Riley OKs banking law, spurred by hurricanes
By M.J. Ellington
MONTGOMERY — Hurricanes of recent years sent thousands of people fleeing from their coastal homes in other states to Alabama with no way to access their money from damaged banks back home.
Gov. Bob Riley said the experiences of people in storms like Hurricane Katrina helped persuade state banking officials the state needed an easier way for Alabama-chartered banks to open branches in other states and those in other states to do business in Alabama.
Riley signed a law Thursday that makes both goals easier.
“Because of this new law, our banks will be able to expand more easily into other states and Alabama consumers will benefit from more competition,” Riley said.
He believes the state’s reputation is growing favorably in the financial world.
The law strengthens the ability of the state Banking Department to stop “rogue bankers” whom the department feels operate in an unsound manner, Banking Superintendent John Harrison said. As a result of the law, Harrison said Alabama-chartered banks will be more competitive with nationally chartered banks.
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