New California regulations will let state-chartered banks set up ATMs without regulatory approval and sell trust services from sites other than traditional branches-for now.
Under the state's so-called "parity regulations," the banking commissioner may authorize changes in the banking code that give state banks the same powers as their national counterparts.
But the law on parity rules states that provisions such as those adopted this month by Commissioner of Financial Institutions Walter J. Mix 3d are only valid for a year. Any permanent change in state banking rules must be enacted by the state Legislature.
The new rules let state-chartered banks set up, relocate, or remove automated teller machines without approval and to do trust business from loan production offices or administrative centers. Nationally chartered banks in the Golden State already have such privileges.
Mr. Mix said he took the initiative after numerous discussions with bankers. He added that the revised rules should especially benefit the 15 new state banks that have opened this year and the 10 that have converted from federal to state charters.
California enacted its parity regulations law in 1995. Its purpose was to give lawmakers time to consider amending state banking law to make it compatible with any changes for national banks.
A representative of the California Bankers Association praised the parity rules, noting that they let state banks avoid being left flat-footed when federal regulations change.
"This is a wonderful indication that the Department of Financial Institutions has taken the time to figure out the issues affecting state banks and acted on them," said Chris Chenoweth, general counsel of the bankers association.