BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The launch of State Farm Bank in 1999 will not impact the proposed merger of the 12 credit unions that serve State Farm Insurance Co. employees, a company spokesperson said. State Farm Bank opened in May 1999 after being granted a federal savings bank charter from the Office of Thrift Supervision on Nov. 12, 1998-prior to the 1999 Gramm-Leach Bliley Act. The bank’s deposit insurance certificate with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was granted Nov. 17, 1998. Since its opening, State Farm Bank has sought clarification from the OTS regarding the applicability of state licensing and registration requirements to its agents who market exclusively State Farm Bank products. Some states have also required State Farm agents to be state licensed/registered in order to market the bank’s jumbo certificates of deposits and mortgage products. On Oct. 25, 2004, the OTS issued an opinion stating these requirements are not applicable to State Farm agents when marketing State Farm Bank products. In essence, agents do not have to be dually licensed to sell certain products, said Fraser Engerman, spokesperson, State Farm Insurance. Two dozen states had required agents to be licensed to sell jumbo CDs, he added. The company is currently in litigation in other states over the dual licensing. Meanwhile, the proposed merger of the 12 State Farm federal credit unions has nothing to do with State Farm Bank, Engerman said. “They’re two totally different entities,” he said. State Farm Bank has 485,000 active accounts and $5 billion in assets, according to State Farm Insurance’s Web site. -msamaad@cutimes.com