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2015 - News


12/16/15 -  Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment  of Andy Tobin as Interim Superintendent of the Department of Financial Institutions.

12/11/15- AZDFI Tamilee Smull, Financial Institutions Manager, Stephen Briggs Legislative Liaison, and IT Examiner Francisco Rodriguez delivered the Executive Leadership of Cybersecurity (ELOC) seminar sponsored by CSBS in Phoenix.  The ELOC seminar is designed for CEO’s and senior executives to address the issues of cyber security within the financial services industry.  The program provided a non-technical overview of current and anticipated cyber threats to the financial services industry, shared cyber intelligence resources available and best practices the industry should use to mitigate and manage evolving cyber threats.  Officials from the United States Secret Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Financial Services Information Sharing & Analysis  Center  discussed the topics of “Globalization of Cybercrime”, “Regulatory Response & the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool”, and “Threat Intelligence - Collection and Sharing”, respectively. Also, AZDFI Examiner Rodriguez shared information regarding the Best Practices for Senior Executives and Board Members to manage cybersecurity risk. Approximately three dozen bank and credit union executives attended the seminar, as well as Paul Hickman, President, AZ Bankers Association; Mark Robey, Executive Vice President, Mountain West Credit Union Association; and Lucy Ito, President of NASCUS.

12/09/15-12/11/15 Tamilee Smull, Financial Institutions Manager and Stephen Briggs, Legislative Liaison attended CSBS Supervisors Symposium held in Phoenix Arizona.  The symposium combines state regulators with their federal regulator counterparts to compare industry successes and concerns.  Topics included a panel discussion from bankers who have piloted the FFIEC Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Tool, Economic and Political Outlook for 2016, the rollout and implementation of the Examination Tools Software in 2016 and CSBS accreditation program modernization roadmap.  Approximately 110 bankers and state regulators attended the symposium.

10/16/15-10/19/15 - Debra Rudd, Real Estate Appraisal Manager, attended and was a speaker at the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO) 24th Annual Fall Conference in Washington DC. Ms. Rudd spoke on the merits of consolidating the Board of Appraisal into DFI.   Approximately 176  Appraisal professionals attended the conference.   Some of the other subjects of the conference consisted of possible easing of federal requirements to become an appraiser to address a possible future appraiser shortage by offering alternative experience requirements; and  final rules implementation dates for Appraisal Management Companies.  Mr. Rudd was elected President-Elect for AARO.    The Spring AARO Conference will be held in Phoenix on April 7, 2016 – April 10, 2016.

10/14/2015 - Richard Fergus, Financial Enterprise Licensing Division Manager was guest speaker at the Arizona Association of Mortgage Professionals (AzAMP) Central Chapter monthly meeting.   There were approximately 48 mortgage professionals in attendance.  Mr. Fergus spoke about AZDFI which included licensing and renewal information for mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers and loan originators.

10/02/2015 - Robert D. Charlton, Financial Enterprise Manager, spoke to a group of approximately fifty collection industry professionals at the Arizona Collectors Association 2015 Annual Meeting.    Mr. Charlton spoke about AZDFI and in particular the Department’s regulation and supervision of collection agencies licensed in this state.  Topics discussed were common examination findings and in particular trust account administration and collection practices.  Also discussed were the types of examinations conducted by AZDFI, joint state examinations, and examinations and the Department’s interaction with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

09/30/2015 - Richard Fergus, Financial Enterprise Licensing Division Manager was guest speaker for the monthly Fix and Flip Group’s meeting.  The Fix and Flip Group is a subgroup of AZREIA (Arizona Real Estate Investors Association).  The topic was “What you need to know to be a private lender or to borrow from a private lender”.  I talked about licensing requirements for private lenders.  There were 60 registered to attend the meeting.  Attendees included private investors, real estate agents and loan originators.

09/20/15 - 09/22/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry of AZDFI and SLC, the State Liaison Committee of the FFIEC, attended the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council meeting in Washington DC.   The FFIEC is a formal inter-agency body empowered to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions by the Board of Governors of the FRB, FDIC, NCUA, OCC, State Regulators, and the CFPB.  Mr. Kingry is the Chairman of the SLC and is a voting member of the FFIEC, in Washington, DC.


9/18/2015 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry and Debra Rudd, Real Estate Appraisal Manager, attended the REASA/SCAI meeting, in Tucson. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the Superintendent to the appraisers in this region. It was also to explain the changes made to the processing of complaints, as well as licensing, since the consolidation in July 2015. They updated the attendees on the number of applications processed for appraisers, appraisal management companies, property tax agents and course providers, and the average number of days it took to process them.


