(b) Upon receipt of a demand for such hearing the commissioner shall set a time and place therefor not less than ten and not more than thirty days thereafter. Said hearing may be continued by the commissioner upon his own motion or for good cause shown by the person demanding the same.
(c) All of the pertinent provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code shall apply to and govern the hearing and the administrative procedures in connection with and following such hearing.
(d) Any such hearings shall be conducted by the commissioner or a hearing examiner appointed by him. For the purpose of conducting such hearings the commissioner or such hearing examiner shall have the power and authority to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum which shall be issued and served within the time, for the fees and shall be enforced and governed as provided in section one, article five of said chapter twenty-nine-a.
(e) The person demanding such hearing may represent himself thereat or be represented by an attorney at law admitted to practice before any circuit court of this state.
(f) After any such hearing and consideration of all of the testimony, evidence and record in the case, the commissioner shall render his decision in writing affirming, modifying or reversing the order, demand, action, refusal, failure to act, denial or requirement with respect to which such hearing was demanded, which decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law as specified in section three, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, and a copy of such decision and accompanying findings and conclusions shall be served upon the person demanding such hearing, and his attorney of record, if any.
(b) Any person adversely affected by a final judgment of a circuit court following judicial review as provided in subsection (a) of this section may seek review thereof by appeal to the supreme court of appeals in the manner provided in article six, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(1) To solicit, accept or agree to accept, directly or indirectly, from any person other than such institution, any gratuity, compensation or other personal benefit for any action taken or omitted by such institution or for endeavoring to procure the same; or
(2) To have any interest, directly or indirectly, in the proceeds of a purchase or sale made by such institution, unless such purchase or sale is expressly authorized by provisions of this chapter and is approved in advance by vote of a majority of all directors of such institution, any interested director taking no part in such vote; or
(3) To have any interest, direct or indirect, in the purchase at less than its face value of any evidence of indebtedness issued by the institution.
(b) For purposes of this section the term "affiliate" shall include:
(1) Any person who holds a majority of the stock of such corporate financial institution or has been determined by the commissioner of banking to hold a controlling interest therein, or any other corporation in which such person owns a majority of the stock, or any partnership in which he has an interest;
(2) Any corporation in which the institution or an officer, director or employee thereof holds a majority of the stock or any partnership in which such institution or any officer, director or employee thereof has an interest; and
(3) Any corporation of which a majority of the directors are officers, directors or employees of the corporate financial institution or any corporation of which officers, directors or employees thereof constitute a majority of the directors of the corporate financial institution.
(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to the penalties provided in section fifteen of this article.
(b) Whenever a banking institution makes a loan or loans, secured, or to be secured, by twenty-five percent or more of the outstanding voting stock of another banking institution, the president or other chief executive officer of the lending bank shall promptly report such fact to the commissioner of banking upon obtaining knowledge of such loan or loans, except that no report need be made in those cases where the borrower has been the owner of record of the stock for a period of one year or more, or the stock is that of a newly organized bank prior to its opening.
(c) The reports required by this section shall contain the following information to the extent that it is known by the person making the report: (1) the number of shares involved, (2) the names and addresses of the sellers (or transferors), (3) the names and addresses of the purchasers (or transferees), (4) the names and addresses of the beneficial owners if the shares are registered in another name, (5) the purchase price, (6) the total number of shares owned by the sellers (or transferors), the purchasers (or transferees) and the beneficial owners both immediately before and after the transaction, and in the case of a loan, (7) the name and address of the borrower, (8) the amount of the loan, and (9) the name of the banking institution issuing the stock securing the loan and the number of shares securing the loan. In addition to the foregoing, such reports shall contain such other information as may be available to inform the commissioner of the effect of the transaction upon control of the bank whose stock is involved.
(d) Whenever such a change as described in subsection (a) of this section occurs, such banking institution shall report promptly to the commissioner any changes or replacements of its chief executive officer or of any director which occur in the next twelve-month period, including in its report a statement of the past and current business and professional affiliations of the new chief executive officer or directors thereof.
(e) It shall be unlawful for any person to purchase or acquire the stock in any banking institution for purposes of transferring, selling, lending, investing or otherwise disposing of properties, funds, securities or other assets of the institution in any manner jeopardizing or imperiling the institution's financial condition.
