The North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for chartering, regulating, and examining North Dakota state-chartered banks, credit unions, and trust companies. The Department also licenses and regulates Money Brokers, Mortgage Loan Originators, Deferred Presentment Service Providers (Payday Lenders), Collection Agencies, Debt Settlement Service Providers, and Money Transmitters conducting business in North Dakota. Please be aware the Department does not regulate all institutions doing business in North Dakota. Specifically, we do not regulate federally-chartered banks or credit unions.
Recent NewsView All News
Life insurance products can serve a number of appropriate business purposes and may be used to offset risks and costs incurred by a bank. These products exhibit characteristics that are different than other bank assets; therefore, the reasons for purchasing, your due diligence process, and ongoing monitoring of life insurance are governed by separate rules and an interagency policy statement to address oversight and risk management processes.
Bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) is addressed by North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) § 13-02-14, which was last amended April 1, 2003. Although this statute pre-dates the Interagency Statement on the Purchase and Risk Management of Life Insurance 2004-56, the Department’s rules are consistent with this statement.
A question the Department occasionally receives is whether a bank can continue to hold life insurance on an employee or director after that person is no longer with the bank. That depends on the purpose, whether the policy is for a key person or in connection with compensation and benefit plans. <more>
On December 7, 2020, the Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions joined other state and federal agencies in issuing a settlement agreement and consent order against Nationstar Mortgage LLC, d/b/a Mr. Cooper. As part of the consent order, Nationstar will pay consumers nearly $90 million to resolve past actions, and will also pay in excess of $6.5 million in civil money penalties. A summary of this consent order can be found here. The settlement agreement and consent order can be found here.
On August 13, 2020, the Federal Financial institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) approved the Appraisal Subcommittee's (ASC) extension of a commercial real estate transaction temporary waiver relief order for North Dakota. The extended waiver allows banks and credit unions in North Dakota to waive appraiser credentialing requirements for federally-related commercial real estate transactions under $1 million through August 7, 2021. The waiver was originally granted on August 7, 2019, in response to a collaborative request by the State of North Dakota, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the North Dakota banking and credit union trade associations.
The FFIEC order can be viewed here: FFIEC Order
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued a press release applauding the temporary waiver while urging efforts to come up with a long-term solution to a problem that affects lenders nationwide. CSBS Press Release
On July 29, 2020, the Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions revoked the money transmitter license of Olympic Financial Group, Inc., which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and operates in North Dakota through delegates Safari Market in Grand Forks and Somali Business Center in Fargo.
Money transmission activity includes receiving money or monetary value to send to a location within or outside of the United states on another person's behalf. To lawfully engage in the business of money transmission, a license is required under North Dakota Century Code Chapter 13-09.
The Commissioner has found that Olympic Financial Group has failed to comply with North Dakota laws. In order to protect the public, including new Americans, the Commissioner has ordered Olympic Financial Group to cease providing money transmitter services in North Dakota. Order
On July 6, 2020, Governor Doug Burgum, the Department of Financial Institutions, the North Dakota Bankers Association (NDBA), the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota (ICBND), and the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) applied to the FFIEC Appraisal Subcommittee for an extension to the temporary appraisal waiver, which was granted in July 2019.
Financial institutions are reporting that the waiver is utilized and that the option has been helpful.
There has not been much change in appraiser availability in the last year, and it appears wait times are still long throughout every section of North Dakota. The financial institution regulators have issued numerous statements to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers, to provide borrowers with quick access to funds, and to provide borrowers with the ability to take advantage of equity in their real estate. Therefore, it makes sense to keep the waiver in place since it provides much needed flexibility for financial institutions and borrowers, which will also help the economic recovery. Due to the pandemic, collaboration work with the appraiser and financial institutions industries to determine possible solutions has been paused. Therefore, we are asking for a two-year extension.
Attached is the application along with a letter of support from Representative Kelly Armstrong. We thank Representative Armstrong for supporting our application.
We have been made aware of a fraudulent bank purporting to operate out of Fargo, North Dakota under the name of Fountain Bank. This is not a North Dakota state- chartered bank. The website and the physical address the fraudulent bank is using appears to be duplicates of a legitimate bank's website and address, but it is not in any way affiliated with a North Dakota state-chartered bank.
