There shall be a State Banking Department which shall administer the laws of this state which regulate or otherwise relate to corporations doing or carrying on a banking business in the state, all laws relating to savings and loan associations doing business in this state and all laws relating to persons, firms or corporations engaging in the loan business in this state. The authority of the State Banking Department to perform such functions shall be exclusive.
Whenever the superintendent shall have reason to believe that the capital of any bank is impaired, he may in his discretion require such bank to make good the deficit by the date specified by him, which requirement shall be in writing. The superintendent may cause the affairs of any such bank to be examined to ascertain the amount of such impairment and whether the deficiency has been made good as required by law.
(a) To administer, supervise and enforce the laws pertaining to credit unions in this state and in particular this article and Chapter 17 of this title, there is hereby created in the State Banking Department the Bureau of Credit Unions.
(b) The Superintendent of Banks shall, with the approval of the Governor and subject to the provisions of the merit system, appoint a Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions, who shall, subject to the provisions of Section 5-2A-3, be the chief of the Bureau of Credit Unions, and such other employees of said bureau as may be necessary. The Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions and all of its other employees shall be used exclusively in administering and enforcing the provisions of this article and Chapter 17 of this title. The Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions shall take and file with the Secretary of State the official oath and shall give bond in the penal sum of $10,000.00 for the faithful performance of the duties of his office.
(c) The Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions, for the purposes of administering, supervising and enforcing this article and Chapter 17 of this title and other laws pertaining to credit unions in this state, may investigate the loans and business of every credit union in Alabama.
(d) All records, reports and other data submitted by any credit union to the Bureau of Credit Unions and the reporting of all examinations and investigations and action taken shall be open to public inspection.
To be eligible for appointment as Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions a person must be a citizen of Alabama and have had at least five years' experience in the 10 years next preceding his appointment either as an officer, director or manager of a federal or state credit union or other equivalent experience for at least five years in the 10 years next preceding his appointment.
Every credit union carrying on a credit union business in the state other than federal credit unions shall be subject to the supervision and inspection of the Bureau of Credit Unions and the supervisor thereof. The Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions shall, either personally or by competent examiner serving under him, visit and examine every credit union doing a credit union business in and under the laws of the State of Alabama at least once in each year. On every such examination, inquiry shall be made as to the conditions and resources of the credit union, the mode of conducting and managing the affairs of the credit union, the action of its directors, officers and manager, the investment of the funds of the credit union, the safety and prudence of the management of the credit union, whether the requirements of its charter and of law have been complied with in the administration of the affairs of the credit union and as to such other matters as the Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions may prescribe. In addition, the Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions shall in like manner examine or cause to be examined into the affairs of every credit union whenever, in the judgment of the Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions, the management and condition of the credit union is such as to render an examination of its affairs necessary or expedient or whenever, in the opinion of the Supervisor of the Bureau of Credit Unions, the interest of the public demands an examination.
The expenses of operating the Bureau of Credit Unions shall be paid out of such taxes, fees, assessments, penalties and other revenues collected by the bureau, and no taxes, fees, assessments, penalties or other revenues collected by the Bureau of Credit Unions shall be used for any purposes other than the expenses of operating the bureau. Any excess moneys shall be paid into the special fund in the treasury created under the provisions of Section 5-17-7, whether such excess moneys were collected prior to 1981 or collected thereafter.
Whenever losses are sustained by a bank, such losses shall be charged on the books of the bank as losses so that the books of the bank will show the true condition of the bank. When, by reason of losses or otherwise, the capital of a bank is impaired, and when the bank has been notified by the superintendent, under Section 5-2A-10, the bank must make good its impairment of capital in a manner approved by the superintendent.
