Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1958 No. 194 -
Attorney General John J. O'Connell


A credit union may not invest its capital in a savings and loan association doing business in the state of Washington but organized under the laws of another state.

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                                                                   May 12, 1958

Honorable Lloyd K. Nelson
Director, Department of General Administration
General Administration Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                          Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 194

Attention:  !ttMr. George L. Barner, Supervisor
                       Division of Savings and Loan

Dear Sir:

            By letter, previously acknowledged, you have requested the advice of this office on a question which we, for convenience, paraphrase as follows:

            May a credit union invest its capital in a savings and loan association organized under the laws of a sister state, but qualified to do business in Washington?

            We answer your question in the negative.


            RCW 31.12.260 (1957 Supp.) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

            "The capital, deposits, and surplus of a credit union . . . may be . . . invested . . . in the shares of other credit unions or savings and loan associations organized under the laws of this state or the United States. . . ."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            This statutory provision is clear upon its face.  The language is plain, unambiguous, and well understood according to its natural and ordinary sense and meaning.  It therefore furnishes a rule of construction beyond which a court cannot go.  Parkhurst v. City of Everett, 151 Wash. Dec. 261 [[51 Wn.2d 292]].  The statute must be read to limit credit unions to dealing with domestic associations or to Federal savings and loan associations organized under the provisions of Title 12, § 1464, U.S.C.A., which are immune from state regulation.  SeeElwert v. Pacific First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Tacoma, Wash., 138 F.Supp. 395.  By specific reference to domestic or United States loan agencies, this statute also comes within the maxim "expression of one thing excludes all others not expressed."  Ramsay v. Department of Labor and Industries, 36 Wn. (2d) 410.

            By application of the above rules of statutory construction, it is evident that a savings and loan association organized under the laws of another state does not come within the definition of those corporations with which a credit union is authorized to deal, unless qualification to do business constitutes organization under the laws of Washington.  This is not the case.  Domestication of foreign corporations is a matter of legislative intent, and such intent must be explicit.  See,Vaughan v. Nashville C. & St. L. R. Co., 232 S.W. 411, 18 A.L.R. 124;Daniel v. Gold Hill Mining Co., 28 Wash. 411.  There is nothing in the present law on foreign savings and loan associations (chapter 33.32 RCW) which gives any indication of legislative intent to place foreign corporations in the same status as domestic associations.

            Accordingly, it is our conclusion that credit unions are precluded from investing their capital, deposits, or surplus in any building and loan association which is not organized "under the laws of this state or the United States" although it may be qualified to transact business in Washington.

            We trust the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.

                        Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General