NDBF COVID-19 Consumer and Industry Guidance

Please find the Department's Consumer and Industry guidance here or access them under the "About" section.

News & Publications

COVID-19 Investment Threats

Publication Date: Apr 21, 2020

COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes Anticipated

 

April 21, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) is alerting investors to be on guard against an anticipated surge of fraudulent investment schemes.

“In these extraordinary times, the health and welfare of all must be our foremost concern, and that includes our financial health. Our focus remains on the protection of Nebraska investors,” said NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry.

NDBF warns investors that the fraudulent schemes launched amid COVID-19 outbreak will not be elegant. “Scammers will create schemes that require little or no advance planning and little sophistication,” Deputy Director McHenry said. “Most will simply be old scams dressed in new clothes.”

The North American Securities Administrators Association, of which NDBF is a member, anticipates fraudulent investment schemes will rise as a result of the ongoing pandemic. “Scammers will be targeting investors, taking advantage of recent developments in the economy, and preying on concerns about the regulated securities market,” said Deputy Director McHenry. “Investors must remain cautious to protect themselves.”

In particular, NDBF warns investors to be on the lookout for investments specifically tied to the threat of COVID-19. Scammers can be expected to develop schemes that falsely claim to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks and gowns, producing ventilators and other medical equipment, distributing small-molecule drugs and other preventative pharmaceuticals, or manufacturing vaccines and miracle cures. The schemes often appear legitimate because they draw upon current news, medical reports, and social and political developments. 

Scammers also will seek to take advantage of concerns with the volatility in the securities markets to promote “safe” investments with “guaranteed returns” including investments tied to gold, silver and other commodities; oil and gas; and real estate. Investors also can expect to see “get rich quick” schemes that promise quickly earned guaranteed returns that can be used to pay for rent, utilities or other expenses. These schemes also target retirees and senior citizens, falsely claiming they can quickly and safely recoup any losses to their retirement portfolios.

Investors must remain vigilant and protect themselves from new schemes tied to COVID-19 and recent economic developments. NDBF warns investors to stay clear of anything sounding too good to be true, such as guarantees of high returns with no risk, and to verify the licenses and registrations of investment professionals. 

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

Consumer Advisory - COVID-19 Investment Threats

Consumer Advisory - COVID-19 Related Schemes to Watch For

Consumer Advisory - How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Scams

 

Consumer Advisory

Publication Date: Apr 2, 2020

Omaha Man Ordered to Stop Misleading Investors

 

April 2, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) issued a Cease and Desist Order against an Omaha man, Amogh Karney (“Karney”), in connection to his 2019 offer and sale of investment interests in an entity known as ARK Capital, LLC (“ARK”). The Order includes Karney’s affiliates, control persons, officers, directors, agents, employees and successors.

 

According to the Order, Karney offered and sold securities in ARK.  Karney provided a potential investor with information that falsely stated that an Omaha business owner was an investor in ARK.

 

The Order prohibits Karney from making any untrue statements of material facts in connection with the offer and sale of securities.  The Order also prohibits Karney from omitting material facts in connection with the offer and sale of securities.

 

Individuals who purchased securities from Karney are asked to contact the Department.

 

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

Consumer Advisory - Amogh Karney

NDBF Temporarily Suspends Examinations

Publication Date: Mar 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Statement from Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance regarding Examinations of Financial Institutions during the COVID-19 Emergency

For all Nebraska State chartered, licensed, and supervised depository and non-depository financial institutions:

  • The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (Department) will temporarily cease all regular examination activity effective March 25, 2020, except where the examination work is critical to safety and soundness, consumer protection, or is required to address an urgent or immediate need.

  • The Department will reassess its approach to examinations on April 24, 2020 or when the emergency has concluded, whichever is sooner.

  • The Department’s action will allow financial institutions to prioritize working with their customers during the COVID-19 emergency.

  • The institution may elect to move forward with a Department examination if it has previously provided a majority of the requested information; however, the determination to proceed will be left up to the institution.

  • The Department’s action to temporarily cease examinations follows federal regulators such as the FDIC and Federal Reserve Bank.

  • Additional time will be granted to resolve non-critical existing supervisory findings.

  • Please contact Greg Freese at greg.freese@nebraska.gov with examination questions regarding banks, credit unions, or trust companies or Scott Peter at scott.peter@nebraska.gov for examination questions of mortgage companies, delayed deposit services, installment loan companies, and money transmitters.  Both can also be reached at the Department’s main phone number: 402-471-2171.

     

Single Bank Pooled Method RFP 2020-001 Questions and Responses

Publication Date: Jan 24, 2020

Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance

January 24, 2020

Responses to Questions regarding RFP 2020-001

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has issued a Request for Proposal for an Administrator of the Public Funds Security Act Single Bank Pooled Method described in Nebraska Revised Statutes Sections 77-2386 et seq.

The last day to submit questions regarding the RFP was 1/17/2020.  Below are the Department’s responses to all questions submitted by the deadline.

 

RFP can be found at this link:  https://ndbf.nebraska.gov/sites/ndbf.nebraska.gov/files/news-release/Banking%20and%20Finance%20RFP2020-001.pdf

 

 

“RFP Number 2020-001-Public Funds Security Act Single Bank Pooled Method Questions

 

 

Solicitation Section

Reference

Solicitation

Page Number

Question

#1.

