Bank Branches

 

Provided below are resources for those considering an application to establish, relocate, consolidate, or close a bank branch.  Also included is information related to emergency branch closures.

New Branch

Below are the requirements for an existing state-chartered bank to establish a new branch.
 
APPLICATION:  Submit the Uniform Interstate Application/Notice to the Division by mail or by email to banking@mt.gov.  Applications must be received 10 days subsequent to the first publication of the notice.
 
FEE:  Remit a nonrefundable fee of $600.00 to the Division by regular mail.  Online/credit card payments are not available at this time.
 
PUBLICATION REQUIREMENTS (For FRB or FDIC member banks):  If the application for a new branch bank also requires the approval of either the FRB or FDIC, the notice shall be published at the times and in the format required by the federal agency, except that the notice shall include the following phrase:
Comments regarding this application should be forwarded in writing to the Commissioner of Banking and Financial Institutions, Department of Administration, 301 South Park, P.O. Box 200546, Helena, MT 59620-0546. The application may be reviewed, during the comment period, at the above address by calling the commissioner's office at (406) 841-2920 and requesting an appointment.
 
All written comments concerning the application must be received by the Division no later than 15 calendar days following the date of the last publication.
 
For FDIC publication requirements, see 12 CFR § 303.44 for guidance.
For FRB publication requirements, go to their website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/supervisionreg/afi/res_news_minn.htm for sample language.
 
PUBLICATION REQUIREMENTS (for non-fed member banks):  If the applicant does not fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of either the FRB or FDIC, or if the publication requirement of the federal regulator has been eliminated, the notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the community or communities where the main office of the bank and proposed branch bank are located. If there is no such newspaper in the community, then the notice shall be published in the newspaper of general circulation published nearest thereto.  Publication shall be made at least once a week on the same day for two consecutive weeks.
The notice shall include the following phrase:
Comments regarding this application should be forwarded in writing to the Commissioner of Banking and Financial Institutions, Department of Administration, 301 South Park, P.O. Box 200546, Helena, MT 59620-0546.  The application may be reviewed, during the comment period, at the above address by calling the commissioner's office at (406) 841-2920 and requesting an appointment.
 
All written comments concerning the application must be received by the Division no later than 15 calendar days following the date of the last publication.
 
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-202, MCA:  Power and duties of board
32-1-372, MCA:  Branch bank
ARM 2.59.1101:  Application procedure for approval to establish a new branch bank
ARM 2.59.1102:  Review procedure for applications for approval to establish a new branch bank
ARM 2.59.1103:  Procedure following approval of an application to establish a new branch bank

Relocation of Existing Branch

Any change of location of a bank, other than drive-in facilities, from one site to another, irrespective of the buildings or structures involved, is considered to be a relocation requiring determination and approval or disapproval by the Division.
 
APPLICATION:  None
 
FEE:  None
 
PUBLICATION NOTICE (in newspaper):  None
 
NOTICE TO PUBLIC:  Banks must notify the public of proposed relocation of a bank branch and provide an opportunity to protest.  The Notice to Public of Proposed Closure or Relocation of Bank Branch form must be posted a date no sooner than two weeks after the notice is sent to customers and posted at the entrances of the bank and affected branch.  To avoid a separate mailing cost, the Division recommends inserting the notice in customer's monthly statements.
 
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-202, MCA:  Power and duties of board
32-1-204, MCA:  Hearings - notice
ARM 2.59.901:  Change of location
ARM 2.60.401:  Adoption of form for notice to public of bank branch closure or relocation
 

Consolidation of Existing Branches

Currently, the Division does not have laws or rules specifically addressing the consolidation of branches.  Therefore, the Division refers to ARM 2.60.401 which requires banks to notify the public of proposed closure of a bank branch and provide an opportunity to protest.
 
APPLICATION:  None
 
FEE:  None
 
PUBLICATION NOTICE (in newspaper):  None
 
NOTICE TO PUBLIC:  Banks must notify the public of proposed closure of a bank branch and provide an opportunity to protest.  The Notice to Public of Proposed Closure or Relocation of Bank Branch form must be posted a date no sooner than two weeks after the notice is sent to customers and posted at the entrances of the bank and affected branch.  To avoid a separate mailing cost, the Division recommends inserting the notice in customer's monthly statements.
 
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-202, MCA:  Power and duties of board
32-1-204, MCA:  Hearings - notice
ARM 2.60.401:  Adoption of form for notice to public of bank branch closure or relocation
 

Closing a Branch

Banks must notify the public of proposed closure of a bank branch and provide an opportunity to protest. 
 
APPLICATION:  None
 
FEE:  None
 
PUBLICATION NOTICE (in newspaper):  None
 
NOTICE TO PUBLIC:  Banks must notify the public of proposed closure of a bank branch and provide an opportunity to protest.  The Notice to Public of Proposed Closure or Relocation of Bank Branch form must be posted a date no sooner than two weeks after the notice is sent to customers and posted at the entrances of the bank and affected branch.  To avoid a separate mailing cost, the Division recommends inserting the notice in customer's monthly statements.
 
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-202, MCA:  Power and duties of board
32-1-204, MCA:  Hearings - notice
ARM 2.60.401:  Adoption of form for notice to public of bank branch closure or relocation
 

Temporary Emergency Branch Closure (48 or less hours)

Officers of a bank can exercise their discretion in closing a bank branch for up to 48 consecutive hours when they are of an opinion that an emergency exists or is impending.  While Division approval is not required, banks must notify the Division.  Notification can be sent to the Division by:
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-561(2), MCA:  Definition of Emergency
32-1-563, MCA:  Powers of officers
32-1-564, MCA:  Notice of bank closing
32-1-565, MCA:  Effect of closing

Emergency Branch Closure (48 or more hours)

If the officers of the bank anticipate the branch closure to exceed 48 consecutive hours, approval from the Division is required.  Due to the time constraint involved, requests for approval should be sent to the Division in writing by:
LAWS AND RULES
32-1-561(2), MCA:  Definition of Emergency
32-1-562, MCA:  Power of department
32-1-564, MCA:  Notice of bank closing
32-1-565, MCA:  Effect of closing

Change in Hours & Temporary Limited Services

Branches may close for part of the day, on a non-emergency basis, by giving reasonable notice to the public and providing a copy of the notice to our division.  For example, the branch can post a flyer in the lobby and/or drive-up and forward a copy to the division email address at banking@mt.gov.

Montana has no provision for a temporary (full day) branch closure.  Branches cannot close all day unless there is an emergency.  A branch must offer some level of service to the customer on its regular business days per 32-1-372(2), MCA.  The division does not require notification when services are temporarily limited.

LAWS AND RULES
32-1-372(2), MCA:  Branch Bank
32-1-484, MCA:  Banking Hours and Business Days