State

The General Assembly adjourned on May 9, 2024 to end its two-year session.  Any bill that was not passed by May 9th or assigned to a conference committee is dead for the session.  The General Assembly will return in late June to adopt the state budget, receive conference reports on bills in conference committees, and to take up vetoes from the Governor.  The next two-year session begins January 14, 2025. 

With the end of the session, there are no more bills pending that affect banking.  Below are actions on banking bills of interest this 2023-24 session.  For further information on these bills or other legislative issues, please contact Neil Rashley at (803) 779-0850 or nrashley@scbankers.org.

 

Banking Generally
  • Remote Annual Shareholder Meetings for Corporations (H4049) – Allows remote meetings and special meetings for South Carolina-chartered corporations. Sponsored by SCBA.
  • Money Services Act (S1031) – Passed by Senate and House with some differences to be worked out in conference committee. This is a model bill from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors that modernizes the licensing and regulation of non-bank money service providers.

 

Credit Unions
  • Credit Unions Purchasing Banks (H4238) – In 2023 a House LCI Banking subcommittee conducted a hearing on H4238 and voted the bill down 4-3. The issue was taken back up in 2024.
  • Credit Unions Taking Public Deposits in Small Towns – The Senate did place into the budget bill a proviso that allows a credit union to take public deposits of a town under 5000. The proviso reads: “For Fiscal Year 2024-25, a federal or state credit union that is headquartered in the State may act as a qualified public depository for deposits held by a municipality if the population of the municipality is less than five thousand, the municipality is not part of a federally recognized metropolitan statistical area, is located at least ten miles from a bank or credit union branch and occupies and supports a full-service branching facility in the defined area.”  SCBA reviewed this language but felt it had no impact on banking due to the limited nature of the proviso.  SCBA is opposed to the broader issue of credit unions accepting deposits.

 

Consumer Lending
  • Predatory Lending (S910) – The Senate refused to move the bill forward. S910 stated it was an unfair trade practice for consumer lenders to not document a borrower’s ability to repay, to target certain communities with solicitations, to mail live checks, or to repeatedly renew loans. Banks were exempted from the bill.
  • Consumer Loan Rate Caps (S518) – The Senate did not pass the bill. Any loan over 36% APR (using the military APR calculation) would be an unfair trade practice.

 

Digital Assets, Digital Currency and Artificial Intelligence
  • Central Bank Digital Currency (S861)Heard by the Senate Banking committee and sent back to subcommittee. S861 stated that the definition of money, for any consumer transaction under the UCC, does not include central bank digital currency. 
  • Artificial Intelligence – This special House committee on artificial intelligence, cybercrime and cybersecurity met regularly during the session taking testimony from various experts and law enforcement. No action was taken but the House may form an official Artificial Intelligence committee in 2025.

 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • ESG – Farmers Protection Act (H5169) Not passed. Amended by the Senate but the Senate did not move the bill forward.  H5169 made it an unfair trade practice for a bank over $100 billion in assets to discriminate against an agriculture producer for use of fossil fuels.  The bill also provided for a private right of action.  SCBA opposed H5169.
  • Prohibition of Use of ESG Factors by Retirement Investment Commission (H3690) Signed by Governor McMaster. H3690 revises provisions governing the state’s retirement system funds to require decisions about investing and managing assets to be based on pecuniary factors.

 

Firearms  
  • Firearms – Constitutional Carry (H3594)Signed by Governor McMaster. Effective immediately.   H3594 allows permitless carry of a concealed weapon, such as a handgun.  Amendments were adopted that would incentivize training and licensing.  South Carolina law remains the same that businesses and banks may still post that no concealable weapons are allowed.

 

Liability Insurance
  • Both chambers held hearings on rising insurance rates, particularly for businesses that sell alcohol, but no action was taken.

 

Marijuana
  • Medical Marijuana (S423) S423 passed by the Senate but the House committee did not move it forward.

 

Securities
  • UCC Article 8 – Securities – (H5207) – Ways and Means subcommittee refused to move forward on the bill and adjourned debate on it. This bill proposed to delete provisions of the UCC that provide lenders priority for loans that support margin loans and corporate clearinghouse.  If it had passed then South Carolina investors would have had limited access to margin loans or electronic trading.  SCBA opposed the bill and spoke against it.