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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Learn about DFI: Division of Banks

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be introducing DFI’s five divisions. Each division has a unique role and serves a vital function in protecting Washington consumers.

Today, we start with DFI’s Division of Banks.

The Division of Banks was organized in 1907 and has the responsibility of supervising commercial banks, trust companies, savings banks, savings and loan associations, alien banks, SBA 7A lenders, and business development companies incorporated under the laws of the state of Washington.

The Division of Banks charters new banks, business development corporations, trust companies, foreign banks, and savings & loan associations. They also authorize new branches and branch closures; and approve mergers and acquisitions. For a list of banks chartered by the division, visit

Examination and Supervision
The Division of Banks works directly with the institutions it regulates through examination and supervisory activity to be sure that they provide adequate and proper services to the public. We seek to ensure the protection of the interests of depositors, borrowers, shareholders, and consumers.

If the division determines that a bank is struggling and has insufficient capital to allow the bank to continue operations, it has the authority to close the bank and find a new buyer.

How the Division of Banks Can Assist You
If you are having trouble with a bank chartered by DFI’s Division of Banks, you can file a complaint.

Once the division receives your complaint, they 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, you will be contacted by telephone or in writing. If a state banking law or regulation has been violated, you will be informed of the violation and the corrective action the bank has been directed to take.

For more information about the Division of Banks and their history visit