I am a Customer of a Bank or Trust Company:

1. How do I file a complaint against a bank or trust company?

The Division of Banks regulates Washington State-chartered Banks, Trust Companies, Small Business Administration 7(a) Lenders, and some Non-U.S. (Alien) Banks. See a list of our regulated entities.

If your institution is listed in our directory, you may file a written complaint. The Department of Financial Institutions may only investigate written complaints for the institutions we regulate.

If your banking institution is not listed in our directory, you may search for your institution’s primary regulator through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s BankFind website or on the National Information Center’s website.

If your trust company is not listed in our directory, it may be regulated by another state or by the Federal government through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Unfortunately, there is no national database for state-chartered trust companies; however, Federally-chartered non depository trust institutions may be searched on the National Information Center’s website. Our office does not regulate professional fiduciaries when they are acting in their individual capacity, as sole proprietorship, or if all trusts are court-monitored. For more information, please refer to FAQ # 29.

NOTE: The Division of Banks regulates Titles 30A, 30B, 32, and 33 of the Revised Code of Washington. Disputes involving contract interpretation, questions of fact, or other legal issues fall under the jurisdiction of the courts, and you will be advised to seek legal counsel.

How to file a complaint against a non-Washington state-chartered bank or trust company:

All Banks – All U.S. banks are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and you may submit a complaint directly to the FDIC.

National Banks, National Trust Companies, Federal Savings Banks, and Federal Savings Associations - Complaints against national banks, national trust companies, federal associations, and federal savings banks should be directed to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

National banks and national trust companies can usually be identified because they have the words "national" or "national association" in their titles or the letters N.A. or NT&SA following their titles. Federal savings banks can usually be identified because they have the words “federal association” or “federal savings bank” in their titles or the letters F.A. or FSB following their titles. However, a state bank may also have the word “federal” in its title. For assistance in determining whether or not your financial institution is a state or federal savings bank, please refer to the BankFind website.

Credit card companies - Credit card complaints can be filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Other lenders - the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates lenders that are not banks or credit unions.

Washington Certified Professional and Public Guardians – The Washington Office of Public Guardianship regulates the certification of professional guardians and public guardians. Complaints against these guardians should be directed to The Office of Public Guardianship with the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Washington Guardian ad Litem – Grievances with a guardian ad litem should be filed in superior court. The Washington Administrative Office of the Courts has guidance and procedures for filing a grievance with a registered guardian ad litem.

Washington State Bar Association – Complaints against attorneys can be directed to the Washington State Bar Association.

A filed complaint may become public information:

The Washington Public Records Act (PRA), RCW 42.56, may require disclosure of a complaint after a file is closed. If you choose, you may keep your identifying information exempt from disclosure under the PRA by stating in your complaint that "I request that my information identifying me not be disclosed if requested pursuant to the Public Records Act" or by checking the relevant box on the complaint form. Please note that this exemption does not necessarily restrict the release of your identifying information pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or during litigation.

How a complaint is processed:

Once we receive your complaint, we will contact the bank and request a written response to your concerns. A copy of your complaint, along with all enclosures, is forwarded to the bank for their internal investigation. The Division of Banks will review the bank’s response to your complaint to ensure that your concerns have been addressed. If additional information is needed, we will contact you by telephone or in writing. If a state banking law or regulation has been violated, we will inform you of the violation and the corrective action the bank has been directed to take.

Although the Division of Banks processes all complaints involving the banks it regulates, it does not have the authority to resolve all types of problems. For example, we are unable to resolve contractual disputes, undocumented factual disputes between a customer and a bank, or disagreements about bank policies and procedures. These matters are usually determined by bank policy and are not addressed by state banking law or regulation. In many instances, however, by filing a complaint, a bank may voluntarily work with you to resolve your situation. If, however, the matter is not resolved, we will advise you whether a violation of another law has occurred or whether you should consider legal counsel to resolve your complaint. The Division of Banks does not offer legal advice or participate in the credit granting process.

In general, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the Federal Reserve System (FRS) have the authority to enforce most of the federal consumer protection laws that apply to banks. Our Division works with the FDIC and the FRS to monitor compliance with consumer protection laws by our state banks.

See: Federal Reserve: Index of Federal Regulations.

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2. Does the Department of Financial Institutions serve as a registered agent for Washington Banks?

