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 the commissioner.
(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 following terms:
  (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 representatives.
(a) Without the prior approval of the commissioner, as provided in this division, no association shall do any of the following:
  (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 institution.
  (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."