Department of Financial Institutions Determines that Extraordinary Situation has Subsided

Oct 29, 2007

Encourages financial institutions to continue to explore various ways to offer relief to fire victims in their communities

(San Francisco, CA) – The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced that 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 on October 21, 2007 are safe to open any or all of their offices affected by the fires.

On October 22, 2007 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. The Proclamation terminating the Declaration of Emergency is effective immediately.

The Department of Financial Institutions encourages banks and credit unions to continue to explore various ways to offer relief to fire victims in their communities. Potential options include payment holidays, extensions or other modifications for existing loan and credit card customers as well as special programs such as reduced fees or rates on disaster-relief loan products for new customers.

Financial institutions may consider other areas of relief besides loan products to assist fire victims such as facilitating temporary living assistance and/or providing food, bottled water and other donations of needed supplies at branches located in affected areas.

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