Independent Insurance Agents of America v. Hawke

211 F.3d 638 (2000)

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Independent Insurance Agents of America v. Hawke

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
211 F.3d 638 (2000)

Facts

In 1977, the Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (defendant) determined that all national banks could sell as agent general insurance to protect against the risk of crop loss. The OCC determined this power was vested under the authority granted to national banks by Congress in 1984 to exercise all such incidental powers necessary to carry on the business of banking at 12 U.S.C. § 24 (Seventh). The OCC ruled that the sale of crop insurance was within the business of banking because (1) banks could offer credit-related insurance and crop insurance was similar and a logical outgrowth of the bank’s power to make loans because it assists banks in recovering from the borrower; (2) crop insurance benefitted farmers and banks by protecting against risk; and (3) the risks of crop insurance were similar to the risks borne by national banks in the sale of other authorized insurances. The OCC concluded that even if crop insurance was not part of the business of banking, it was at least incidental to that business. Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) (plaintiff) filed suit in district court, claiming that the OCC’s interpretation was incorrect as a matter of law. The district court agreed and granted summary judgment for IIAA. The OCC appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sentelle, J.)

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