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Looking the Other Way: The Absence of Remittance Regulation

Past Time?

       In December 2010, ACORN International released our report, Past Time for Remittance Reform
(www.remittancejustice.org), in the cities where we work around the globe. The report painstakingly
documented the real costs incurred by migrant workers and immigrant families in sending remittances from the
country where they are residing, receiving remittances by their family members in their home countries, and
paying the assorted fees that banks and money transfer organizations (MTOs) charge for currency exchange.

       Remittances are the monies transferred usually from family members or migrant workers back to other
family members and home communities. Such money transfers are well known as critical components of the
GNP for many developing countries around the globe and total close to $400 Billion USD in latest estimates
costing more than $44 Billion USD in estimated charges.

       Despite the claims of the G-8 supported by World Bank research that the average costs of sending is
now around 10%, ACORN International found the all-inclusive costs to be at or above 20% for each transaction
of $100 remitted. In our report though we joined the call for a 5% cap on costs for remittances since it would
move more than $20 billion USD in increased support from developed to developing countries and its citizens
were the costs cut in half.

        Past Time for Remittance Reform was sent to the key MTOs (MoneyGram and Western Union) and the
top twenty banks in North America (including HSBC, Bank of America, Citi, Scotiabank, BMO, and others)
asking for both response and meetings with leaders of ACORN International to discuss ways of achieving cost
efficiency reforms and reductions. The response was underwhelming. We were very disappointed.

        Of the banks that did respond, we received an answer from HSBC, Wells Fargo, Scotiabank, and BMO.
Unfortunately most of the responses were in the vein of the public complaint of the Canadian Bankers’
Association quibbling not about our data or conclusions but about our selection of $100 as the base amount for
the survey. Many of the institutions offered bulk discounts for transmitting higher sums and chafed at the $100
even though it is the usual remittance level sent regularly by both members of ACORN International affiliated
organizations and research published by the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. Only
Wells Fargo offered claims that a special program for their account holders was much, much less expensive to
26 countries and in fact in many cases they waived the fees (see their letter at www.remittancejustice.org).

        Mostly in responding to this critical issue for immigrants and migrant workers, there was deafening
silence. We asked ourselves, “Why?” Then we turned to look for the reasons that MTOs and banks could reply
and respond with such impunity. How could they be so arrogant about their predatory pricing of remittances?
How could their governmental regulators be allowing such practices?

Who’s on First? What’s on Second?
        ACORN International researchers went back country-by-country to review who was in charge of
regulating the remittance practices for banks and MTOs. Our researchers looked in all of our countries in Latin
America (Honduras, Dominican Republic, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico) and we found nada, nothing at all. We
looked in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. Nothing! We looked in India. The same! The answer had to be that
“sending” countries, like Canada and the United States, had a grip on something this important and involving
such large amounts of money. Wrong!

       Oh, there were regulations in a number of countries, especially North America and India about transfers
that might not be fully documented and therefore arguably support potential terrorism. This is decidedly against
the law. Getting a better understanding of the hawala system of informal money transfers that we barely
touched on in Past Time, our researchers and organizers in India confirmed and clarified that such systems
might be popular and might involve significant sums, but were definitely illegal for all of these reasons since
they lacked any paper trail for the transactions.

         All of this is not to say that the responsibility for regulating such enterprise is not clear. We found it
well documented that national banks in each country have the full responsibility for regulating the banks
domiciled in their countries on all matters of transactions within their businesses, including therefore
remittances. In fact the World Bank responded aggressively to one of our partners in January 2011 concerning
the ACORN International report because they did not want to be misunderstood as having usurped a G-8 goal or
the prerogatives and prerequisites of national banks in the various countries who were responsible for regulating
in this area.

        Nonetheless, looking closely even at the Federal Reserve, as the United States banking regulator, and the
National Bank of Canada, as the principal Canadian banking overseer, we could find no specific regulation of
remittances and absolutely nothing that addressed the issues of cost in relation to remittances. The “who’s on
first, what’s on second” style of absent minded blindness in this area seemed global, not regional.