The superintendent may order the board of directors of any bank to correct any matters in the conduct of the affairs of the bank which in his opinion are unsafe and unsound. The Banking Board may, after at least 10 days' written notice to the bank and any officer or director affected, and a hearing, remove any director or officer of a bank which does not comply with the superintendent's order to correct unsafe and unsound matters if the Banking Board by written order enters a finding that the bank has thereby suffered or will probably suffer substantial financial loss and that such practice is one involving personal dishonesty on the part of such director or officer or one which demonstrates a willful and continuing disregard for the safety and soundness of the bank, the result of which has caused the bank to suffer or which is likely to cause the bank to suffer substantial financial loss. In such written notice, the superintendent shall include a specific statement of the facts constituting the alleged unsafe and unsound conduct to be made the basis of the removal. At the hearing thereof, the officer or director shall have the right to appear in person or by counsel. Any order directing removal of a director or officer shall within 15 days of the date of entry thereof be appealable to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, which appeal shall be conducted de novo. Pending expiration of the time for appeal, the order of removal shall not become effective. All proceedings before the Banking Board shall be confidential. Any person violating this section by disclosure of information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The superintendent shall make from the reports of the department during the year an annual report to the Governor on the activities of the Banking Department and such other information as the Governor may request and shall keep on file as a public record in the superintendent's office a copy thereof. The board may print for public distribution such annual report and such other material as it deems suitable for the more effective administration of departmental business.
The superintendent shall submit to the grand juries in the respective counties of the state any criminal violations of the banking laws known by him to have occurred in such county.
(a) Subject to the provisions of Section 36-26-1, et seq., the superintendent may appoint or employ one or more deputy superintendents and such assistants, employees and attorneys as may be necessary to the efficient operation of the department. He shall fix their compensation in accordance with Section 36-26-1, et seq. and the pay plan of the State Personnel Department. All such assistants, employees and attorneys shall be subject to the provisions of the merit system. The superintendent shall, with the approval of the Governor, have authority to employ and discharge special counsel as he may deem necessary.
(b) The Deputy Superintendent of Banks shall in the absence of the superintendent exercise any of the powers conferred by law on the superintendent and shall before entering upon the duties of his office execute to the State of Alabama a bond in the amount of $25,000.00 for the faithful performance of his duties.
Neither the superintendent, any member of the Banking Board nor any employee of the Banking Department shall be personally liable for any acts done in good faith while in the performance of his duties as provided by law.
Every examiner shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, take and file with the superintendent an oath faithfully to discharge his duties as examiner. Each examiner shall act under the direction of the superintendent and shall examine fully into the books, papers and affairs of each bank which he may be directed by the superintendent to examine.
The superintendent shall furnish to each examiner a commission under the signature of the superintendent and official seal of the State Banking Department, which commission the examiner shall exhibit to the bank, and to any officer or officers proposed to be examined as his authority for making the examination.
Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, all examiners and office assistants shall execute to the State of Alabama a bond to be fixed and approved by the superintendent, for the faithful performance of their duties.
The State Banking Department shall locate and maintain its principal office in the City of Montgomery, Alabama, from which place it shall perform its duties and transact its business. Unless otherwise provided in Chapters 1A through 13B and Chapter 20 of this title, all actions in which the superintendent, the Banking Department or its employees, the Banking Board or its members are named or joined shall be brought in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.
Each bank shall on the call of the superintendent pay to the State Banking Department an assessment fee based on the total resources of the bank as may be shown by its last report to the State Banking Department. The rate of such assessment shall be in an amount fixed by the superintendent and approved by the Banking Board and the assessment may be made more frequently than annually. All assessments and other fees collected by the State Banking Department shall be paid into a special fund to be set up by the State Treasurer. The special fund shall be used to pay the salaries of the officials and employees and the expenses of the State Banking Department, including the purchase of equipment, vehicles and supplies necessary for the examination and supervision of banks, and all moneys deposited therein are hereby appropriated for that purpose. The expense of all examiners of the State Banking Department shall be paid according to regulations promulgated by the superintendent, and the State Banking Department and its several bureaus and divisions are hereby exempt from the provisions of Sections 36-7-20 and 36-7-22. It is provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that all salaries of the officials and employees and expenses of operating and equipping the State Banking Department shall come from the special fund. No other assessment or license of any kind shall be levied against or collected from any bank or banking institution, except the ordinary taxes assessed against property in general, and except as may be specifically provided for in this code.
Each bank failing to make payments of assessments on call made by the superintendent within 30 days after receiving notice from the superintendent of the amount of the assessment, shall pay to the state $100.00 for each day after such 30-day period. Such sum, together with the amount due from the bank, may be collected by civil action from the bank in the name of the state against the bank, and the Attorney General shall represent the superintendent in proper proceedings to enforce the collection of the assessment, together with the amount provided in this section.