09/17/15 - Robert D. Charlton, Financial Enterprise Manager spoke to a group of approximately one hundred Title and Escrow, Bank, and Mortgage professionals at the 2015 Annual Convention for the Land Title Association of Arizona at the High Country Conference Center, Flagstaff, Arizona.  Mr. Charlton spoke about AZDFI which included who the Department regulates and the numbers, how many complaints and the type of complaints the Department receives, common examination violations, various regulatory alerts dealing with mortgage fraud, loan originator and their licensing requirements, loan modifications, the neutral role escrow agents must play, the substantive policy statement the Department has issued on the semi-annual business activity reports for escrow agents, the Anti-Inducement Substantive Policy Statement, ARS 6-161 which allows the Department to remove unfit escrow personnel from the industry, and finally the working relationship between AZDFI, CFPB, AG’s office and other state regulators.


09/17/1509/17/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry moderated for the RMA lending panel held in Phoenix at the Arizona Country Club chapter meeting.  Discussions focused on lending structure, credit protection, regulation costs, Dodd-Frank and attracting young talent to banking careers.
09/16/15 - 09/17/15 - Debra Rudd, Real Estate Appraisal Manager served as a panelist for the Five Star Conference - National Appraisal Congress (NAC) in Dallas Texas to foster dialogue with state regulators dealing with some of the issues involving training and best practices for new appraisers. In particular, NAC is promoting a quicker way for those interested to enter the appraiser profession.


09/14-09/15/15 - Tamilee Smull, Financial Institutions Manager attended the CSBS-FDIC De Novo Bank Application Training at the FDIC Regional Office in Dallas, Texas. There were 69 participants from 29 states/agencies in attendance at the training.  The training addressed the application process, decision criteria for evaluating applications, post-approval supervisory strategy, and other supervisory considerations.


08/29/15 -09/4/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry attended the CSBS Board of Directors and Strategic Planning meeting in Brewster, Massachusetts.  Voting items in the board meeting included: an update to the conflict of interest policy, changes to the SRR budget, model state law for examining services providers, final model regulatory framework for virtual currency activities, non-depository supervision governance task force report, and a recommendation for complaint information sharing.


08/24/15 – 09/06/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry attended the Western Regulators Meeting held at the FDIC regional offices in San Francisco. This meeting focused on economic and banking conditions, cyber security awareness and cyber tools.  The Superintendent was on a panel with other state Commissioners regarding state regulatory issues and Federal regulatory relationships.  The meeting also included the 10 western states in the FDIC region which are part of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.  Among those present were the regional staff  members of the CSBS, FDIC, CFPB, OCC and the FRB.


08/17-08/21/15 – Financial Institutions Manager Tamilee Smull attended the FFIEC Fraud Investigation Techniques for Examiners course in Arlington, VA.  The course is to designed for people with some fraud investigation experience to further enhance their skill in interviewing, investigation, documentation, tracing, and case management.


07/15/2015 - AZDFI conducted a town hall meeting for the Arizona community bankers to gather and discuss the challenges and opportunities that community banks face in light of the rapidly changing federal regulations.  Executives from the Arizona State Chartered banks joined Superintendent Lauren Kingry, Division Manager Tamilee Smull, at the meeting.  The town hall was held, in part, as preparation for the upcoming Community Banking in the 21st Century Research Conference, to be held in St. Louis on September 30 through October 1, 2015.


6/16/15 - Superintendent Lauren W. Kingry attended an educational workshop hosted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Nogales Arizona.  Some of the topics included banking relationships with cross border activities and the resulting regulatory expectations, including Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) customer due diligence and monitoring requirements, along with discussions of variances between isolated BSA recommendations or violations, pillar violations and systemic program weaknesses.   The workshop was attend by member bankers, federal and state regulators, members from the Ambos Nogales Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and outreach staff from the offices of U.S. Senators and Representative for Arizona.


6/8/15 - Superintendent Kingry gave the State of the State’s address at the 112th Annual Convention and Meeting held in Marana, Arizona presented by the Arizona Bankers Association. A message of continued improvement in the Az banks was delivered by the Superintendent. 


06/04/15 - Superintendent Kingry addressed the attendees of the Phoenix Chapter Appraisal Institute.  The topic was general comments on the transition of the State Appraisal Department to DFI.  Q & A followed with Executive Director, Debra Rudd in attendance from the Arizona Board of Appraisal.


6/01/15 - 6/05/15 - Robert D. Charlton, Assistant Superintendent and Financial Enterprise Division Manager attended the National Association of Consumer Credit Administrators 80th Annual Meeting and Regulators’ Training Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia.   This annual meeting is attended by state regulators from all over the country that focus on non-depository licensees.  Discussions were held regarding common issues taking place in various states, speakers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provide federal updates, National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) speakers discuss their system, small dollar credit discussions, student lending issues, and finally, joint meetings were held with industry members of the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) and the Financial Services Centers of America (CFSA). The conference provides an excellent opportunity for regulators and private businesses to work together to address common issues that impact consumers, states and the companies that offer financial services.


