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{{9-30-92 p.I-60}}
   [8017] In the Matter of First International Bank, Chula Vista, California, Docket No. FDIC-92-82b (6-23-92).

   Board denies request for a private hearing because bank failed to state a reason for keeping the hearing closed; it did not overcome the presumption in favor of public hearings.

   [.1] Practice and Procedure—Private Hearings—Burden on Respondent
   A bank requesting a private hearing must demonstrate in a concrete fashion how it differs from other institutions facing cease and desist actions in order to overcome the statutory presumption in favor of public hearings.
In the Matter of
FIRST INTERNATIONAL BANK
CHULA VISTA,CALIFORNIA
(Insured State Nonmember Bank)
DECISION AND ORDER
ON REQUEST FOR A
PRIVATE HEARING

FDIC-92-82b

BACKGROUND

   On March 26, 1992, the Regional Director (Supervision) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's ("FDIC") San Francisco Regional Office initiated this proceeding by issuing a Notice of Charges and of Hearing ("Notice"), alleging that First International Bank, Chula Vista, California ("Bank" or "Respondent"), has engaged in unsafe or unsound banking practices and violations of laws and/or regulations. The Notice requested issuance of an appropriate order under section 8(b)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act ("FDI Act"), 12 U.S.C. § 1818(b)(1). On April 6, 1992, Administrative Law Judge Walter J. Alprin ("ALJ") was designated to hear the case. On April 14, 1992, the Respondent filed an Answer to the Notice of Charges and of Hearing ("Answer"), with the ALJ. Paragraph 17 of the Answer contains a request for a private hearing. The Answer sets forth general and specific defenses to the charges issued in the Notice, but fails to state any reason for keeping the hearing private. On April 16, 1992, FDIC Enforcement Counsel filed FDIC's Opposition to Motion by First International Bank for a Private Hearing with the ALJ.
   By letter dated April 28, 1992, the ALJ's office transmitted the Request for a Private Hearing to the Office of the Executive {{9-30-92 p.I-61}}Secretary pursuant to section 308.33(a) of the FDIC Rules and Regulations ("FDIC Rules"), 12 C.F.R. § 308.33(a), which requires the filing of such requests with the Executive Secretary.

DISCUSSION

   Requests for private hearings are to be decided by the FDIC Board of Directors ("Board"). Section 308.33(a) of the FDIC Rules; In the Matter of The Citizens Bank of Clovis, FDIC-91-406b (March 2, 1992).

   [.1] Section 8(u)(2) of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1818(u)(2), provides that "[a]ll hearings on the record with respect to any notice of charges issued by a Federal banking agency shall be open to the public, unless the agency, in its discretion, determines that holding an open hearing would be contrary to the public interest." The legislative history of the statute "suggests increasing emphasis on the public nature of all aspects of section 1818 proceedings with any private proceedings being the exception to be justified by the party desiring privacy." In the Matter of The Citizens Bank of Clovis, slip op. at 5. In order to qualify for a private hearing, a bank must "demonstrate in a concrete fashion how the effects of this proceeding differ so significantly from those involving other banks as to warrant special treatment." Id., slip. op. at 6. Further, "common sense suggests that concern for the safety and soundness of an institution should be the primary consideration in determining whether to mandate private proceedings in a particular case." Id., slip. op. at 5–6. Since no reason has been provided to support the request for a private hearing, the Bank has failed to overcome the presumption that the hearing in this case should be public. Accordingly, the Request for Private Hearing is denied.

ORDER

   For the reasons set forth above, it is hereby ORDERED that the Bank's Request for Private Hearing is DENIED.
   By direction of the Board of Directors.
   Dated at Washington, D.C, this 23rd day of June, 1992.
/s/ Hoyle L. Robinson
   Executive Secretary

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