The board of directors of each state bank shall at least once in each calendar year have an audit made of its books and affairs, including any accounts held in a fiduciary capacity, by independent auditors approved by the superintendent. These may be separate audits. 'Independent auditors' shall include the audit staff of a correspondent bank or the audit staff of a bank holding company, or auditors or accountants who are not employees of the bank. The superintendent shall by regulation establish minimum standards for audits and reports, which shall include such matters as he shall require. To assist in promulgating minimum standards for audits and reports, the superintendent shall appoint an advisory committee of no less than six members. Membership of the committee shall consist of auditors, as qualified in Chapters 1A through 12A of this title, who regularly perform audits in banks chartered under the laws of Alabama. A majority of the committee shall be comprised of individuals who are certified internal auditors, chartered bank auditors, or certified public accountants. The committee shall meet at the call of the superintendent. The advice of this committee shall not be binding on the superintendent and the members shall serve without compensation. A report of the audit shall be signed by the person making it, and such signed copy shall be submitted to the board of directors and retained in the bank. If any bank has a system of internal audit approved by the Superintendent of Banks, no such independent audit shall be required, and in lieu thereof the auditor or comptroller of the bank shall submit to its board of directors an annual summary of the same matters, which shall be retained in the bank. Such report shall also set forth the degree of compliance with the approved audit system.
The Attorney General without additional compensation shall render to the State Banking Department such legal services as the superintendent may request. The district attorney in each county in this state, when requested by the superintendent, shall as a part of his or her official duty and without compensation, represent the superintendent in any civil action that the superintendent may desire to bring, or that may be brought against the superintendent under the provisions of Chapters 1A through 13B and Chapter 20 of this title, in his or her respective circuit or county.
The Superintendent of Banks may at any reasonable time cause an examination to be made of any small loan company, finance company, and other individual or person holding any license from the State Banking Department at the licensee's place of business of the records and transactions of such licensee to determine compliance with the laws of Alabama. Each licensee shall pay to the State Banking Department the actual cost of each examination, the amount of which shall be reasonably prescribed under uniform and equitable rules and regulations promulgated by the Superintendent of Banks. All such fees shall be paid into the special fund set up by the State Treasurer pursuant to Section 5-2A-20, and used in the supervision and examination of licensees.
The State Banking Department shall be in the charge of the superintendent, who shall be the chief executive officer of the department. The superintendent shall be a person of good character and shall be neither directly nor indirectly interested in, nor borrow money from, a bank chartered under the laws of this state. Debts of the superintendent existing at the time of his or her appointment with banks chartered under the laws of this state may not be extended or renewed. The superintendent shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate and his or her salary shall be set by the Governor within a salary range established by the Banking Board. The salary of any Assistant Superintendent of Banks shall be set by the Governor within a salary range established by the Banking Board for the position of Assistant Superintendent of Banks. Sections 36-6-5 and 36-6-6 shall not apply to the Superintendent of Banks. The term of office of the superintendent shall expire on the first day of February after the expiration of the term of office of the Governor making the appointment. If for any reason there is a vacancy in the office while the Senate is not in session, the Governor shall appoint a superintendent who shall hold office and exercise the powers conferred by law upon the office until the Senate meets and passes on the appointment. If the appointment is disapproved by the Senate, the appointee shall vacate the office immediately and another appointment shall be made by the Governor in like manner until an appointment is confirmed by the Senate. To be eligible for appointment as superintendent, a person shall have had at least five years' experience in the 10 years next preceding the appointment either as an officer of an Alabama bank or an examiner or other officer in a federal or state bank supervisory agency, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the banking departments of the various states or other equivalent experience for at least five years in the 10 years next preceding the appointment.
The superintendent, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed by the constitution and laws of this state, and shall give bond in the penal sum of $25,000.00. The oath and the bond shall be filed with the Secretary of State.
There shall be a Banking Board, which shall consist of the superintendent, who shall be ex officio a member and chairman of the board, and six persons who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate. At the time of appointment members shall reside in different congressional districts. Members of the Banking Board shall be appointed for terms of six years each so that the terms of two of the six appointed members will expire on February 1 of each odd-numbered year. Upon the expiration of their terms of office, members of the board shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed and have qualified.