No. The Department of Financial Institutions does not accept service for any bank and does not act as a registered agent for banks located in Washington State. There is only one exception for Washington State-regulated Alien Banks under RCW 30A.42.060.

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3. Who is the registered agent for my bank?

Banks are not Title 23B Corporations and generally do not maintain registered agents in the State of Washington.

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4. How do I serve a bank located in Washington State?

There are no service of process statues in the banking statutes (Title 30A RCW and Title 32 RCW) regarding serving a bank with process in a civil matter. The general civil rule for service involving a bank or trust company may be found in the Washington Civil Rule 4 and RCW 4.28.080. In summary, an individual may serve any bank location in Washington State. The documents should reference the bank CEO, President, or any member of the Board of Directors.

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5. Who are the Federal agencies involved in banking?

The Federal Reserve System (FRS) is the central bank of the United States of America. The system is comprised of one central agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks (FRB). The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is the regional bank that serves Washington State.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures each depositor of all national, state, and FRS member banks to at least $250,000 per insured bank. The FDIC’s mission is to maintain the stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules, enforcing those rules and empowering consumers. The agency takes consumer complaints, promotes financial education, researches consumer behavior, and monitors financial markets.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is the agency that regulates all national banks, Federal savings and loan associations, Federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an agency of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The OCC has a helpful website www.helpwithmybank.gov that provides answers to your questions regarding national banks.

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6. How do I know if my financial institution is acting in a legal manner?

Financial institutions are regulated through periodic examinations of the institutions’ safety and soundness and its compliance with rules and regulations. Through these examinations, the institutions’ operations are reviewed to ensure compliance with state and Federal laws.

If you have questions regarding Washington state-specific laws, please visit our website to review the Revised Code of Washington Titles 30A, 30B, and 32. To review Federal laws and regulations, please visit the Federal agency websites referenced in FAQ #5.

If you are concerned that a financial institution is conducting illegal business, you may: submit a complaint as referenced in FAQ #1 above; submit a complaint to the appropriate Federal regulatory agency as described in FAQ #5 above; or, contact an attorney.

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7. Can my bank pull my credit report without my signature?

Generally, yes. Banks are expected to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act when obtaining a consumer credit report. They may pull a report for any valid business need such as opening a savings or checking account, or preapproving a loan.

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8. Can my bank legally charge me dormant account fees?

Yes. An account that does not have owner contact or owner activity after a certain period of time is considered dormant or inactive and may possibly be considered abandoned. Abandoned accounts are savings or checking accounts that have had no positive owner contact for three years. Fees may be levied on such accounts that are flagged as dormant, inactive, or abandoned. Examples of positive owner contact are deposits, withdrawals, letters, phone calls, address changes, or other positive owner contacts with a related bank account.

To ensure that your account does not fall dormant, or is considered abandoned by your institution, be sure to review your account opening agreement, periodic statements, and any other correspondence from your institution. If your account has been deemed dormant or inactive, contact your institution to find out how to make it active again.

After an account has been deemed abandoned by a financial institution it is escheated, or remitted, to the State of Washington as “unclaimed property.” For more information on accessing your unclaimed property, please visit the Department of Revenue website.

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9. Can a bank charge a check cashing fee?

Yes. It is a generally accepted practice for banks to charge check cashing fees for noncustomers. Furthermore, there is no law or regulation that requires banks to cash checks for noncustomers or limiting the fees charged. Banks typically charge fees for this service to recoup losses from honoring forged checks.

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10. Is my bank required to send me periodic statements for my account or loan?

Yes. Generally, periodic statements are required when billing occurs for home equity and personal open-end lines of credit, unless you have opted out. Therefore, if activity occurs and a bill (or payment) is due, periodic statements are required. For example, monthly billings for payments due would require monthly statements. Speak with your banker or review the Truth in Lending Act (also known as Regulation Z found at 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) for more information regarding statement requirements.

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11. I have a bank account or certificate of deposit with a bank that is no longer open, how can I receive my cash?

Financial institutions send notifications regarding your account in the case of a bank closure or merger/acquisition. If you are unable to locate your original notification, you will need to find which institution acquired your asset. You may research your financial institution’s history on the National Information Center, or on the FDIC’s BankFind.

If the account has been dormant, the institution may have sent the funds to the Department of Revenue Unclaimed Property Division. To see if your account has been sent to Unclaimed Property, visit their website.