        We did find that late in 2010 the Canadian province of Quebec legislated in this area and at least
specifically mentioned remittances in the statute therefore asserting jurisdiction in this area of MTO activity.
Though this provincial legislation was silent on the issues of cost in general or any fees in specific, at least it
seemed clear in Canada that the provinces had authority and regulatory responsibility in this area, or at least
thought that they did, and were unchallenged in their assertions at this time.

        The same thing turned out to be the case in the United States where state banking commissions and other
bodies had jurisdiction over MTOs. ACORN International’s researcher painstakingly reviewed thirty-two (32)
different states and found a plethora of evidence that the states were very interested in fees, but this interest only
translated into a commitment to collect licensing fees to allow such MTOs to do business within the state. The
lack of transparency and difficulty of comparing every single state on the same terms leaves the possibility that
there may be a “Quebec” somewhere in the USA that has begun to assert regulatory authority over MTOs, but
ACORN International’s researcher has not been able to find it yet. From what ACORN International’s research
shows now, states have the authority, promulgate rules for licensing, collect the fees, but have not done
anything to legislate the behavior of MTOs in the area of costs and fees to immigrant consumers. As the
attached report from the research in the United States establishes, this is a cash cow for the state’s where MTOs
do business, but the states are taking no responsibility for the predatory leeching of immigrants within their
boundaries. Licenses run most normally in the range of $1000 up to $6000 per company with a number of
states bunched in at $4000 per company. The payments to the state for handling the remittances can be hefty.
New Jersey charges $25,000 for a “foreign money transmitter” and $100,000 for a “money transmitter.” Texas
requires $300,000 as minimum security for MTOs. Oregon sets $150,000 as the maximum. All of the states
require various significant levels of surety bonds to warrant the transfers and prevent fly-by-night operations to
some degree and provide a limited recourse to such takeoffs and landings. In short it is not that USA state level
legislators and banking commissioners and agencies have not taken MTOs seriously, because they clearly have.
Unfortunately to date states have seen their mission as enablers of such enterprises and felt no compunction, nor
exercised any responsibility, to assure that the immigrant consumer of such services was protected by either
transparency or regulations against predatory practices. For remittance users the United States and Canada are
remittance deserts!

Two and Two Equals?

       Additional research has produced a clearer picture and a better understanding of the resistance of the
industry to reform.

        Essentially, the World Bank is not exactly wrong when it impotently describes the process of driving
costs from its faulty 10% estimate currently to the G-8 proscriptive number of 5% by 2014 as being achieved by
“competition,” since both the responses received by ACORN International and the impunity expressed by
banking and money transfer organizations on these issues indicate that may be virtually no governmental
agency anywhere in the world taking as its core mission protecting immigrant consumers from predatory
practices and pricing. By default the only thing that would lower prices would be competition in the
marketplace in the absence of any regulation whatsoever. It is no wonder that the responses received by
ACORN International touted each institution’s competitive pricing, since without any incentive towards fair
pricing an informal cabal of self-interested institutional pricing has become the order of the day.

        The institutional response to the call for reform boils down to either “Why bother, the money is good;
we’re all in it together,” or in the alternative, “Make me!” Without any real stick bandied about by any national
bank system or state or provincial level authorities in the cause of regulation, institutions facilitating remittances
can continue to engage in something that ranges between monopoly pricing within its own customer base or
where they enjoy exclusive agreements and simple predation of immigrant families and migrant workers trying
to send desperate dollars back home.

        To achieve the G-8 5% goal by 2014 (Canada and the USA are both members of the G-8 along with
other highly industrialized and large powerhouse economies), ACORN International and its member
organizations and families are clear will take regulation both at the national level for banks in this area and at
the state and provincial level for money transfer organizations. Working with various legislators we are now
already at work in various countries trying to determine the best legislative response. ACORN Canada has
taken the lead in both Ottawa at the federal level and in Ontario and British Columbia at the provincial level to
work with various members of Parliament from all sides of the political aisles to draft legislation that would
finally protect immigrants and achieve just and fair pricing and fees for remittances. Their effort could shape
the debate around the world in coming months as they begin to take aggressive action in this area now.

