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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Wisconsin updates licensing and regulation of financial services providers

Licensing State Issues State Legislation NMLS Money Service / Money Transmitters Nonbank

On April 4, Wisconsin enacted SB 668 (the “Act”) which will amend many provisions to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institution’s (DFI) regulation of non-banks. According to an analysis by the state’s Legislative Reference Bureau, the Act will change how multiple financial practices are regulated and rely on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). The Act will allow Wisconsin to use NMLS to administer licensing needs concerning consumer lenders, payday lenders, collection agencies, sales finance companies, money transmitters, mortgage bankers and brokers, adjustment service companies, community currency exchanges, and insurance premium finance companies. The amendments were modeled after the Model Money Transmission Modernization Act approved by the CSBS.

The Act will require licensees to provide information directly to NMLS. For collection agencies, the Act will eliminate the requirement that a collector hold a separate license from the one held by his employer, update the definition of collection agency to add the exception for mortgage bankers, and require separate collection agency licenses for each place of business, among others – including repeals. As to consumer lenders, the Act will better define consumer loans, specify provisions governing licensed lenders, and specify which activities require licensure. With respect to sellers of checks and money transmitters, the Reference Bureau noted three provisions governing licensing and regulation of money transmitters will be replaced by the MTMA. This will include registering a license through the NMLS; granting the power to suspend, revoke, or refuse renewal of a license to the DFI; and allowing a licensed money transmitter to conduct business through an authorized delegate; among others. The Act also updated NMLSR requirements and DFI powers concerning payday lenders, sales finance companies, adjustment service companies, community currency exchanges, and insurance premium finance companies.