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12. My bank is garnishing my account, is this legal?

Yes. A garnishment is a legal process that allows a creditor to remove funds owed from your bank account. If you owe money to a person or company, they may obtain a court order directing your bank to get money from your account to pay your obligation. In most cases, a creditor must win a judgment against you and get a court order to be able to garnish wages. Some Federal agencies such as the IRS can garnish wages without a court order. Income exemptions from garnishment vary state to state.

The Northwest Justice Project has written helpful guidance regarding Washington State garnishment law.

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13. What are the rules for joint bank deposit or credit accounts?

When you enter into a joint account, both parties are legally liable for maintaining that account through the terms of the contract with the bank. Joint deposit account holders are both entitled to all of the funds in the account. Joint credit account holders are both liable until the debt has been satisfied or some other manner of release occurs. Please note the terms of a divorce decree do not affect the legal obligation of the account.

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14. How can I obtain my Deed of Reconveyance?

Your financial institution is responsible for providing your Deed of Reconveyance. A Deed of Reconveyance is issued by the bank or mortgage holder when the consumer has paid off the mortgage. The deed transfers the property title from the lender (bank) to the borrower (consumer). The deed must be recorded in the county where the property is located to show the release of the deed, or that the lien on the home has been paid in full. Contact your lender if you would like to receive your Deed or you have questions.

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15. How do I release a lien on my home?

When you have paid your loan in full your financial institution is responsible for releasing your lien. Contact your lender if you have questions regarding the repayment of your loan or the release of your lien. If your bank has been closed or your mortgage has been transferred to another institution, the new institution should notify you regarding actions required by you in order to fulfill the mortgage and release the lien on your home.

If you are unaware what institution holds your mortgage or would like to release the lien on your home with a closed bank, you may contact the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to learn steps needed to release the lien on your home. You may reach them at (888) 206-4662 or (800) 568-9161 or visit the FDIC website.

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16. How do I release a lien on my vehicle?

When you have paid your vehicle loan in full, your institution should submit the proper documentation to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) to remove the lender’s name from the title. If you believe your lender has not completed the necessary steps or your lender is no longer in business, you may contact the DOL to learn what actions are needed to release the lien on your vehicle. The Vehicle and Vessel Support Teams 1, 2, and 3 can assist you. Each team may be reached with the corresponding county and contact number.

V& V Support Team 1
(360) 902-3630
1125 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98507
M – F:
8:00AM – 5:00PM

Counties: Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grays, Island, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skamania

V&V Support Team 2
(360) 902-4083
1125 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98507
M – F:
8:00AM – 5:00PM

Counties: Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Grant, Kitsap, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Stevens, Walla Walla

V&V Support Team 3
(360) 902-4028
1125 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98507
M – F:
8:00AM – 5:00PM

Counties: Adams, Columbia, Cowlitz, Douglas, Lincoln, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima

You may find full instructions on the DOL website or visit or call your local county office.

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17. Can my bank place a hold on my deposit?

Yes. Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks) found at 12 CFR 229 sets limits for the length of time a bank may place a hold on the funds from checks after a check has been deposited into an account. Regulation CC requires banks to make funds available for withdrawal within the times prescribed by the regulation and provide fund availability disclosures and notices to customers. If you are concerned about the amount of time a bank is holding your funds, contact your bank and ask what procedures they have to release your funds.

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18. Can my bank charge me overdraft fees?

Yes. Banks are responsible for deciding fee schedules and overdraft policies. Banks are required to disclose fees when your account is established. Your account agreement and the bank’s current fee schedule will describe terms and amounts. Overdraft protection is an agreement with the bank that typically involves a fee that will cover overdrafts on a checking account and will be limited to a preset maximum amount.

Banks generally process transactions overnight and occasionally do not reflect the most current transactions on an available balance. It is important to keep a current and accurate transaction register and reconcile it with your monthly statement. Banks maintain account balances through ATM, online, or telephone for your convenience and do not replace your personal most current transaction register. Banks generally post deposits before withdrawals however they may establish a cutoff time of the day for deposit processing and will have your deposit reflected in your account on the following business day.

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19. What financial institutions can I open an i-502 business account with?

