Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clarke v. Securities Industry Association case brief

Clarke v. Securities Industry Association case brief
479 U.S. 388, 107 S. Ct. 750, 93 L. Ed. 2d 757 (1987)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner, Comptroller of the Currency, sought review of a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which applied the "zone-of-interest" test in finding that respondent, trade association of securities brokers, underwriter, and investment bankers, had standing to sue, and rejected petitioner's finding that national banks could offer discount brokerage services at non-branch locations.

FACTS: Respondent trade association of securities brokers, underwriters, and investment bankers filed suit against petitioner Comptroller of the Currency for approving national bank applications permitting banks to open offices offering discount brokerage services at their branch offices and at locations inside and outside of the bank's home states. The Court affirmed that portion of the lower court's judgment that respondent had standing, but reversed and remanded on the merits. Under the zone-of-interest test, the Court found that respondent had standing because it was sufficiently injured by the competition that a case or controversy was created where petitioner approved the discount brokerage services. Where respondent was a reasonable candidate to seek review of petitioner's rulings, the Court inferred congressional intent to permit respondent's suit. While the general nature of the bank's business was limited to its headquarters and branches, the Court found that since discount brokerage services were not a core banking function, the branching restrictions of 12 U.S.C.S. § 36 did not apply, and petitioner reasonably interpreted the statute in allowing banks to offer such services.

CONCLUSION: The Court affirmed the judgment finding that respondent had standing to sue regarding the determination that respondent's interests were affected by the administrative decision, but the Court reversed the judgment on the merits because petitioner's interpretation that discount brokerage services were not subject to branching restrictions was reasonable.

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