        Under any terms two plus two for remittances justice and the immigrant families who use the system
and depend on the system can no longer equal zero. Nor when applied to pricing and fees can it be allowed to
equal ten or higher. A proper balance of real costs and fair fees will have to restore a just math to these
enterprises making two plus two something closer to the neighborhood of four, rather than the distortion that
has come to dominate the remittance industry as billions are taken in predatory profits better spent developing
families and fueling community improvements in emerging countries.

       ACORN International is united in demanding regulation of remittances at every level now.
State                                               Licensing Fees & Bond Requirements                                                      Reporting requirements                                                               Regulations of Fees


Maryland                                            Initial License (application submitted in even numbered year) $4,000.00
Department of Financial Institutions                Initial License (application submitted in odd numbered year): $2,000.00
http://www.dllr.state.md.us/finance                 Investigation Fee: $1000.00                                                             States the number and aggregate dollar amount of payment instruments issued
                                                    License Renewal: $4,000.00                                                              or sold and the aggregate number and dollar amount of money transmissions
                                                    Surety Bond Minimum $150,000 Maximum $1,000000                                          during the previous calendar year.                                                   None

New York
http://www.banking.state.ny.us



New Hampshire                                       $500 for each principle owner $25 for each agent up to $4000 --each year                                                                                                     None
http://www.nh.gov/banking



Colorado                                            Surety Bond of at least $250,000 w/ max of $2,000,000                                                                                                                        None
Colorado banking Board
http://www.dora.state.co.us/banking

                                                                                                                                             The dollar volume of money transmitted for New Jersey clients only
New Jersey                                        Base Assessment (Volume and Amount) and a complexity factor (up to $300)                   The dollar volume of payment instruments sold to New Jersey consumers               None
New Jersey Department of Banking and              Licensing fee S 700.00                                                                     The dollar volume of third party bills paid for New Jersey consumers
http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/banklicensing/mtfmtap $ 25,000 foreign money transmitter $100,000 money transmitter                              The dollar volume of store value cards
                                                                                                                                             Surety Bond requirement & Financial Statements

Deleware
Deleware Office of State Bank Commissioner                                                                                                                                                                                       Can charge only 2% of the value of
www.banking.delaware.gov/ -                                                                                                                 Must report transactions of more than $10,000                                        check for payday lenders--not sure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 if applies to mto but I think so

Texas                                               The amount of the required security is the greater of $300,000 or an amount equal to                                                                                         None
Texas Department of Banking
http://www.banking.state.us


Georgia                                             Money transmitters license $1000                                                                                                                                             None
Department of Banking and Finance                   Bond required -- amount ?
http://dbf.georgia.gov


California                                          A licensee that engages in receiving money for transmission                                                                                                                  None
California Department of Financial Institutions     shall maintain securities on deposit or a bond of a surety company in
http://www.dfi.ca.gov                               an amount greater than the average daily outstanding obligations for
                                                    money received for transmission in California, provided that such
                                                    amount shall not be less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars
                                                    ($250,000) nor more than seven million dollars ($7,000,000).
                                                    License fee $5,000

Louisiana                                           Application for License fee $350
Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions                                                                                                  Annual report of all transactionsm, amounts with % in VA, US, and Foreign



Virginia                                            a surety bond in the principal amount as determined by the Commission but not less                                                                                           None
Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions
http://www.scc.virginia.gov/bfi/reg_inst/trans.aspx


Washington                                          License fee $1000 main location $ 100 / additional Max $ 5,000                                                                                                               None
Washington Department of Financial Institutions     Bond based on previous 12 month activity $10,000 to $ 550,000
http://www.dfi.wa.gov