A meeting of the Banking Board may be had on call of the superintendent or any three members of the board. The superintendent shall give to each member of the Banking Board at least three days' notice of the time and place of any meeting of said board unless such notice is waived by all the members of the board.
The Banking Board shall hold its meetings within the state; provided, however, the Banking Board may hold a meeting without the state only if so required by the federal agency regulating banks.
A majority of members of the Banking Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.
If a vacancy shall occur in the appointed membership of the Banking Board, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, and the appointee shall hold office until the Senate meets and passes on the appointment. If the appointment is disapproved by the Senate, another appointment must be made by the Governor, and appointments must be made in like manner until an appointment is confirmed by the Senate. The six appointed members of the Banking Board shall be persons of good character. Four of the six must have had at least five years' experience in the 10 years next preceding their appointment to the Banking Board either as an officer of a bank, a director of a bank or an examiner or other officer in a federal or state bank supervisory agency, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the banking departments of the various states or other equivalent experience. Three of the members of the board, during the time they hold office, shall be connected with some state bank doing business as a bank under the laws of the State of Alabama as an officer or director of such bank.
No person appointed as a member of the Banking Board shall receive any compensation for this service; except, that each appointed member of said Banking Board shall receive $50.00 per day and expenses as paid state employees for each day said Banking Board is in session. The compensation of the appointed members of the Banking Board shall be paid as earned by the State Treasurer on warrants drawn by the comptroller, in favor of each of them, which warrants are to be drawn on the certificate of the superintendent, which certificate shall certify that a meeting of said board was held, stating the time of meeting and stating the amount to which each member of the board is entitled.
The Secretary of State shall provide the superintendent with an official seal. Every paper executed by him as such superintendent, in pursuance of any authority conferred on him by law and sealed with his official seal, shall be received in evidence and may be recorded in the proper recording office in the state in the same manner and with the same effect as a deed regularly acknowledged or proven.
(a) The superintendent or any member of the Banking Board may be removed from office by a vote of two thirds of the members of the entire banking board for:
(1) Neglect of duty;
(4) Extortion or corruption in office;
(6) Intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquors or narcotics to such an extent, in view of the dignity of the office and the importance of its duties, as to render such person unfit for the discharge of his duties; or
(7) Any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, committed under color thereof or connected therewith.
(b) The superintendent may also be removed from office, without cause, upon written order of four appointed members of the Banking Board and the Governor.
The Bureau of Savings and Loan shall consist of:
(1) A Savings and Loan Board;
(2) A Commissioner of Savings and Loan, who shall be the chief officer of the Bureau of Savings and Loan, who shall be ex officio a member and Chairman of the Savings and Loan Board and who shall be the same person who is appointed Superintendent of Banks; and
(3) Such subordinate divisions and employees as are provided for in this chapter.
(a) There is hereby created a Savings and Loan Bureau which shall be a bureau of the State Banking Department.
(b) The bureau shall be set up, established and administered by the Savings and Loan Commissioner under the executive direction and control of the State Banking Department, and the commissioner shall be the same person as the Superintendent of Banks. The Deputy Superintendent of Banks shall be the deputy commissioner. The salaries of the commissioner and the deputy commissioner shall be payable out of the treasury, as the salaries of other state officials are paid, and the commissioner and his deputy shall be allowed and paid for necessary travelling expenses while travelling upon official business as provided in Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 36.
(c) The deputy commissioner shall serve as secretary at the meetings of the Savings and Loan Board.
(d) The Savings and Loan Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor, shall appoint one or more savings and loan examiners, who shall be bank examiners, and the bank examiners so appointed shall not receive additional compensation for their services as savings and loan examiners. The deputy commissioner and the savings and loan examiners of the savings and loan bureau shall be under the direct control of the commissioner.
(e) The expenses of the Savings and Loan Bureau shall be audited and paid in the same manner as salaries and expenses of the other state departments.
(f) The commissioner and his deputy commissioner shall not be interested in any association, directly or indirectly, either as creditor, investor, director, officer, employee or borrower.
(g) Neither the commissioner nor any officer or employee of the Savings and Loan Bureau shall be personally liable for any acts done in good faith while in the performance of his duties provided by law.
(h) The commissioner, his deputy and the savings and loan examiners shall receive no compensation whatsoever from any association.
