Section 655.922, Florida Statutes 2003
655.922 Banking business by unauthorized persons; use of name.--
(1) No person other than a financial institution authorized to do business in this state pursuant to the financial institutions codes or federal law shall, in this state, engage in the business of soliciting or receiving funds for deposit or of issuing certificates of deposit or of paying checks; and no person shall establish or maintain a place of business in this state for any of the functions, transactions, or purposes mentioned in this subsection. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. This subsection does not prohibit the issuance or sale by a financial institution of traveler's checks, money orders, or other instruments for the transmission or payment of money, by or through employees or agents of the financial institution off the financial institution's premises.
(2) No person other than a financial institution shall, in this state:
(a) Transact business under any name or title that contains the words "bank," "banker," "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," or "credit union," or words of similar import, in any context or in any manner;
(b) Use any name, word, sign, symbol, or device in any context or in any manner; or
(c) Circulate or use any letterhead, billhead, circular, paper, or writing of any kind or otherwise advertise or represent in any manner,
which indicates or reasonably implies that the business being conducted or advertised is the kind or character of business transacted or conducted by a financial institution or which is likely to lead any person to believe that such business is that of a financial institution; however, the words "bank," "banker," "banking," "trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," or "credit union," or the plural of any thereof, may be used by, and in the corporate or other name or title of, any company which is or becomes a financial institution holding company pursuant to federal law; any subsidiary of any such financial institution holding company which includes as a part of its name or title all or any part, or abbreviations, of the name or title of the financial institution holding company of which it is a subsidiary; any trade organization or association, whether or not incorporated, functioning for the purpose of promoting the interests of financial institutions or financial institution holding companies, the active members of which are financial institutions or financial institution holding companies; and any international development bank chartered pursuant to part II of chapter 663.
(3) Any court, in a proceeding brought by the office, by any financial institution the principal place of business of which is in this state, or by any other person residing, or whose principal place of business is located, in this state and whose interests are substantially affected thereby, may enjoin any person from violating any of the provisions of this section. For the purposes of this subsection, the interests of a trade organization or association are deemed to be substantially affected if the interests of any of its members are so affected. In addition, the office may issue and serve upon any person who violates any of the provisions of this section a complaint seeking a cease and desist order in accordance with the procedures and in the manner prescribed by s. 655.033.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the lawful establishment or the lawful operations of a financial institution and nothing in this code shall be construed to prohibit any advertisement or other activity in this state by any person if such prohibition would contravene any applicable federal law which preempts the law of this state.
History.--s. 59, ch. 92-303; s. 12, ch. 96-168; s. 1734, ch. 2003-261.