In accordance with Governor Lamont's emergency declaration, employees and the public are asked to observe social distancing measures to ensure communal safety and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). People are asked to work from home and telecommute wherever possible. Adhering to these instructions, the Department of Banking has closed its offices to the public. However, agency staff will continue to provide services to consumers and industry through telework. When contacting the Department, please use electronic communication whenever possible. Agency staff will continue to check voicemails during this time. Consumers are encouraged to use our online form for complaints. If you are unsure where to send an inquiry, you may send it to Department.Banking@ct.gov and it will be routed appropriately. Thank you for your patience during this time.

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2897 - Week Ending August 30, 2019

 

This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications.  Any observations you may have are solicited.  Any comments should be in writing to Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800.  Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten business days from the date of this bulletin.

 

STATE BANK ACTIVITY

Interstate Loan Production Office
 

On August 20, 2019, Investors Bank, a New Jersey-chartered savings bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of Investors Bancorp, Inc., Short Hills, New Jersey, filed an application to establish a loan production office at 100 Mill Plain Road, 3rd Floor, in Danbury, Connecticut pursuant to Section 36a-412(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

 
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY

 

Settlement Agreement
 
On July 23, 2019, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan ("BlueChip"), an economic development entity wholly owned by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized American Indian tribe with a place of business in Belcourt, North Dakota.  The Settlement Agreement was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division.  As a result of such investigation, on June 22, 2018, the Commissioner issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing against BlueChip.  The Commissioner alleged that BlueChip:  (1) engaged in the business of making loans of money or credit without obtaining the required license prior to July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-555(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, (2) made, offered or assisted Connecticut borrowers to obtain a small loan in Connecticut without the required license prior to July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, (3) charged, contracted for and received interest at a rate greater than 12% on at least one small loan to a Connecticut resident in an amount less than $15,000 without the required license prior to July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, (4) made at least one small loan to a Connecticut borrower without obtaining the required license on or after July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-556(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, (5) offered or solicited small loans in Connecticut without the required license on or after July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-556(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes; (6) advertised a small loan in this state without the required license on or after July 1, 2016, in violation of Section 36a-556(a)(6) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect on or after July 1, 2016, and (7) made a statement to the Commissioner which was false or misleading in a material respect, in violation of Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes.  

 

As part of the Settlement Agreement, BlueChip, including its assigns and any successor entity owned, controlled or operated by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, agreed to cease and desist from directly or indirectly engaging in activity prohibited by Section 36a‑556 of the Connecticut General Statutes without Connecticut licensure, including: (a) making a small loan to a Connecticut borrower; (b) offering, soliciting, brokering, directly or indirectly arranging, placing, or finding a small loan for a prospective Connecticut borrower; (c) engaging in any other activity intended to assist a prospective Connecticut borrower in obtaining a small loan, including, but not limited to, generating leads; (d) receiving payments of principal and interest in connection with a small loan made to a Connecticut borrower; (e) purchasing, acquiring, or receiving assignment of a small loan made to a Connecticut borrower; and (f) advertising or causing to be advertised in this state a small loan provided, however, that BlueChip may continue to advertise loans on its website if such loans are not made available to Connecticut borrowers who may access the website.  BlueChip also agreed to cease and desist from directly or indirectly collecting on small loans made to Connecticut borrowers and has requested that credit reporting agencies delete any negative tradeline information pertaining to BlueChip loans made to Connecticut borrowers.
 
 

      Dated:  Wednesday, September 4, 2019

 

      Jorge L. Perez
      Banking Commissioner