(a) Every licensee and applicant shall have and maintain liquid assets of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per licensee.
(b) Upon the filing and investigation of an application, and compliance by the applicant with G.S. 53-278, and this section, the Commissioner shall issue and deliver to the applicant the license applied for to engage in business under this Article at the locations specified in the application, provided that the Commissioner finds that the financial responsibility, character, reputation, experience, and general fitness of the applicant and its members, officers, directors, and principals are such as to warrant belief that the business will be operated efficiently and fairly, in the public interest, and in accordance with law. If the Commissioner fails to make such findings, no license shall be issued, and the Commissioner shall notify the applicant of the denial and the reasons therefor. The applicant shall be entitled to an informal hearing on the denial provided the applicant requests the hearing in writing within 30 days after the Commissioner has mailed the notice required under this subsection to the applicant. In the event of a hearing, which shall be held in the offices of the Commissioner of Banks in Raleigh, the Commissioner shall reconsider the application and, after hearing, issue a written order granting or denying the application. (1997-391, s. 1.)