CHAPTER 665
POWERS, LOANS AND INVESTMENTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 36a-250. Powers of Connecticut banks.

PART I
POWERS

      Sec. 36a-250. Powers of Connecticut banks. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a Connecticut bank may:

      (1) Transact a general banking business and exercise by its governing board or duly authorized officers or agents, subject to applicable law, all such incidental powers as are necessary thereto. The express powers authorized for a Connecticut bank under subdivisions (2) to (41), inclusive, of this subsection do not preclude the existence of additional powers deemed to be incidental to the transaction of a general banking business pursuant to this subdivision;

      (2) (A) Receive deposits as authorized by and subject to the provisions of sections 36a-290 to 36a-305, inclusive, section 36a-307, sections 36a-315 to 36a-323, inclusive, and sections 36a-330 to 36a-338, inclusive, including: (i) Savings deposits; (ii) time deposits; (iii) demand deposits; (iv) public funds or money held in a fiduciary capacity; (v) school savings funds; and (vi) club deposits; and (B) pay interest or dividends thereon;

      (3) Act as a depository of court and trust funds;

      (4) Purchase and sell coins and bullion;

      (5) Receive for safekeeping or otherwise all kinds of personal property, including papers, documents and evidences of indebtedness;

      (6) Conduct a safe deposit business on its banking premises;

      (7) Act (A) as guardian or conservator of the estate of any person, but not of the person, (B) as a trustee, receiver, executor or administrator, or (C) in any other fiduciary capacity, all without bond unless a bond is ordered by the court;

      (8) Act as agent or attorney in fact for the holders of securities or the owners of real estate;

      (9) Act as transfer agent or registrar of stocks and bonds;

      (10) Execute and deliver signature guaranties as may be incidental or usual in the transfer of investment securities;

      (11) Act as agent, fiscal agent or trustee for any corporation or for holders of bonds, notes or other securities, and pledge assets to secure deposits in its banking department when (A) made by it as trustee under a trust indenture for the holders of revenue bonds issued by this state, any municipality, district, municipal corporation or authority or political subdivision thereof, and the express provisions of the authority or its political subdivision, and the express provisions of the trust indenture require the deposit to be so secured, (B) made by it as fiscal agent for a housing authority in connection with a federally-assisted housing project and federal regulations or other requirements call for the deposits to be so secured, or (C) made by it to secure deposits in individual retirement accounts and qualified retirement plan accounts, established in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any prior or subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, where such deposits exceed the maximum of federal deposit insurance available for such accounts;

      (12) Act as fiscal agent for this state or any of its political subdivisions when authorized by the executive head of this state or of the political subdivision;

      (13) Act as agent (A) in the collection of taxes for any qualified treasurer of any taxing district or qualified collector of taxes or (B) for any electric, electric distribution, gas, water or telephone company operating within this state in receiving moneys due that company for utility services furnished by it;

      (14) Act as agent for the sale, issue and redemption of obligations of the United States and pledge assets to the United States or to the proper federal reserve bank for its obligations as that agent;

      (15) (A) Act as agent for an insured depository institution affiliate in receiving deposits, renewing time deposits, closing loans, servicing loans and receiving payments on loans and other obligations, and in so doing shall not be considered to be a branch of such affiliate;

      (B) A Connecticut bank may not conduct any activity as an agent under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision which such bank is prohibited from conducting as a principal;

      (16) Act as treasurer of any organization exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended;

      (17) Establish a charitable fund, either in the form of a charitable trust or a nonprofit corporation to assist in making charitable contributions, provided (A) the trust or nonprofit corporation is exempt from federal income taxation and may accept charitable contributions under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, (B) the trust or nonprofit corporation's operations shall be disclosed fully to the commissioner upon request, and (C) the trust department of the bank or one or more directors or officers of the bank act as trustees or directors of the fund;

      (18) In the discretion of a majority of its governing board, make contributions or gifts to or for the use of any corporation, trust or community chest, fund or foundation created or organized under the laws of the United States or of this state and organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational or public welfare purposes, or of any hospital which is located in this state and which is exempt from federal income taxes and to which contributions are deductible under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended;

      (19) Discount, purchase and sell accounts receivable, negotiable and nonnegotiable promissory notes, drafts, bills of exchange and other forms of indebtedness;

      (20) (A) Accept for payment at future dates drafts drawn upon it, and (B) except as provided in section 36a-299, sell or issue without charge negotiable checks or drafts drawn by or on the bank. Negotiable checks or drafts drawn, sold or issued by a bank may be drawn on that bank or be payable by or through another bank or out-of-state bank;

      (21) Make secured and unsecured loans and issue letters of credit as authorized by and subject to section 36a-260;