Utah
Utah Department of Financial Institutions           42 annually licensed agencies -- can't find licensing requirements
www.dfi.utah.gov/                                                                                                                              1. A copy of the most recent audited consolidated annual financial statement,
                                                                                                                                               2. The number of payment instruments sold in Minnesota, the dollar amount

Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Commerce                    Surety Bond - Each licensee must provide a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit,      3. A list of permissible investments.
http://bit.ly/hkRc9T                                License fee -- $4000 Yearly renewal fee $ 2,500                                            4. A list of all locations in Minnesota at which licensed business is being
                                                                                                                                               5. Any material changes to the original application that have not been

                                                                                                                                                     Filing bankruptcy or reorganization
                                                                                                                                                     Any revocation or suspension against the licensee by any state or
                                                                                                                                                     Any felony indictment or felony conviction of the licensee or any key
                                                                                                                                                     Any changes in control or controlling person
                                                                                                                                                     Notification of authorized delegate(s) contract termination



North Carolina
North Carolina Office of Commissioner of Banks      Licensed industry - can't locate regulations--
http://www.nccob.gov/public/AboutUs/AboutMain.


Oregon
Oregon Department of Finance and Corporate          License $1,000 Renewal $500
http://www.cbs.state.or.us/dfcs/                    $25,000 security device, $5,000 per additional location; maximum of $150,000                                                                                                 None


Florida                                             Listed as a Regulated industry - can's find regs




Connecticut                                         $300,000 to $ 1,000,000 bond -- depending on level of activity
Connecticut Department of Banking                   $2,875 - Application filed between 10/1/2009 and 9/30/2010
http://www.ct.gov/dob/site/default.asp              $1,875 - Application filed between 10/1/2010 and 9/30/2011


Pennsylvania                                        License $ 1,000 Renewal $ 300 Bond Required $ 1,000,000                                 A Licensee shall, annually on or before January 31, file an annual report with the
Pennsylvania Department of Banking                                                                                                          (1) financial statements, as of December 31 of the preceding year, signed under
http://bit.ly/eUwyUk                                                                                                                        (2) aggregate and other information on the amount of funds transmitted abroad
                                                                                                                                            (3) any other information which the Commissioner may require from time to time

Massachusetts                                       regulated but can't find license or bond amounts                                        reports not required except as requested by Commissioner
Massachusetts Division of Banks
http://bit.ly/e5fhxk


Nebraska
Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance          License $ 1,000
http://www.ndbf.ne.gov/soc/index.shtml              Bond $100,000 min $250,000 max ($ 100 G base + $ 5000 for each agent in state)          Quarterly Reports and Annual reports required containing: transaction date;



Vermont
Vermont Department of Banking Insurance             Money Transmitter - $100,000.00, minimum amount (the bond amount increases by
http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/



Michigan
Michigan Office of Financial & Insurance Services Listed as regulated but can't find info
http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/fis/ind_srch/Consume


Ohio
Ohio Department of Commerce-Financial               Can't find bond amounts
http://www.com.ohio.gov/fiin/Default.aspx           License $ 6,000


Arkansas
Arkansas State Bank Department                      Can't find anything
http://www.state.ar.us/bank/


New Mexico
New Mexico Regulationa nd Licensing                 Have info on payday lending - nothing on mto's
http://www.rld.state.nm.us/


Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions      no info on website
http://www.wdfi.org/


South Dakota
South Dakota Division of Banking                    • $500 initial application fee. The fee is nonrefundable.
http://www.state.sd.us/drr2/reg/bank/BANK-          • $1,000 license fee. This fee will be refunded if the application is denied.
                                                    Surety bond of $ 100,000

North Dakota                                        Investigation fee $ 450 License Fee $ 400
North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions   Bond $ 150,000 min to max of $ 550,000
http://www.nd.gov/dfi/regulate/index.html


Oklahoma
Oklahoma Department of Bankins                      Site not working
http://www.state.ok.us/~sbd/


