What is the U.S. League Of Savings Institutions

The U.S. League of Savings Institutions is a now-defunct nationwide organization of savings institutions. The U.S. League of Savings Institutions was created to promote standards of professionalism and congressional lobby influence. It also spearheaded public education and dealt with federal regulatory authorities.

BREAKING DOWN U.S. League Of Savings Institutions

During much of the 20th century, the U.S. League of Savings Institutions exercised a great deal of lobbying power and influence over politicians. According to the LA Times, the organization was able to choose its own regulatory officials, and had great success passing industry-favorable laws in Congress, or undermining proposed legislation that it found unfavorable.

However, by the late 1980s, the U.S. League of Savings Institutions was suffering from what the New York Times called an “image crisis,” due to the savings and loan crisis, which was ongoing at that time. By 1988, the industry that the U.S. League of Savings Institutions represented was deeply troubled. Only able one third of member institutions were thriving and profitable; another one-third were “weakened but surviving,” according to the Times, and the remaining one-third were “hopelessly insolvent or moving quickly in that direction.”

The savings and loan crisis had, by this time, cause more than 500 savings and loans in the United States to become insolvent. Current estimates placed the cost of liquidation or bailing out these institutions at between $50 and $100 billion. This crisis led the U.S. League of Savings Institutions to lose much of its credibility in Congress; membership declined steeply, and the League faced massive budget cuts and loss of influence among industry elites. Scandals associated with rogue members of the League further tarnished its reputation and harmed it financially.

Evolution of the U.S. League of Savings Institutions

The earliest version of the U. S. League of Savings Institutions was founded in 1892. It then merged with the National Council of Community Bankers in 1992 to create the Savings and Community Bankers of America. The organization's name was finally changed to America's Community Bankers (ACB) in January of 1995. In 2007, the ACB merged with the American Bankers Association (ABA) to form the financial industry’s largest trade association, representing 95 percent of the industry’s assets.