The term "customer" is defined at 12 U.S.C. § 3401(5). In order to be a customer under the Act, it is first necessary to be considered a "person". A "person" is defined as an individual or a partnership of five or fewer individuals. 12 U.S.C. § 3401(4). Corporations, pension funds, special interest nonprofit organizations, trusts or other legal entities are not covered by the Act. Pittsburgh Nat'l Bank v. United States, 771 F.2d 73 (3rd Cir. 1985)(holding that a corporation was not a customer); Spa Flying Service, Inc. v. United States, 724 F.2d 95 (8th Cir. 1984)(holding that a corporation was not a customer); Donovan v. National Bank, 696 F.2d 678 (9th Cir. 1983)(pension funds are not covered by the Act. Transactions of bank customers with the plans are, however, covered by the Act); Ridgeley v. Merchants State Bank, 699 F. Supp. 100 (N.D. Tex. 1988)(Special interest nonprofit organizations are not covered by the Act). Further, even though items in corporate or other non-covered accounts reflect transactions of private individuals, such as check endorsements or loan guarantees, such items are not covered by the Act. See H.R. Rep. No. 95-1383 at 217, 7 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, 95th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 9347-9348.
Updated December 18, 2015