Chartering a New Financial Institution

(This process applies to applications to establish a universal bank, a nondepository trust company, a merchant bank and an uninsured bank.)


  • Opportunity for applicant to discuss the proposed institution, e.g., services to be offered, business strategy, competitive market analyses, etc., and the organizers’ qualifications.
  • Bureau explains application process:
  • Application analysis emphasis is on organizing group and operating plan {includes initial capitalization, which is determined on a case-by-case basis (9-B MRSA §312.5(C))};
  • Operating plan needs to describe products, markets, services, delivery systems and any non-traditional activities, and how these products and services will be offered;
  • Operating plan should forecast market demand, customer base, competition, economic conditions and any other factors that may affect viability;
  • Unique proposals require a more detailed operating plan and more supporting documentation; and
  • Bureau is available to review a "draft" application and provide general comments before submission of a final application. The Bureau may assess a fee, at the rate of $50.00* per hour, for that review. (9-B MRSA 252.2-A)
  • Bureau discusses permissible activities, duties, responsibilities and supervisory approach if approval is granted.


  • Application will not be accepted for processing without receipt of appropriate filing fee of $3,000. The filing fee may be higher if more than one office. (9-B MRSA §312.2(G) and Bulletin #9)
  • Application will be accepted for processing only when the Bureau determines that application is complete and accurate. (9-B MRSA §252.2(A))
  • Application will not be accepted if voluminous technical corrections are necessary.
  • Bureau will notify applicant in writing when the application has been accepted, and request the applicant publish notice in local newspaper. (9-B MRSA §252.2(B) and §312.3)
  • Acceptance for processing should not be construed as an indication of approval of the application.


  • The Superintendent may participate in the determination of completeness or in the preliminary review of an application.
  • However, if the Superintendent will make the final decision, the Superintendent will not participate in the later stages of the process involving case-specific facts.
  • Neither Bureau staff nor the applicant may communicate directly with the Superintendent (or the individual responsible for making the ultimate decision on the application in the event the Superintendent has delegated that responsibility to another individual) without notice to all interested parties.


  • Acceptance by the Bureau triggers a public comment period of at least 30 days.
  • During the comment period, Bureau begins its in-depth analysis of the application, including a review of any received comments and requests for a hearing.
  • Bureau has 60 days from close of comment period, or 60 days from close of hearing (if held), to approve or disapprove the application. (9-B MRSA §252.6)
  • In general, hearings are held only if the Bureau determines that written submissions would be insufficient, that a hearing would otherwise benefit the decision-making process, or that a hearing would be in the public interest.
  • Decision to approve or disapprove the application is based on Bureau’s evaluation of the institution’s prospects for success and its convenience and advantage to the general public: (9-B MRSA §253)
  • The evaluation is based primarily on information contained in the application and on other information available to the Bureau as a result of its supervisory activities;
  • The applicant must provide sufficient information to convince the Bureau that the proposed institution has a reasonable prospect for success; and
  • If the application does not provide sufficient information for the Bureau to determine that the proposed institution has a reasonable prospect for success or promotes public convenience and advantage, then the application will not be approved.
  • The Bureau may seek clarifications or request additional information at any time during its analysis.
  • Significant amendments or changes to the application during the processing period may result in the Bureau concluding that such significant alterations will require reopening of the public comment period. In such cases, a new application must be filed with an accompanying application fee of $3,000.[1]


  • If the Bureau concludes that the proposed institution has a reasonable prospect for success and meets the test of public convenience and advantage, the Bureau will issue an Order granting "preliminary" approval, which indicates permission to proceed with the organization of the institution. (9-B MRSA §252.6)
  • Preliminary approval may be rescinded for the following reasons:
  • Failure to perform the steps required to organize the institution;
  • Failure to comply with all conditions imposed in the Order granting preliminary approval;
  • A significant change in the ownership, organizers, Chief Executive Officer, capitalization or operating plan from that presented in the application;
  • The Bureau’s initial evaluation of the organizers’ capabilities, the institution’s prospects for success or the likelihood that the institution will be operated in a safe and sound manner is significantly altered by new information; and/or
  • Failure to complete the organization of the institution within 12 months from the date of preliminary approval.
  • Prior to issuing the Certificate authorizing the institution to commence business, the Bureau may conduct a pre-opening examination.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact:

Lindsey Mattson
Principal Bank Examiner
Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions
36 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0036
(207) 624-8582 Direct Line
(207) 624-8590 Fax

John A. Barr
Deputy Superintendent
Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions
36 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0036
(207) 624-8561 Direct Line
(207) 624-8590 Fax


[1]Dollar amounts subject to change. Please contact the Bureau for the most up-to-date information.