Tennessee
Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions      <4 locations $50.00 / location -- 5 or more locations $500 + $12 / location
http://www.tn.gov/tdfi/                             Bond required -can't find required amount


Kentucky
Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions       Application fee $ 500 License fee $500
http://www.kfi.ky.gov/                              $ 500,000 to $ 5,000,000 required


Hawaii
Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer License $ 2000 + $300 per location Application fee -- same
http://hawaii.gov/dcca/dfi/hrs/chapter-489d- Bond $ 1,000 to $ 500,000 depending on net worth of company


Wyoming
Wyoming Department of                               App Fee $ 3000 Annual License Renewal $2000 - $7000 depending on # of
http://bit.ly/g4GPWL                                Bond $ 10,000 to $500,000 depending on net worth of company

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Looking the other way report

  • 1. Looking the Other Way: The Absence of Remittance Regulation Past Time? In December 2010, ACORN International released our report, Past Time for Remittance Reform (www.remittancejustice.org), in the cities where we work around the globe. The report painstakingly documented the real costs incurred by migrant workers and immigrant families in sending remittances from the country where they are residing, receiving remittances by their family members in their home countries, and paying the assorted fees that banks and money transfer organizations (MTOs) charge for currency exchange. Remittances are the monies transferred usually from family members or migrant workers back to other family members and home communities. Such money transfers are well known as critical components of the GNP for many developing countries around the globe and total close to $400 Billion USD in latest estimates costing more than $44 Billion USD in estimated charges. Despite the claims of the G-8 supported by World Bank research that the average costs of sending is now around 10%, ACORN International found the all-inclusive costs to be at or above 20% for each transaction of $100 remitted. In our report though we joined the call for a 5% cap on costs for remittances since it would move more than $20 billion USD in increased support from developed to developing countries and its citizens were the costs cut in half. Past Time for Remittance Reform was sent to the key MTOs (MoneyGram and Western Union) and the top twenty banks in North America (including HSBC, Bank of America, Citi, Scotiabank, BMO, and others) asking for both response and meetings with leaders of ACORN International to discuss ways of achieving cost efficiency reforms and reductions. The response was underwhelming. We were very disappointed. Of the banks that did respond, we received an answer from HSBC, Wells Fargo, Scotiabank, and BMO. Unfortunately most of the responses were in the vein of the public complaint of the Canadian Bankers’ Association quibbling not about our data or conclusions but about our selection of $100 as the base amount for the survey. Many of the institutions offered bulk discounts for transmitting higher sums and chafed at the $100 even though it is the usual remittance level sent regularly by both members of ACORN International affiliated organizations and research published by the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. Only Wells Fargo offered claims that a special program for their account holders was much, much less expensive to 26 countries and in fact in many cases they waived the fees (see their letter at www.remittancejustice.org). Mostly in responding to this critical issue for immigrants and migrant workers, there was deafening silence. We asked ourselves, “Why?” Then we turned to look for the reasons that MTOs and banks could reply and respond with such impunity. How could they be so arrogant about their predatory pricing of remittances? How could their governmental regulators be allowing such practices? Who’s on First? What’s on Second? ACORN International researchers went back country-by-country to review who was in charge of regulating the remittance practices for banks and MTOs. Our researchers looked in all of our countries in Latin America (Honduras, Dominican Republic, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico) and we found nada, nothing at all. We looked in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. Nothing! We looked in India. The same! The answer had to be that “sending” countries, like Canada and the United States, had a grip on something this important and involving such large amounts of money. Wrong! Oh, there were regulations in a number of countries, especially North America and India about transfers that might not be fully documented and therefore arguably support potential terrorism. This is decidedly against the law. Getting a better understanding of the hawala system of informal money transfers that we barely touched on in Past Time, our researchers and organizers in India confirmed and clarified that such systems
