Article 5. Association Name, Office of California Financial Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 5.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of Section
201 of the Corporations Code and Division 1 of the Financial Code,
the name of every association shall include either the words "savings
association," "savings and loan association," "savings bank" or such
other designation as the commissioner may approve. These words shall
be preceded by an appropriate descriptive word or words approved by
(a) No certificate of approval of articles of incorporation
of a proposed association having the same name as an association in
existence in this state on the date an application is filed under
Section 5401, or a name so nearly resembling it as to be likely to
deceive, shall be issued by the commissioner, except to an
association formed by the reincorporation, reorganization, or
consolidation of the association with other associations, or upon the
sale of the property or franchise of an association. The
commissioner may presume that the use of any word or words already
adopted, appropriated, or used in its corporate name by any
association then existing in this state, except the words "the,"
"and," "mutual," "guarantee," "building," "loan," "savings,"
"association," or "bank," constitutes such similarity of names as to
be likely to mislead the public.
(b) An association shall not adopt or change to a name that will
result in unfair competition or public confusion, or be deceptive,
scandalous, or otherwise unsuitable.
Except as otherwise authorized under existing law, no person,
unless lawfully authorized to do business in this state under the
provisions of this division and who is actually engaged in carrying
on a savings association business, shall:
(a) Do business under any name or title that contains the
(1) "Savings association."
(2) "Savings bank."
(3) "Savings and loan association."
(4) "Building and loan association."
(5) "Building association."
(6) Any combination employing either or both of the words
"building," or "loan," with one or more of the words "saving,"
"savings," or words of similar import.
(7) Any combination employing one or more of the words "saving,"
"savings," or words of similar import with one or more of the words
"association," "bank," "institution," "society," "company," "fund,"
"corporation," or words of similar import.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, use of the
term "savings bank" in a name or title is not prohibited to any
person regulated by the provisions of Division 1 (commencing with
Section 99), Division 7 (commencing with Section 18000), or under
procedures and regulations promulgated by the Comptroller of the
Currency, Federal Reserve Board, Office of Thrift Supervision,
Federal Housing Finance Board, or Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation. Any reference to the term "savings bank" in this
division is not intended to apply to any person other than persons
authorized to do business in this state under this division.
(b) Use any name or sign or circulate or use any letterhead,
billhead, circular or paper whatever, or advertise or represent in
any manner that indicates or reasonably implies that the business is
the character or kind of business carried on or transacted by an
association or is likely to lead any person to believe that the
business is that of an association.
Upon application by the commissioner or any association, a
court of competent jurisdiction may issue an injunction to restrain
any person from violating or continuing to violate any of the
provisions of Section 5652. Any person who violates any provision of
Section 5652 shall be punished by a fine of not more than five
thousand dollars ($5,000), and each day of violation shall constitute
a separate offense. The prohibitions of Section 5652 shall not apply
to any corporation or association formed for the purpose of
promoting the interests of thrift institutions, the membership of
which is comprised of thrift institutions, their officers, or other
(a) Without the prior approval of the commissioner, as
provided in this division, no association shall do any of the
(1) Establish or maintain any office, other than its home office,
which shall be in the location named in the certificate of authority.
(2) Change the location or designation of any office from its
approved location or designation.
(3) Change its corporate name by amendment of its articles of
incorporation and its certificate of authority. A change of name is
subject to the same criteria as set out in Sections 5650 and 5651.
(4) Amend its articles of incorporation or bylaws.
(5) Establish or maintain a subsidiary.
(6) Acquire all or substantially all of the assets or savings
account liabilities of a branch or branches of another financial
(b) Applications for approval under this section shall be filed in
the office of the commissioner, shall include information as
prescribed by regulation or written instruction of the commissioner,
and shall be accompanied by any filing fee prescribed by the
commissioner pursuant to Section 9001.
(c) A public hearing may be held on applications filed under this
section in accordance with procedures prescribed by law or by
regulations adopted by the commissioner.
(d) No certificate of amendment or other certificate to amend the
articles of incorporation of an association shall be filed in the
office of the Secretary of State unless there is attached thereto the
certificate of the commissioner approving the certificate.
(e) Applicants filing under this division shall publish notice as
prescribed by the commissioner.
No association shall advertise or hold itself out to the
public as a bank. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit
an association which is a savings bank from advertising or holding
itself out to the public as a "savings bank."