Are national banks broken up by state?

When someone signs into Bank of America online, they must tell the website where the account is located (by state). Note, this is not the state in which the person lives, it is where the original account was created.

If you want to transfer your account into the state in which you live, you have to go to a branch and fill out paperwork (or at least I did years ago).

Is BOA in New York really a different bank than BOA in North Carolina? In terms of internal bank transfers and accounts, are they just as different as if they were completely different companies with different shareholders?

Are all national banks this way?

Not necessarily by state, but yes, there are separate operating units. E.g. Bank of America, FSB; Bank of America, NA; etc.

ETA: Some additional, relevant information: National bank - Wikipedia

They will have different routing numbers, sometimes even within the same state (e.g. NorCal and SoCal).

I’d imagine it depends on the bank, but there is no reason you need to open a new account or convert your old one once you move. If you open a new one in a branch, they can probably only give you the features of that state’s account. Differing laws and demographics may mean that they offer different levels of account in different places.

I think the history of the bank may come into play. In the 80’s I had an account in an S&L that failed and was part of the S&L bailout. When it was finally over, it was part of an bank. Then with all the bank buyouts and takeovers in the 90’s, it changed ownership about 4 or 5 times until Bank of America ended up with my account. The original account at the S&L was in my hometown, but in the meantime I ended up about 300 miles away, but still in New Mexico, and could easly access the account at a local BoA. Then I tried to change some aspect of the account, I can’t remember what exactly (maybe direct deposit). The local BoA branch was useless, everything had to be done back in my hometown as if the long gone S&L were still in business.

I have an account with BoA in WA. When I was in NYC, I wanted to make a deposit to my account. So I went to a local branch of BoA and tried. There were deposit slips (I hadn’t seen one them in years) and you had to check off the state in which your account was located. But WA wasn’t listed, so I went to a teller. The teller was clueless and had to ask the branch manager who did know what to do and did it.

When I was growing up, federal law forbade banks from operating in more than one state (and when I lived for four years in IL, state law forbade branch banking entirely). This resulted in banks that actually cared about keeping customers. Sometimes BoA acts like it wishes customers would go away. I wrote them about a problem I was having and their answer was, in one word, “tough”. (My problem, which I have not solved, is that I live in Canada and when I try to use my debit card with an organization that wants an address, I cannot provide a 5 digit zip code and they always say the address is no match. Clearly a programming problem that they just won’t fix.)