Press Releases Press Releases

October 22, 2007
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966

Department of Financial Institutions Determines that an Extraordinary Situation Exists

-- Authorizes Banks Located in the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Proclaimed in State of Emergency to Close and Provides Flexibility Needed to Service Customers in Fire-Affected Areas

(San Francisco, CA) - The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today authorized banks located in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura declared to be in a state of emergency by the Governor to close any or all of their offices affected by the fires.

Pursuant to California Financial Code Section 3600, the "Bank Extraordinary Situation Closing Act," Chief Deputy Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Carol D. Chesbrough, authorized banks located in the counties declared to be in a state of emergency to close any or all of their offices. Any office or offices so closed shall remain closed until the Department proclaims that the extraordinary situation has ended or until such earlier time as the officers of the bank determine that one or more closed offices should reopen and, in either event, for such further time thereafter as may reasonably be required for the reopening of the office or offices.

Customers of closed banks have access to funds through the ATM network, Internet banking and telephone banking.

Interim Commissioner Chesbrough urges financial institutions to review their lending policies in order to grant appropriate latitude to existing customers affected by the fire and to expedite the extension of new credit to finance cleanup or rebuilding.

Banks closed under authority of the proclamation may reopen them at the discretion of their officers. Banks that need to relocate offices or set up temporary offices will be permitted to do so without observing the normal application procedures. The Interim Commissioner has requested that financial institutions taking these steps notify the Department by phone, email or FAX as soon as possible.

Interim Commissioner Chesbrough also requests that financial institutions in the affected areas contact the appropriate Assistant Deputy Commissioner for an extension of time should an extension be needed to meet any regulatory reporting requirement.

DFI supervises over 700 state financial institutions. The Department is responsible for administering state laws regulating state-licensed financial institutions: banks, credit unions, industrial banks, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers' checks and payment instruments (money orders), and money transmitters. DFI reports to Business, Transportation & Housing Agency Secretary Dale E. Bonner and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.