Adopted Amendments to 7 TAC §15.4

Title 7. Banking and Securities
Part 2. Texas Department of Banking
Chapter 15. Corporate Activities
Subchapter A. Fees and Other Provisions of General Applicability 7 TAC §15.4

The Finance Commission of Texas (the commission), on behalf of the Texas Department of Banking (the department), adopts amendments to §15.4, concerning required information and abandoned filings, with changes to the proposed text as published in the July 4, 2014, issue of the Texas Register (39 TexReg 5014), which will be republished.

Changes made to the proposed rule are in response to public comments received in writing, and are described in the summary of comments and responses section of this preamble.

The amended rule is adopted to allow the Texas Banking Commissioner (commissioner), upon a finding of good and sufficient cause, to grant an applicant additional time to complete a filing and to remove the more formal procedures for obtaining an extension that are currently in the rule. This provides an opportunity for applicants to continue to provide information needed by the department to make a meaningful evaluation and determination in processing filings.

The department deleted the  current language in  §15.4(c), which contained deadlines for an applicant to request more time to submit information in conjunction with an application and for the commissioner to act on such requests. The department amended §15.4(c) to state simply that the commissioner may grant an applicant additional time and that the commissioner will communicate his or her decision to the applicant before the expiration of the filing period.

The Department received comments regarding the proposed amendments from the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) and International Bancshares Corporation (IBC).

Summaries of the comments and commission responses follow:

IBAT and IBC suggested that the department could amend the rule to state that applicants could submit additional requested information concerning the application electronically in satisfaction of the current requirement that submissions be in writing.  IBC expressed a similar comment.  The department already accepts these submissions electronically.

IBAT and IBC further suggested that the department could amend the rule to state that the 60 day period allowed for submitting additional information requested by the department would begin at the time of the request for the information, rather than at the time of the initial application.  The department declines to amend the rule in this way because doing so could extend the application process an unreasonable amount of time.

IBAT and IBC further suggested that the extension of time for completing the application should be granted upon a finding of good and sufficient cause, rather than being left to the sole discretion of the commissioner. The department agrees with this suggestion and has amended the language of the rule accordingly.

The amendment is adopted pursuant to Finance Code, §31.003, which authorizes the Finance Commission to adopt rules to accomplish the purposes of Subtitle A, the Texas Banking Act, including rules to implement Subtitle A, and other provisions of general applicability to banks.

§15.4. Required Information and Abandoned Filings.

      (a)  Required information. The banking commissioner may investigate and evaluate facts related to a submitted filing or accepted filing to the extent necessary to reach an informed decision. The banking commissioner may require any person or entity connected with the matter to which the submitted or accepted filing pertains to submit additional information, including, but not limited to, an opinion of counsel with respect to a matter of law or an opinion, review or compilation prepared by a certified public accountant.

      (b)  On or before the 15th day after initial submission of an application, the banking commissioner shall issue a written notice informing the applicant either that all filing fees have been paid and the application is complete and accepted for filing, or that the application is deficient and specific additional information is required.

      (c)  Time limit for providing required information. An applicant must provide all information necessary for the banking commissioner to declare that a submission is an accepted filing, whether the information is required by form or rule or is requested by the department. The information must be provided to the department on or before the 61st day after the date of initial submission of the filing, except as otherwise provided by law. Upon a finding of good and sufficient cause, the banking commissioner shall grant an applicant additional time to complete the application. Extensions will be communicated to the applicant before the expiration of the filing period.

      (d) Abandoned filing. The banking commissioner may determine any submitted or accepted filing to be abandoned, without prejudice to the right to refile, if the information required by the Finance Code, this chapter, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the Finance Code, or additional requested information, is not furnished within the time period specified by subsection (c) of this section or as requested by the banking commissioner in writing to the person or entity making the submission. The banking commissioner may determine a submitted or accepted filing for which fees required by the Finance Code or by this chapter are not paid within 30 days of receipt of the initial submission to be abandoned.

      (e)  Notice. The banking commissioner shall give written notice of any submitted or accepted filing considered to be abandoned. Notice of abandonment shall be effective upon mailing by the department. Fees paid related to an abandoned filing are nonrefundable.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 15, 2014.

Effective Date: September 4, 2014