      (22) (A) Issue credit cards and debit cards and enter into card agreements with the bank's card holders and with other card issuers, (B) lend money to individuals, honor drafts and similar orders drawn or accepted, whether by written instrument or electronic transmission, and pay and agree to pay obligations incurred in connection with those agreements, (C) become affiliated with any credit card corporation or association, and (D) subject to sections 36a-155 to 36a-159, inclusive, where applicable, provide electronic fund transfer facilities and services and enter into agreements with customers and other persons regarding the provision of such facilities;

      (23) Provide home banking services to customers as provided in section 36a-170;

      (24) Contract for and pay the premiums upon life insurance in the amount of the unpaid balance due on loans;

      (25) Borrow money and pledge assets therefor, and pledge assets to secure trust funds on deposit awaiting investment;

      (26) Enter into leases of personal property acquired upon the specific request of and for the use of a prospective lessee;

      (27) Make investments as authorized by this title;

      (28) Sell to any person, including any state or federal agency or instrumentality, any loan or group of loans legally owned by the bank, repurchase any such loan or group of loans, and act as collecting, remitting and servicing agent in connection with any such loans and charge for its acts as agent. Any such bank is authorized to purchase the minimum amount of capital stock of the applicable agency or instrumentality if required by that entity to be purchased in connection with the assignment of loans to that entity and to hold and dispose of that stock;

      (29) With the approval of the commissioner, deal in and underwrite, to the same extent as is permitted to a national banking association, obligations of: (A) The United States or any of its agencies; (B) any state or any political subdivision or instrumentality of the state; or (C) Canada, any province of Canada or any political subdivision of Canada;

      (30) Issue and sell securities which (A) are guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association or any other agency or instrumentality authorized by state or federal law to create a secondary market with respect to loans of the type originated by the bank, or (B) subject to the approval of the commissioner, relate to loans originated by the bank and are guaranteed or insured by a financial guaranty insurance company or comparable private entity;

      (31) Subject to the approval of the commissioner, authorize the issuance and sale of evidences of indebtedness, including debentures, debt instruments of all maturities and capital notes, at such times, in such amount and upon such terms as are determined by the governing board, provided the issuance of such evidences of indebtedness which are payable on demand or mature within five years of their issuance or which are effected in the ordinary course of business do not require the approval of the commissioner. The proceeds of such evidences of indebtedness which mature after five years of their issuance which are subordinate to the claims of depositors upon liquidation of the bank shall be considered part of its capital for the purpose of computing any loan, deposit or investment limitation under this title;

      (32) With the approval of and upon such conditions and under such regulations as may be prescribed or adopted by the commissioner, establish and maintain one or more mutual funds and offer to the public shares or participations therein;

      (33) With the written approval of the commissioner: (A) Acquire, alter or improve real estate for present or future use in the business of the bank, except that approval of the commissioner is not necessary in case of the alteration or improvement of real estate already owned by the bank or a corporation controlled by it as provided in subsection (d) of section 36a-276, if the expenditure for such purposes does not in any one calendar year exceed five per cent of the bank's equity capital and reserves for loan and lease losses or five hundred thousand dollars, whichever is less; (B) purchase real estate adjoining any parcel of real estate then owned by it and acquired in the usual course of business, provided the aggregate of all investments and loans authorized in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision and in the equipment used by such bank in its operations, together with the amount of any indebtedness incurred by any corporation holding real estate of the bank and such bank's proportionate share, computed according to stock ownership, of any indebtedness incurred by any service corporation, does not exceed fifty per cent of the equity capital and reserves for loan and lease losses of the bank, unless the commissioner finds that the rental income from any part of the premises not occupied by the bank will be sufficient to warrant larger investment;

      (34) Convey any real estate owned by it at the price and upon such terms of payment as its governing board or an authorized committee thereof determines and sets forth in the bank's records. If any such sale is wholly or partly for credit, a note secured by a first mortgage on the real estate may evidence that credit. With the written approval of the commissioner, the bank may accept other real estate in whole or in part for any such conveyance;

      (35) Establish and maintain an international banking facility, as defined in regulations adopted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, subject to such regulations as the commissioner may adopt, in accordance with chapter 54, to specify, and impose restrictions upon, the types of activities in which the international banking facility may engage;

      (36) Join the Federal Reserve System;

      (37) With the approval of the commissioner, join the Federal Home Loan Bank System and borrow funds as provided under federal law;

      (38) Even if not expressly authorized to exercise fiduciary powers, act as trustee or custodian of a plan which qualifies as part of a retirement plan for self-employed individuals or an individual retirement account under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, if the governing instrument limits the investment of the funds held pursuant to such plan to the following investments: (A) Savings deposits and time deposits; and (B) with respect to retirement plans for self-employed individuals, notes of members in such plans which evidence the indebtedness of such members for funds borrowed from the plans. Funds held pursuant to any plan which so qualifies may be deposited in any Connecticut bank without regard to any statutory limit on the amount which such bank may have on deposit from one depositor;

