53C-6-15. Establishment of branches.

(a) A bank may establish one or more branches in this State, whether de novo or by acquisition of existing branches of another depository institution, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner. The Commissioner's approval may be given or withheld, in the Commissioner's discretion, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.

(b) A bank may establish branches in another state, whether de novo or by acquisition of existing branches of another depository institution, in accordance with the provisions of applicable federal law and the laws of the other state, upon prior written approval of the Commissioner. The Commissioner's approval may be given or withheld in the Commissioner's discretion in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.

(c) A bank seeking authority to establish a branch shall make application to the Commissioner in a form acceptable to the Commissioner. Not more than 30 days before nor less than 10 days after the filing of the application with the Commissioner, the applicant shall publish public notice of the filing of the application. The public notice shall contain all of the following:

(1) A statement that the application has been filed with the Commissioner.

(2) The physical address or location of the proposed branch, including street and city or town.

(3) A statement that any interested person may make written comment on the application to the Commissioner and that comments received by the Commissioner within 14 days of the date of publication of the public notice shall be considered. The public notice shall provide the then current mailing address of the Commissioner.

(d) A bank may conduct any activities at a branch in another state authorized under this section that are permissible for a bank chartered by the other state where the branch is located, except to the extent the activities are expressly prohibited by the laws of this State or by any rule or order of the Commissioner applicable to the bank.

(e) Upon receipt of an application to establish a branch, the Commissioner shall conduct an examination of the pertinent facts and information and may request such additional information as the Commissioner deems necessary to make a decision on the application. In deciding whether to approve a branch application, the Commissioner shall take into account such factors as the financial condition and history of the applicant; the adequacy of its capital; the applicant's future earnings prospects; the character, competency, and experience of its management; the probable impact of the branch on the condition of the applicant bank and existing depository institutions in the community to be served; and the convenience and needs of the community the proposed branch is to serve. (2012-56, s. 4.)