Bank of America v. Sundquist, 2018 UT 58 (Oct. 5, 2018)

Oct 5, 2018

The court reevaluated its own prior interlocutory holding in the same case regarding the meaning of “located” in the National Bank Act, which permits a national bank to act as fiduciaries in any state if the law of the state where the bank is “located” permits it to do so.  In its prior ruling, the court held that the term “located” unambiguously meant the state where the national bank acts as a fiduciary.  On appeal from the subsequent judgment, the court rejected its own prior holding as “clearly erroneous,” determining instead that the term “located” in the Act was ambiguous.  The court then applied Chevron deference to conclude that the Department of the Treasury’s interpretation of the term “located” as the place where primary fiduciary actions and decisions are undertaken by the national bank was reasonable.  The case was remanded for a determination of which state law applied to the fiduciary appointment at issue in light of the Treasury’s interpretation.