Department of Financial Protection and Innovation Monthly Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin – November 2021

Volume 9, Number 4

Clothilde “Cloey” Hewlett Appointed As New DFPI Commissioner

In September, Governor Newsom announced the appointment of Clothilde “Cloey” Hewlett as the next Commissioner of the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). She will start after Thanksgiving and looks forward to continuing the great work of the Department, as well as expanding outreach to community stakeholders.

As current Executive Director and Chief Legal Officer for the Cal Alumni Association, Ms. Hewlett is responsible for overseeing an organization that serves more than 550,000 alumni of the University of California, Berkeley.

Ms. Hewlett has dedicated her career to protecting California consumers. She served as Undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency (predecessor agency of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency) and Interim Director of the Department of General Services.

Cloey Hewlett's photo

A dollar and a PHD hat

New Manager for Student Loan Servicing Division

On Nov. 2, Devin Bragg was selected as Financial Institutions Manager for Student Loan Servicing in the Consumer Financial Protection Division. He will lead DFPI’s licensing and oversight of student loan servicers.

Devin formerly was a Financial Institutions Manager and Portfolio Manager in the Banking Division and started as a banking examiner for the Department more than 15 years ago. 

Escrow logo
Some Escrow Reports Due Nov. 15

Escrow agents are required to submit to the Commissioner an annual report prepared by an independent certified public accountant or an independent public accountant (Financial Code section 17406) within 105 days after the close of the escrow agent’s fiscal year. The annual report includes audited financial statements and required supplemental information.

If your fiscal year ended on July 31, 2021, your annual report is due Nov. 15, 2021. Please have your CPA email your report to ESCAnnualReportFiling@dfpi.ca.gov by Nov. 15 using a secured, encrypted delivery system. The use of a secured dropbox is also acceptable. If your CPA is unable to submit the annual report electronically, it can be mailed to Sultanna Wan, Senior Financial Institutions Examiner, Escrow Law, Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, 320 West Fourth Street, Suite 750, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Penalties for failure to file the annual report by the due date or to include required information are $100 per day for the first five days a report is late and $500 per day thereafter (Financial Code section 17408). Failure to file a report or to include any required information may also result in the suspension or revocation of an escrow agent’s license or a prompt an immediate examination (Financial Code section 17602.5).

For questions about the annual reports, call Sultanna Wan at (213) 576-7647.

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NMLS Licensees Advised to Renew by Nov. 30

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) encourage individuals and businesses that provide mortgage, money transmission, debt collection and consumer financial services to renew their licenses in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) by Nov. 30 to avoid processing delays.

States are also increasing their use of NMLS features that help free up agency resources, allowing them focus on more complex cases requiring additional review.

More than 239,000 mortgage loan originators (MLOs) and companies are licensed to conduct business, accounting for more than 976,000 state licenses to be renewed. The number of state-licensed MLOs eligible for renewal is nearly 40 percent higher than it was this time last year, while the number of companies eligible for renewal is up 14 percent compared to the same time last year. 

NMLS offers free, online courses and state-specific checklists to guide licensees through the process by going to www.nmls.org and clicking the green Annual Renewal button.

Federally registered MLOs and institutions must also renew their registrations via NMLS by Dec. 31. More information for federal registrants is available on the NMLS Federal Registry Resources page.

Clock

Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser Renewals Due Soon

A reminder that 2022 registration renewal statements and fees for the Broker Dealer/Investment Adviser (BDIA) program are due by Dec. 13, 2021. 

All registered firms may view and print their preliminary renewal statements through E-Bill on FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD system. The preliminary renewal statement became available on Nov. 8, 2021. The DFPI will be sending out courtesy renewal reminder on Nov. 22. Annual renewal fees are due for broker-dealers, investment advisers and exempt reporting advisers. 

Full payment of each Preliminary Renewal Statement must be posted to a firm’s FINRA Renewal Account by Dec. 13. Firms are encouraged to submit their payments no later than Dec. 11 to make sure payments post to renewal accounts by the deadline. Renewal fees must be posted by Dec. 13 for a firm’s registration to remain in effect during calendar year 2022.

For more information on the 2022 renewal program for investment advisers and exempt reporting advisers, including a renewal calendar, payment methods and FAQs, visit the CRD/IARD website at https://www.iard.com/renewals.

For more information on the 2022 renewal program for broker-dealers, visit the CRD website at http://www.finra.org/industry/renewal.

NASAA Logo

2022 Investment Adviser Fee Information

On Nov. 3, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced the continued waiver of Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) system fees in 2022 for state-registered investment adviser firms, and the continuation of substantially reduced initial set-up and annual system fees paid by investment adviser representatives.

In 2022, initial IARD set-up and renewal system fees will continue to be $15 for investment adviser representatives. This fee was $45 when the IARD system first became operational in 2001.

IARD is a national internet-based database sponsored by NASAA and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that provides investment advisers and their representatives a single source for filing state and federal registrations and notice filings. The information is used by securities regulators and helps the public conduct research on investment advisers through the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) database. The IAPD database provides public access to registration documents filed by SEC- and state-registered investment advisers.

