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On March 17, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued guidance to mortgage originators and servicers outlining the process for temporarily or permanently closing branch offices in Minnesota. For permanent closures, a licensee should file a surrender through NMLS. For temporary closures, the licensee should notify the Department. In addition, if the licensee has individual MLOs working from a home office, they must not have consumers come to the unlicensed location, and the company’s data security standards should be maintained. No physical records should be maintained at the unlicensed location.
On March 17, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (Department) published a statement for financial institutions working with customers affected by Covid-19 along with regulatory assistance. The statement addresses: (i) establishing emergency branch locations with notice; (ii) clearing back room operations; (iii) moving examinations offsite; (iv) digital applications, audits, and correspondence when working with the Department; (v) using ACH for payments sent to the Department; (vi) delaying credit union annual meetings; and (vii) audit turn around times. The statement also encourages financial institutions to work with affected customers, and provides examples of efforts to be considered by financial institutions. The statement also addresses regulatory reporting requirements and financial condition review, supervisory response, and regulatory relief.
On March 17, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division issued a letter requesting every licensee to develop a plan to outline efforts to “manage the current environment.” Efforts may include, among other things: waiving fees such as late fees, lowering interest rates, halting collection or repossession efforts, and offering payment accommodations such as forbearances to avoid delinquencies, repossessions, and negative credit reporting.
On March 17, the Texas Credit Union Department issued an emergency declaration authorizing state-chartered credit unions to close their branches in order to protect public health. The department noted that credit unions should continue to ensure that financial needs of members are met during branch closures, and waived approval requirements for closures related to Covid-19.
On March 17, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institution notified credit unions that all examinations would be conducted remotely, instead of onsite. Institutions with examinations scheduled in March or April will be contacted by the department directly.
On March 17, the Missouri Division of Finance communicated with state-chartered banks, requesting that the MDF be notified of any changes affecting schedules or services offered. If the closure of an entire facility for more than 24 hours is necessary, banks are instructed to ensure that the community has alternative means to access banking services.
On March 16, the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Institutions, issued guidance encouraging financial institutions to reduce disruptions to their customers, provide alternative service options when practical, and reopen affected facilities when safe to do so. The guidance notes that Maine law permits a financial institution to temporarily close its branch and office locations for cause if a conspicuous notice of the closing is posted at all points of public access to the closed offices. Notice of a financial institution’s facilities and the availability of any alternative service options should be provided to the bureau as soon as practical.
On March 16, the Kansas Department of Credit Unions issued a bulletin providing that credit union boards of directors have the discretion to postpone the annual meeting indefinitely based on the Kansas governor’s state of disaster emergency declaration. The board should contact legal counsel to determine the appropriate procedures to be implemented for such meetings.
On March 16, the Iowa Division of Credit Unions issued an update enabling greater flexibility for holding annual meetings in 2020. The update stipulates that as long as the credit union in question held an annual meeting in 2019, it would have the full 2020 calendar to hold its next meeting. The update also mentioned the potential for waiving the annual meeting requirement altogether, but explained no such waiver was yet necessary.
On March 16, the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner (OSBC) announced it would be closed until March 23 with staff working remotely. In addition, all OSBC on-site exams have been suspended at least until the end of March. The OSBC suggested visiting their website (www.osbckansas.org) for additional information regarding temporary bank closures and relocations.
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Fair servicing in wake of Covid-19" at an American Bar Association webinar
- APPROVED Webcast: Maximizing vendor value
- Daniel P. Stipano to discuss "Cram for the exam: Best prep strategies for a regulatory examination" at an ACAMS webinar
- Melissa Klimkiewicz to discuss "Flood insurance basics" at the NAFCU Virtual Regulatory Compliance School
- Sasha Leonhardt to discuss "Privacy laws clarified" at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3)
- Amanda R. Lawrence to discuss "New privacy legislation: Preparing for a major source of class action and enforcement activity going forward" at the American Conference Institute Consumer Finance Class Actions, Litigation & Government Enforcement Actions