54C-78. Civil penalties; directors, officers, and employees.

(a) A person, whether a director, officer, or employee, who is found to have violated this Article, whether willfully or as a result of gross negligence, gross incompetency, or recklessness, may be ordered to pay a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation. A person who 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 five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation for each day that the violation or failure to comply continues. The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this subsection 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) Whenever the Commissioner of Banks determines that an emergency exists that requires immediate corrective action, the Commissioner of Banks, either before or after instituting any other action or proceeding authorized by this Article, may request the Attorney General to institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the State upon the relation of the Commissioner of Banks seeking injunctive relief to restrain or enjoin the violation or threatened violation of this Article and for any other and further relief as the court may deem proper. Instituting an action for injunctive relief shall not relieve any party to the proceedings from any civil or criminal penalty prescribed for violation of this Article.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent anyone damaged by a director, officer, or employee of a State savings bank from bringing a separate cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction. (1991, c. 680, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 829, s. 10; 1998-215, s. 39; 2001-193, s. 16.)