(f) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to the penalties provided in section fifteen of this article.
(b) A banking institution may purchase its equity securities in an amount up to ten percent of its net worth in any twelve-month period or restructure its ownership interests for a legitimate corporate purpose without the prior approval of the commissioner, so long as the bank remains well-capitalized under federal regulatory guidelines before and after the purchase or restructuring, the bank is well-managed, the bank is not the subject of any unresolved supervisory issues and the transaction does not constitute a change in control of the banking institution that must be reported pursuant to section four of this article. The banking institution must apply for approval for the purchase of equity securities, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, if the gross consideration for the purchase, when aggregated with the net consideration paid by the banking institution for all such purchases during the preceding twelve months, is equal to ten percent or more of the bank's net worth. For purposes of this section, "net consideration" is the gross consideration paid by the banking institution for all of its equity securities purchased during the period minus the gross consideration received for all of its equity securities sold during the period. The commissioner shall approve or deny the application after considering whether the proposed purchase would constitute an unsafe or unsound practice.
(c) Any banking institution and any officer thereof who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to penalties provided in section fifteen of this article.
Provided, That no such suit shall lie where the person was ordered to make the disclosure by a court of competent jurisdiction, or lawfully compelled to make the disclosure as part of a legislative or executive agency investigation. Officials of the financial institution or the commissioner may refer matters of possible wrongdoing discovered by the examination which impact on the institution's soundness or financial integrity, or which concern possible criminal conduct to law enforcement officials, or other appropriate governmental regulatory agencies, including appropriate state bar or ethics officials and such referral shall not constitute public disclosure.
Any person who shall wilfully or knowingly make or cause to be made, any false statement, or exhibit any falsified, forged or invalid paper, with intent to deceive any person authorized to examine into the affairs of such financial institution; or shall make, state or publish any false statement of the financial condition of any financial institution, knowing or having reason to believe the same to be false, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.
Any officer, director, employee or agent of any financial institution or any other person guilty of any felony offense as provided in this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than five years and also, in the discretion of the court, may be fined not to exceed ten thousand dollars.
(a) To maintain or authorize the maintenance of any account of such institution in a manner which, to his knowledge, does not conform to requirements of the provisions of this chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner of banking thereunder; or
(b) To obstruct or endeavor to obstruct a lawful examination of such institution by any lawfully authorized officer or employee of any state or federal governmental supervisory department, agency or office.
(1) Acceptance of a deposit or allowing a withdrawal at the banking offices of any subsidiary affiliate, as defined in section one, article eight-a of this chapter, for credit or debit to the customer's account at any other subsidiary of the same bank holding company is permissible and does not constitute branch banking. In addition, the conduct of activity at branch offices as an agent for any bank subsidiary of the same bank holding company shall be permitted to the same extent allowed by federal law for national banks pursuant to 12 U.S.C. §1828 and does not constitute branch banking; nor does this activity constitute a violation of section forty-two, article four of this chapter. However, a banking institution may not utilize that agency relationship to evade state consumer protection laws, including usury laws, or any other applicable laws of this state or to conduct any activity that is not financially related as that term is defined by section two, article eight-c of this chapter;
(2) A banking institution located in a county where there is also a higher educational institution as defined in section two, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code may establish a temporary business office on the campus of any educational institution located in the county for the limited purposes of opening accounts and accepting deposits for a period not in excess of four business days per semester, trimester or quarter. However, prior to opening any temporary office, a banking institution must first obtain written permission from the institution of higher education. The term "business days", for the purpose of this subsection, means days exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays as defined in section one, article two, chapter two of this code;
(3) Any banking institution which on January 1, 1984, was authorized to operate an off-premises walk-in or drive-in facility, pursuant to the law then in effect, may, as of June 7, 1984, operate such facility as a branch bank and it is not necessary, for the continued operation of the branch bank, to obtain additional approvals, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section and subdivision (6), subsection (b), section two, article three of this chapter.
(b) Except for a bank holding company, it is unlawful for any individual, partnership, society, association, firm, institution, trust, syndicate, public or private corporation, or any other legal entity, or combination of entities acting in concert, to directly or indirectly own, control or hold with power to vote, twenty-five percent or more of the voting shares of each of two or more banks, or to control in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of two or more banks.