Currently there are a very limited number of Washington State-chartered Banks that have business account options for i-502 licensees. However, none of these businesses publically advertise their services. You may contact your local state-chartered bank to learn if they have account options available for i-502 licensees. Some Credit Unions do have account options for businesses with a license issued by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Visit the Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Credit Unions website or call their office at (360) 902-8701 to learn more about Credit Unions offering these business accounts.

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I Would Like to Use “Bank” or “Trust” in my Business Name:

20. How can I register my company with the Secretary of State if my company has the words “bank” or “trust” in it?

Under the provisions of The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 30A.04.020, the name of a domestic or foreign corporation is prohibited from the use of the words or the plural thereof “bank,” “banking,” “banker,” “bancorporation,” “bancorp,” “trust,” or any foreign designations including “banco” or “banque” without the approval of the Director. Approval from the Director will enable the requestor to submit certain filings to the Washington Secretary of State.

Request Letter for Nonbanks

Persons seeking the issuance of approval must submit a detailed letter to the Division of Banks containing the following information:

  1. The exact name of the entity the requestor is seeking to use
  2. The primary business purpose of the entity and/or the business activity the entity will conduct in this state
  3. Explanation of why the use of the term "bank," "banc," "trust," etc., is important to use in the entity name
  4. Explanation of why the use of the entity name is not deceptive or misleading to the public
  5. The entity’s license status:
    • Current licenses held,
    • Licenses sought in order to do business in this state, or
    • Representations that no license or other regulatory authorization is necessary to conduct business in this state
  6. A commitment that the entity will not advertise or hold out to the public in any manner that it is a financial institution including a state or national bank, trust company, depository institution, or that it is authorized to conduct banking or trust business;
  7. A full explanation of any affiliation with a bank, bank holding company, trust company, or other financial institution
  8. Evidence of any qualification to do business in other states

The Division will review the proposed name and use of terms, along with other material submitted as a whole in order to make a decision. After review, the Division will inform the requestor of the decision to object or approve in a formal letter to the requestor.

If approved, the Division will work with the requestor to obtain any approval stamps and signatures needed for application submissions to the Secretary of State. Please be aware that the Division charges hourly fees for all services rendered.

Requests may be submitted by US mail or by email:

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banks
PO Box 41200
Olympia WA 98504-1200
Email: banks@dfi.wa.gov

Expedited Approval for Existing Banks

Expedited approval may be available for:

  • National banks and Federal savings banks regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • State-chartered banks regulated by the State of Washington or another state
  • Trust companies regulated by the State of Washington or another state
  • Bank or financial holding companies regulated by the Federal Reserve
  • Foreign or alien banks authorized to do business in the United States

If your institution meets the criteria for expedited approval above, please submit the following documents to the Division of Banks:

  1. Certificate of Corporate Status from the governing State, and a Certificate of Authority/Good Standing from the regulating agency who has jurisdiction over the corporation;
  2. Executed Secretary of State application in which needs to be filed;
  3. A detailed description of the intentions of the corporation after approval is granted from the Director indicating whether the approved application should be forwarded back to the corporation, to a registered agent located in Washington State, or if requesting the Division of Banks to file at the Washington Secretary of State on the corporations behalf. (Note: there are fees associated with the Division filing on an institutions behalf. WAC 208-544-045)

Requests may be submitted by US mail or by email:

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banks
PO Box 41200
Olympia WA 98504-1200
Email: banks@dfi.wa.gov

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I Am an Existing Bank or Trust Company:

21. What are the requirements for out-of-state banks doing business in the State of Washington? Are there any registration or notice requirements?

Department of Financial Institutions – Division of Banks

No official notice, registration, application, or approval is required. If your bank is a national bank, we defer to your primary regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If your bank is a state-chartered federally insured institution, we defer to your primary regulator as the “home” state (e.g. State of California). The State of Washington is considered the “host” state, and all regulatory matters and consumer complaints received by our office are forwarded to your primary regulator.

If your institution would like to open a de novo branch or acquire a branch through merger or branch purchase and historically has never branched in Washington State, under Title 30A.38.015, our office requires Director approval of the proposed branch. Our office will process the application according to Washington State law under Title 30A RCW. Please submit the branch application form provided on our website to:

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banks
PO Box 41200
Olympia WA 98504-1200
Email: banks@dfi.wa.gov

Washington Secretary of State

The mere making of loans in the State of Washington, without a physical office presence, does not technically constitute “transacting business” under the laws governed by the Secretary of State (RCW 23B.15.010(2)). As such, you are not required to register with the Secretary of State. However, in the event you do want to file with the Secretary of State, we can assist you with that process. Please note that we charge for this service.

