Statewide branching through acquisition of banks
has been given priority by the Oklahoma Bankers Association in its
1988 legislative agenda, which was released Tuesday.
Statewide branching by acquisition, proposed through House Bill
1679 in the Oklahoma Legislature, was the only issue voted upon by
the association members. It received widespread support, said Laura
N. Pringle, attorney for the association.
The bill, authored by Rep. Steve Lewis, D-Shawnee, was passed by
the Oklahoma House Banking and Finance Committee last week and will
next be considered by the full House.
The Oklahoma Bankers Association also sponsored Senate Bill 501,
which would provide parity in powers of Oklahoma state-chartered
banks with national banks.
That bill, which was approved by the Senate Finance Committee
Tuesday, has been labeled a housecleaning measure, because its
primary purpose is to clarify provisions of the law or correct
deficiencies in Oklahoma banking statutes.
Positions on legislative issues, anticipated to be addressed
during the current session of the Oklahoma Legislature, were
developed by the Oklahoma Bankers Association's Government Relations
Council and reviewed by the board of directors.
Revisions were made within Senate Bill 501 to provide state
banks equal footing competitively with national banks, said Pringle.
The bill would restrict financial services vendors who are
entering or branching in new market areas to use similar names as
the banks already operating in the area.
"This is an industry initiative to address concerns about new
competitors," Pringle said.
In light of the possibility that branching powers will expand in
the future and with interstate banking, bankers are concerned that
customers know who they are doing business with and that a procedure
for approval of branch names be created, she said.
Some of the other functions of Senate Bill 501, as described by
the bankers association, would be to:
- Limit the absolute liability of state bank directors for
lending limit violations.
- Clarify that reports of examination under the Oklahoma Bank
Department may not be used for discovery in litigation.
- Allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to serve as the
only necessary party in litigation involving a state bank
liquidation, rather than jointly with the state banking department.
- Provide that qualifying shares of stock for directors be
permissive only and not required.
The Oklahoma Bankers Association is also a sponsor of House Bill
1159 involving unclaimed property disposition. The bill would amend
the law on abandoned property and clarify the powers and duties of
the Oklahoma Tax Commission relating to the disposition of unclaimed
The issue, Pringle said, is to protect customers' privacy and
comply with banking law requirements while also complying with state
The association holds the position that banking regulatory
agencies can fully examine and enforce compliance with unclaimed
property laws and avoid the violation of customer privacy rights
that would result from Oklahoma Tax Commission audits of the bank
customer's financial records.
The Oklahoma Bankers Association is a party in at least one case
involving Oklahoma Tax Commission audits of banks for unclaimed
property. A permanent injunction issued by the Oklahoma County
District Court against the tax commission is pending on appeal with
the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Another piece of bank-related legislation sponsored by the
Oklahoma Bankers Association involves homestead and other debtor
House Bill 1658 provides for a limitation on homestead
exemptions of $100,000, based on the fair value of the home. …