Honorable P. J. "Jim" Gallagher
State Representative, 28th District
125 South 72nd
Tacoma, Washington Cite as: AGLO 1972 No. 27 (not official)
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion on a question relating to the authority of the state supervisor of savings and loan associations under RCW 33.28.020. We paraphrase this question as follows:
May the supervisor of savings and loan associations charge a per diem rate for the examination of state chartered savings and loan associations which is higher than the maximum rate charged at the time of the examination by the federal home loan bank for its examinations of federally regulated savings and loan associations?
We answer this question in the negative for the reasons set forth in our analysis.
Under the provisions of RCW 33.04.020 (5), the state supervisor of savings and loan associations is required to
". . . visit and examine into the affairs of every [state regulated] association, without previous notice to it, at least once in each calendar year; . . ."
Where the savings and loan association which is thus being examined is a ". . . foreign association or like corporation doing business in this state, . . ." such association is required to pay ". . . the actual costs of each such examination, such cost to include the usual per diem compensation of . . . [the] examiners. . . ." See, RCW 33.04.040. However, in those instances where the savings and loan association being examined is one which has been organized under the laws of this state, a different statutory provision governs; namely, RCW 33.28.020, cited in your letter, which provides as follows:
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
"Every savings and loan association organized under the laws of this state shall on or before the 31st day of July in each year, pay to the supervisor a license fee, for the ensuing fiscal year commencing July 1st, of fifty dollars. An additional fee of fifty dollars shall also be paid for each branch office.
"The supervisor shall also collect from each association the actual cost for each examination of its condition charging a per diem rate not more than the rate charged federal savings and loan associations by the examining division of the federal home loan bank board." (Emphasis supplied.)
Your question, as we understand it, pertains only to the supervisor's examinations of such associations as are covered by this statute; i.e., state chartered savings and loan associations. You inquire as to whether the supervisor may charge a per diem rate for the examination of such associations which is higher than the maximum rate charged at the time of the examination by the federal home loan board for its examinations of federally regulated savings and loan associations.1/
We note that the critical second paragraph of RCW 33.28.020, supra, was enacted in toto by § 4, chapter 222, Laws of 1961. With this in mind, we think the legislature clearly intended that the supervisor would charge a fee for examinations of state chartered savings and loan associations which would ‑
(a) approximate the actual cost of examinations; and
(b) in no event exceed the maximum rate charged to federal savings and loan associations for their examinations by the examining division of the federal home loan bank board.
[[Orig. Op. Page 3]]
In view of the express language of this statute we can conceive of no plausible legal argument to be made in support of a per diem rate for those examinations of the state savings and loan associations to which it applies that is any higher than the maximum per diem rate charged for the examination of federal savings and loan associations by this federal agency. For this reason, we believe that your question must be answered in the negative.
We trust that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General
*** FOOTNOTES ***
1/See, 12 U.S.C.A., § 1461, et seq., for the statutes which generally govern those savings and loan associations which are chartered and regulated by this federal agency.