Monthly Bulletin – August 2022
Volume 10, Number 1
J. Elizabeth Smith Appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Communications
Governor Newsom announced on July 27 the appointment of J. Elizabeth Smith as Deputy Commissioner of Communications for the DFPI. She will officially join the Department on August 22 and will be based out of our San Francisco office.
Smith has been Communications Manager for the City of Santa Cruz since 2020. She held several positions at Code for America from 2018 to 2020, including Marketing Consultant and Head of Marketing. Smith was Associate Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Communications at San Francisco State University from 2016 to 2017. She was Chief Marketing Officer at Saint Mary’s College of California from 2008 to 2016. Smith was Director of Marketing Communications at the University of California, Davis from 2005 to 2008. She earned a Master of Science degree in integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Governor’s selection of Elizabeth fills an important position focused on increasing Californians’ awareness of DFPI through strategic communications that reaches consumers, licensees, and other stakeholders as we continue to implement the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) and the Governor’s recent Executive Order on crypto assets.
Jeanette Quick Appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Investor Protection
Governor Newsom announced on June 22 the appointment of Jeanette Quick as Deputy Commissioner of Investor Protection for the DFPI. Her official start date was July 25 and will be based out of our San Francisco Office. Jeanette will lead special projects related to investor protection, in coordination with multiple programs across the Department.
Jeanette has been Head of Compliance and Public Policy and Head of Financial Services Legal at Gusto since 2019. She was Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee for Senator Tim Johnson from 2011 to 2015 and for Senator Sherrod Brown from 2015 to 2016. She was Head of Compliance and Deputy General Counsel at Scratch from 2017 to 2019. Jeanette was also served as Senior Attorney at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency from 2007 to 2011. She is an Eisenhower Fellow, Truman National Security Project Political Partner, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs New Leader and Robert J. Myers Fellow, U.S.-Spain Council Young Leader, member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Jeanette is a member of the Board of Directors of Small Business Majority and Magic Theatre. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Crypto Asset-Related Products and Services Survey for Banks, Credit Unions, and Trust Cos.
On July 28, the DFPI sent a voluntary survey to all DFPI-licensed banks, credit unions, and trust companies relating to the use of blockchain technologies and the offering of crypto asset-related financial products and services. The survey asks licensees about their current uses of blockchain technologies and offerings of crypto asset-related financial products and services, if any, as well as any initiatives under consideration. The survey also asks licensees to identify areas that should be addressed in guidance the DFPI intends to issue by March 31, 2023, as directed by the Governor’s Executive Order relating to crypto assets and blockchain technologies (Executive Order). You can read more about the Executive Order here.
The survey is another effort advancing the Executive Order’s directive for the DFPI to “engage in a public process to develop a comprehensive regulatory approach to crypto assets harmonized with the direction of federal regulations and guidance.” As covered in last month’s Bulletin, the DFPI issued an invitation for public comments on the DFPI’s regulatory approach to crypto assets on May 31, 2022.
The survey requests responses from licensees by August 26th. The survey was emailed to each institutions’ designated email address in accordance with Financial Code § 331.5. The email contains a secure link to each individual institutions’ survey.
If you have content questions about the survey, please contact Senior Counsel with the DFPI’s Office of Financial Technology Innovation, Adam Wright, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical questions, email to email@example.com.
DFPI Issues Crypto-Interest Accounts Consumer Alert
The DFPI is investigating multiple companies nationwide that offer customers interest-bearing crypto asset accounts (crypto-interest accounts). A crypto-interest account allows customers to lend crypto assets to the company and, in exchange, receive interest paid in crypto assets. Due to market conditions, some of these companies are preventing customers from withdrawing from and transferring between their accounts. The DFPI has issued a Consumer Alert to warn California consumers and investors that many crypto-interest account providers may not have adequately disclosed risks customers face when they deposit crypto assets onto these platforms. Consumers are encouraged to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services. California customers of crypto-interest account providers that have slowed or paused withdrawals or transfers of crypto assets are encouraged to contact the DFPI at Ask.DFPI@dfpi.ca.gov or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677. To file a formal complaint, visit the DFPI File a Complaint Webpage.
