Illinois is the latest state to grant its own banks and thrifts the same powers that those with national charters enjoy.
A "super wild card" law that took effect July 30 give Illinois-chartered institutions new powers including the right to offer credit analysis, real estate appraisal, bill collection, and title insurance.
"This provides an excellent opportunity for state-chartered banks," said Scott D. Clarke, assistant commissioner of banks and real estate. "They want to provide the widest number of products to remain competitive."
Not changed was a prohibition against branching into the state except through acquisition.
To make their charters more appealing, most states have enacted so- called "wild card" statutes, which let state-chartered banks-but not thrifts-do whatever national banks can do.
Illinois is one of about 20 states that have gone further, with "super wild card" laws that give state thrifts as well as state banks permission to do whatever federal banks or thrifts can do.
The super wild card is the second boost Illinois' state-chartered banks have received in less than a year. Last October they were allowed to sell insurance for the first time. State thrifts already had such powers.
Bankers said the new law levels the playing field.
Paul A. Pogue, president and chief executive officer of $16 million- asset North Adams State Bank in Ursa, said banks in more competitive markets will probably take advantage of the new law first.
"I'm sure some will jump at this," he said.
North Adams State has no immediate plans to expand its product line, but its board will probably soon discuss the possibilities that the new law opens up, Mr. Pogue said.
"I look at it as being good for banking," he said.