Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Powers and Authority of Universal Banks.


§ 26–1401.07. Preexisting powers of universal banks.

A universal bank may exercise any power that it was authorized to exercise under the District of Columbia Banking Code before its certification as a universal bank.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-308, § 207, 48 DCR 3244.)


§ 26–1401.08. Parity of powers of universal bank.

(a) The Commissioner may authorize a universal bank to exercise a power that may be exercised by any other state bank, state or federally chartered savings bank, state or federally chartered savings and loan association, or federally charted national bank.

(b)(1) A universal bank shall file with the Commissioner a written request to exercise a power under subsection (a) of this section. Within 60 days after receiving a request under this subsection, the Commissioner shall approve the request if the Commissioner determines that:

(A) The power requested by the universal bank may be exercised by a state bank, state or federally chartered savings bank, a state or federally chartered savings and loan association, or a federally charted national bank; and

(B) The universal bank will exercise the power requested in a safe and sound manner.

(2) The Department and the universal bank may agree to extend the 60-day period under paragraph (1) of this subsection for an additional 60 days.

(c) A universal bank shall exercise a power authorized under this section only through a subsidiary of the universal bank, with the appropriate safeguards to limit the risk exposure of the universal bank and to protect the banking customers of the universal bank.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-308, § 208, 48 DCR 3244.)


§ 26–1401.09. Specific powers of universal banks.

(a) Subject to applicable laws, regulations, and any required approval of the Commissioner or other regulators, a universal bank may:

(1) Establish eligibility requirements and the types and terms of deposits that the universal bank may solicit and accept;

(2) Make, sell, purchase, arrange, participate in, invest in, or otherwise deal in a loan or extension of credit for any purpose and invest in debt instruments or debt securities (“make a loan”), subject to § 26-1401.12;

(3) Acquire an equity interest or other form of interest as security in a project funded through a loan made under paragraph (2) of this section, subject to § 26-1401.12;

(4) Acquire an equity interest in a profit-participation project, including a project funded through a loan from the universal bank, subject to § 26-1401.13;

(5) Purchase, sell, underwrite, and hold investment securities, consistent with safe and sound banking practices, subject to § 26-1401.13;

(6) Purchase, sell, underwrite, and hold equity securities, consistent with safe and sound banking practices, subject to § 26-1401.13;

(7) Invest in housing projects, as defined in § 26-1401.13, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner, subject to § 26-1401.13;

(8) Purchase, sell, and invest in such other investments as the Commissioner, by regulation, may provide, consist with safe and sound practices, subject to § 26-1401.13;

(9) Buy and sell securities as an agent or broker, subject to § 26-1401.15;

(10) Buy and sell real estate and interests in real estate as an agent or broker;

(11) Manage real estate and other property;

(12) Sell annuities, subject to § 26-1401.15;

(13) Sell life insurance, accident insurance, health insurance, property insurance, casualty insurance, and any other form of insurance, subject to § 26-1401.15;

(14) Act as a broker-dealer, securities agent, investment adviser, investment adviser representative, insurance agent, or insurance broker, if otherwise qualified, upon obtaining a license from the Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation [Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking], subject to § 26-1401.15;

(15) Buy and sell commodities as a principal, agent, or broker, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner, subject to § 26-1401.15;

(16) Underwrite and distribute annuities, subject to § 26-1401.15, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner and the appropriate federal financial institutions agency of the universal bank; provided, that the underwriting and distribution shall be conducted only through a non-depository financial institution affiliate of the universal bank unless federal law permits the underwriting and distribution to be conducted through a subsidiary of the financial institution;

(17) Underwrite and distribute life insurance, accident insurance, health insurance, property insurance, casualty insurance, and any other form of insurance, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner, subject to § 26-1401.15; provided, that the underwriting and distribution shall be conducted only through a non-depository financial institution affiliate of the universal bank unless federal law permits the underwriting and distribution to be conducted through a subsidiary of the financial institution;

(18) Underwrite, deal in, or make a market in securities, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner, subject to § 26-1401.15; provided, that the underwriting, dealing, market-making shall be conducted only through a subsidiary of the universal bank; and

(19) Distribute shares in investment companies, with the prior written approval of the Commissioner, subject to § 26-1401.15; provided, that the distribution shall only be conducted through a subsidiary of the universal bank.

