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TITLE XXXVIII

BANKS AND BANKING

Last update: 2013-11-01


  • Financial Institutions Generally
  • Credit Unions
  • Banks And Trust Companies
  • Trust Business
  • International Banking
    • International Banking Corporations (ss. 663.01-663.181)
    • International Development Banks (ss. 663.301-663.318)
  • Capital Stock Associations
  • Savings Banks
  • Version 2013-11-01
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  • Version 2011-11-08

Chapter 655

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS GENERALLY

655.001 - Purpose; application

The purposes of the financial institutions codes are to:
  • (1) Provide general regulatory powers to be exercised by the Financial Services Commission and the Office of Financial Regulation in relation to the regulation of financial institutions. The financial institutions codes apply to all state-authorized or state-chartered financial institutions and to the enforcement of all laws relating to state-authorized or state-chartered financial institutions.

  • (2) Provide for and promote:

    • (a) The safe and sound conduct of the business of the financial institutions subject to the financial institutions codes.

    • (b) The prudent conservation of the assets of the financial institutions subject to the financial institutions codes.

    • (c) The maintenance of public confidence in the financial institutions subject to the financial institutions codes.

    • (d) The protection of the interests of the public in the safety and soundness, and the preservation, of the financial institution system in this state and the protection of the interests of the depositors and creditors of financial institutions.

    • (e) The protection of the interests of the public in the proper conduct of fiduciary functions; the safety, soundness, and preservation of the system of the conduct in this state of trust business by trust companies and banks and associations that have trust departments; the protection of the interests of beneficiaries and other members of the public using the services of, doing business with, or otherwise affected by trust companies, trust departments of banks and associations, and other business organizations in the conduct of trust business or other exercise of fiduciary functions or powers; and the protection of the interests of the creditors of trust companies.

    • (f) The opportunity for state financial institutions to be and remain competitive with each other, with financial institutions or organizations existing under statutes of this state other than the financial institutions codes, and with other financial institutions and organizations organized or existing under, or deriving their authority or powers from, the laws of other states, the United States, or foreign countries.

    • (g) The opportunity for financial institutions to serve effectively the convenience and needs of their customers or members and the public and to participate in and promote the economic progress and welfare of this state and the United States.

    • (h) The opportunity for the management of financial institutions in conducting the business and affairs of their institutions, to exercise their business judgment, subject to the provisions of the financial institutions codes and to the extent compatible with, and subject to, the purposes and policies stated in this section.

    • (i) The modernization of state law governing financial institutions and governing the exercise of fiduciary and other representative powers by trust companies and trust departments of banks and associations.

    • (j) The delegation to the commission of adequate rulemaking power and to the office adequate administrative discretion, subject to the provisions of the financial institutions codes and to the purposes and policies stated in this section, in order that the supervision and regulation of financial institutions may be flexible and readily responsive to changes in economic conditions, in technology, and in financial institution practices.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 6, ch. 92-303; s. 1699, ch. 2003-261.

655.005 - Definitions

  • (1) As used in the financial institutions codes, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:

    • (a) “Affiliate” means a holding company of a financial institution established pursuant to state or federal law, a subsidiary or service corporation of such holding company, or a subsidiary or service corporation of a financial institution.

    • (b) “Appropriate federal regulatory agency” means the federal regulatory agency that has statutory authority over a financial institution.

    • (c) “Bank holding company” means a business organization that is a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, 12 U.S.C. ss. 1841 et seq., or is otherwise determined or authorized by the office to be a holding company of a financial institution pursuant to ss. 658.27-658.285.

    • (d) “Capital accounts” means the aggregate value of unimpaired capital stock based on the par value of the shares, plus any unimpaired surplus and undivided profits or retained earnings of a financial institution. For the purposes of determining insolvency or imminent insolvency, the term does not include allowances for loan or lease loss reserves, intangible assets, subordinated debt, deferred tax assets, or similar assets.

    • (e) “Capital stock” means the shares of stock issued to create nonwithdrawable capital.

    • (f) “Commission” means the Financial Services Commission.

