Department of Financial Institutions Releases Consumer Brochures to Assist Consumers Who Send Money Abroad

Aug 31, 2002

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced the release of a consumer brochure designed to assist consumers who send money to foreign countries.

“DFI has made financial literacy and consumer education a departmental priority,” said Donald R. Meyer, Commissioner. The consumer brochure, available in English and Spanish, provides information on state-licensed money transmitters, tips for safe money transfers, frequently asked questions, and information on how to file a complaint against a transmitter.

The transmitter industry is a steadily growing industry that serves many California residents who send money to the rest of the world, especially Mexico. During 2001, the Department’s transmitter licensees forwarded $4.8 billion in over 14 million transactions from California to foreign countries, up $800 million or 20 percent from the $4.0 billion reported in 2000. The Department licenses 55 transmitters and over 11,000 agents.

In an effort to educate and protect consumers, the Department of Financial Institutions has developed three brochures to date. These new brochures are just one component of the Department’s active community outreach campaign to educate consumers throughout the State, particularly among senior citizens, minorities, immigrant communities, and youths.

The Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for administering State laws regulating state-licensed banks, state-licensed savings and loans, state-licensed trust companies, state-licensed offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), transmitters of money abroad, state-licensed credit unions, and state-licensed industrial banks. The Department reports to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Gray Davis.