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FT Guide to Banking by Glen Arnold

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17

Banking in the Americas

United States of America

Banks in the USA have complex histories, involving numerous acquisitions and takeovers, and the breaking up and joining together of various operations. At one time before the Great Depression there were some 30,000 banks in the USA. Thousands failed and many customers and shareholders lost all their money. The Banking Act of 1933 followed a ‘bank holiday’ of six days through which the government tried to instil calmness to allow banks to recover from the unprecedented volume of withdrawals. Some 4,000 banks never reopened after this period. The 1933 Act, often called the Glass–Steagall Act after the two congressmen who promoted it, required the establishment for depositors of a federal ...

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