    • (g) “Executive officer” means an individual, whether or not the individual has an official title or receives a salary or other compensation, who participates or has authority to participate, other than in the capacity of a director, in the major policymaking functions of a financial institution. The term does not include an individual who may have an official title and may exercise discretion in the performance of duties and functions, including discretion in the making of loans, but who does not participate in the determination of major policies of the financial institution and whose decisions are limited by policy standards established by other officers, whether or not the policy standards have been adopted by the board of directors. The chair of the board of directors, the president, the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, the senior loan officer, and every executive vice president of a financial institution, and the senior trust officer of a trust company, are presumed to be executive officers unless such officer is excluded, by resolution of the board of directors or by the bylaws of the financial institution, from participating, other than in the capacity of a director, in major policymaking functions of the financial institution and the individual holding such office so excluded does not actually participate therein.

    • (h) “Federal financial institution” means a federally or nationally chartered or organized financial institution.

    • (i) “Financial institution” means a state or federal savings or thrift association, bank, savings bank, trust company, international bank agency, international banking corporation, international branch, international representative office, international administrative office, international trust company representative office, credit union, or an agreement corporation operating pursuant to s. 25 of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. ss. 601 et seq. or Edge Act corporation organized pursuant to s. 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. ss. 611 et seq.

    • (j) “Financial institution-affiliated party” means:

      • 1. A director, officer, employee, or controlling stockholder, other than a financial institution holding company, of, or agent for, a financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation;

      • 2. Any other person who has filed or is required to file a change-of-control notice with the appropriate state or federal regulatory agency;

      • 3. A stockholder, other than a financial institution holding company, a joint venture partner, or any other person as determined by the office who participates in the affairs of a financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation; or

      • 4. An independent contractor, including an attorney, appraiser, consultant, or accountant, who knowingly or recklessly participates in:

        • a. A violation of any law or regulation;

        • b. A breach of fiduciary duty; or

        • c. An unsafe and unsound practice,

        which caused or is likely to cause more than a minimal financial loss to, or a significant adverse effect on, the financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation.

    • (k) “Financial institutions codes” means:

      • 1. Chapter 655, relating to financial institutions generally;

      • 2. Chapter 657, relating to credit unions;

      • 3. Chapter 658, relating to banks and trust companies;

      • 4. Chapter 660, relating to trust business;

      • 5. Chapter 663, relating to international banking;

      • 6. Chapter 665, relating to associations; and

      • 7. Chapter 667, relating to savings banks.

    • (l) “Home state” means:

      • 1. The state where a financial institution is chartered.

      • 2. The state where the main office of a federal financial institution is located.

      • 3. The state determined to be the home state of an international banking corporation pursuant to 12 U.S.C. s. 3103(c).

    • (m) “Home state regulator” means, with respect to an out-of-state state financial institution, the financial institution regulatory agency of the state in which the institution is chartered.

    • (n) “Host state” means a state, other than the home state, in which the financial institution seeks to establish or maintains a branch or nonbranch office.

    • (o) “Imminently insolvent” means a condition in which a financial institution has total capital accounts, or equity in the case of a credit union, of less than 2 percent of its total assets, after adjustment for apparent losses.

    • (p) “Insolvent” means a condition in which:

      • 1. The capital accounts, or equity in the case of a credit union, and all assets of a financial institution are insufficient to meet liabilities;

      • 2. The financial institution is unable to meet current obligations as they mature, even though assets may exceed liabilities; or

      • 3. The capital accounts of a financial institution, or equity in the case of a credit union, are exhausted by losses and no immediate prospect of replacement exists.

    • (q) “Main office” or “principal office” of a financial institution means the main business office designated in its articles of incorporation or bylaws at an identified location approved by the office in the case of a state financial institution, or by the appropriate federal regulatory agency in the case of a federal financial institution. With respect to the trust department of a bank or association that has trust powers, the terms mean the office or place of business of the trust department at an identified location, which need not be the same location as the main office of the bank or association, approved by the office in the case of a state bank or association, or by the appropriate federal regulatory agency in the case of a national bank or federal association. The “main office” or “principal office” of a trust company means the office designated or provided for in its articles of incorporation, at an identified location as approved by the relevant chartering authority.

    • (r) “Officer” of a financial institution means an individual elected or appointed to, or otherwise performing the duties and functions appropriate to, any position or office having the designation or title of chair of the board of directors, vice chair of the board of directors, chair of the executive committee, president, vice president, assistant vice president, cashier or assistant cashier, comptroller, assistant comptroller, trust officer, assistant trust officer, secretary or assistant secretary of a trust company, or any other office or officer designated in, or as provided by, the articles of incorporation or bylaws.

