If there are so many banks, why are they the 'First National'?

Yeah, like why are there so many variants on the First National Bank of ‘Whatever’ . . .

I simply think that if we have one ‘First National Bank’, that it’s somewhat linked to something during the Colonial War. But why do I keep seeing the ‘First National Savings Bank’, the ‘First National Reserve Bank’, and more importantly the ‘First National Bank’ of every state I visit?

Doesn’t it seem a little weird?

Tripler
I’m investing in the First National Government if you care to know. . .

NO, it’s not weird.

I don’t believe there were any First National Banks before 1862. This is when the US got into the money making biz as a government.

There is a thread somewhere about Fifth Third Banks.. Don’t feel like taxing the poor server at this point.

banks are chartered - either by State or US.

‘First National Bank of __’ simply was the first bank in '’ to have a US charter (i.e. ‘National’)

Since Federally-chartered banks were subject to stricter reserves requirements (among other rules) a ‘National’ bank was perceived to be more stable than a state-chartered bank.

Not necessarily true - a clever theif could loot a federally-chartered bank as easily as a state-chartered one.

then there were the the ‘Trust’ and ‘Savings’ institutions - see Reagan-era records on how easily these could be plundered.

A bit of info here…

Here is another thread that talks about it. (Pay attention to that last poster. He knows what he’s talking about :wink: )
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=102876

This is like seeing a First Baptist church or a First United Methodist church. It simply means the first one in that town.

I used to bank with the Fifth/Third National Bank in Cincinnati. I always assumed that the Fifth Bank bought out the well known Third Bank.