The Federal Reserve Board gave Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Vienna, permission Monday to open a branch in Connecticut.
The Fed found that Austrian regulators subject the bank to comprehensive supervision on a consolidated basis - the requirement Congress slapped on foreign banks in 1991 in the wake of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.
Never before had the Fed made that finding for an Austrian bank.
Paul Pilecki, a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, said he wasn't surprised by the approval. He noted that Austria had signed the Basel risk-based capital accords and operates a mature supervisory system.
Also on Monday, the Fed gave two Eastern European banks permission to open representative offices. Komercni Bank, Prague, and Commercial Bank "Ion Tiriac," Bucharest, Romania, can operate in New York.
The Fed said neither office would make loans or solicit consumer and commercial deposits.