(c) A banking institution may establish branch banks either by:
(1) The construction, lease or acquisition of branch bank facilities within any county of this state; or
(2) The purchase of the business and assets and assumption of the liabilities of, or merger or consolidation with, another banking institution.
(d) Subject to and in furtherance of the board's authority under the provisions of subdivision (6), subsection (b), section two, article three of this chapter and subsection (g) of this section, the board, by order, may approve or disapprove the application of any state banking institution to establish a branch bank.
(e) The main office or a branch of a West Virginia state banking institution may not be relocated without the approval by order of the commissioner.
(f) Any banking institution which is authorized to establish branch banks pursuant to this section may provide the same banking services and exercise the same powers at each such branch bank as may be provided and exercised at its principal banking house.
(g) The board shall, upon receipt of any application to establish a branch bank under the provisions of this section, provide notice of the application to all banking institutions. A banking institution may, within ten days after receipt of the notice, file a petition to intervene and shall, if it files a petition, thereupon become a party to any hearing relating thereto before the board.
(h) The commissioner shall prescribe the form of the application for a branch bank under the provisions of this section and shall collect an examination and investigation fee of $500 for each filed application for a branch bank that is to be established by the construction, lease or acquisition of a branch bank facility and $500 for a branch bank that is to be established by the purchase of the business and assets and assumption of the liabilities of or merger or consolidation with another banking institution. Notwithstanding the above, if the merger or consolidation is between an existing banking institution and a bank newly incorporated solely for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition of the existing banking institution, the commissioner shall collect an examination and investigation fee of $100. The commissioner may require an examination of a financial institution or an office of a financial institution that is being merged into a state-chartered bank. If an examination is required, the applicant is responsible for paying the examination costs at a rate of $50 per examiner hour. The board shall complete the examination and investigation within ninety days from the date on which the application and fee are received, unless the board requests in writing additional information and disclosures concerning the proposed branch bank from the applicant banking institution. If the board makes that request, the ninety-day period shall be extended for an additional period of thirty days plus the number of days between the date of the request and the date the additional information and disclosures are received.
(i) Upon completion of the examination and investigation with respect to the application, the board shall, if a hearing be required pursuant to subsection (j) of this section, forthwith give notice and hold a hearing pursuant to the following provisions:
(1) Notice of hearing must be given to the banking institution with respect to which the hearing is to be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section two, article seven, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and the hearing and the administrative procedures in connection therewith are governed by all of the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and must be held at a time and place set by the board but may not be less than ten nor more than thirty days after the notice is given;
(2) At the hearing a party may represent himself or herself or be represented by an attorney at law admitted to practice before any circuit court of this state;
(3) After the hearing and consideration of all the testimony and evidence, the board shall make and enter an order approving or disapproving the application, which order shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law as specified in section three, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and a copy of the order and accompanying findings and conclusions shall be served upon all parties to the hearing and their attorneys of record, if any.
(j) A state banking institution may not establish a branch bank until the board, following an examination, investigation, notice and hearing, enters an order approving an application for that branch bank. However, a hearing is not required with respect to any application to establish a branch bank which is approved by the board unless a banking institution has timely filed a petition to intervene pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. The order shall be accompanied by findings of fact that:
(1) The applicant state-chartered banking institution satisfies such reasonable and appropriate requirements as to sound financial condition. For purposes of this subdivision, "sound financial condition" means that a state banking institution meets the required minimum level to be adequately capitalized for each capital measure as determined by its primary federal regulator and is not subject to supervisory action by either a state or federal financial regulatory agency;
(2) The establishment of the proposed branch bank would not result in a monopoly, nor be in furtherance of any combination or conspiracy to monopolize the business of banking in any section of this state;
(3) The establishment of the proposed branch bank would not have the effect in any section of the state of substantially lessening competition, nor tend to create a monopoly or in any other manner be in restraint of trade, unless the anticompetitive effects of the establishment of that proposed branch bank are clearly outweighed in the public interest by the probable effect of the establishment of the proposed branch bank in meeting the convenience and needs of the community to be served by that proposed branch bank;
(4) The applicant state-chartered banking institution meets a satisfactory standard of compliance with federal and state community reinvestment act requirements as evidenced by its most recent state or federal examination;
(5) The applicant state-chartered banking institution meets a satisfactory standard of compliance with federal and state consumer compliance law and regulations as evidenced by its most recent state or federal regulatory examination;
(6) The applicant state-chartered banking institution meets acceptable standards for investment in premises and fixed assets as permitted by section thirteen, article four of this chapter; and
(7) The applicant state-chartered banking institution does not present a significant supervisory concern or raise a significant legal or policy issue by filing the application.
