The most common classification of American banks based on bank functions makes three divisions, namely: 1. Commercial banks.

2. Investment institutions, including savings banks and bond houses or investment banks.

3. Trust Companies.

But further division on the same basis is possible. The New York State banking law has special sections for the following classes: state and national (commercial) banks, federal reserve banks, credit unions, foreign banking corporations, investment bankers, investment companies, Land Bank of the State of New York, personal loan brokers, personal loan companies, private bankers, state deposit companies, savings and loan associations, savings banks, trust companies, discount companies, acceptance houses, note-brokers, and others. Indeed the subclasses that are possible are limited in number only by the number of functions and combinations of functions open to such institutions.

Classified as to source of authority to do business, banks are commonly grouped as federal or national, state, private, and foreign. Another classification is into parent or mother bank, branch, agency, and correspondent. Still another is into joint-stock, mutual, private, and individual. And in any system the banks may be specified as central, member, or non-member; as bank of issue or non-issue; as reserve city bank, central reserve city bank, or country bank; as land bank, agricultural bank, mercantile bank, industrial bank, and so forth.