Why "Banc of America Investment Services"?

For some of their investment-related companies and services, Bank of American spells the first word of their name “Banc” (Example). It seemed a very rare alternative spelling of “bank” when searching Google, and in the dictionaries I checked, “banc” refers to a full court, as in a complete panel of judges. Why make this odd distinction, and does it have any specific meaning?

Well, wikipedia says “The use of “Banc” in the BAS’s name is indicative of the fact that the company is not a bank, and its deposits and other holdings are not insured by the FDIC.”

Whether you buy that is an open question.

We have different naming conventions at the bank I work for.

For example our bank name would be Your Best Bank, while our investment dept. is You Best Investment Services.

I think there are regulations regarding using the word bank in the name of a company, let me see if I can find them…

Well, I can’t find them, so maybe I’m making it up. Anyone heard anything like that?

In New York and many other states, corporations and other business entities may not use certain terms in their names unless the business is appropriately licenses. Among those terms is “bank”, which may not be used unless the business is chartered as a bank with the state banking department. Corporate affiliates of chartered banks which are not themselves banks (like investment services affiliates) will often use the term “banc” not to run afoul of these corporate naming laws.

In addition to what Billdo said, it’s common to use “Banc” or “Bancorporation” in the corporate name when a bank is forming a holding company.