  • 2. might be popular and might involve significant sums, but were definitely illegal for all of these reasons since they lacked any paper trail for the transactions. All of this is not to say that the responsibility for regulating such enterprise is not clear. We found it well documented that national banks in each country have the full responsibility for regulating the banks domiciled in their countries on all matters of transactions within their businesses, including therefore remittances. In fact the World Bank responded aggressively to one of our partners in January 2011 concerning the ACORN International report because they did not want to be misunderstood as having usurped a G-8 goal or the prerogatives and prerequisites of national banks in the various countries who were responsible for regulating in this area. Nonetheless, looking closely even at the Federal Reserve, as the United States banking regulator, and the National Bank of Canada, as the principal Canadian banking overseer, we could find no specific regulation of remittances and absolutely nothing that addressed the issues of cost in relation to remittances. The “who’s on first, what’s on second” style of absent minded blindness in this area seemed global, not regional. We did find that late in 2010 the Canadian province of Quebec legislated in this area and at least specifically mentioned remittances in the statute therefore asserting jurisdiction in this area of MTO activity. Though this provincial legislation was silent on the issues of cost in general or any fees in specific, at least it seemed clear in Canada that the provinces had authority and regulatory responsibility in this area, or at least thought that they did, and were unchallenged in their assertions at this time. The same thing turned out to be the case in the United States where state banking commissions and other bodies had jurisdiction over MTOs. ACORN International’s researcher painstakingly reviewed thirty-two (32) different states and found a plethora of evidence that the states were very interested in fees, but this interest only translated into a commitment to collect licensing fees to allow such MTOs to do business within the state. The lack of transparency and difficulty of comparing every single state on the same terms leaves the possibility that there may be a “Quebec” somewhere in the USA that has begun to assert regulatory authority over MTOs, but ACORN International’s researcher has not been able to find it yet. From what ACORN International’s research shows now, states have the authority, promulgate rules for licensing, collect the fees, but have not done anything to legislate the behavior of MTOs in the area of costs and fees to immigrant consumers. As the attached report from the research in the United States establishes, this is a cash cow for the state’s where MTOs do business, but the states are taking no responsibility for the predatory leeching of immigrants within their boundaries. Licenses run most normally in the range of $1000 up to $6000 per company with a number of states bunched in at $4000 per company. The payments to the state for handling the remittances can be hefty. New Jersey charges $25,000 for a “foreign money transmitter” and $100,000 for a “money transmitter.” Texas requires $300,000 as minimum security for MTOs. Oregon sets $150,000 as the maximum. All of the states require various significant levels of surety bonds to warrant the transfers and prevent fly-by-night operations to some degree and provide a limited recourse to such takeoffs and landings. In short it is not that USA state level legislators and banking commissioners and agencies have not taken MTOs seriously, because they clearly have. Unfortunately to date states have seen their mission as enablers of such enterprises and felt no compunction, nor exercised any responsibility, to assure that the immigrant consumer of such services was protected by either transparency or regulations against predatory practices. For remittance users the United States and Canada are remittance deserts! Two and Two Equals? Additional research has produced a clearer picture and a better understanding of the resistance of the industry to reform. Essentially, the World Bank is not exactly wrong when it impotently describes the process of driving costs from its faulty 10% estimate currently to the G-8 proscriptive number of 5% by 2014 as being achieved by
