Frequently Asked Questions - Banks and Trusts

Consumer Questions

How do I determine if my bank is regulated by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions?

We only regulate banks and trust companies chartered by our Department.  However, banks can also be chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, commonly referred to as the OCC.  If you are not sure whether your bank is a state- or nationally-chartered bank, there are a few indicators in the bank's name.  Many state-chartered banks have "State" in their corporate name, while a nationally-chartered bank will commonly have "National" or "N.A." in its corporate name, which would appear on your deposit statements or checks.  Refer to the Who We Regulate page of this website for a general description of which banks are supervised by our Department and the Bank Search and Trust Company Search pages for a list of specific institutions which we regulate.

Is there a way to determine if I have unclaimed property in North Dakota?

Unclaimed property is administered by the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Land Department, in accordance with North Dakota Century Code Section 47-30.1-17.  Their unclaimed property search function can be used to determine if you have any unclaimed property which has been transferred to the state.

How do I file a complaint against a credit card company?

If the credit card issuer is not a North Dakota state-chartered bank, you may file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Industry Questions

What is the dormancy period for when unclaimed property is to be presumed abandoned and what are the procedures to report abandoned property in North Dakota?

Unclaimed property is administered by the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Land Department, in accordance with North Dakota Century Code Section 47-30.1-17.  Their Holder Reporting Manual includes guidance on dormancy periods and reporting requirements.

When does a bank need permission from the Department to declare and pay a dividend?

According to North Dakota Century Code Section 6-03-36, prior approval from the Commissioner or the State Banking Board is necessary to declare and pay a dividend when the proposed dividend exceeds the combined "net profits" of the bank from the current year plus the prior two years.  Banks may use our Dividend Worksheet to determine if prior approval is necessary.

What are the requirements when a real estate parcel is transferred into Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) in North Dakota?

According to North Dakota Century Code Section 6-03-08, upon transfer to OREO, a current appraisal of the property must be conducted by an individual who is independent of the transaction.  The appraisal does not have to be completed by a third-party certified appraiser, but it must be current and in writing, and the preparer must have appropriate independence.  The property should be carried on the bank's books at the lower of (1) cost or (2) the fair value of the asset less estimated selling costs.

What is the holding period for OREO and when does the holding period begin in North Dakota?

According to North Dakota Century Code Section 6-03-09, the holding period for OREO is five years from the date of acquiring title.  A 'clean' title is generally obtained at the end of the redemption period if the property goes through a foreclosure process, or whenever full legal title is transferred to the bank.  The statute grants the Commissioner authority to provide an extension to hold the property beyond five years.  An Extension Request form is available for banks to request approval to hold a property beyond five years.

What is the legal lending limit in North Dakota and how is it calculated?

Simply stated, the legal lending limit is the maximum amount which a bank may lend to a single borrower, or group of inter-related borrowers if acting as a common enterprise.  The legal lending limit for banks varies by bank charter and by state.  For a North Dakota-chartered state bank, the total liability of a single borrower may not exceed 25 percent of the bank's Tier 1 Capital as reported in the most recent Call Report.  Total liability includes any direct, indirect, and contingent liability of the borrower as well as any liabilities of separate borrowers for which repayment is substantially from the same source.

If a non-public depositor's (e.g. a nursing home or non-profit corporation) deposits exceed the FDIC insurance limit, can a bank pledge securities to secure those excess deposits in North Dakota?

No.  According to North Dakota Century Code Section 21-04-09, financial institutions may only pledge securities on behalf of a public corporation.   A public corporation generally includes a county, city, township, school district, or entity whose funding is derived from taxation, fees, penalties, sales of bonds, or from any other source which belong to a public corporation or the state.

What securities are eligible for pledging to a public corporation's deposits in North Dakota?

North Dakota Century Code Section 21-04-09 defines the securities which are eligible for pledging to public corporation deposits.  In addition to this list of securities, in May 1988, the State Banking Board authorized financial institutions the ability to pledge general obligation municipal bonds from other states rated "A" or better, or revenue bonds if backed by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government.

Is there a residency requirement for Board members of North Dakota state-chartered banks?

North Dakota Century Code Section 6-03-02.4 requires a board to consist of not less than three nor more than 25 members, at least 2/3 of whom must be citizens of the United States.