(i) The commissioner, his deputy and savings and loan examiners shall not divulge any information acquired by them in the discharge of their duties as prescribed by this title, except insofar as the same may be rendered necessary by law or under order of a court in an action involving the Savings and Loan Bureau or in criminal actions; provided, that the commissioner may furnish information as to the condition of any association to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, any federal home loan bank or the savings and loan department of other states.
(j) The commissioner shall have a seal of office containing the words 'Savings and Loan Commissioner of Alabama' in the form of a circle and the words 'Seal' and 'State of Alabama' shall be contained within the circle.
(a) The commissioner shall have general supervision over all associations and corporations which are subject to the provisions of Chapter 16 of this title. He shall enforce the purposes of Chapter 16 of this title by use of the powers therein conferred and by reference to the courts when required.
(b) Every approval by the commissioner given pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 16 of this title and every communication having the effect of an order or instruction to any association shall be in writing, signed by the commissioner under the seal of his office and shall be mailed by registered or certified mail to the association affected thereby, addressed to the president thereof at the home office of the association, and unless the association to which any approval or order is directed is an association having its accounts insured by a federal agency, it shall not be necessary to furnish a copy of such approval or order to any agency nor have any such federal agency concur in any such approval or order.
(c) No savings and loan association shall transact any business, except incident to obtaining corporate existence, until it shall have obtained from the Savings and Loan Commissioner a permit to transact business as a savings and loan association.
(a) There is hereby created a Savings and Loan Board, consisting of the Savings and Loan Commissioner, who shall be the ex officio chairman of the board and four persons who shall be appointed by the Governor and who shall be persons with actual practical experience for at least three years in the operation and management of an institution of the savings and loan type. The members of the board shall serve without compensation; except that members shall be paid their travelling expenses in connection with the performance of their duties as members of the board plus $10.00 per diem while engaged in the performance of such duties. Such travelling expenses shall be paid out of the treasury. The board shall have such rights, powers and privileges and shall be subject to such duties as are provided by Chapter 16 of this title. The board shall maintain in the office of the commissioner permanent records of its hearings and decisions. The commissioner shall provide adequate and sufficient quarters and personnel for use by the board in connection with the performance of its business. The Governor shall appoint one member for the term of one year, one for a term of two years, one for a term of three years, and one for a term of four years, and, thereafter, upon the expiration of such terms, members shall be appointed for a term of four years. The Governor shall fill any vacancy by the appointment of a member for the unexpired term of such member.
(b) As provided in Chapter 16 of this title, associations may appeal from certain actions of the commissioner, by filing in writing, with the secretary of the board, within 30 days after the action of the commissioner complained of, a statement of the objections taken to such action. A copy of such statement shall be simultaneously filed with the commissioner. Within 10 days after the date of any such objection, the board shall fix a date for a hearing on such objection. The objecting association and the commissioner shall be notified in writing of the date of such hearing. The date of such hearing shall not be earlier than 15 days nor later than 30 days after the date of such notice, unless the board deems an earlier hearing necessary or advisable. At such hearing, the association shall present by its attorney, a director or directors, officer or officers or other employee the reasons why it deems itself aggrieved by the action of the commissioner. The commissioner shall be heard in defense of his action. The board may permit other persons who may be concerned or affected by its decision to appear before it at any such hearing. After hearing the evidence and determining the facts, the board shall, upon the merits, either approve or disapprove the action of the commissioner.
(c) After such action, should any association be dissatisfied with any findings, ruling, order or judgment of the board, said association may within 30 days after the making and issuance thereof commence a civil action in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, against the board and commissioner as defendants, to vacate and set aside said finding, ruling or order on the ground that same is unjust and unreasonable. The rules of pleading and procedure in such civil action shall be the same as for the trial of civil actions in the circuit courts of this state, and on hearing the judge of said circuit court may set aside, modify or confirm said finding, ruling, order or judgment as the evidence may require. Appeals may be taken from the decision of the circuit court to the supreme court by either party in the same manner as is provided by law in other civil cases, but the board and commissioner may appeal without bond. Pending any such appeal, the findings, rulings, orders and judgments of the board shall be prima facie evidence that they are just and reasonable and that the facts found are true and shall remain in full force and effect. If no civil action is brought within 30 days, said finding, ruling, order or judgment shall become final and binding.
