Business: Chasing the U.S. Dollar

Overseas banks thrive in America but face curbs

Looking for a bank that opens early and closes late, lends money on generous terms, gives free checks to small depositors? If you cannot find what you want at an American bank, you might try a branch of a foreign bank. Attracted by the lush profit prospects of the world's biggest banking market—and by a paradoxical freedom from the federal regulations that restrict American-owned banks—British, Japanese, German, Irish, Israeli, Brazilian and other foreign banks are rushing to the U.S.

The invasion was dramatized last week by...

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