HOUSE BILL NO. 516
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE I OF THE DELAWARE CODE AND TO ADD A NEW CHAPTER TO TITLE 5 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ABILITY OF BANKING ORGANZIATIONS TO CLOSE ON HOLIDAYS AND DURING EMERGENCIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Part II, Title 5 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Chapter 13 to read as follows:
"CHAPTER 13. BANKING ORGANIZATION'S POWER TO CLOSE OFFICES ON HOLIDAYS AND DURING EMERGENCIES
§1301. Definitions: Application of Act
As used in this Act, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) 'Officers' means those persons designated by the banking organization's board of directors or trustees to act for the banking organization.
(b) 'Emergency' means any condition which interferes with the conduct of normal business operations at one or more of a banking organization's offices, or which poses an imminent or exisiting threat to the safety and security of persons or property, or both. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, an emergency may arise as a result of any one or more of the following: fire, flood, wind, ice, rain or snow, labor dispute, power failure, transportation failure, war, nuclear incident, riot, civil commotion or other acts of lawlessness or violence.
(c) 'Office' means any place at which a banking organization transacts business or conducts operations related to the transaction of business, and shall specifically include, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, automatic teller machines.
§1302. Closing on Legal Holidays
Any banking organization may, at its option. either close or remain open on Saturdays. Sundays and the legal holidays designated In I Del. C. §501 and holidays observed by the Federal Reserve Bank for the district which includes Delaware. As to any banking organization electing to remain open on any of such holidays, such day or days shall not constitute a holiday within the meaning of the provisions of the laws of this State, and such banking organization shall incur no liability by reason of remaining open on such holiday. If any banking organization elects to close on any such holidays, any act authorized, required or permitted W be performed at or by such banking organization may be performed on the next succeeding banking day and no liability or loss of rights of any khid shall result from remaining closed, notwithstanding the provsions of any law of this State to the contrary. The provisions of this Section shall not operate to invalidate or prohibit the doing of any act by any person or banking organization on any of such holidays. and nothing in any laws of this State. in any manner whatsoever, shall affect the validity or render void or voidable the payment, certification or acceptance of a check or any other negotiable instrument or any other transaction by any other person or banking organization, because done or performed during any of such holidays, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law of this State to the contrary.
§1303. Proclamation of Emergency
Whenever the Governor declares a disaster or emergency under Chapter 31 of Title 20 of this Code. banking organizations may close one or more or all of their offices when in the opinion of their officers such offices are directly or indirectly affected by such disaster or emergency.
§1304. Powers of Officers
Whenever the officers of a banking organization are of the opinion that an emergency exists which affects one or more of the organization's offices, they shall have the authority to close one or more or all such offices even though the Governor has not issued and does not issue a proclamation of emergency, and they may. but need not, provide that the business normally transacted at a closed office will be transacted at another office designated by We bank until further notice. The discretion of the officers in acting pursuant to this Section. when exercised in good faith, shall not be questioned in any court or place or by any State agency.
§1305. Prompt Notice
A banking organization closing an office or offices pursuant to this Act shall give as prompt notice to the State Bank Commissioner of its action as conditions will permit.
§1306. Immunity from liability
No banking organization and no director, officer or employee of a bank shall be liable to any person for any direct or indirect loss suffered by such person by reason of the organization's failure or inability to make the organization's premises and facilities available to such person, or by reason of the banking organization's failure to perform, or its delay in performing any contractual, statutory or other duty assumed by or imposed upon it In any capacity, when such failure, inability or delay is caused by an emergency as defined by this Act.
§1306. Provision Substitution
The provisions of this Act shall be construed and applied as being in addition to and not in substitution for any other law of this State or of the United States excusing delays by banking organizations in the performance of duties or obligations, or authorizing the closing of banking organizations because of emergencies or conditions beyond the organization's control or otherwise.
§1307. Limited Activity
A bank office closed as authorized by this Chapter may nonetheless conduct limited operations and perform banking transactions."
Section 2. Amend Section 502, Chapter 5. Title I of the Delaware Code by striking Subsections (b) and (c) in their entirety.
Approved June 23, 1986.