See bibliography under banking.
In the U.S., any commercial bank chartered and supervised by the federal government and operated by private individuals. National banks were created during the Civil War under the National Bank Act of 1863 to combat financial instability caused by state banks and to help finance the war effort. When these banks purchased federal bonds and deposited them with the comptroller of the currency, they were permitted to circulate national bank notes, thereby creating a stable, uniform national currency. After the Civil War, the government began to retire the bonds issued during the war, which reduced the number of national bank notes that could be issued. Concern over the inflexibility of national bank notes led to the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, which all national banks were required to join. The U.S. Treasury assumed the obligation of issuing national bank notes in 1935, effectively ending the issue of money by private commercial banks.
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Hibernia National Bank, founded in 1870, was a personal banking and commercial lending institution headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the largest and oldest bank headquartered in the state, and also had locations in Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Founded by Irish immigrants, its seal included a harp which is the national symbol of Ireland. Hibernia was the Roman (Latin) name for Ireland. In 1973 the board of directors hired 38 year old Martin C. Miler to be the bank's president and chairman of the board. After multi-parish banking was approved by the Louisiana legislature in 1975 Hibernia grew from third largest in Orleans Parish to the largest bank in the state (in terms of assets) by 1983. The bank had positive growth every quarter from 1973 to 1991. Expanding through acquisitions of other banks it entered the Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi markets.
In March 2005, it was announced that Capital One would be acquiring Hibernia National Bank for $5.3 billion. The acquisition was set to close in September; however, just a few days before the deal was to be completed, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans — Hibernia's headquarters and biggest market. Capital One later agreed to acquire Hibernia at a lower price (approximately $5.0 billion), reflecting Hibernia's lower value. Hibernia National Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation in November 2005, and is now known as Bank South within Capital One. Capital One replaced the Hibernia name and brand with its own on April 24, 2006.
The service area of Capital One's Bank South is divided into twelve regions: Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bayou, Beaumont, Dallas, Houston, Lake Charles/Lafayette, Marshall, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Texarkana. With the exception of Bayou, which is not named after a city, and Lake Charles/Lafayette, which is named after two cities, each region's headquarters is located in the city from which it takes its name.
Hibernia National Bank is a different entity than the San Francisco-based Hibernia Bank which was acquired by Security Pacific Bank (Now Bank of America) in 1988.