part 5 governs documentary drafts. These are checks or other types of drafts that will only be honored if certain papers are first presented to the payor of the draft.

If a check passes through the federal reserve system, as most do, Regulation J of the Federal Reserve is applicable. Regulation CC governs extensively the availability of funds in a depositor's account and the process involving checks dishonored due to non-payment. The Expedited Funds Availability Act limits the time that a depository bank can delay before making the amount of a deposited check available for withdrawal. The act is supplemented by Subpart B of regulation CC.

There is federal insurance for deposits which is administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Funding for the program comes from premiums paid by member institutions. The bank accounts of individuals at institutions which are insured are protected for up to an aggregated total of $100,000.

Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is divided into chapters, provides federal agency regulations that concern banks and banking.