The formal application for reservation of title and authority to organize a national bank - made on a blank furnished by the Comptroller - must be signed by at least five persons who are prospective shareholders of the bank, and preferably also prospective officers or directors. It should be indorsed by three prominent public officials, preferably the local mayor and postmaster and a judge of court, persons who are sufficiently acquainted with the incorporators to certify that they are reputable citizens and that their business and financial standing is favorable for the success of the new bank. The relation, if any, in which the applicants stand toward other banks must be stated.
A list of the officers and directors should be furnished to the Comptroller as soon as possible. If any of the applicants has ever been connected with the organization, or attempted organization, of any other national or state bank, the facts of the case must be stated. The organization expenses allowable are limited to those strictly incident to the actual organization of the bank, and do not include commissions for the sale of stock or promotion fees. The capital and surplus must be paid in money alone. These rules tend to eliminate the professional bank promoter, their object being to show there is a genuine local demand for the bank. thereby lessening the chances of failure. Bank failures seriously affect public confidence and favor. Hence it is essential that such failures be kept as few as possible. For this reason the Comptroller generally refuses the application to establish a bank at a place where, because of apparent lack of business, there is little likelihood of the bank's success, where existing banking facilities, state or national, already are unquestionably ample, where the character or financial ability of the applicants is questionable, or where the demand for the bank springs from outside promoters and not from the local business interest.
The amount of capital required for a new bank depends upon the size of the town in which the institution is to be located: capital to the amount of $25,000 being required where the population does not exceed 3,000; $50,000 where the population exceeds 3,000 but not 6,000; $100,000 where the population exceeds 6,000 but not 50,000; and $200,000 for all places with a population over 50,000. National banks organized in suburban districts included within the political boundaries of the city must have the capitalization required of a bank organized in the city proper. The proposed capitalization of the bank must be stated in the formal application blank.