Thanks to a March 6 opinion letter by the Texas Department of Banking, chartered banks in Texas have received the go-ahead to engage in the agency sale of title insurance provided they are appropriately licensed by the state insurance department. This opens a whole new revenue source for these banks, says John West, chairman and CEO of the First National Bank of Livingston. “We certainly expect it to be profitable,” he says.

Previously in Texas, nationally chartered banks were the only financial institutions authorized to sell title insurance, and they could only do so in towns with populations of less than 5,000, says Dallas lawyer John Podvin Jr.