(k) Any party who is adversely affected by the order of the board is entitled to judicial review thereof in the manner provided in section four, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Any such party adversely affected by a final judgment of a circuit court following judicial review as provided in the foregoing sentence may seek review thereof by appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals in the manner provided in article six, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(l) Pursuant to the resolution of its board of directors and with the prior written approval of the commissioner, a state banking institution may discontinue the operation of a branch bank upon at least thirty days' prior public notice given in such form and manner as the commissioner prescribes.
(m) Any violation of any provision of this section is a misdemeanor offense punishable by applicable penalties as provided in section fifteen of this article.
(b) Upon the approval of the commissioner, a banking institution may establish one or more mobile facilities to accept or withdraw deposits, pay checks, issue cashier's checks, traveler's checks and other instruments, as well as perform other banking services. Each mobile facility shall be affiliated with and operated by a bank or branch office of a bank physically located and authorized to do business in West Virginia. All mobile facilities permitted hereunder are confined to the territorial boundaries of the county in which an office of such financial institution is located or within thirty miles of an office of such financial institution. A mobile facility shall be viewed as an extension of the qualified offices of the bank located in West Virginia and the transactions shall be governed by the laws applicable as if made at such offices. The term "mobile facility" shall include a mobile customer bank communications terminal which is intended to be moved or driven from place to place. A mobile customer bank communications terminal will be treated as an off-premises unit subject to mandatory sharing laws and rules notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this subsection: Provided, That no mobile customer bank communications terminal may serve as an automatic loan machine (ALM) terminal on behalf of any other institution other than the operating bank: Provided, however, That no mobile facility may be operated within two thousand feet of another bank's main office or branch office.
communication terminals permitted.
(a) Any banking institution as defined in section two, article one of this chapter, individually or jointly with one or more other banking institutions or other federally insured financial institutions having their principal offices in this state, or any combination thereof, may upon ten days prior written notice filed with the commissioner, install, operate and engage in banking business by means of one or more customer bank communication terminals. Any banking institution which installs and operates a customer bank communication terminal:
(1) Shall make such customer bank communication terminal available for use by other banking institutions; and
(2) May make such customer bank communication terminal available for use by other federally insured financial institutions, all in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner. Such customer bank communication terminals shall not be considered to be branch banks or branch offices, agencies or places of business or off-premises walk-in or drive-in banking facilities; nor shall the operation of such customer bank communication terminals to communicate with and permit financial transactions to be carried out through a nonexclusive access interchange system be considered to make any banking institution which is part of such a nonexclusive access interchange system to have illegal branch banks or branch offices, agencies or places of business or off-premises walk-in or drive-in banking facilities.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section, a customer bank communication terminal located on the premises of the principal office or branch bank of a banking institution or on the premises of an authorized off-premises facility need not be made available for use by any other banking institution or its customers.
(c) For purposes of this section, "customer bank communication terminal" means any electronic device or machine owned, leased, or operated by a bank, together with all associated equipment, structures and systems, including, without limitation, point of sale terminals, through or by means of which a customer and a banking institution may engage in any banking transactions, whether transmitted to the banking institution instantaneously or otherwise, including, without limitation, the receipt of deposits of every kind, the receipt and dispensing of cash, requests to withdraw money from an account or pursuant to a previously authorized line of credit, receiving payments payable at the bank or otherwise transmitting instructions to receive, transfer or pay funds for a customer's benefit. Personal computers, telephones and associated equipment which enable a bank customer to conduct banking transactions at their home or office through links to their bank's computer or telephone network, do not constitute a "customer bank communication terminal" under this section. All transactions initiated through a customer bank communication terminal shall be subject to verification by the banking institution.