Student Loan Updates and Repayment Options Webinar
The next DFPI Californians with Student Loans webinar, Student Loan Updates and Repayment Options, will be held on August 24 from 12pm to 1pm PST. Student loan repayment may be restarting as soon as September 1, 2022. Get the latest news and updates in this free webinar and learn about the different repayment options available to borrowers. The DFPI will host the event in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC). To register, visit the Student Loan Updates and Repayment Options Webinar Registration Webpage.
DFPI to Co-Lead California Student Debt Challenge
The DFPI has partnered with other government agencies and nonprofits to co-lead the California Student Debt Challenge. As part of this initiative, the DFPI will help urge qualified employers across the state to encourage and support their employees in applying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. The best part is that this benefit comes at zero cost to employers because it’s a free federal program. The DFPI is joining the campaign to help raise awareness about the PSLF program for the months of August, September, and October. Learn more about the California Student Debt Challenge here! The California Legislature has declared August as Student Loan Debt Awareness Month through two recently-passed resolutions, Assembly Resolution 118 (Bonta) and Senate Resolution 96 (Limon).
Some Escrow Reports Due Aug. 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 April 30, 2022, your annual report is due August 15, 2022. Please have your CPA email your report to ESCAnnualReportFiling@dfpi.ca.gov by the deadline 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.
Debt Collection Licensing Act Invitation for Comments
On July 15, 2022, the Commissioner released an invitation to comment on draft text related to the scope, annual report, and document retention provisions of the Debt Collection Licensing Act. This draft text contained an error in proposed section 1850.2, subdivision (a). The corrected draft text clarifies that neither residential rental debt nor debt owed to a Homeowners’ Association, as specified, constitutes consumer debt under the Debt Collection Licensing Act.
The corrected draft may be found here:
- PRO 05-21 – Text (PDF)
The deadline to submit comments under this invitation is Monday, August 29, 2022.
DFPI Posts 2021 Annual Reports for Mortgage and Payday Lending
In July, the DFPI posted annual reports on its website for the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) and the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law (CDDTL), also known as payday lending.
- Annual Report of Activity under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act – The DFPI publishes the CRMLA annual report in July of each year.
- Annual Report of Payday Lending Activity Under the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law – The DFPI publishes the CDDTL annual report in July of each year (Financial Code, Section 23026).
DFPI Partners with AARP to Host Scam Chat Wednesdays
To inform consumers of the latest scams and fraud, AARP California is partnering with the DFPI to host a new weekly webinar series called Scam Chat Wednesdays. Topics to be covered in these webinars include trending scams, home improvement and solar scams, investment fraud schemes, and financial empowerment,
To register for any of the Scam Chat Wednesdays webinars, visit the registration pages provided below:
Commercial Bank Activity
Acquisition of Control
Infinity Bancorp to acquire control of Infinity Bank
Change of Name
Pacific City Bank, to change its name to PCB Bank
Foreign (Other State) Bank Activity
Bank of Nova Scotia, The
415 Mission Street, San Francisco (Representative office)
State Bank of India
707 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles (to convert from a depository agency to a wholesale branch)
Premium Finance Company Activity
Acquisition of Control
Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, to acquire control of Liberty Premium Finance, Inc.
Payal Chadha, to acquire control of Fintruss CA Corp.
Credit Union Activity
California Bear Credit Union, Los Angeles, to merge with and into Credit Union of Southern California, Anaheim
Moore West Federal Credit Union, San Leandro to merge with and into UNCLE Credit Union, Livermore
Trust Company Activity
Acquisition of Control
Lido Advisors, LLC, to acquire control of Enterprise Trust & Investment Company
Money Transmitter Activity
Change of Name
Western Union Business Solutions (USA), LLC, to change its name to Convera USA, LLC
CLOTHILDE V. HEWLETT Commissioner, Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
The August 2022 Monthly Bulletin covers the month ended July 31, 2022.
It is issued pursuant to Financial Code section 376.
The Monthly Bulletin is available at no charge via e-mail.
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