    • (s) “Out-of-state financial institution” means a financial institution whose home state is a state other than this state.

    • (t) “Related interest” means, with respect to any person, the person’s spouse, partner, sibling, parent, child, or other individual residing in the same household as the person. With respect to any person, the term means a company, partnership, corporation, or other business organization controlled by the person. A person has control if the person:

      • 1. Owns, controls, or has the power to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting securities of the organization;

      • 2. Controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the organization; or

      • 3. Has the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of the organization.

    • (u) “Service corporation” means a corporation that is organized to perform, for two or more financial institutions, services related or incidental to the business of a financial institution and that is wholly or partially owned or controlled by one or more financial institutions.

    • (v) “State,” when used in the context of a state other than this state, means any other state of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any territories of the United States.

    • (w) “State financial institution” means a state-chartered or state-organized financial institution.

    • (x) “Subsidiary” means an organization that is controlled by a financial institution or a holding company of a financial institution.

    • (y) “Unsafe or unsound practice” means any practice or conduct found by the office to be contrary to generally accepted standards applicable to a financial institution, or a violation of any prior agreement in writing or order of a state or federal regulatory agency, which practice, conduct, or violation creates the likelihood of loss, insolvency, or dissipation of assets or otherwise prejudices the interest of the financial institution or its depositors or members. In making this determination, the office must consider the size and condition of the financial institution, the gravity of the violation, and the prior conduct of the person or institution involved.

    • (z) “Office” means the Office of Financial Regulation.

    • (aa) “Debt cancellation products” means loan, lease, or retail installment contract terms, or modifications or addenda to such contracts, under which a creditor agrees to cancel or suspend all or part of a customer’s obligation to make payments upon the occurrence of specified events and includes, but is not limited to, debt cancellation contracts, debt suspension agreements, and guaranteed asset protection contracts offered by financial institutions, insured depository institutions as defined in 12 U.S.C. s. 1813(c), and subsidiaries of such institutions. The term does not include title insurance as defined in s. 624.608.

  • (2) Terms used but not defined in the financial institutions codes, but which are defined in Title XXXIX, entitled Commercial Relations, as enacted in chapters 668 through 1680, have the meanings ascribed to them in Title XXXIX.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 7, ch. 92-303; s. 1, ch. 93-111; s. 2, ch. 97-30; s. 519, ch. 97-102; s. 1700, ch. 2003-261; s. 5, ch. 2004-340; s. 88, ch. 2004-390; s. 1, ch. 2005-181; s. 7, ch. 2008-75; s. 1, ch. 2010-9; s. 1, ch. 2011-194.1

Note.- Title XXXIX comprises chapters 668-688.


655.012 - General supervisory powers; rulemaking; seal

  • (1) In addition to other powers conferred by the financial institutions codes, the office shall have:

    • (a) General supervision over all state financial institutions, their subsidiaries, and service corporations.

    • (b) Access to all books and records of all persons over whom the office exercises general supervision as is necessary for the performance of the duties and functions of the office prescribed by the financial institutions codes.

    • (c) Power to issue orders and declaratory statements, disseminate information, and otherwise exercise its discretion to effectuate the purposes, policies, and provisions of the financial institutions codes.

  • (2) In addition to other powers conferred by the financial institutions codes, the commission shall have the power to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of such codes.

  • (3) The office shall have an official seal by which its proceedings are authenticated.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 8, ch. 92-303; s. 2, ch. 93-111; s. 218, ch. 98-200; s. 1701, ch. 2003-261.

655.013 - Effect on existing financial institutions

The charters of state financial institutions existing on July 1, 1992, shall continue in full force and effect. However, after that date, all state financial institutions and, to the extent applicable, all financial institutions shall operate in accordance with the financial institutions codes.


History.- s. 9, ch. 92-303; s. 2, ch. 2011-194.

655.015 - Construction; standards to be observed by commission and office

  • (1) The financial institutions codes shall be liberally construed and applied to promote their purposes and policies.

  • (2) The purposes and policies as stated in s. 655.001 constitute standards to be observed by the commission and office in the exercise of their discretionary powers under the financial institutions codes, in the adoption of rules, in the issuance of orders and declaratory statements, in the examination and supervision of financial institutions, and in all matters of construction and application of the financial institutions codes required for any determination or action.

