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Divisions are distinct parts of a business. If these divisions are all part of the same company, then that company is legally responsible for all of the obligations and debts of the divisions.
In the banking industry, an example would be OneWest Bank and its relationship with CIT Bank. CIT Bank is the retail banking segment of financial services company CIT Group. OneWest Bank, although a separate legal entity, is classified as being a division of CIT Bank. OneWest continues to use its own logo and has a branch of retail banks in Southern California, but for the purposes of running its business and reporting financial results, CIT Group consolidates all OneWest Bank activity into CIT Bank. In addition to its OneWest Bank division, CIT Bank includes an online bank.
Subsidiaries are separate, distinct legal entities for the purposes of taxation, regulation and liability. For this reason, they differ from divisions, which are businesses fully integrated within the main company, and not legally or otherwise distinct from it. The Houston Chronicle highlighted that the creation of a division "is substantially easier than developing subsidiaries. Because a division is an internal segment of a company, not an entirely separate entity, business owners create and end divisions at their whim. Also, because individuals in each division are employed by the same company, it's easier to modify staffing to fit with this setup".
- Longman business English dictionary. Harlow: Longman. 2000. p. 138. ISBN 9780582306073.
- "Differences Between Wholly Owned Subsidiaries & Divisions". SmallBusiness.Chron. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- Picincu, Andra (August 10, 2020). "Business Organizational Structure Examples". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
- "About US". OneWest Bank. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "CIT Group 2018 10-K". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- Lehman, Jeffrey; Phelps, Shirelle (2005). West's Encyclopedia of American Law, Vol. 9 (2 ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. p. 387. ISBN 9780787663742.
- Reed, Eric (February 12, 2019). "What Is a Subsidiary and What Do You Need to Know When Starting One?". TheStreet. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
- "Lateral Structural Arrangements in Organizations". Houston Chronicle. October 5, 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-11.