An East Coast oil boom has promised potential riches to lucky landowners. But the oil rush may cause big headaches for some unlucky banks.

At least three institutions — Tompkins Financial (TMP) in Ithaca, N.Y., Spain's Santander Bank and State Employees' Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C. — are refusing to make mortgages on land where oil or gas rights have been sold to an energy company.

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