(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), an out-of-state foreign bank may establish an interstate Alabama state branch in the same manner, including by merger or other transactions under Section 44 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and comparable provisions of the laws of this state, with Alabama banks or other institutions, as, and subject generally to the same criteria, standards, conditions, requirements, and procedures applicable to the establishment of interstate branches in this state by, an out-of-state bank having the same home state in the United States, notwithstanding any provision of the laws or regulations of this state to the contrary.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the superintendent:
(1) Shall apply to the establishment of an initial interstate Alabama state branch, and subsequent intrastate Alabama branches, of any out-of-state foreign bank the same criteria, standards, conditions, requirements, and procedures applicable under Division 3 of this article or regulations thereunder to the establishment of an initial Alabama state branch, and of subsequent intrastate Alabama branches, respectively;
(2) May apply any other criterion, standard, condition, requirement, or provision of the laws or regulations of this state that is determined by the superintendent to be substantially equivalent to or consistent with a criterion, standard, condition, requirement, or provision of federal law or regulation generally applicable to the establishment of branches in the United States by foreign banks or specifically applicable to the establishment of a branch in the United States by the applicant foreign bank;
(3) May by regulation or order allow an out-of-state foreign bank:
a. To acquire an individual branch of any "insured bank" within the meaning of Section 3(h) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. §1813(h)), or of any other depository institution, including another foreign bank, without acquiring the entire bank or other institution; or
b. To acquire or merge with another foreign bank maintaining an Alabama branch or agency and thereafter continue such operations as its own; and
c. To acquire or establish an interstate Alabama branch through any other means not inconsistent with Section 5 of the Federal International Banking Act (12 U.S.C. §3103).