Washington Department of Revenue

Please be aware that the State of Washington has complex business and occupancy tax laws (B&O tax) based on the degree of “nexus” an out-of-state business entity has with Washington State. Consult your attorney, tax professional, or the Department of Revenue’s website for more information.

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22. If my bank decides to open a loan production office, are there any registration or notice requirements?

No official notice, registration, application, or approval is required from the Department of Financial Institutions, because a loan production office is not considered a “branch” for banking law purposes. However, an actual physical office presence in Washington State may require that an out-of-state bank register with the Secretary of State as a foreign corporation (See FAQ #21 above). We ask that out-of-state banks file a general notice with our office that the institution will be opening a loan production office at. Such letter/notice can be sent electronically to banks@dfi.wa.gov or by U.S. mail:

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banks
PO Box 41200
Olympia WA 98504-1200
Email: banks@dfi.wa.gov

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23. Is the bank exempt from being licensed for its mortgage activities?

The Department of Financial Institutions Division of Consumer Services regulates mortgage lenders. It is important that you contact that department at (360) 902-8703 or refer to the Division of Consumer Services website for more information.

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24. What are the requirements for opening an out-of-state trust office or representative trust office in the state of Washington?

Our office utilized the Conference of State Bank Supervisors Uniform Application for Interstate Trust Activities. Please work with your home state regulator per specific procedures.

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25. Are there guidelines available for record retention requirements?

A non-exhaustive list of Federal and state laws relating to record retention requirements for financial institutions are as follows:

  • Bank Secrecy Act - 31 U.S.C. 5311
  • FinCEN Record-Keeping Requirements for Financial Institutions - 31.C.F.R. 1010.410
  • FinCEN Enforcement and Penalties - 31. C.F.R. 1010.810 and 31 C.F.R. 1020.820
  • Washington Uniform Commercial Code - RCW 62A.4-406(b)

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26. What fees does the Department of Financial Institutions Division of Banks charge?

A full listing and explanation of fees is available at WAC 208-544. Common fees the division charges are:

  • $83 per hour for conducting examinations, investigations, and processing applications.
  • $100 per Certificate or copies of Certificate.
  • $100 fee for filing on behalf of an entity with the Washington Secretary of State.
  • $0.15 per page for requested records provided.

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27. What are the requirements for opening a branch located at a school?

There are currently no exemptions from regular branching requirements to open a branch in a school. A bank who wishes to open a school branch will still follow requirements of RCW 30A.04.280 and RCW 30A.38.015 and submit an application to the Division of Banks.

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28. What are the requirements for an out-of-state bank merging with a Washington bank?

Out-of-state bank mergers and acquisitions involving a Washington bank are to follow RCW 30A.49.125. When an out-of-state bank will acquire a Washington bank, applications are to be sent to the Director no later than three days after the date of filing of an application with the federal bank supervising agency. Director approval and payment of applicable fees will be required.

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I Would Like to Start a Bank or Trust Company:

29. How do I start a Bank?

A helpful guide has been created to assist incorporators through bank formation process. That guide may be found on the FDIC website. The key item for the organizers to consider at the inception of their proposal for a new bank is the business plan. A comprehensive business plan becomes the foundation for the interchange with the Director's office. Please note that there is no format or template for an acceptable business plan.

To establish a new state-chartered bank, please review the Interagency Charter & Federal Deposit Insurance Application, and the Interagency Biographical & Financial Report application forms found on our website.

The Interagency Biographical and Financial Report form must be completed by each proposed director, each shareholder who owns or subscribes to 5% or more of the proposed bank's stock, and by each principal officer of the proposed institution. These forms may also be found on the FDIC website. Please also review the pertinent banking statutes located in Title 30A RCW or Title 32 RCW.

This is most of the basic information required; however, there are usually a few other items requested by our office or by the Federal bank regulatory authorities. Some of the other requirements may include a stock subscription form, an offering circular, community reinvestment act statement, and sufficient demographic data to support the application.

We have found it helpful to meet with the principal organizers prior to the submission of an application or notice of intention to start a new bank or trust company. If you would like to request an appointment, please contact our office at (360) 902-8704 or banks@dfi.wa.gov.

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30. How do I start a Trust Company?

