(1) Prior to issuing a certificate of approval, the department, upon receiving an application for a stock savings and loan association, shall (a) publish notice of filing of the application for a period of three weeks in a legal newspaper published in or of general circulation in the county where the applicant proposes to operate the savings and loan association and (b) give notice of such application for a stock savings and loan association to all financial institutions within the county where the proposed main office of the stock savings and loan would be located and to such other interested parties as the director may determine. The director shall send the notice to financial institutions by first-class mail, postage prepaid, or electronic mail. Electronic mail may be used if the financial institution agrees in advance to receive such notices by electronic mail. A financial institution may designate one office for receipt of any such notice if it has more than one office located within the county where such notice is to be sent or a main office in a county other than the county where such notice is to be sent.
(2) A public hearing shall be held on each application. The date for hearing the application shall be not more than ninety days after filing the application and not less than thirty days after the last publication of notice. Such hearing shall be held to determine:
(a) Whether the articles of incorporation and bylaws conform to the requirements of sections 8-356 to 8-384 and contain a just and equitable plan for the management of the association's business;
(b) Whether the persons organizing such association are of good character and responsibility;
(c) Whether in the department's judgment a need exists for such an institution in the community to be served;
(d) Whether there is a reasonable probability of its usefulness and success; and
(e) Whether the same can be established without undue injury to properly conducted existing local savings and loan associations, whether mutual or capital stock in formation.
(3) The expense of any publication and mailing required by this section shall be paid by the applicant but payment shall not be a condition precedent to approval by the director.