Bank Charter

WEST VIRGINIA STATE BANKING CODE CHAPTER 31A, Article 4, Section 5, sets forth the requirements and procedure for incorporation of state banks:

A state bank may be organized by five or more incorporators, a majority of whom shall be residents of the state of West Virginia. Such banking institution shall have as a part of its corporate name or title one or more of the following words indicative of the business which it is authorized to conduct, namely, "bank," "banking company," "banking association," "trust company," "banking and trust company" or "bank and trust company."

When an agreement of incorporation has been filed with the board, it shall promptly make or cause to be made a careful examination and investigation of the Applicant relative to the following:
The character, reputation, financial standing and motives of the organizers, incorporators and subscribers in organizing the proposed bank;
The need for the facilities and services which the proposed bank will offer in the community where it is to be located, giving particular consideration to the adequacy of existing banking and trust facilities and services;
The present and future ability of the community to support the proposed bank and all other existing banking and trust facilities and services in the community;
The character, financial responsibility, banking experience and business qualifications of the proposed officers; and
The character, financial responsibility, business experience and standing of the proposed stockholders and directors.

The board shall approve or disapprove the application, in the exercise of its reasonable discretion, but shall not approve such application unless it finds:
Public convenience and advantage will be promoted by the establishment of the proposed bank;
Local conditions assure reasonable promise of successful operation for the proposed bank and those banks already established in the community;
The proposed capital structure is adequate;
The proposed officers and directors have sufficient banking experience and trust experience, if the bank proposes to engage in the trust business, ability, character and standing to assure reasonable promise of successful operation;
The name of the proposed bank or trust company is not so similar as to cause confusion with the name of an existing bank; and
Provision has been made for suitable banking house quarters in the community specified in the application.

West Virginia state chartered financial institutions may merge or consolidate with other like financial institutions. If the surviving financial institution will be a West Virginia state chartered bank, the application must be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and receive the prior approval of the West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions.

The following documents are available to provide information on chartering a West Virginia State Bank. These documents are viewable with Microsoft Word Viewer or Adobe Acrobat.

WV State Bank Charter Process

WV Banking Code Considerations For The Charter Process

Application for Certificate of Authority
This form is to be filed at least 30 days prior to the scheduled opening date for the proposed bank, it should not be filed prior to the charter application approval by the West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions.

An Interagency Charter Application must also be filed with the primary federal regulator. All applications filed with federal regulators must also be filed with the West Virginia Division of Banking in duplicate original.

Interagency Charter Application

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation supervises state-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System. West Virginia is located in the Southeastern District of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Federal Reserve System supervises state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Both the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland regulate financial institutions located in West Virginia. If you are unsure as to which district you are in, please contact either Federal Reserve Bank or the West Virginia Division of Banking for assistance.

The West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions meets quarterly on the second Monday in March, June, September and December to take action on pending applications. In order to be considered, bank charter applications must be submitted for review by the staff at least 90 days prior to the next scheduled Board meeting.

Prior to the filing of the application, it will be necessary to schedule a meeting with the Commissioner of Banking in our office at One Players Club Drive, Suite 300, Charleston, West Virginia. At the meeting, representatives of the proposed bank should be prepared to discuss in detail plans for the proposed state-charter bank. Information concerning proposed capitalization, location and management (including the Board of Directors) should be discussed with the West Virginia Division of Banking at that time.

Questions regarding this application procedure may be directed to Ariel Billotti​ or Dawn Holstein.