      (39) Sell insurance and fixed and variable annuities directly, sell insurance and such annuities indirectly through a subsidiary, or enter into arrangements with third-party marketing organizations for the sale by such third-party marketing organizations of insurance or such annuities on the premises of the Connecticut bank or to customers of the Connecticut bank; provided (A) such insurance and annuities are issued or purchased by or from an insurance company licensed in accordance with section 38a-41, and (B) the Connecticut bank, subsidiary or third-party marketing organization, and any officer or employee thereof, shall be licensed as required by section 38a-769 before engaging in any of the activities authorized by this subdivision. As used in this subdivision, "annuities" and "insurance" have the same meanings as set forth in section 38a-1, except that "insurance" does not include title insurance. The provisions of this subdivision do not authorize a Connecticut bank or a subsidiary of a Connecticut bank to underwrite insurance or annuities;

      (40) With the prior written approval of the commissioner, engage in closely related activities, unless the commissioner determines that any such activity shall be conducted by a subsidiary of the Connecticut bank, utilizing such organizational, structural or other safeguards as the commissioner may require, in order to protect the Connecticut bank from exposure to loss. As used in this subdivision, "closely related activities" means those activities that are closely related to the business of banking, are convenient and useful to the business of banking, are reasonably related to the operation of a Connecticut bank or are financial in nature including, but not limited to, business and professional services, data processing, courier and messenger services, credit-related activities, consumer services, services related to real estate, financial consulting, tax planning and preparation, community development activities, any activities reasonably related to such activities, or any activity permitted under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, 12 USC Section 1841 et seq., as from time to time amended, or the Home Owners' Loan Act of 1933, 12 USC Section 1461 et seq., as from time to time amended, or the regulations promulgated under such acts as from time to time amended; and

      (41) Engage in any activity that a federal bank or an out-of-state bank may be authorized to engage in under federal or state law, provided the Connecticut bank shall file with the commissioner prior written notice of its intention to engage in such activity. Such notice shall include a description of the activity, a description of the financial impact of the activity on the Connecticut bank, citation of the legal authority to engage in the activity under federal or state law, a description of any limitations or restrictions imposed on such activity under federal or state law, and any other information that the commissioner may require. The Connecticut bank may engage in such activity unless the commissioner disapproves such activity not later than thirty days after the notice is filed. The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to ensure that any such activity is conducted in a safe and sound manner with adequate consumer protections. The provisions of this subdivision do not authorize a Connecticut bank or a subsidiary of a Connecticut bank to sell title insurance.

      (b) A trust bank shall not be authorized to exercise any of the powers enumerated in this section to the extent that such exercise would cause it to function otherwise than in a fiduciary capacity, including, but not limited to, receiving or holding deposits of any kind, other than in a fiduciary capacity, or making loans or otherwise extending credit, other than in a fiduciary capacity.

      (c) A Connecticut bank which is authorized to exercise fiduciary powers pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall exercise such powers in compliance with the provisions of sections 36a-350 to 36a-353, inclusive, 36a-365 to 36a-372, inclusive, 36a-380 to 36a-386, inclusive, and 36a-395 to 36a-399, inclusive.

      (P.A. 94-122, S. 115, 340; P.A. 95-155, S. 20, 29; P.A. 96-39, S. 1, 3; 96-44, S. 2; P.A. 97-317, S. 1, 4; P.A. 98-28, S. 112, 117; 98-178, S. 1; P.A. 99-158, S. 5, 6; P.A. 02-47, S. 15; P.A. 04-136, S. 33; P.A. 05-288, S. 204.)

      History: P.A. 94-122 effective January 1, 1995; P.A. 95-155 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (14) re acting as an agent for an insured depository institution, renumbering the remaining Subdivs. accordingly, effective June 27, 1995; P.A. 96-39 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (38) re sale of annuities, effective May 2, 1996; P.A. 96-44 amended Subsec. (a) re bank investments, deleting references throughout section to investments in stocks, bonds, notes etc. and substituting provision in Subdiv. (26) to authorize investments permissible under title 36a; P.A. 97-317 amended Subdiv. (38) re sale of insurance, deleted former Subsec. (b) re prohibition on engaging in insurance business, and redesignated former Subsecs. (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (b) and (c), effective July 8, 1997; P.A. 98-28 amended Subsec. (a)(12) by adding electric distribution companies, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 98-178 amended Subsec. (a) by adding new Subdiv. (4) re purchase and sale of coins and bullion and by redesignating existing Subdivs. (4) to (38) as Subdivs. (5) to (39); P.A. 99-158 amended Subsec. (a) by making a technical change in Subdiv. (1) and by adding Subdiv. (40) re closely related activities and Subdiv. (41) re authorized activities of federal banks; P.A. 02-47 amended Subsec. (a) by making a technical change in Subdiv. (11) and adding provisions re engaging in activities that an out-of-state bank may be authorized to engage in under state law in Subdiv. (41); P.A. 04-136 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute "trust bank" for "Connecticut bank which is organized to function solely in a fiduciary capacity", effective May 12, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a)(38), effective July 13, 2005.

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