Below under "Associated Documents", you will find two documents that will provide information regarding the chartering process for Georgia state-chartered banks. We hope that you will find this information beneficial.
ADVANTAGES OF A STATE CHARTER
We believe that the state charter offers several distinct benefits:
Local, Responsive, and Timely Decision Making
State-chartered banks and credit unions have local access to decision makers in Georgia who are familiar with the unique competitive environment that those institutions face. Top decision makers can be easily reached for timely responses to questions and concerns from state-chartered institutions.
Decision Makers More Knowledgeable of Local Communities and Local Market Conditions
The Department’s management philosophy promotes decision making at the lowest possible level with quick access to senior management, when necessary, thereby ensuring responsive and timely action on all types of issues. In addition to the Administrative Staff in Atlanta, the Department has field offices throughout the state which are responsible for examination and supervision of banks and credit unions in their designated districts. Examiners live in the area where they examine these institutions and are familiar with the local market and community. Therefore, the Department is able to perform its regulatory function in a firm, yet fair manner, responsive to the particular needs of an institution.
Competent Regulation and Supervision
The philosophy of the Department is that all financial institutions deserve firm, fair, and consistent regulation and supervision. The Department is nationally accredited through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the National Association of State Chartered Credit Union Supervisors. Regulatory activities are conducted in cooperation with federal and other state regulators through joint examinations and interstate agreements. Cooperation with federal regulators allows for examinations to be conducted on an alternative schedule; therefore, most banks are examined by federal regulators only once in two to three years.
More Cost Effective Regulation and Supervision
Annual regulatory assessment fees, hourly examination fees, and some application fees are substantially less than comparable federal charters. In the last several years, the Department's annual regulatory assessments have averaged one-half the cost of comparable federal assessments. Hourly examination fees assessed for specialty exams are almost half the rate of comparable hourly fees charged by federal regulators. Some application fees, including the bank charter application, are typically lower than comparable fees assessed by the federal regulators.
Authorized Powers Comparable to or Greater Than Federal Powers
State-chartered institutions have comparable powers to federal institutions in all areas of operation. Further, the Georgia Financial Institutions Code contains a parity provision allowing the Commissioner to issue regulations to authorize a state institution to conduct an activity allowed for a federal institution unless such activity is expressly prohibited by state law. Therefore, should you discover a situation where you feel a state institution is disadvantaged versus a federally-chartered institution, you could petition the Department to use the parity provision to authorize the activity for a state institution. Georgia banking law permits activities which are incidental or complimentary to banking activities simply by written request to the Commissioner. Additionally, state banks can conduct activities not authorized for national banks, provided such activities are authorized under state law and approved by the FDIC under Section 24 of the FDI Act.