What Georgia Banks Need to Know About New Rules from the DBF

January 27, 2015 | Charles Bowen

Seal_of_GeorgiaOne of our recent blog posts discussed the potential impacts of the proposed rule changes from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (GDBF). The GDBF has now released the final versions of those rules. Here is a recap of what is important for Georgia banks to know going forward.

Registration Fee Eliminations: Approved

Per 80-5-1-.02, a paragraph was to be eliminated that referenced the annual registration fees for holding companies registered with the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. The final rules were accepted, eliminating basic registration fees and any fees from subsidiary corporations linked to above-mentioned holding companies. This former payment was also referenced in 80-5-1-.03, but wording changes were approved to eliminate this reference.

Fees are still in place for registrants of representative offices, business production offices, loan production offices and trust production offices. These companies shall be required to pay an annual registration fee of $150.00. Registrants of international bank representative offices shall pay a one-time registration fee of $1,000.00.

Fines Related to Fee and Statement Reporting: Approved

Fines may be assessed under the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act for situations in which a collecting agent for a bank fails to submit loan fees and fee statements. Agents may accomplish this through an online reporting and payment system. Collecting agents who do not submit payments and reports within six months of a due date can be assessed a 20% fine on total loan fees.

Lawful and Unlawful Company Acquisitions Changes: Approved

This proposed and accepted change altered the wording and details related to ownership, acquisition and control. Previous rules held that it was not lawful for a holding company to maintain direct or indirect ownership of voting shared in a Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank (MALPB) where such situation would give a holding company 5% or more voting shares total. New rules approved include exceptions for the following:

  • Situations where ownership or control of less than 25% is being sought if the purpose of acquiring such shares was investment rather than influencing control of the company.
  • Where written notice has been requested for the above-mentioned situation within thirty days of the acquisition or share purchase.

Written requests for approval of situations that do not meet the specifications outlined above may be approved by the GDBF provided that they are submitted in writing within thirty days of the acquisition.  More information is available on the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Website.

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Topics: Georgia Banking Law