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Why does Bank of America sometimes refer to itself as 'Banc of America'? Are they two separate institutions responsible for different things? It's always seemed odd to me.

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From https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Banc:

Banq (also Banc, banc-corp, bancorp, or bancorporation) is an intentionally erroneous spelling of the word bank, but pronounced the same way. It has been adopted by companies which are not banks but wish to appear as such, and satisfy legal restrictions on the usage of the word bank.

...

For instance, if the original company is known as Bank of America, then the new investment banking entity may be known as Banc of America Securities LLC. If the original company is known as Bank of Manhattan, then its insurance business might be known as "Banc of Manhattan Insurance" and its holding company might be called "Manhattan Bancorp". This practice originates from legal necessity: Under the laws of most states, a corporation may only use the word "bank" in its name if it has obtained a banking charter under state or federal banking laws.

So, "Banc of America" is the subsidiary of BoA that doesn't have appropriate licenses to be called "bank". Wonders of complex regulation :)

  • 6
    Kind of like "creme" and "cheez". – Malvolio Dec 31 '10 at 7:27
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    i.e. the spirit of the law is violated. – j riv Jan 11 '11 at 19:13
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    @Lela This kind of laws usually has this kind of consequences, since they fail to foresee all the effects. Company called "Bank of America" would of course want its subsidiaries to include its name, but since it is prohibited from doing so (though no confusion is possible here) "Banc of America" it is. – StasM Jan 11 '11 at 19:48
  • What about the blood bank? Or a restaurant by the side of a river? Or a local place in Riverbank, CA? – WBT Feb 12 '16 at 0:36
  • @WBT blood banks are not financial institutions, so no confusion possible here. – StasM Feb 13 '16 at 1:00

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