(a) Subject to the provisions of Section 36-26-1, et seq., the superintendent may appoint or employ one or more deputy superintendents and such assistants, employees and attorneys as may be necessary to the efficient operation of the department. He shall fix their compensation in accordance with Section 36-26-1, et seq. and the pay plan of the State Personnel Department. All such assistants, employees and attorneys shall be subject to the provisions of the merit system. The superintendent shall, with the approval of the Governor, have authority to employ and discharge special counsel as he may deem necessary.
(b) The Deputy Superintendent of Banks shall in the absence of the superintendent exercise any of the powers conferred by law on the superintendent and shall before entering upon the duties of his office execute to the State of Alabama a bond in the amount of $25,000.00 for the faithful performance of his duties.