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Law School Case Brief

Blackfeet Nat'l Bank v. Nelson - 171 F.3d 1237 (11th Cir. 1999)


The Bank Act, 12 U.S.C.S. §§ 21-216d, should be subject to the McCarran-Ferguson Act's, 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1011-1015, reverse preemption provisions.


Blackfeet National Bank, a national bank located in Montana, issued a product called the "Retirement CD" to the public. As part of its marketing efforts, Blackfeet has advertised these CDs in the Wall Street Journal. The Insurance Commissioner for the State of Florida, contending that offering the Retirement CD involved engaging in the business of insurance, commenced administrative proceedings against Blackfeet under the Florida Insurance Code. In response, Blackfeet sued the Insurance Commissioner, seeking a declaratory judgment that its sale of the Retirement CD was authorized by the National Bank Act (Bank Act), 12 U.S.C. §§ 21-216d (1994 ). The district court, concluding that state regulation of the Retirement CD was permitted by the reverse preemption provisions of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1011-1015 (1994), rejected Blackfeet's position and granted the Insurance Commissioner summary judgment. Blackfeet appealed.


Could defendant Insurance Commissioner regulate the Bank’s sale of Retirement CD? ?




The Court affirmed the judgment of the district court, finding that it was unreasonable for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to have concluded that issuing the CD was authorized as the business of banking by the Bank Act. Alternatively, even if the CD could appropriately be considered the business of banking, defendant could regulate its issuance within Florida.

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