  • (3) The headings, captions, and catchlines at the beginning of sections, subsections, and paragraphs are for convenience only, do not constitute any part of the statutes comprising the financial institutions codes, do not constitute a complete index of the financial institutions codes, are not indicative of the intent of the financial institutions codes, and may not be used in construing or interpreting the financial institutions codes.

History.- s. 10, ch. 92-303; s. 1702, ch. 2003-261.

655.016 - Liability when acting upon rule, order, or declaratory statement

No person acting, or who has acted, in good faith reliance upon a rule, order, or declaratory statement issued by the commission or office shall be subject to any criminal, civil, or administrative liability for such action, notwithstanding a subsequent decision by a court of competent jurisdiction invalidating the rule, order, or declaratory statement. In the case of an order or a declaratory statement which is not of general application, no person other than the person to whom the order or declaratory statement was issued is entitled to rely upon it, except upon material facts or circumstances which are substantially the same as those upon which the order or declaratory statement was based.


History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 438, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; s. 1, ch. 92-303; s. 1703, ch. 2003-261.

655.0201 - Service of process, notice, or demand on financial institutions

  • (1) Process against any financial institution authorized by federal or state law to transact business in this state may be served in accordance with chapter 48, chapter 49, chapter 607, or chapter 608, as appropriate.

  • (2) Any financial institution authorized by federal or state law to transact business in this state may designate a registered agent as the financial institution’s agent for service of process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served on the financial institution. If the financial institution has no registered agent, or its registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be served, service may be made to any executive officer of the financial institution at its principal place of business in this state.

  • (3) If service cannot be made in accordance with subsection (2), service may be made to any officer, director, or business agent of the financial institution at its principal place of business or at any other branch, office, or place of business in the state.

  • (4) This section does not prescribe the only means, or necessarily the required means, of serving notice or demand on a financial institution.

History.- s. 2, ch. 2005-181.

655.031 - Administrative enforcement guidelines

  • (1) In imposing any administrative remedy or penalty provided for in the financial institutions codes, the office shall take into account the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the size of the financial resources and good faith of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, the history of previous violations, and such other matters as justice may require.

  • (2) All administrative proceedings under ss. 655.033 and 655.037 shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 120. Any service required or authorized to be made by the office under the financial institutions codes may be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, delivered to addressee only; by personal delivery; or in accordance with chapter 48. The service provided for hereunder is effective from the date of delivery.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 11, ch. 92-303; s. 1704, ch. 2003-261.

Note.- Former s. 655.021.


655.032 - Investigations, subpoenas, hearings, and witnesses

  • (1) The office may make investigations, within or outside this state, which it deems necessary to determine whether a person has violated or is about to violate any provision of the financial institutions codes or of the rules adopted by the commission pursuant to such codes.

  • (2)(a) In the course of or in connection with an investigation by the office pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) or an investigation or examination in connection with any application to the office for the organization or establishment of a state financial institution or a branch thereof, and in connection with an examination of a state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation by the office, the office, or any of its officers holding no lesser title and position than examiner in charge or attorney at law, shall have the power:

      • 1. To administer oaths and affirmations;

      • 2. To take or cause to be taken testimony and depositions; and

      • 3. To issue, revoke, quash, or modify subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum under the seal of the office or to cause any such subpoena or subpoena duces tecum to be issued by any county court judge or clerk of the circuit court or county court to require persons to be or appear before the office at a time and place to be therein named and to bring such books, records, and documents for inspection as may be therein designated. Such subpoenas may be served by a representative of the office or may be served as otherwise provided for by law for the service of subpoenas.

    • (b) In connection with any such investigation or examination, the office may permit a person to file a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise as the office determines, as to facts and circumstances specified by the office.

  • (3)(a) In the event of noncompliance with a subpoena issued or caused to be issued by the office pursuant to this section, the office may petition the circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed resides or has its principal place of business for an order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear and testify and to produce such books, records, and documents as are specified in such subpoena duces tecum. The office is entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011, and the court shall advance the cause on its calendar.

    • (b) A copy of the petition shall be served upon the person subpoenaed by any person authorized by this section to serve subpoenas, who shall make and file with the court an affidavit showing the time, place, and date of service.

