Investment Company Institute v. Camp, Civ. A. No. 1083-66.

CourtUnited States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
Citation274 F. Supp. 624
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 1083-66.
PartiesINVESTMENT COMPANY INSTITUTE et al., Plaintiffs, v. William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency, Defendant.
Decision Date27 September 1967

274 F. Supp. 624

William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 1083-66.

United States District Court District of Columbia.

September 27, 1967.

274 F. Supp. 625
274 F. Supp. 626
274 F. Supp. 627
G. Duane Veith, James F. Fitzpatrick, Charles R. Halpern, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D. C., Robert L. Augenblick, New York City, for plaintiffs

Barefoot Sanders, Asst. Atty. Gen., Harland F. Leathers, Irwin Goldbloom, Stephen M. Truitt, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C., David G. Bress, U. S. Atty., Joseph M. Hannon, Asst. U. S. Atty., Washington, D. C., for defendant.


McGARRAGHY, District Judge.

This action is brought against the Comptroller of the Currency by the Investment Company Institute in its representative capacity of the open-end investment companies, investment advisers and principal underwriters which comprise its membership. The Investment Company Institute (hereinafter called the Institute) is an unincorporated association, having its principal place of business in the city, county and state of New York. The Institute is a national association, having as its members 177 open-end management investment companies and their 88 investment advisers and 78 principal underwriters. The open-end management investment companies which are members of the Institute have assets of $36 billion, representing about 94 percent of the assets of all such companies in the United States, and have approximately 3.5 million shareholders. The other plaintiffs in this action are several individual members of the Institute. They seek an injunction to restrain the Comptroller from authorizing national banks to collectively invest funds tendered to the bank as managing agent solely for investment purposes. They also pray for a declaratory judgment adjudicating the pertinent regulation promulgated by the Comptroller to be invalid.

The action is now before this court on cross motions for summary judgment, all of the parties agreeing that no factual issues exist and that the legal issues are ripe for disposition by summary proceedings.

It is first necessary to review and to delineate the factual background upon which the issues in this action arose and within which these motions are made. In September of 1962 the statutory authority to regulate the fiduciary activities of national banks was transferred from the Board of Governors of the Federal

274 F. Supp. 628
Reserve System to the Comptroller of the Currency. Pub.L. 87-722, 76 Stat. 668, 12 U.S.C. § 92a. Pursuant to this authority, the Comptroller caused to be published in the Federal Register for February 5, 1963, a proposed revision of the fiduciary regulation, 12 C.F.R. § 9. In addition to the types of collective investment funds permitted under the prior regulation, this proposed revision provided that national banks were authorized to invest funds held in the capacity of managing agent in a collective investment account, 12 C.F.R. § 9.18(a) (3).1 Moreover, the proposed revised regulation allowed the Comptroller to approve collective investment of such funds in manners other than those expressly provided by Regulation 9, 12 C.F.R. § 9.18 (c) (5).2

The Comptroller invited national banks and other interested parties to submit comments pertaining to the proposed regulation. Plaintiff Institute, on behalf of its members, participated to the full degree permitted and submitted a statement in opposition to the proposed regulation. It premised its argument on the same basis that it is presenting before this court, namely, that the revised regulation would allegedly permit activity prohibited by 12 U.S.C. § 92a, and certain provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, as amended, 12 U.S.C. §§ 24, 78, 377 and 378. Notwithstanding this opposition the final regulation was adopted by the Comptroller on April 5, 1963, and revised by minor modifications on February 5, 1964, 12 C.F.R. § 9.18.

Pursuant to the regulation, on May 10, 1965, the Comptroller approved a plan submitted by First National City Bank of New York (hereinafter referred to as the Bank) for the establishment and operation of a collective investment fund, called the Commingled Investment Account, under Regulation 9, 12 C.F.R. § 9. The plan as outlined by the Bank differed from the specifically enumerated collective investment funds authorized by the Comptroller's revised Regulation, but the Bank, pursuant to 12 C.F.R. § 9.18(c) (5) sought and obtained the Comptroller's written approval of the plan.

On April 20, 1966, the Bank registered its Commingled Investment Account with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-1 et seq. as an open-end management investment company. On the same date, the Bank filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77a et seq., for the purpose of registering the participating interests or units to be issued by its Commingled Investment Account. The registration statement concerning those participating interests or units became effective on June 14, 1966. From that date the Bank has offered and sold to the public participating interests or units issued by the Commingled Investment Account by means of the prospectus for the First National City's Commingled Investment Account.

Before proceeding to the merits of this controversy, it is best at this time to specifically describe the operation of a mutual fund and the operation of the Commingled Investment Account (hereinafter referred to as the Account) so that a better understanding of the problem can be achieved.

Generally, "mutual funds" are open-end management companies engaged in the business of continuously issuing and offering for sale redeemable securities which represent an undivided interest in the fund's assets. Most mutual funds are corporate in form and the securities issued by them usually consist of capital stock. However, there are a number of mutual funds in a variety of noncorporate

274 F. Supp. 629
forms and the securities issued by some of them are variously denominated as beneficial interests, participating agreements, and the like. The proceeds from the sale of the securities issued by a mutual fund are invested in a portfolio of securities of various kinds, in accordance with the stated investment policy of the particular fund. Some funds invest primarily in securities offering current income; others concentrate on long-term growth securities; still others specialize in particular industries or classes of securities; and many offer various combinations of objectives. The shareholder in a mutual fund is entitled at any time to redeem his interest, usually at net asset value, or in a few instances upon payment of a charge. To facilitate this redemption privilege as well as to establish a price at which new shares are being offered, the value of a share in a mutual fund is calculated regularly, typically twice daily, on the basis of the market value of the securities held by the fund. Because of the continuous process of redemption, the mutual fund would be restricted and contracted in size, unless it continuously issued and offered new securities for sale

Except in unique circumstances, virtually no shares in mutual funds are traded from one investor to another, and there is no significant trading market for such shares. In almost all cases, shareholders in mutual funds desiring to obtain cash for their shares redeem them with the issuing company. The securities issued by most mutual funds are offered to the public at a price which includes a sales commission or sales load. There are some mutual funds whose shares are sold with no sales commission being charged. These latter funds are frequently called "no load" mutual funds. The activities of mutual funds are under the control of a board of directors or board of trustees. Directors or trustees are elected annually by the vote of a majority of the fund's outstanding voting securities.

Mutual funds usually contract an outside investment adviser for investment advice and other management services, and with a principal underwriter for the distribution of the fund's shares, pursuant to the statutory pattern established by the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-15. The investment adviser of a mutual fund furnishes advice to the fund with respect to its investment portfolio and the securities it should buy, hold, and sell. In some cases the adviser is empowered to purchase and sell securities for the fund. Some investment advisers also furnish supervisory and administrative services to the mutual fund. The investment adviser receives compensation for its services, usually in the form of a fee based on the total value of the assets being managed.

The principal underwriter of a mutual fund is engaged in the business of selling and distributing the securities issued by the fund to the investing public through brokers or dealers, or directly through the underwriter's own salesmen, or both. The principal underwriter either purchases the securities issued by the fund for resale or acts as agent for the fund in distributing the securities. Except in the case of a no-load fund, the principal underwriter receives a fee for its services, usually in the form of a portion of the sales commission included in the selling price of the shares issued by the mutual fund.

Mutual funds are required to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Investment Company Act of 1940. The activities of the mutual funds and their relationship with affiliated persons and others are all subject to regulation under the Act. The investment advisers and principal underwriters who are plaintiffs herein, perform their services for the mutual funds they serve pursuant to contracts,...

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