Recent development in Congress and the courts have focused attention on the relative roles of commercial banks, thrifts, and credit unions. As concern mounted last year about the state of the thrift deposit insurance fund, Congress required commercial banks to share the burden of recapitalizing the fund. In return, Congress promised to come up with a plan for merging the bank and thrift charters, a move the banking industry has long favored. About the same time, a federal appeals court ruled against a major source of credit union growth since the early 1980s - the acceptance of new members with a common bond different from the original members. The Supreme Court later agreed to hear the case, sparking a renewed debate in Congress about the proper role of credit unions in the financial system. ; These recent actions by Congress and the courts follow a decade and a half of dramatic changes in the depository industry in Tenth District states. Some of these changes have been due to shifts in laws and regulations. First, there has been a significant decline in the number of district depository institutions - a decline in which banks, thrifts, and credit unions have all shared. Second, total deposits have declined when adjusted for inflation or measured relative to economic activity. Third, the share of thrifts in total deposits has plummeted relative to that of banks and credit unions. And fourth, while banks, thrifts, and credit unions still specialize in different loans and investments, the three types of institutions do not look as different today as at the beginning of the 1980s. ; Such changes are important because they affect the thousands of depository institutions in the district and the supply of credit and other financial services to district households and businesses. With those effects in mind, Keeton and McKibbin show how the district depository industry has changed since 1979, explain the factors behind each change, and suggest what further changes may lie ahead.