To assist homeowners with federally-backed loans through the process of obtaining mortgage relief, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released a Consumer Relief Guide that discusses borrowers' rights to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the Federal CARES Act. CFPB, CSBS, the Department of Financial Institutions, and all state regulators are committed to protecting Americans having financial hardship during the COVID-19 national health emergency. This consumer relief guide details what homeowners need to know to get the help they need, including a summary of borrowers' rights under the CARES Act, steps to access mortgage relief, and repayment options. The website can be found here: https://www.csbs.org/mortgage-relief-coronavirus; and a .pdf version of the guide can be found here: https://www.csbs.org/system/files/2020-05/CSBS-CFPB_Consumers_Forbearance_Guide_May_2020_0.pdf
The Department maintains a list of regulatory and consumer links on our COVID-19 Resources page: https://www.nd.gov/dfi/covid-19-resources
The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a press release to inform citizens and consumers nationwide on ways to protect themselves against check fraud during these times. This announcement contains information that consumers and financial institutions can use to identify counterfeit U.S Treasury checks by knowing what to look for and where to look.”
Today, the federal banking agencies, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) released a revised Interagency Statement on loan modifications. The revised statement clarifies the interaction between the March 22, 2020, Interagency Statement and the temporary relief provided by Section 4013 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. A copy of the press release is here. The Interagency Statement can be accessed here.
Today, Lise Kruse, the Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, issued a statement highlighting the strength and stability of the U.S. banking system. In these times of uncertainty, consumers should know that our Department is working with federal regulators, fellow state regulators, and the financial institutions across North Dakota to manage the impact and recovery from the COVID-19 virus. Commissioner Kruse's statement can be found here.
On March 22, 2020, Federal and State financial institution regulatory agencies issued an interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and providing additional information regarding loan modifications. Click here for the press release discussing this guidance.
As everyone strives to deal with the COVID-19 threat, some financial institutions may determine it necessary to close or reduce service hours at some of their branch locations. These institutions are required to notify the Department of any reduction of hours and/or services. Therefore, as the Department is notified, we will post all such notifications on this page: https://www.nd.gov/dfi/temporary-branch-closings
The North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, the state agency responsible for regulating state chartered banks, credit unions, and non-depository institutions, would like to assure the public that the money you have in your financial institution is safe, even during public emergencies including pandemic concerns such as those related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Financial institutions have plans in place to deal with situations such as this. You may notice reduced hours of operation, temporary branch location closures, or more interactions which are conducted digitally. These are all steps designed to limit risk and keep you and your money safe. Finally, please remember deposits in banks and credit unions are insured up to $250,000 by the federal government. <more>
During periods of economic stress, lenders may need to restructure existing operating, chattel, and real estate loans to address farm customers’ diminished repayment capacities and to avoid default situations. Being proactive and addressing problems early is beneficial to all parties. As you review your options for working with distressed borrowers, prudent underwriting and administration practices remain necessary. <more>
The financial sector became well prepared to address a pandemic during 2007 when the Avian flu was a topic. Exercises were held that showed that while there would be significant impacts, the financial sector overall was able to continue to operate and cope with the impacts. Reviewing the material developed in 2007 reveals those preparation plans remain valid today. <more>
BISMARCK, N.D. (AUG. 26, 2019) – North Dakota recently became the first state in the nation to receive a federal waiver designed to help consumers by reducing wait times for real estate appraisals.
The North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), North Dakota Bankers Association and Gov. Doug Burgum requested the waiver, seeking temporary relief for consumers as the state experiences a shortage of credentialed appraisers. <more>
The ASC has published in today’s Federal Register, a 30-day Notice for Comment for a Temporary Waiver Request from the State of North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions and the North Dakota Bankers Association. The comment period will close on July 1, 2019. The Notice can be viewed here. Comments can be viewed here by searching for Docket Number AS19-04.
Please give particular attention to the four questions at the end of the Notice.
On March, 29, 2019, Commissioner Lise Kruse issued an Order suspending Charity Erickson, a former employee of Citizens Community Credit Union, from employment or otherwise participating in the affairs of any financial corporation, financial institution, credit union, or other entity licensed by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions. The parties listed in this Order have been provided the opportunity to request a hearing pursuant to law. A copy of the Order may be viewed here: Order
The response to the request made by the Appraisal Subcommittee on September 7, 2018, for clarification and additional information to our August 1, 2018, submission has been issued. Specifically, the request was for confirmation of the relief being sought is within the Appraisal Subcommittee's statutory authority, additional documentation of the scarcity of appraisers in markets throughout the State, and documentation relating to the significant delays caused by this scarcity. Governor Burgum, Commissioner Kruse, and the North Dakota Bankers Association have issued the response jointly. Click here to view the response.
