Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Friday, September 2, 2011


Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731 lyn.peters@dfi.wa.gov

Scott Jarvis, DFI Director
PH (360) 902-8707 confsec@dfi.wa.gov

Deborah Bortner, Director Division of Consumer Services
PH (360) 902-0511 dbortner@dfi.wa.gov

Richard M. Riccobono, Director Division of Banks
PH (360) 902-8704 banks@dfi.wa.gov


Washington DFI Earns CSBS And AARMR Accreditation, Recognizing Agency's High Regulatory Standards And Practices

Washington becomes only the second state to receive simultaneous banking and mortgage certificates of accreditation within a single agency, and 10th state to receive mortgage accreditation

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to announce that its banking and non-depository mortgage programs have been accredited by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR). These accreditations certify that Washington DFI maintains the high standards and practices in state banking and mortgage supervision set by the CSBS Accreditation Program and the CSBS and AARMR Mortgage Accreditation Program.

The accreditation programs are designed to strengthen state banking and mortgage departments and to demonstrate the quality of state regulatory agencies to the general public, federal banking agencies, Congress and other state regulators. Washington’s DFI provides regulatory oversight for state chartered banks and non-depository mortgage providers.

The accreditation process includes an evaluation of administration and finance, personnel, training, examination, supervision and legislative powers. An external team of experts comprised of veteran state and federal regulators performs an on-site review and presents its findings to an audit team and to the Performance Standards Committee — the members of which vote on the reports of the review team and the audit team.

While CSBS first accredited DFI’s bank regulatory program in September of 1990, this is DFI’s first accreditation for its mortgage regulatory program. Washington is the 10th state awarded this type of accreditation and only the second agency to receive simultaneous banking and mortgage certificates of accreditation.

“This accreditation tells the states with which we conduct multi-state examinations that we have an excellent program here in Washington — a state program accredited by CSBS and AARMSR is presumed by law to provide an effective supervision and enforcement program,” DFI Division of Consumer Services Director Deborah Bortner said. “The fact that Washington is one of only 10 states to receive this accreditation for their mortgage program is evidence of the exceptional work this agency does as a state regulator.”

The same applies to the Division of Banks accreditation, DFI Division of Banks Director Richard M. Riccobono added.

“This certification tells other states and the FDIC that our banking division has a high-quality examination program,” Riccobono said. “Additionally, it indicates we utilize the tools available to us — such as training and legislative authority — to ensure we can continue that excellence in the years to come.”

“This dual accreditation is indicative of the strong leadership, depth of knowledge and dedication of staff within both divisions,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis added. “In addition to the licensing and regulation of our the financial services industries, we are committed to educating and protecting consumers and investors from fraudulent and predatory lending and investment practices — and our agency works hard to ensure that individuals and organizations involved in fraudulent activities are held accountable for their unlawful actions.”

About Division of Banks
www.dfi.wa.gov/banks ▪ 360.902-8704 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334) x 28704
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Division of Banks regulates Washington State-chartered commercial banks, stock savings banks, mutual savings banks, foreign banks, savings and loan associations and independent trust companies. We charter new banks, business development corporations, trust companies, foreign banks and savings and loan associations. Also, we authorize new branches and branch closures; and approve mergers and acquisitions Learn more about the Division of Banks.

About Division of Consumer Services
www.dfi.wa.gov/cs ▪ 360.902-8703
The mission of the Division of Consumer Services is to protect consumers from illegal and fraudulent lending practices. The division accomplishes its mission through licensing, licensee examinations, investigations, and enforcing selected state and federal statutes and rules. Consumer Services regulates the business activities of consumer loan companies, mortgage brokers, money transmitters and currency exchangers, as well as check cashers and sellers, also known as "payday lenders." The Division is entirely self-supporting, with funding provided by licensing, auditing, and policing of regulated businesses and individuals. No money is received from the state General Fund or other public revenue source.

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information: http://www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.