(d) No person, other than: (1) A banking institution authorized to engage in the banking business in this state; or (2) a credit union authorized to conduct business in this state, may operate any automatic teller machine ("ATM") or automatic loan machine ("ALM") located in this state: Provided, That ATM terminals of out-of-state banks not having branches in this state shall be allowed to operate to the same extent as a West Virginia bank if a national bank from that state not having branches in West Virginia could do so through a federal preemption of state law.
(e) For the purposes of this section, "point of sale terminal" means a customer bank communication terminal used for the primary purpose of either transferring funds to or from one or more deposit accounts in a banking institution or segregating funds in one or more deposit accounts in a banking institution for future transfer, or both, in order to execute transactions between a person and his or her customers incident to sales, including, without limitation, devices and machines which may be used to implement and facilitate check guaranty and check authorization programs.
(f) Nothing in this section prevents point of sale terminals and associated equipment from being owned, leased or operated by nonbanking entities: Provided, That such persons may not engage in the business of banking by using point of sale devices. The use of a point of sale terminal to enable a customer or other person to withdraw and obtain cash of more than fifty dollars in excess of the sales transaction purchase amount, will be presumed to constitute engaging in the business of banking: Provided, however, That cash withdrawals through a point of sale terminal in excess of fifty dollars shall not constitute engaging in the business of banking if the sales transaction is made with the use of a West Virginia check card, as provided in article three-a, chapter twelve of this code, or with an electronic benefits transfer or other card issued by state spending units to transmit payments of food benefits, temporary assistance to needy families, or other assistance, benefit or entitlement programs mandated or offered by federal or state government: Provided further, That any retailer, agency or person providing cash withdrawals with a West Virginia check card or an electronic benefits transfer card through a POS terminal is limited to charging a fee for the services in the amount of the higher of one dollar or one percent of the amount of cash withdrawn.
(g) Except for customer bank communication terminals located on the premises of the principal office or a branch bank of the banking institution or on the premises of an authorized off-premises walk-in or drive-in banking facility, a customer bank communication terminal shall be unattended or attended by persons not employed by any banking institution utilizing the terminal: Provided, That:
(1) Employees of the banking institution may be present at such terminal not located on the premises of an authorized off-premises facility solely for the purposes of installing, maintaining, repairing and servicing same; and
(2) A banking institution may provide an employee to instruct and assist customers in the operation thereof: Provided, That such employee shall not engage in any other banking activity.
(h) The commissioner shall prescribe by regulation the procedures and standards regarding the installation and operation of customer bank communication terminals, including, without limitation, the procedure for the sharing thereof.
(b) Origination of loans by employees or agents of a federally-insured depository institution of banking chartered outside the state of West Virginia at nonbranch offices within this state is permitted: Provided, That a license is obtained pursuant to section five, article two of this chapter and that any such loans originating at the office are approved and made at the banking institution's principal place of business or branch bank: Provided, however, That any consumer loans made in this manner conform with state consumer protection laws. The commissioner of banking may examine the operations of such offices and collect fees for their examination in the amount of fifty dollars per hour of examiner time. A loan production office authorized under this section or by federal law may indicate its bank affiliation notwithstanding section two, article four of this chapter.
The foregoing shall not prevent the hypothecation of the securities or assets of any banking institution to secure the repayment of money borrowed from another banking institution; nor shall the foregoing prevent a bank's indemnification of its officers, directors or employees by purchase of insurance or otherwise, to the extent that such indemnification is permitted to that institution under federal law. Indemnification articles or bylaws must conform to, or be more restrictive than, that set forth in section nine, article one, chapter thirty-one of this code. The commissioner reserves the right to prohibit or limit, by regulation or order, any indemnification payment for reasons of safety and soundness or nonconformity to the bank's articles of incorporation or bylaws or to the restrictions placed on indemnification contained in this section or other applicable state law.
Acts, 1981 Reg. Sess., Ch. 40.
(b) Any person or financial institution which violates the provisions of this chapter, the rules adopted thereunder, or a lawful order of the commissioner or board, shall, unless previously fined under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, be subject to civil penalties in an amount not more than five thousand dollars nor less than fifty dollars in civil actions brought by the commissioner or the board.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.