ICANN, the governing body for Internet domain names, has given fTLD Registry Services the authority to operate the ".bank" domain name.

The new domains will likely be available for use in mid-2015, fTLD said in a press release Monday. It was formed in 2011 by a variety of financial trade groups — including the American Bankers Association and the Financial Service Roundtable — to secure unique domain names for the financial services industry.

In order to receive a ".bank" domain, fTLD will require proof of a bank charter or regulatory verification. Institutions that receive approval to use the domain will be held to a series of heightened security and encryption standards.

Trade groups on Monday praised the ICANN decision for helping consumers spot fake banks and online scams.

"Our organizations took the lead on this to ensure that the banking industry — not outsiders — would operate the '.bank' and that only legitimate members of the banking community could have a '.bank' site," Frank Keating, president and chief executive of the ABA, said in a news release.

"Operating '.bank' is a key step towards providing consumers a more secure place to bank online," Roundtable CEO Tim Pawlenty said. The Roundtable had said in a blog post this summer that approval of the domain name was likely.

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