05/27/15 - 05/29/15 – Superintendent Kingry attended the CSBS State-Federal Supervisory Forum in San Francisco, California.  Some of the presentations  included agricultural asset values: monitoring and stress testing, CSBS government relations updates and emerging trends and risks in commercial real estate.   In addition to the States Only portion of the Forum, all the Federal Banking counterparts were present to discuss mutual banking concerns and success.  At this meeting, CSBS announced its 2015-2016 Board and Officers which includes the installment of Superintendent Kingry as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee.  See the CSBS Media Release.


04/30/15 - Arizona Adopts New SAFE MLO Test.  The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions is adopting the National SAFE MLO Test Component with Uniform State Content effective July 15, 2015.  See the NMLS Agency News.


04/12/15 - 04/15/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry joined the CSBS Executive Committee in Washington D.C. for its semi-annual meeting with FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, Doreen Eberley, and Mark Pearce.  The Committee also had meetings with the Federal Reserve Board Governors Tarullo, Powell, and Brainard.  The Executive Committee held its regular monthly call to receive updates from staff on various initiatives.


04/2/15 -  AZDFI joins 42 other state mortgage regulators taking action against New Day Financial, LLC.   The investigation revealed that at least 20 employees had others take their continuing education courses.   For further information see the CSBS press release or you can view the Settlement Agreement and Consent order here.


04/09/15 – Superintendent Lauren Kingry, Assistant Superintendent Financial Services Division Bob Charlton, and Licensing Manager Richard Fergus hosted a meeting with the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association (AMLA) and Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) to provide an industry update, discuss current topics, and hold a questions and answers session. 


03/29/15 -04/01/15 - Superintendent Lauren Kingry attended the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) meeting and SLC Briefing in Washington DC where he was reappointed to a two-year term on the SLC which will continue through March 31, 2017.  If you would like more information, see the press release here.

- Superintendent Lauren Kingry attended a private roundtable in Nogales hosted by the FDIC to hear directly from local small businesses regarding their banking experiences, including deposit and borrowing relationships with insured depository institutions.

03/23/2015 -03/25/2015
- Tamilee Smull, Financial Institutions Division Manager and Craig Raby, Assistant Attorney General joined State Credit Union Regulators from 37 other states at the 2015 NASCUS/NCUA National Regulators Conference.  The state regulators meet annually with the National Credit Union Administration Board Members and Regional Leaders to discuss current risks and legislative changes that are impacting the Credit Union industry.  During the Conference, Ms. Smull also participated in a joint session of the Performance Standards Committees for NASCUS and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) to develop efficiencies in a combined CSBS/NASCUS state regulators’ accreditation review process.

03/8/15 -03/13/15
- Superintendent Lauren Kingry attended the CSBS Government Relations Fly-in, Board Meeting, CSBS Education Foundation Meeting, and New Commissioner Briefing held in Washington DC.  Approximately seventy state regulators representing forty state agencies were in attendance.  The attendees brought their “outside the beltway” perspective and experience to discuss and advocate to Members of Congress, federal regulators, and their staff on issues affecting community banks and other financial services issues.

02/23/15 – 02/28/15
- AZDFI is participating in the 2015 America Saves Week, and we would like you to join us and the hundreds of organizations nationwide by participating in this annual event.  To participate in America Saves Week, or for more information, visit

02/16/2015 -02/18/15
- Richard Fergus, Licensing Division Manager, and Michelle Castaneda, Licensing Supervisor for Financial Enterprises attended the annual NMLS Conference held in San Diego.  There were over 550 regulators and industry representatives in attendance from all over the U.S., including Puerto Rico.  Individual sessions were held during the conference addressing changes and the use of NMLS and those industries using NMLS (including the money service business, consumer lenders and the mortgage industry).

- The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions and Arizona Bankers Association held a “Meet Your Regulator” event in the Executive Tower of the State Capitol.

01/21/15–01/23/15 - Tamilee Smull, Financial Institutions Division Manager joined officials from the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) to conduct a peer accreditation review for another state credit union regulatory agency.


01/13/15 -01/15/15 - Tamilee Smull, Financial Institution Division Manager joined more than two dozen state regulators at the CSBS District V meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  State banking regulators from seven western states met to discuss industry trends and current safety and soundness concerns.  The state authorities were joined by Federal Reserve Bank, FDIC, CFPB and OCC officials to discuss community banking industry challenges, including regulatory burden, streamlined payment systems and consumer compliance.

Current (2017)