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The West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions extended, through September 1, 2020, its guidance temporarily permitting employees of regulated entities to work from home or some other remote location approved by the financial institution, whether in West Virginia or another state. The initial guidelines were announced on March 13 (previously discussed here) and had been previously extended through June 15, as previously covered here.
West Virginia’s Department of Financial Services Commissioner extended guidance enabling employees of regulated entities to work remotely through August 1 as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The initial guidelines were announced on March 13 (previously discussed here and here) and were set to expire on June 15.
West Virginia’s Department of Financial Services Commissioner extended guidance enabling employees of regulated entities to work remotely through June 15 as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The initial guidelines were announced on March 13 (previously discussed here) and were set to expire on May 1.
On April 1, West Virginia’s secretary of state released an emergency rule authorizing electronic notarization as a result of Covid-19. The switch enables the use of audio and visual technology to witness and record notarizations, but requires the notary to create a recording of the performance of the individual signing, and retain a copy of that recording. Warner’s announcement specified that the electronic notary authorization would only be valid during the state of emergency, and will expire when the emergency measures are lifted.
On March 24, the West Virginia governor signed HB 4621, which creates a state fintech regulatory sandbox program through the state’s Division of Financial Institutions (Division) that allows participants to temporarily test innovative financial products or services on a restricted basis without requiring a license under West Virginia law. Under the program, approved applicants will have 24 months from the date an application is approved to test their product or service within the state without being subject to state laws and regulations that normally would regulate such products or services, unless the Division determines otherwise. HB 4621 outlines requirements for participants, which include specific state consumer protection laws, time limitations, and reporting requirements. Additionally, the Division, upon written notice, may end a participant’s participation in the program at any time and for any reason. The program allows participants to request an extension of time up to 12 months after the end of the regulatory sandbox testing period in order to obtain a license or other authorization required by the law to continue to offer the product or service. The act takes effect on June 5.
On March 23, the West Virginia governor issued a stay at home order requiring non-essential businesses and operations to temporarily cease operations. Essential businesses and operations include financial and insurance institutions, including banks and banking services such as ATM services, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, professional debt collectors and related creditor service workers, workers engaged in payment clearing and settlement, wholesale funding, and capital markets activities, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, institutions selling financial products, insurance companies, underwriters, agents, brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services. Additionally, essential businesses and operations include those businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other essential businesses and operations with the support of materials necessary to operate. The order becomes effective at 8:00 PM on March 24, 2020, and remains in effect until terminated by subsequent executive order.
On March 13, the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions issued temporary guidance permitting employees of regulated entities to work from home or another remote location approved by the financial institution. Temporary assignments under the guidance are permitted from March 13 through May 1. The Division emphasized that regulated institutions should ensure that privacy and security issues are adequately addressed. The Division reminded depository entities of the prior notice requirements for branch closures or limited service, and requested that they review and implement pandemic preparedness plans. The guidance also addressed requirements specific to mortgage loan originators, indicating that they must, among other things, maintain records identifying the dates and locations where each licensed originator worked remotely and have current and approved policies for access to secure origination systems. In addition, MLOs and other employees working remotely may not meet with borrowers at an unlicensed branch location.
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