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Banks and Banking

Bank Officials

The election and term of office of a bank's board of directors are governed by statute or by the charter of the bank. The liabilities and duties of bank officials are prescribed by statute, charter, bylaws, customary banking practices, and employment contracts. Directors and bank officers are both responsible for the conduct and honorable management of a bank's affairs, although their duties and liabilities are not the same.

Officers and directors are liable to a bank for losses it incurs as a result of their illegal, fraudulent, or wrongful conduct. Liability is imposed for EMBEZZLEMENT, illegal use of funds or other assets, false representation about the bank's condition made to deceive others, or fraudulent purchases or loans. The failure to exercise reasonable care in the execution of their duties also renders officials liable if such failure brings about bank losses. If such losses result from an error in judgment, liability will not be imposed so long as the officials acted in GOOD FAITH with reasonable skill and care. Officers and directors will not be held liable for the acts of their employees if they exercise caution in hiring qualified personnel and supervise them carefully. Civil actions against bank officials are maintained in the form of stockholders' derivative suits. Criminal statutes determine the liability of officers and directors for illegal acts against their bank.

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