(a) The Legislature finds as fact and determines that the financial industry composed of those banks and savings and loan associations having their principal place of business in Alabama must keep pace with technological and other improvements constantly being made throughout the United States so as to enable Alabama banks and savings and loan associations to render better and more efficient services to the citizens of Alabama. It is necessary and desirable that the superintendent be given additional authority in these fields.
(b) The superintendent is hereby authorized to expand banking powers of Alabama banks or the powers of Alabama savings and loan associations in order to:
(1) Accommodate or take advantage of changing technologies; and
(2) Assure the ability of Alabama banks and Alabama savings and loan associations to be responsive in their respective businesses to the needs and conveniences demanded by consumers and businesses through on-premises as well as off-premises operations; provided, that nothing in this section shall enable the superintendent to authorize banks to engage in activities which are not properly incident to the business of banking nor to enable the superintendent to authorize savings and loan associations to engage in the business of offering financial services which are now prohibited to them.
No bank, nor savings and loan association having its principal place of business outside of Alabama may engage in the banking or savings and loan business in Alabama under the provisions of this section; provided, that the superintendent is authorized to enter into agreements with the appropriate regulatory authorities of other states or of the United States, under the terms of which banks or savings and loan associations of such foreign state or subject to federal regulatory jurisdiction, and banks and savings and loan associations having their principal place of business in Alabama are given and may exercise reciprocal rights.
(c) The superintendent is authorized to issue regulations under subsection (b) and shall give notice in writing of any such proposed regulation to each Alabama bank and Alabama savings and loan association affected thereby, inviting comments, and shall give due consideration to such comments before adopting any final regulation. Any regulation issued under this section relating to banks shall be adopted pursuant to the provision of Section 5-2A-9. Any Alabama bank, Alabama savings and loan association and any foreign corporation or association covered by the provisions of subsection (b) desiring to exercise any such expanded power must secure in advance written permission of the superintendent. The superintendent may prescribe the form or forms for such applications for permits and may impose reasonable conditions in granting such permits.
(d) To the extent permitted by federal law, the provisions hereof may be utilized by national banks and federally chartered savings and loan associations.
The superintendent may, with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the State Banking Board, promulgate such reasonable regulations, consistent with the laws of this state, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of Chapters 1A through 13B and Chapter 20 of this title over which the State Banking Department has jurisdiction. The superintendent shall, in addition, issue written interpretations of banking laws and regulations. Any bank and any officer or director thereof relying on any regulation or interpretation shall be fully protected even though the same shall be thereafter ruled invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction.
To administer and enforce the provisions of chapter 18 of this title, there is hereby created in the State Banking Department the Bureau of Loans. The Superintendent of Banks shall, with the approval of the Governor and subject to the provisions of the merit system, appoint a Supervisor of the Bureau of Loans, who shall be the chief of the Bureau of Loans, and such other employees of said bureau as may be necessary. The Supervisor of the Bureau of Loans shall take and file with the Secretary of State the official oath and shall give bond in the penal sum of $10,000.00 for the faithful performance of the duties of his office. The Supervisor of the Bureau of Loans, for the purpose of discovering violations of Chapter 18 of this title, may investigate the loans and business of every person, copartnership and corporation by whom or by which any such loan shall be made, whether such person, copartnership or corporation shall act, or claim to act, as principal, agent or broker or under or without the authority of said chapter. All records, reports and other data submitted by any licensee to the Supervisor of the Bureau of Loans and the reporting of all investigations made under Chapter 18 of this title shall remain in said office and shall not be open to public inspection.
(a) Upon 10 days' written notice to a licensee, stating the contemplated action and grounds therefor, and after giving the licensee a reasonable opportunity to be heard, the bureau shall suspend or revoke any license issued under Chapter 18 of this title if it finds:
If the bureau finds that there exists probable cause for the suspension or revocation of any license and that the enforcement of Chapter 18 of this title requires immediate suspension of such license pending a complete investigation, it may, upon three days' written notice, and after a hearing, enter an order suspending such license for a period not exceeding 30 days, during which time no loans may be made by the licensee. Upon completion of its investigation, the bureau may reinstate the license or revoke the same or order such further suspension thereof as the circumstances may warrant.
