The Arkansas bank that moved into Texas last month has been given until Sept. 12 to respond to the Texas Department of Banking's attempts to force it back across the state line.
A state district judge in Texarkana, Tex., granted Commercial National Bank of Texarkana a continuance last week. The court is giving the bank time to prepare a response to the Texas banking regulator's request for a temporary injunction, which would stop the institution from doing business in Texas.
In March, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave the $92 million-asset national bank permission to move its headquarters from Texarkana, Ark, to Texarkana, Tex., and keep its Arkansas offices as branches. The bank made the move on Aug. 24.
This is allowed under the 30-mile rule, a once obscure provision of the National Bank Act that dozens of banks have used in the past two years to get a head start on interstate branching.
Several state bank regulators have grumbled about the rash of state-line crossings, but on Aug. 25 Texas Banking Commissioner Catherine A. Ghiglieri became the first to sue, arguing that Commercial National is operating a bank in violation of state laws against interstate branching.
"We're kind of caught in the middle," said Dennis A. Huffman, president of Commercial National, which though it is now officially headquartered in Texas still has its executive offices in Arkansas. "It's really a dispute between the Texas banking commissioner and the OCC."