54C-77. Civil penalties; State savings banks.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Article, a savings bank that is found to have violated this Article may be ordered to pay a civil penalty of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). A savings bank that is found to have violated or failed to comply with any cease and desist order issued under the authority of this Article may be ordered to pay a civil penalty of up to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for each day that the violation or failure to comply continues.

The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

(b) To enforce this section, the Commissioner of Banks may assess the penalty, appear in a court of competent jurisdiction, and move the court to order payment of the penalty. Before the assessment of the penalty, the Commissioner of Banks shall hold a hearing, which shall comply with Article 3A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(c) If the Commissioner of Banks determines that, as a result of a violation of this Article or of a failure to comply with any cease and desist order issued under the authority of this Article, a situation exists requiring immediate corrective action, the Commissioner of Banks may impose the civil penalty in this section on the savings bank without a prior hearing, and the penalty is effective as of the date of notice to the association. Imposition of the penalty may be directly appealed to the Wake County Superior Court.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent anyone damaged by a State savings bank from bringing a separate cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction. (1991, c. 680, s. 1; 1998-215, s. 38(a); 2001-193, s. 16.)