(b) The supervisor may, either before or after the suspension or revocation of any license, apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction or other order enjoining or prohibiting any person from violating any of the provisions of Chapter 18 of this title or any rules, regulations or orders of the bureau, and upon a proper showing the court shall issue such injunction or order as may be deemed proper.
Any person aggrieved by any order or act of the bureau or the supervisor may, within 30 days from the entry of the order complained of or within 60 days of the act complained of if there is no order, file a complaint or appeal from the order or act against the supervisor in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County or the circuit court of the county of the residence of the party aggrieved or the circuit court of the county wherein the party aggrieved does business and file security with the court for costs. Such complaint may pray for a reversal, rescission or modification of the order or act complained of and for such other relief as may be appropriate. It shall allege the facts relied upon as the basis for such relief. When the complaint has been filed, a summons shall be issued forthwith and shall be served upon the supervisor personally or by registered or certified mail addressed to his office in the State Banking Department. The summons shall be returnable within five days from its date but in all other respects it shall be made as in other civil actions. The allegations of the complaint shall be deemed to be denied without further pleading, and the court, upon application by either party, shall advance the cause and hear the same without delay. Mere technical irregularities in the procedure before the bureau shall be disregarded. Trial thereof shall be de novo, but on such hearing the act or order of the supervisor shall be prima facie correct and the burden shall be on the plaintiff to show that the bureau in issuing the order or in taking the action complained of was not justified. Any party to the proceeding may summon witnesses and compel their attendance as in criminal cases and may introduce evidence in addition to that relied upon by the bureau. A proceeding under this section shall be deemed to be a special proceeding and either party may appeal from a final judgment therein.
The salaries of the supervisor and employees of the Bureau of Loans and all other expenses incident to carrying out the duties of the supervisor and employees shall be paid as the salaries of other state officials and employees are paid, and the other said necessary expenses shall be paid as now provided by law.
(a) Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any regulation, the superintendent shall:
(1) Give at least 35 days' notice of the intended action. The notice shall include a statement of either the terms or substance of the intended action or a description of the subjects and issues involved, and the time when, the place where, and the manner in which interested persons may present their views thereon. The notice shall be mailed to all banks in this state and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Montgomery County. A complete copy of the proposed regulation shall be filed with the Secretary of State; and
(2) Afford all interested persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing. Opportunity for oral hearing must be granted if requested by 25 persons, by a governmental subdivision or agency, or by an association having not less than 25 members. The superintendent shall consider fully all written and oral submissions respecting the proposed regulation. Upon adoption of a regulation, the superintendent, if requested to do so by an interested person either prior to adoption or within 30 days thereafter, shall issue a concise statement of the principal reasons for and against its adoption, incorporating therein the reasons for overruling the considerations urged against its adoption.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, if the superintendent finds that an immediate danger to the public welfare requires adoption of a regulation upon fewer than 35 days' notice and states in writing his reasons for that finding, he may proceed without prior notice or hearing or upon any abbreviated notice and hearing that he finds practicable to adopt an emergency regulation. The regulation shall become effective immediately, unless otherwise stated therein, upon the filing of the regulation and a copy of the written statement of the reasons therefor with the Secretary of State. The regulation may be effective for a period of not longer than 120 days and shall not be renewable. The superintendent and Banking Board shall not adopt the same or a substantially similar emergency regulation within one calendar year from its first adoption unless the superintendent clearly establishes it could not reasonably be foreseen during the initial 120-day period that such emergency would continue or would likely reoccur during the next nine months. The adoption of the same or a substantially similar regulation by normal regulation-making procedures is not precluded.
(c) No regulation hereafter adopted is valid unless adopted in substantial compliance with this section. A proceeding to contest any regulation on the ground of noncompliance with the procedural requirements of this section must be commenced within two years from the effective date of the regulation; provided, however, that a proceeding to contest a regulation based on failure to provide notice as herein required or on an incorrect interpretation of the law may be commenced at any time.
(d) The validity or applicability of any regulation or an interpretation of the Banking Department may be determined in an action for declaratory judgment brought in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County when it is alleged that the adoption, amendment or repeal of any regulation or any interpretation or the application or threatened application of any regulation or any interpretation interferes with or impairs or threatens to interfere with or impair the legal rights and privileges of the bank or any person affected thereby.