Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Competition Opposes Bank of Tuttle Plan to Move Main Office

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Competition Opposes Bank of Tuttle Plan to Move Main Office

Article excerpt

By Nancy Raiden Titus Journal Record Staff Reporter A hearing on a request to change the main location of the Bank of Tuttle to its downtown Newcastle branch was postponed Tuesday after competing banks and Newcastle citizens filed protests with the Oklahoma State Banking Board.

"We didn't expect any opposition," said Brad Swan, chief executive officer of the Bank of Tuttle. "We were taken by surprise that they would protest and thought we should do some more homework on it."

The Bank of Tuttle had applied to the state board for permission to change the main office in Tuttle into a branch and make the branch office in downtown Newcastle its headquarters. The application was on the agenda to be heard at Wednesday's Banking Board meeting, but the bank on Tuesday had requested it be continued until October due to the protest, Banking Commissioner Wayne Osborn told board members.

The protesters included the First National Bank of Tuttle, the Blanchard branch of the First State Bank of Hinton and Newcastle citizens, said Jackie Hill Jr., attorney and director for First of Tuttle.

"Putting the main office in Newcastle seals off other banks from branching in Newcastle and providing additional services," he said. "We believe the action would be anti-competitive."

Hill said both First Tuttle and First Hinton have plans to branch into Newcastle, although no branch applications have yet been filed with regulators.

Paul Foster, legal counsel with the Oklahoma Banking Department, said the application raises many legal questions.

Oklahoma law only allows banks to establish new branches two ways:

within the corporate city limits of the main location or within 25 miles if the city or town has no state or national bank. Branching by acquisition of existing facilities is unlimited.

The legal questions raised by the Bank of Tuttle application include whether or not the relocation is permitted, and if it is, what type of branch would be made from the existing headquarters. …

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