    • (c) At any hearing on any such petition, the person subpoenaed, or any person whose interests will be substantially affected by the investigation, examination, or subpoena, may appear and object to the subpoena and to the granting of the petition. The court may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or other person and his or her personal and property rights, including, but not limited to, protection from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.

    • (d) Failure to comply with an order granting, in whole or in part, a petition for enforcement of a subpoena is a contempt of court.

  • (4) Witnesses shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage to which they might be entitled by law for attending as witnesses in the circuit court, except that no fees or mileage shall be allowed in the case of testimony of a financial institution-affiliated party if such testimony is taken at the principal office of the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or at the residence of the financial institution-affiliated party.

  • (5) Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the office and payable to persons in investigations may be assessed against such an applicant, state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, or financial institution-affiliated party on the basis of actual costs incurred. Assessable expenses include, but are not limited to: expenses for interpreters; expenses for communications; expenses for legal representation; expenses for economic, legal, or other research, analyses, and testimony; and fees and expenses for witnesses. The failure to reimburse the office is a ground for denial of the application or for revocation of any approval thereof.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 4, ch. 84-216; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 89-229; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 12, ch. 92-303; s. 520, ch. 97-102; s. 1705, ch. 2003-261.

Note.- Former s. 655.025.


655.0321 - Restricted access to certain hearings, proceedings, and related documents

The office shall consider the public purposes specified in 1s. 119.14(4)(b) in determining whether the hearings and proceedings conducted pursuant to s. 655.033 for the issuance of cease and desist orders and s. 655.037 for the issuance of suspension or removal orders shall be closed and exempt from the provisions of s. 286.011, and whether related documents shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).


History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 2, ch. 89-229; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 3, 13, ch. 92-303; s. 410, ch. 96-406; s. 1706, ch. 2003-261.1

Note.- Repealed by s. 1, ch. 95-217.

Note.- Former s. 655.029.


655.0322 - Prohibited acts and practices; criminal penalties

  • (1) As used in this section, the term “financial institution” means a financial institution as defined in s. 655.50 which includes a state trust company, state or national bank, state or federal association, state or federal savings bank, state or federal credit union, Edge Act or agreement corporation, international bank agency, international branch, representative office or administrative office or other business entity as defined by the commission by rule, whether organized under the laws of this state, the laws of another state, or the laws of the United States, which institution is located in this state.

  • (2) It is unlawful for any financial institution-affiliated party to ask for, willfully and knowingly receive or consent to receive any commission, emolument, gratuity, money, property, or thing of value for:

    • (a) Procuring, or endeavoring to procure, for any person a loan or extension of credit from such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation; or

    • (b) Procuring, or endeavoring to procure, the purchase or discount of any note, draft, check, bill of exchange, or other obligation by such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation.

    Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  • (3) It is unlawful for any financial institution-affiliated party to:

    • (a) Knowingly receive or possess himself or herself of any of its property otherwise than in payment of a just demand, and, with intent to deceive or defraud, to omit to make or cause to be made a full and true entry thereof in its books and accounts, or concur in omitting to make any material entry thereof;

    • (b) Embezzle, abstract, or misapply any money, property, or thing of value of the financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation with intent to deceive or defraud such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation;

    • (c) Knowingly make, draw, issue, put forth, or assign any certificate of deposit, draft, order, bill of exchange, acceptance, note, debenture, bond or other obligation, mortgage, judgment, or decree without authority from the board of directors of such financial institution;

    • (d) Make any false entry in any book, report, or statement of such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation with intent to deceive or defraud such financial institution or another person, firm, or corporation, or with intent to deceive the office, any other appropriate federal regulatory agency, or any authorized representative appointed to examine the affairs of such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation; or

    • (e) Deliver or disclose to the office or any of its employees any examination report, report of condition, report of income and dividends, internal audit, account, statement, or document known by him or her to be fraudulent or false as to any material matter.

    Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  • (4) It is unlawful for any financial institution-affiliated party to knowingly place among the assets of such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation any note, obligation, or security which the financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation does not own or which to the individual’s knowledge is fraudulent or otherwise worthless or for any such individual to represent to the office that any note, obligation, or security carried as an asset of such financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation is the property of the financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation and is genuine if it is known to such individual that such representation is false or that such note, obligation, or security is fraudulent or otherwise worthless. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  • (5) Any person who willfully makes any false statement or report, or willfully overvalues any land, property, or security, for the purposes of influencing in any way the action of any financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or any other entity authorized by law to extend credit, upon any application, advance, discount, purchase, purchase agreement, repurchase agreement, commitment, or loan, or any change or extension of any of the same, by renewal, deferment of action or otherwise, or the acceptance, release, or substitution of security therefor, is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  • (6) Any person who knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or any other entity authorized by law to extend credit, or to obtain any of the moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by, or under the custody or control of, a financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, or any other entity authorized by law to extend credit, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.- s. 14, ch. 92-303; s. 3, ch. 97-30; s. 521, ch. 97-102; s. 1707, ch. 2003-261; s. 6, ch. 2004-340; s. 89, ch. 2004-390.

655.033 - Cease and desist orders

  • (1) The office may issue and serve upon any state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation, or upon any financial institution-affiliated party, a complaint stating charges whenever the office has reason to believe that such state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, financial institution-affiliated party, or individual named therein is engaging in or has engaged in conduct that is:

    • (a) An unsafe or unsound practice;

    • (b) A violation of any law relating to the operation of a financial institution;

    • (c) A violation of any rule of the commission;

    • (d) A violation of any order of the office;

    • (e) A breach of any written agreement with the office;

    • (f) A prohibited act or practice pursuant to s. 655.0322; or

    • (g) A willful failure to provide information or documents to the office or any appropriate federal agency, or any of its representatives, upon written request.

  • (2) The complaint must contain the statement of facts and notice of opportunity for a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

  • (3) If no hearing is requested within the time allowed by ss. 120.569 and 120.57, or if a hearing is held and the office finds that any of the charges are true, the office may enter an order directing the state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, financial institution-affiliated party, or the individual named therein to cease and desist from engaging in the conduct complained of and to take corrective action.

  • (4) If the state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, financial institution-affiliated party, or the individual named in such order fails to respond to the complaint within the time allotted in ss. 120.569 and 120.57, such failure constitutes a default and justifies the entry of a cease and desist order.

  • (5) A contested or default cease and desist order is effective when reduced to writing and served upon the state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, financial institution-affiliated party, or the individual named therein. An uncontested cease and desist order is effective as agreed.

  • (6) Whenever the office finds that conduct described in subsection (1) is likely to cause insolvency, substantial dissipation of assets or earnings of the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or substantial prejudice to the depositors, members, or shareholders, it may issue an emergency cease and desist order requiring the state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, or financial institution-affiliated party to immediately cease and desist from engaging in the conduct complained of and to take corrective action. The emergency order is effective immediately upon service of a copy of the order upon the state financial institution, subsidiary, service corporation, or financial institution-affiliated party and remains effective for 90 days. If the office begins nonemergency cease and desist proceedings under subsection (1), the emergency order remains effective until the conclusion of the proceedings under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Any emergency order entered under this subsection is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) until the emergency order is made permanent, unless the office finds that such confidentiality will result in substantial risk of financial loss to the public.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 5, ch. 84-216; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 3, ch. 89-229; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 3, 15, ch. 92-303; s. 411, ch. 96-406; s. 290, ch. 96-410; s. 1708, ch. 2003-261.

655.034 - Injunctions

Whenever a violation of the financial institutions codes is threatened or impending and such violation will cause substantial injury to a state financial institution or to the depositors, members, creditors, or stockholders thereof, the circuit court has jurisdiction to hear any complaint filed by the office and, upon proper showing, to issue an injunction restraining such violation or granting other such appropriate relief.


History.- s. 1, ch. 82-214; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 16, ch. 92-303; s. 1709, ch. 2003-261.

655.037 - Removal of a financial institution-affiliated party by the office

  • (1) The office may issue and serve upon any financial institution-affiliated party and upon the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation involved, a complaint stating charges whenever the office has reason to believe that the financial institution-affiliated party is engaging or has engaged in conduct that is:

    • (a) An unsafe or unsound practice;

    • (b) A prohibited act or practice;

    • (c) A willful violation of any law relating to financial institutions;

    • (d) A violation of any other law involving fraud or moral turpitude which constitutes a felony;

    • (e) A violation of s. 655.50, relating to the Florida Control of Money Laundering in Financial Institutions Act; chapter 896, relating to offenses related to financial transactions; or any similar state or federal law;

    • (f) A willful violation of any rule of the commission;

    • (g) A willful violation of any order of the office;

    • (h) A willful breach of any written agreement with the office; or

    • (i) An act of commission or omission or a practice which is a breach of trust or a breach of fiduciary duty.

