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Divison of Financial Institutions – Department of Commerce


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The rules and regulations surrounding the licensing and discipline of financial institutions are complex. When a licensee or applicant is subject to possible disciplinary action by the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Financial Institutions, an Ohio professional license defense attorney may offer practical advice and effective representation.

At Graff & McGovern. our attorneys offer extensive experience handling licensing matters and applications through the Division of Financial Institutions. Contact us today at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to discuss your particular situation and possible legal options.

About the Division of Financial Institutions

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions, covers a wide variety of licensing matters. More importantly, the Division regulates depository and non-depository institutions. The depository institutions include:

  • State chartered banks,
  • Savings banks,
  • Savings and loans,
  • Credit unions, and
  • Money transmitters.

It also includes the nation’s only privately owned company that provides depository insurance for credit unions in Ohio and other states. Non-depository institutions that are regulated by the Division include:

  • Pawnbrokers,
  • Mortgage brokers and loan officers,
  • Check cashers,
  • Small loan lenders, and
  • Precious metals dealers.

The laws and rules regarding depository institutions are complex. In addition, these institutions are regulated by the state as well as the federal government, through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. These institutions can be investigated for a variety of reasons, including the soundness of the institution itself.

Non-depository institutions are more traditional licensed entities. The one thing they have in common is that they all deal with a fiduciary relationship, as money is involved with all transactions. As such, licensees must strictly comply with any record-keeping requirements. In addition, some licenses have requirements that are unique to their license, such as mortgage brokers must have their branch offices open on the second Thursday of even numbered months from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Generally, a licensee of the Division knows when they are being licensed. Division examiners will contact the licensee and ask for specific information. This may be in addition to reviews the Division does of the licensee, to determine compliance with the law and rules.

How an Ohio Professional License Defense Attorney Can Help

An attorney can assist an applicant or a licensee in numerous ways. When the Division has questions for an applicant or licensee that may affect the granting or retention of a license, early assistance from an attorney may prevent damaging miscommunication. An attorney also may be able to intervene with the Division and offer cooperation to prevent disciplinary action from being initiated.

If disciplinary action is initiated, an attorney can assist the applicant or licensee through the hearing process. In addition, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the Division to avoid the hearing process altogether through a settlement agreement.

The Division is a very busy state agency that juggles the regulation of depository and non-depository institutions. Information concerning depository institutions is normally confidential and not known to the public. Information concerning non-depository institutions is normally public, but can be difficult for the typical consumer to find.

Contact Graff & McGovern Today

The attorneys at Graff & McGovern are experienced in administrative agency law and may offer representation to licensed professionals who need assistance with matters through the Division of Financial Institutions. Three of our attorneys are certified as Administrative Agency Law Specialists by the Ohio State Bar Association, of only eight attorneys in the state who currently hold this certification.

Contact Graff & McGovern at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to schedule your appointment.