To establish a new state-chartered trust company, please refer to the Trust Application Information document, located on the DFI Trust Companies website. Please also review the pertinent trust company statutes located in Title 30B RCW and Title 11 RCW.

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I Would Like More Information on Trust Company Regulation:

31. Am I exempt from Title 30B RCW?

In order to determine if a person or entity is exempt, elements of Title 11 and Title 30B must be reviewed. A person or entity that is operating under the provisions of RCW 11.36.021, but does not qualify for one of the exemptions under RCW 30B.04.040, may need to register with the Division of Banks (Division). A Determination Interview may need to be scheduled in order to determine whether you or your company is exempt.

Definition of Trustee under Title 11 RCW

Trust laws applicable to all persons and entities in Washington State are housed under Title 11. Under RCW 11.36.021, the following persons and entities may legally serve as a trustee:

  • Persons over the age of eighteen years;
  • Nonprofit corporations registered under Title 24 RCW;
  • Attorneys that are organized as a professional service corporation, professional limited liability company, or limited liability partnerships;
  • Higher education institutions and foundations as defined by RCW 28B.10.016 and RCW 28B.50.030; and
  • Any other entity authorized under the laws of the State of Washington to serve as a trustee.

Also, under RCW 11.36.021, the following persons are prohibited from serving as a trustee in Washington: Minors, convicted felons, and unauthorized corporations organized under Title 23B RCW.

Exemptions under the New Title 30B RCW

Under RCW 30B.04.040, the following persons or entities are exempt from registering with the Division as a trust company:

  • Individuals or sole proprietors or general partnerships or joint ventures composed of individuals.
  • National banks, federally chartered trust companies, federal savings banks, and federal savings and loan associations.
  • An agent of a trust institution that is authorized by law (i.e., an investment advisor or property manager).
  • Court appointed trustees, guardians, conservators, or receivers. (If a court is monitoring these relationships, the Division does not need to have overlapping jurisdiction.
  • An attorney, law firm, or limited license legal technician authorized by law.
  • Escrow agents performing escrow activities.
  • Trustees for deeds of trust engaged in performing their responsibilities under the Washington Deed of Trust Act, Chapter 61.24 RCW.
  • Real estate brokers and sales associates engaged in their authorized activities under Chapter 18.85 and 18.86 RCW.
  • Broker - dealers and investment advisors rendering investment advice who are already registered with and regulated by the Division of Securities or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and who are performing activities authorized under applicable federal and state securities registration laws.
  • Insurance company activities that are regulated by the Office of Insurance Commissioner.
  • Voting trusts.
  • Higher education and foundation trustee activity.
  • Private trusts or private trust companies, as defined in RCW 30B.64.
  • Other persons or entities, which the Director of the Division may, by future rule, exempt.

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32. What are the capital requirements for new trust companies?

There are no minimum capital requirements under Title 30B RCW. Please be aware that capital requirements are determined by assessing several factors including the business model, the scope of the trust company operations, the current or proposed insurance and bonding levels, and loss history (if any). Refer to RCW 30B.08.050 for more information.

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33. What does it mean for a trust company to be regulated?

Generally, the Division examines new trust companies once a year for the first three years and every 18 months thereafter, unless more frequent reviews are deemed necessary. At the end of the examination, a report is issued, where confidential ratings are assigned to the company using the Uniform Interagency Trust Rating System. The Division requires the company to submit a quarterly “Call Report” to the Division, which is essentially a balance sheet and income statement.

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34. How much does it cost for a trust company to be regulated?

The Division charges an hourly rate for examinations and any application time spent. The current hourly rate is $83 per hour. The Division also charges a semi-annual fee based on assets under management. A list of our fees can be found at WAC 208-544 et seq.

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35. What if I determine that I am running a trust business, but I do not want to register with the Division?

It is incumbent on the person or entity to make a showing that they are not engaged in “trust business” or that they meet a statutory exemption. If the Division determines that a person or company is engaged in unauthorized “trust business,” is deemed non-exempt, and is unwilling to register with the Division, the Director by and through the Washington State Attorney General may commence an enforcement action against the person or company.

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36. Can my trust company invest in subsidiary companies?

Investments in subsidiaries is allowed under RCW 30B.04.100 and requires an application and approval. Please contact our office at (360) 902-8704 or banks@dfi.wa.gov for more information.

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