  • (2) The complaint must contain the statement of facts and notice of opportunity for a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

  • (3) If no hearing is requested within the time allowed by ss. 120.569 and 120.57, or if a hearing is held and the office finds that any of the charges in the complaint are true and that the state financial institution has suffered or will likely suffer loss or other damage or that the interests of the depositors, members, or shareholders could be seriously prejudiced by reason of such violation or practice or breach of fiduciary duty or that the financial institution-affiliated party has received financial gain by reason of such violation, practice, or breach of fiduciary duty, and that such violation, practice, or breach of fiduciary duty is one involving personal dishonesty on the part of such financial institution-affiliated party or a continuing disregard for the safety or soundness of the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation, the office may enter an order removing the financial institution-affiliated party or restricting or prohibiting participation by such financial institution-affiliated party in the affairs of that particular state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or any other state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation.

  • (4) If the financial institution-affiliated party fails to respond to the complaint within the time allowed in ss. 120.569 and 120.57, such failure constitutes a default and justifies the entry of an order of removal.

  • (5) A contested or default order of removal is effective when reduced to writing and served on the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation and the financial institution-affiliated party. An uncontested order of removal is effective as agreed.

  • (6)(a) The chief executive officer, or the person holding the equivalent office, of a state financial institution shall promptly notify the office if he or she has actual knowledge that any financial institution-affiliated party is charged with a felony in a state or federal court.

    • (b) Whenever any financial institution-affiliated party is charged with a felony in a state or federal court, or in the courts of any foreign country with which the United States maintains diplomatic relations, and such charge alleges violation of any law involving fraud, currency transaction reporting, money laundering, theft, or moral turpitude and the charge under such foreign law is equivalent to a felony charge under state or federal law, the office may enter an emergency order suspending such financial institution-affiliated party or restricting or prohibiting participation by such financial institution-affiliated party in the affairs of that particular state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation or any other financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation, upon service of the order upon the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation and the financial institution-affiliated party so charged. The order shall contain notice of opportunity for a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, where the financial institution-affiliated party may request a postsuspension hearing to show that continued service to or participation in the affairs of the state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation does not pose a threat to the interests of the state financial institution’s depositors, members, or stockholders, or threaten to impair public confidence in the state financial institution. In accordance with applicable commission rules, the office shall notify the financial institution-affiliated party whether the order suspending or prohibiting the financial institution-affiliated party from participation in the affairs of a state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation will be rescinded or otherwise modified. The emergency order will remain in effect, unless otherwise modified by the office, until the criminal charge is disposed of. The acquittal of the financial institution-affiliated party charged, or the final, unappealed dismissal of all charges against such person, will dissolve the emergency order, but will not prohibit the office from instituting proceedings under subsection (1). If the financial institution-affiliated party charged is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere, whether or not an adjudication of guilt is entered by the court, the emergency order becomes final.

  • (7) Any financial institution-affiliated party removed from office pursuant to this section is not eligible for reelection to such position or to any official position in any financial institution in this state except with the written consent of the office. Any financial institution-affiliated party who is removed, restricted, or prohibited from participation in the affairs of a state financial institution pursuant to this section may petition the office for modification or termination of any such removal, restriction, or prohibition.

  • (8) The resignation, termination of employment or participation, or separation from a state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation of the financial institution-affiliated party does not affect the jurisdiction and authority of the office to issue any notice and proceed under this section against such financial institution-affiliated party, if such notice is served before the end of the 6-year period beginning on the date such person ceases to be such a financial institution-affiliated party with respect to such state financial institution, subsidiary, or service corporation.

History.- s. 1, ch. 80-273; s. 439, ch. 81-259; ss. 5, 6, ch. 84-216; s. 39, ch. 85-62; s. 1, ch. 85-65; s. 4, ch. 89-229; s. 1, ch. 90-51; s. 1, ch. 91-307; ss. 1, 17, ch. 92-303; s. 291, ch. 96-410; s. 1758, ch. 97-102; s. 1710, ch. 2003-261.