Several changes have been made during North Dakota's 66th Legislative Session that impact non-depositories. Letters to the industries summarizing these changes can be found here for money brokers, here for money transmitters, here for collection agencies, and here for deferred presentment service providers.
The widely used reference rate known as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is scheduled to go out of existence. Click here to read a letter from Commissioner Kruse regarding LIBOR and recommended actions to manage the transition.
On January 15, 2019, Commissioner Lise Kruse issued an Order suspending Bobbi Miller, a former employee of Kirkwood Bank and Trust, from employment or otherwise participating in the affairs of any financial corporation, financial institution, credit union, or other entity licensed by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions. The parties listed in this Order have been provided the opportunity to request a hearing pursuant to law. A copy of the Order may be viewed here: Order
Federal agencies issue a joint statement on banks and credit unions sharing resources to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Bank Secrecy Act Compliance. Click here to read the statement.
On July 26, 2018, Commissioner Lise Kruse issued an Order imposing a $2,000.00 civil money penalty against Kirk Wullweber of Minot, North Dakota. The Commissioner finds that Kirk Wullweber acted in willful violation of North Dakota law and a previously issued Departmental Order by engaging in unlicensed collection activity with a resident of North Dakota. The party listed in this Order has been provided the opportunity to appeal the assessment pursuant to law. A copy of the Order can be viewed here.
The State Credit Union Board will hold a public hearing to address proposed new rules and amendments to Title 13 of the North Dakota Administrative Code. The hearing will be held on August 30, 2018 at 1:30 pm in the Conference Room of the Department of Financial Institutions at 2000 Schafer Street, Suite G, Bismarck, North Dakota.
To help address the appraiser shortage in North Dakota, Governor Burgum, Commissioner Kruse, and the North Dakota Bankers Association have submitted a temporary waiver request for certain real estate appraiser requirements from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's Appraisal Subcommittee. Specifically, the request asks for an increase of the limit when an appraisal is required from $250,000 to $500,000 for residential real estate loans and from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for agriculture and business loans. This will improve North Dakota citizens’ ability to obtain real estate mortgages in a timely and cost efficient manner and will provide another option for consumers.
As most financial institutions are aware, the implementation date for the upcoming Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) accounting standard continues to draw nearer. Though the implementation date is still years away for most institutions, the new accounting standard will significantly change the methodology institutions use for estimating future credit losses. To help regulators gauge each institution's CECL-readiness, Department examiners will be joining examiners from the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the NCUA in assessing each institution's progress during upcoming safety and soundness examinations. <more>
On June 13, 2018, Commissioner Lise Kruse issued an Order suspending/removing Darla Morstad, a former employee of DC Holdings LLC d/b/a Direct Check, from employment or otherwise participating in the affairs of any deferred presentment service provider, financial institution, credit union, or any other entity licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions. The parties listed in this Order have been provided the opportunity to request a hearing pursuant to law. A copy of the Order may be viewed here: Order
On May 8, 2018, Commissioner Lise Kruse issued an Order revoking the collection agency license of Northland Receivables Inc. d/b/a Checkrite of Minot. The company has been ordered to cease and desist any further collection activities in the State of North Dakota. Additionally, the Commissioner has ordered the suspension/removal of Kirk Wullweber from participation in the conduct and affairs of the collection agency, and prohibited him from being employed or otherwise participating in the affairs of any financial corporation, financial institution, credit union, or any other entity licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions. A copy of the Order may be viewed here: Order
The parties listed in this Order have been provided the opportunity to request a hearing pursuant to law. Any person having any further questions, or believing they have been harmed by the conduct of Northland Receivables Inc. d/b/a Checkrite of Minot is directed to contact the Department.
Commissioner Lise Kruse recently signed an agreement to join six other states in streamlining the application process for Fintechs and other money service businesses. It is expected other states will join this multi-state compact as part of a goal to gain participation from all 50 states. Refer to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) press release: Press Release
Welcome to our new website. We are hopeful it will be more user-friendly and informative.
The Treasury Department recently issued a Financial Sector Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Template which is designed to assist small/mid-size financial institutions in assessing and strengthening their cybersecurity posture. This voluntary tool will allow institutions to carry out internal cybersecurity exercises. The template is customizable and allows for institutions to tailor the incident scenarios to their individual needs. The template also includes discussion questions that can be used to enhance dialogue and improve participant understanding of incident response plans. CSBS has shared this template, which is available for download:
Today, Governor Doug Burgum appointed Lise Kruse as the Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions. Press Release
The North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions announced that it will adopt the new SAFE MLO National Test Component with Uniform State Content effective April 1, 2013. View the Media Release for more information.