Who really regulates your financial institution?
Which government agency regulates your financial institution? Most consumers never think about this question until they have a problem or complaint with their bank, credit union, mortgage lender or money transmitter. Few Coloradans have the desire to decipher the alphabet soup of government acronyms and abbreviations representing state and federal entities. In most cases, the first place to lodge a complaint or ask a question is with the financial institution itself. Consumers not satisfied with the financial institutionÕs response can then take their complaint to the next level, which may involve a government agency. The following is a list of government agencies and the financial institutions they regulate.
- Financial Institutions Regulated by the Colorado Division of Banking
State-chartered institutions: The Colorado Division of Banking can help with questions or complaints regarding state-chartered commercial banks, industrial banks, trust companies, and state-regulated money transmitters only. Examples include FirstBank Colorado, Lincoln Trust Company, Trust Company of America, and Western Union Financial Services, Inc. The Colorado Division of Banking can be reached at 303-894-7575.
- Financial Institutions Regulated by Federal Agencies
National Banks: If your institution has “National,” “National Association,” or the initials “N.A.” in or following its name, such as Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; Zions First National Bank; or UMB Bank Colorado, National Association, it is a National Bank and is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which can be reached at 1-800-613-6743 or www.occ.treas.gov.
Interstate Banks: There are some banks that are headquartered in other states, but have facilities in Colorado, such as Bank of the West and Compass Bank. These banks are licensed and regulated by other states. Contact the Division of Banking for a list of state banking agencies.
Credit Unions – Savings and Loans – Savings Banks: Credit Unions, Savings and Loans, and Savings Banks can be either state or federally regulated institutions. State-chartered Credit Unions and Savings and Loans are regulated by the Division of Financial Services, which can be reached at 303-894-2336 or www.dora.state.co.us/financial-services.
Federal Credit Unions will usually have the word “federal” or “F.C.U.” in their name. Federal Credit Unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which can be reached at 602-302-6000 or www.ncua.gov.
Federal Savings and Loans/Savings Banks will usually have “federal,” “federal association,” “federal savings banks” or the initials “F.A.” or “F.S.L.A.” in their name. Federal Savings and Loans/Savings Banks are regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), which can be reached at 650-746-7000 or www.ots.treas.gov.
- Other Types of Financial Service Providers (information applies to Colorado only)
Finance Companies and Payday Lenders: Finance companies and Payday lenders are regulated by the Office of the State Attorney General, which can be reached at 720-508-6012, Supervised Lending Consumer Complaints & General Information or www.ago.state.co.us.
Mortgage Lenders and Brokers: Mortgage companies, brokers, and certain other lenders are regulated by the Division of Real Estate, which can be reached at 303-894-2166 or www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate.
Securities Professionals: Stockbrokers and investment advisers are regulated by the Division of Securities, which can be reached at 303-894-2320 or www.dora.state.co.us/securities.
Remember, at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Consumer Protection is our Mission! For more information on which government entity regulates your financial institution, please call the Colorado Division of Banking at 303-894-7575. Our goal is to preserve a statewide safe and sound banking system.