The market for financial services in the United States has long been characterized by a series of federally-imposed geographic restrictions and service-market divisions. Congress enacted these restrictions to prevent both banks and their holding companies from engaging in certain business activities and to restrict their ability to expand across state lines. Because such restrictions have substantial anti-competitive effects, and are not necessary to protect the safety and soundness of depository institutions themselves, this Policy Essay proposes the repeal of current regulations of the activities of bank holding companies. At the same time, the payment system-the various arrangements for transferring value, other than cash, between two parties-must be protected from the unacceptable risks of deregulation by prohibiting unregulated depository institution affiliates from processing payments through commonly owned depository institutions.