(a) The Legislature finds as fact and determines that the financial industry composed of those banks and savings and loan associations having their principal place of business in Alabama must keep pace with technological and other improvements constantly being made throughout the United States so as to enable Alabama banks and savings and loan associations to render better and more efficient services to the citizens of Alabama. It is necessary and desirable that the superintendent be given additional authority in these fields.
(b) The superintendent is hereby authorized to expand banking powers of Alabama banks or the powers of Alabama savings and loan associations in order to:
(1) Accommodate or take advantage of changing technologies; and
(2) Assure the ability of Alabama banks and Alabama savings and loan associations to be responsive in their respective businesses to the needs and conveniences demanded by consumers and businesses through on-premises as well as off-premises operations; provided, that nothing in this section shall enable the superintendent to authorize banks to engage in activities which are not properly incident to the business of banking nor to enable the superintendent to authorize savings and loan associations to engage in the business of offering financial services which are now prohibited to them.
No bank, nor savings and loan association having its principal place of business outside of Alabama may engage in the banking or savings and loan business in Alabama under the provisions of this section; provided, that the superintendent is authorized to enter into agreements with the appropriate regulatory authorities of other states or of the United States, under the terms of which banks or savings and loan associations of such foreign state or subject to federal regulatory jurisdiction, and banks and savings and loan associations having their principal place of business in Alabama are given and may exercise reciprocal rights.
(c) The superintendent is authorized to issue regulations under subsection (b) and shall give notice in writing of any such proposed regulation to each Alabama bank and Alabama savings and loan association affected thereby, inviting comments, and shall give due consideration to such comments before adopting any final regulation. Any regulation issued under this section relating to banks shall be adopted pursuant to the provision of Section 5-2A-9. Any Alabama bank, Alabama savings and loan association and any foreign corporation or association covered by the provisions of subsection (b) desiring to exercise any such expanded power must secure in advance written permission of the superintendent. The superintendent may prescribe the form or forms for such applications for permits and may impose reasonable conditions in granting such permits.
(d) To the extent permitted by federal law, the provisions hereof may be utilized by national banks and federally chartered savings and loan associations.