By the Division of Banks

Using The Word Bank Within The Name Of A Corporate Licensee

A foreign corporation is prohibited from transacting business in the Commonwealth under any name or title which contains the word "bank", "banker", or "banking" pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 167, § 37. The purpose of this statute is to prohibit the practice of unauthorized banking in the Commonwealth and to prevent an entity from creating the impression that might lead the public to believe that its business is that of a bank. However, certain entities, such as bank holding companies, may be exempt from this statutory prohibition. Also, it has been the position of the Division of Banks that when the term, "bank", is used as part of a corporate name of an entity not engaged in banking business and such term is not a separate and distinct word in that name, the prohibition of Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 167, § 37 is not triggered. Furthermore, the Commonwealth's Office of the Secretary of State has ultimate jurisdiction over the use of corporate names.