Rouse v Wachovia: a victory for national banks

By Julia M Brighton and Isabelle Ord

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in Rouse v Wachovia Mortgage, FSB that under 28 USC § 1348, ‘a national bank is “located” only in the state designated as its main office’. This ruling resolves the important federal court diversity jurisdiction question of ‘whether under 28 USC § 1348, a national bank is a citizen of both the state in which its principal place of business is located and the state where its main office is located as designated in the bank’s articles of association’.

As a result, Rouse creates a significant federal court removal advantage for national banks by allowing them to choose a remote state as the location of their main office to create federal court diversity jurisdiction in all other states where the banks have significant business activities…

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