Regulations stamp

Revised Proposed Commercial Financing Regulations: Comments due Nov. 22

On Sept. 11, 2020, the Department commenced the process of implementing Senate Bill 1235 (Chapter 1011, Statutes of 2018) mandating new disclosure requirements for commercial lending in California. Proposed rules have been circulated and amended several times since then. On Oct. 12, the Commissioner proposed additional modifications to the text and will receive public comments through Nov. 22.

A copy of the proposed modifications is being made available to the public in accordance with the requirements of Government Code section 11346.8, subdivision (c).

Comments may be sent by email to regulations@dfpi.ca.gov with a copy to charles.carriere@dfpi.ca.gov and jesse.mattson@dfpi.ca.gov.

Pursuant to Executive Order N-08-21, issued June 11, 2021, rulemakings published in accordance with Government Code section 11346.4, subdivision (a)(5) prior to June 30, 2021, have extended Administrative Procedure Act deadlines as set forth in Executive Order N-40-20. Among other extensions, Order N-40-20 extended the one-year deadline for rulemaking actions, established under Government Code section 11346.4, subdivision (b), by 120 days.

Note that the proposed modifications are not yet effective and will not be effective until approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of State in accordance with Government Code section 11349.3.

Added Puzzle Piece

New DFPI Consumer Financial Protection Division Webpage

Created with the passage of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL), the DFPI Consumer Financial Protection Division oversees providers of financial products and services previously unregulated by the Department, such as early wage access companies, debt collectors, debt relief companies, and more. The Division’s market research team will help the Department keep up with industry trends, spot and respond to troubling behavior, and better protect consumers. The Division has a new landing page at the DFPI website, and includes pages on Student Loans, Debt Collection, the CCFPL and New Covered Persons, and Key Consumer Links.

Cryptocurrency

DFPI Launches Webpage for Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets

Scammers are victimizing Californians of all ages through cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes, and the DFPI wants to ensure that consumers know where to find help when they need it. In response to the rising interest in cryptocurrency, the DFPI has created a webpage so consumers have the information they need to navigate the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. This page will also serve as the homepage for our cryptocurrency consumer alerts and provide key updates from the Office of Financial Technology and Innovation (OFTI). Check out the DFPI’s new Cryptocurrency webpage here: https://dfpi.ca.gov/cryptocurrency.


Licensee logo

LICENSEE ACTIVITY


Commercial Bank Activity

Merger

Bank of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita, to merge with and into Bank of Southern California, N.A., San Diego
Effected: 10/01/21

Merchants Bank of Commerce, Sacramento, California, to merge with and into Columbia State Bank, Tacoma, Washington
Effected: 10/01/21

Pacific Mercantile Bank, Costa Mesa, to merge with and into Banc of California, Inc., Santa Ana
Effected: 10/18/21

Purchase of Partial Business Unit

Pacific Western Bank, to acquire certain assets of and assume certain liabilities of MUFG Union Bank, N.A.’s, Homeowners Association Services Division
Effected: 10/08/21

Conversion to a Foreign (Other State) Bank

Sunwest Bank, converted to a Utah-chartered bank under the name “Sunwest Bank, a Utah state banking corporation”
Effected: 9/30/21

Premium Finance Company Activity

New Premium Finance Company

Ascend California
955 Alma Street, Palo Alto
Filed: 9/16/21

Elite Premium Finance, Inc.
600 West Broadway, San Diego
Filed: 10/14/21

EVT Premium Finance, Inc.
660 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Filed: 10/13/21

Velocity Premium Finance, Inc.
74710 CA 111, Palm Desert
Approved: 10/26/21

Walco Funding PFCA, Inc.
6200 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills
Filed: 10/15/21

Credit Union Activity

Merger

Chabot Federal Credit Union, Dublin, to merge with and into University Credit Union, Los Angeles
Effected: 10/31/21

Financial Center Credit Union, Stockton, to merge with and into Valley Strong Credit Union, Bakersfield
Effected: 10/01/21

Peoples Independent Church Federal Credit Union, Los Angeles, to merge with and into Arrowhead Central Credit Union, Rancho Cucamonga
Effected: 10/01/21

Foreign (Other Nation) Bank Activity

Voluntary Surrender

Banco Santander, S.A.
169 University Avenue, Palo Alto (Representative Office)
Filed: 10/04/21

Money Transmitter Activity

New Transmitter

TapTap Send Payments Co.
Approved: 10/20/21

Acquisition of Control

Milanita Medina, to acquire control of Lucky Money, Inc.
Amended: 10/18/21 – Applicant amended from Remil Medina

Change of Name

TransferWise Inc. to change its name to Wise US Inc.
Effected: 10/07/21

CHRISTOPHER S. SHULTZ • Acting Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovation

The November 2021 Monthly Bulletin covers the month ended October 31, 2021.

It is issued pursuant to Financial Code section 376.

The Monthly Bulletin is available at no charge via e-mail.

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Last updated: Nov 23, 2021 @ 3:36 pm