  • 3. “competition,” since both the responses received by ACORN International and the impunity expressed by banking and money transfer organizations on these issues indicate that may be virtually no governmental agency anywhere in the world taking as its core mission protecting immigrant consumers from predatory practices and pricing. By default the only thing that would lower prices would be competition in the marketplace in the absence of any regulation whatsoever. It is no wonder that the responses received by ACORN International touted each institution’s competitive pricing, since without any incentive towards fair pricing an informal cabal of self-interested institutional pricing has become the order of the day. The institutional response to the call for reform boils down to either “Why bother, the money is good; we’re all in it together,” or in the alternative, “Make me!” Without any real stick bandied about by any national bank system or state or provincial level authorities in the cause of regulation, institutions facilitating remittances can continue to engage in something that ranges between monopoly pricing within its own customer base or where they enjoy exclusive agreements and simple predation of immigrant families and migrant workers trying to send desperate dollars back home. To achieve the G-8 5% goal by 2014 (Canada and the USA are both members of the G-8 along with other highly industrialized and large powerhouse economies), ACORN International and its member organizations and families are clear will take regulation both at the national level for banks in this area and at the state and provincial level for money transfer organizations. Working with various legislators we are now already at work in various countries trying to determine the best legislative response. ACORN Canada has taken the lead in both Ottawa at the federal level and in Ontario and British Columbia at the provincial level to work with various members of Parliament from all sides of the political aisles to draft legislation that would finally protect immigrants and achieve just and fair pricing and fees for remittances. Their effort could shape the debate around the world in coming months as they begin to take aggressive action in this area now. Under any terms two plus two for remittances justice and the immigrant families who use the system and depend on the system can no longer equal zero. Nor when applied to pricing and fees can it be allowed to equal ten or higher. A proper balance of real costs and fair fees will have to restore a just math to these enterprises making two plus two something closer to the neighborhood of four, rather than the distortion that has come to dominate the remittance industry as billions are taken in predatory profits better spent developing families and fueling community improvements in emerging countries. ACORN International is united in demanding regulation of remittances at every level now.
  • 4. State Licensing Fees & Bond Requirements Reporting requirements Regulations of Fees Maryland Initial License (application submitted in even numbered year) $4,000.00 Department of Financial Institutions Initial License (application submitted in odd numbered year): $2,000.00 http://www.dllr.state.md.us/finance Investigation Fee: $1000.00 States the number and aggregate dollar amount of payment instruments issued License Renewal: $4,000.00 or sold and the aggregate number and dollar amount of money transmissions Surety Bond Minimum $150,000 Maximum $1,000000 during the previous calendar year. None New York http://www.banking.state.ny.us New Hampshire $500 for each principle owner $25 for each agent up to $4000 --each year None http://www.nh.gov/banking Colorado Surety Bond of at least $250,000 w/ max of $2,000,000 None Colorado banking Board http://www.dora.state.co.us/banking The dollar volume of money transmitted for New Jersey clients only New Jersey Base Assessment (Volume and Amount) and a complexity factor (up to $300) The dollar volume of payment instruments sold to New Jersey consumers None New Jersey Department of Banking and Licensing fee S 700.00 The dollar volume of third party bills paid for New Jersey consumers http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/banklicensing/mtfmtap $ 25,000 foreign money transmitter $100,000 money transmitter The dollar volume of store value cards Surety Bond requirement & Financial Statements Deleware Deleware Office of State Bank Commissioner Can charge only 2% of the value of www.banking.delaware.gov/ - Must report transactions of more than $10,000 check for payday lenders--not sure if applies to mto but I think so Texas The amount of the required security is the greater of $300,000 or an amount equal to None Texas Department of Banking http://www.banking.state.us Georgia Money transmitters license $1000 None Department of Banking and Finance Bond required -- amount ? http://dbf.georgia.gov California A licensee that engages in receiving money for transmission None California Department of Financial Institutions shall maintain securities on deposit or a bond of a surety company in http://www.dfi.ca.gov an amount greater than the average daily outstanding obligations for money received for transmission in California, provided that such amount shall not be less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) nor more than seven million dollars ($7,000,000). License fee $5,000 Louisiana Application for License fee $350 Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Annual report of all transactionsm, amounts with % in VA, US, and Foreign Virginia a