(b) With the approval of the Commissioner, a universal bank may securitize its assets for sale to the public. The Commissioner may establish procedures governing the exercise of authority granted under this subsection.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-308, § 209, 48 DCR 3244; June 11, 2004, D.C. Law 15-166, § 2(f), 51 DCR 2817; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 35(d), 52 DCR 2638.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 26-1401.12, § 26-1401.13, and § 26-1401.15.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-166, in the introductory language of subsec. (a), deleted “of the Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation” following “Commissioner”.

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (a)(18), validated a previously made technical correction.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f) of Consolidation of Financial Services Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-381, February 27, 2004, 51 DCR 2653).


§ 26–1401.10. Necessary or convenient powers.

Unless otherwise prohibited by law or regulation, a universal bank may exercise all powers necessary or convenient to effect the purposes for which the universal bank is organized or to further a business, activity, or operation in which the universal bank is lawfully engaged. The Commissioner may, by rule or order, establish that certain powers shall not be considered necessary or convenient to effect the purposes for which a universal bank is organized or to further a business, activity, or operation in which a universal bank is lawfully engaged.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-308, § 210, 48 DCR 3244.)


§ 26–1401.11. Reasonably related and incidental activities.

(a) Subject to any applicable District or federal licensing or regulatory requirements, a universal bank may engage, directly or through a subsidiary, in activities that are reasonably related or incident to the lawful and authorized purposes, activities, operations, or business of the universal bank.

(b) The following activities shall be considered reasonably related or incident to the lawful and authorized purposes, activities, operations, or business of a universal bank:

(1) An activity that a statute or regulation authorizes a universal bank to engage in;

(2) An activity permitted under the Bank Holding Company Act;

(3) Business services;

(4) Data processing;

(5) E-commerce services, including web hosting, Internet service provider services, and e-commerce logistics and support;

(6) Courier and messenger services;

(7) Credit related activities;

(8) Consumer services;

(9) Real estate-related services, including real estate brokerage services;

(10) Insurance and related services (other than insurance underwriting);

(11) Securities brokerage;

(12) Investment advice;

(13) Securities and bond underwriting;

(14) Mutual fund activities;

(15) Management consulting;

(16) Tax planning and preparation;

(17) Community development and charitable activities; and

(18) Debt cancellation contracts.

(c) The Commissioner may, by rule, prescribe additional activities that shall be considered reasonably related or incident to the purposes, activities, operations, or business of a universal bank.

(d)(1) If the activity is not described in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, a universal bank shall provide written notice to the Commissioner of the universal bank’s intent to engage in an activity under this section at least 60 days before the universal bank intends to engage in the activity.

(2) The Commissioner may deny or revoke the authority of a universal bank to engage in an activity for which notice was provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the Commissioner determines that:

(A) The activity is not an activity reasonably related or incident to the purposes, activities, operations, or business of a universal bank;

(B) The universal bank is not well-capitalized;

(C) The universal bank is the subject of an enforcement action; or

(D) The universal bank does not have satisfactory management expertise to engage in the activity for which notice was provided.

(e) The Commissioner shall take the following factors into account when determining whether an activity is reasonably related or incidental to the purposes, activities, operations, or business of a universal bank:

(1) Domestic and international competition for banking and other financial services;

(2) The convergence of financial institutions and financial products;

(3) Changes, or reasonably expected changes, in the marketplace in which financial institutions compete;

(4) Changes, or reasonably expected changes, in the technology for delivering banking or related financial services;

(5) Whether such activity is necessary or appropriate to allow universal banks to:

(A) Compete effectively with a company seeking to provide banking or related financial services in the United States;

(B) Use an available or emerging technology in providing financial services, including an application necessary to protect the security or efficacy of systems for the transmission of data related to financial transactions; and

(C) Offer customers an available or emerging technology for using banking or related financial services; and

(6) Whether the activity may pose risks to the continued safety and soundness of a universal bank.

(f) The Commissioner may impose conditions upon a universal bank’s engagement in an activity that is reasonably related or incidental to the purposes, activities, operations, or business of a universal bank.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-308, § 211, 48 DCR 3244.)