As stated in Chapter XII, trust companies perform numerous functions. Their powers vary with the state laws, and to the general power of administering trusts incidental or even unrelated powers have been added. The trust companies are becoming more and more standardized as to lines and operations. There is a tendency among them to drop title and fidelity insurance business and to develop their commercial banking activities, so that the businesses of the trust companies and the commercial banks are approximating each other. Some states no longer distinguish between the institutions, but rather regulate their business as divided into three classes - commercial banking, savings banking, and trust operations.
The legal requirements as to capitalization of trust companies follow very closely those for banks. The minimum required capital for trust companies was originally higher than that for banks, but now tends to equal it. The provisions limiting the amount of any single liability generally apply to both banks and trust companies. The same is true as to reserve requirements; only a few states require reserves for banks but exempt] trust companies. Where differences are made they are usually not substantial. As contrasted with banks, trust companies may more often count securities as reserve and may keep different amounts against time and demand deposits. The panic of 1907 led to legislation in certain states raising the amount of reserves required for trust companies.