surety bond in the principal amount as determined by the Commission but not less None Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions http://www.scc.virginia.gov/bfi/reg_inst/trans.aspx Washington License fee $1000 main location $ 100 / additional Max $ 5,000 None Washington Department of Financial Institutions Bond based on previous 12 month activity $10,000 to $ 550,000 http://www.dfi.wa.gov Utah Utah Department of Financial Institutions 42 annually licensed agencies -- can't find licensing requirements www.dfi.utah.gov/ 1. A copy of the most recent audited consolidated annual financial statement, 2. The number of payment instruments sold in Minnesota, the dollar amount Minnesota Minnesota Department of Commerce Surety Bond - Each licensee must provide a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, 3. A list of permissible investments. http://bit.ly/hkRc9T License fee -- $4000 Yearly renewal fee $ 2,500 4. A list of all locations in Minnesota at which licensed business is being 5. Any material changes to the original application that have not been Filing bankruptcy or reorganization Any revocation or suspension against the licensee by any state or Any felony indictment or felony conviction of the licensee or any key Any changes in control or controlling person Notification of authorized delegate(s) contract termination North Carolina North Carolina Office of Commissioner of Banks Licensed industry - can't locate regulations-- http://www.nccob.gov/public/AboutUs/AboutMain. Oregon Oregon Department of Finance and Corporate License $1,000 Renewal $500 http://www.cbs.state.or.us/dfcs/ $25,000 security device, $5,000 per additional location; maximum of $150,000 None Florida Listed as a Regulated industry - can's find regs Connecticut $300,000 to $ 1,000,000 bond -- depending on level of activity Connecticut Department of Banking $2,875 - Application filed between 10/1/2009 and 9/30/2010 http://www.ct.gov/dob/site/default.asp $1,875 - Application filed between 10/1/2010 and 9/30/2011 Pennsylvania License $ 1,000 Renewal $ 300 Bond Required $ 1,000,000 A Licensee shall, annually on or before January 31, file an annual report with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking (1) financial statements, as of December 31 of the preceding year, signed under http://bit.ly/eUwyUk (2) aggregate and other information on the amount of funds transmitted abroad (3) any other information which the Commissioner may require from time to time Massachusetts regulated but can't find license or bond amounts reports not required except as requested by Commissioner Massachusetts Division of Banks http://bit.ly/e5fhxk Nebraska Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance License $ 1,000 http://www.ndbf.ne.gov/soc/index.shtml Bond $100,000 min $250,000 max ($ 100 G base + $ 5000 for each agent in state) Quarterly Reports and Annual reports required containing: transaction date; Vermont Vermont Department of Banking Insurance Money Transmitter - $100,000.00, minimum amount (the bond amount increases by http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/ Michigan Michigan Office of Financial & Insurance Services Listed as regulated but can't find info http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/fis/ind_srch/Consume Ohio Ohio Department of Commerce-Financial Can't find bond amounts http://www.com.ohio.gov/fiin/Default.aspx License $ 6,000 Arkansas Arkansas State Bank Department Can't find anything http://www.state.ar.us/bank/ New Mexico New Mexico Regulationa nd Licensing Have info on payday lending - nothing on mto's http://www.rld.state.nm.us/ Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions no info on website http://www.wdfi.org/ South Dakota South Dakota Division of Banking • $500 initial application fee. The fee is nonrefundable. http://www.state.sd.us/drr2/reg/bank/BANK- • $1,000 license fee. This fee will be refunded if the application is denied. Surety bond of $ 100,000 North Dakota Investigation fee $ 450 License Fee $ 400 North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions Bond $ 150,000 min to max of $ 550,000 http://www.nd.gov/dfi/regulate/index.html Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Bankins Site not working http://www.state.ok.us/~sbd/ Tennessee Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions <4 locations $50.00 / location -- 5 or more locations $500 + $12 / location http://www.tn.gov/tdfi/ Bond required -can't find required amount Kentucky Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions Application fee $ 500 License fee $500 http://www.kfi.ky.gov/ $ 500,000 to $ 5,000,000 required Hawaii Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer License $ 2000 + $300 per location Application fee -- same http://hawaii.gov/dcca/dfi/hrs/chapter-489d- Bond $ 1,000 to $ 500,000 depending on net worth of company Wyoming Wyoming Department of App Fee $ 3000 Annual License Renewal $2000 - $7000 depending on # of http://bit.ly/g4GPWL Bond $ 10,000 to $500,000 depending on net worth of company