Scope of Service

Cover Page

Does the Department anticipate appointing more than one Administrator?

 

Response to #1

 

No. However, in the event of the need for a successor Administrator to be appointed, it may be possible that more than one Administrator could be named over the life of the appointment.

 

#2.

Glossary of Terms and Section V., B. 12

 

Page viii and

page 20

 

Should the definition of “public depositor” reflect a reference to “agency” or “state agency” rather than “state entity” as proposed?

 

Response to #2

 

No. The reference to “public depositors” is to political subdivisions of the State of Nebraska, such as School districts, townships.

 

#3.

Section I., Q.

Page 6

Does NDBF anticipate conducting oral

Interviews / presentations?

 

Response to #3

 

Yes.  NDBF will conduct oral interview / presentations if necessary to assist in the Administrator selection.

 

#4.

Section I., Q.

Page 6

If an applicant knows it will not be available for oral

interview/presentations during the time frame identified in the RFP, can alternate arrangements be made for this purpose?

 

Response to #4

 

Yes.

 

#5

Section I., R.

Page 6

Does NDBF anticipate asking for additional Best and Final Offers? If so, in light of the July 1, 2020, effective date of the law, is this potential factored into the timeline?

 

Response to #5

 

Yes. If necessary, NDBF will request BAFOs.  Potential for BAFOs has been factored into the proposed timeline; however, NDBF reserves the right to adjust the timeline.

 

#6

Section II., B.

. Page 8

If notifications are intended to apply for issues beyond the appointment of the Administrator, should notification by electronic means be authorized?

 

Response to #6

 

Yes.

 

#7

Section II., M.

Page 10

Since the Administrator is granted the same statutory immunity as the Director/Department of Banking, is a cashier's check or performance bond necessary?

 

Response to #7

 

A legal conclusion as to the extent of immunity extended to the Administrator has yet to be determined. The Department is requiring a cashier’s check or performance bond of the Administrator. The Director will not consider any applicant administrator unwilling or unable to post such security.

 

#8

Section II., M,

Page 10

Does the Department intend to require the performance bond or cashier’s check to be provided by the designated Administrator?

 

Response to #8

 

Yes.  The Performance bond or cashier’s check must be provided by the designated Administrator upon appointment.

 

#9

Section II., M.

Page 10

If a cashier’s check or performance bond in the amount of $100,000 is required to be provided by the designated Administrator, has the cost of the performance bond been factored into the fees that may be charged by the Administrator?

 

Response to #9

 

No. A performance bond for services to be provided to or on behalf of the State of Nebraska is not extraordinary.

 

#10

Section II.,M.

Page 10

Can applicant satisfy the contract surety requirements through use of a bank-issued or FHLB-issued letter of credit?

 

Response to #10

 

Yes, provided the letter of credit can be drawn upon demand by NDBF.

 

#11

Section II., Q.

Page 11

Should the RFP contain provisions addressing the circumstances under which the applicant may terminate its obligation to administer the program?

 

Response to #11

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth all circumstances under which the applicant would terminate its obligation to administer the program, or forfeit its appointment.

 

#12

Section III., B.

Page 13

Parent corporation of applicant currently provides payroll services for applicant. May the parent corporation satisfy the requirement to “use a federal immigration verification system to determine the work eligibility status of employees physically performing services within the appointment period?” 

 

Response to #12

 

Yes.

 

#13

Section III., E.

Page 14

Would NDBF consider allowing an exception to the restriction on fee increases during the first two years of the appointment or any renewal thereof based on “unanticipated circumstances?”

 

Response to #13

 

Unknown.  NDBF will not speculate on future actions based on unknown circumstances.  Any fee increases would be subject to the prior approval of the Director.

 

#14

Section III., F.

Page 14

How does NDBF anticipate determining “deviation from “industry standards?”

 

Response to #14

 

By comparison to standard practices of other administrators and entities involved with monitoring, reporting or supervising the pledging of securities to secure public deposits.

 

#15

Section III., H.

Page 14

Can the RFP be clarified to confirm that applicant shall retain ownership and title of any software or processes developed to automate the program reporting process and the right to patent, license, or copyright, duplicate, transfer, sell, the design, specifications, concept, or deliverable of such software or processes? 

 

Response to #15

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth all ownership and title concerns pertaining to its administration of the program.

 

 

#16

Section III., I. 1.

Page 15

Can NDBF clarify who are “contractors’ employees?”

 

Response to #16

 

Any person employed by the Administrator or Sub-Administrator or who provides services in furtherance of the appointment.

 

#17

Section III., I.

Page 16

Some of the required coverage limits exceed industry standards and are in excess of the limits currently in place under applicant’s insurance coverages and will result in significant cost increases for applicant. Will NDBF consider lower coverage limits for certain categories of required insurance coverage?

 

Response to #17

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed lower insurance coverage limits pertaining to its administration of the program.

 

#18

Section III., I.

Page 16

One of the required insurance coverages is “Independent Administrators” coverage. It does not appear that this term is utilized within the insurance industry as an acknowledged type of coverage. Would NDBF clarify the specific type of coverage that will satisfy this requirement? 

 

Response to #18

 

Independent Contractor.

 

#19

Section III., O.

Page 18

Can NDBF provide a timeframe within which the

Administrator must comply with changed Nebraska

Technology Access Standards in the event of an amendment to the appointment?

 

 

Response to #19

 

NDBF will consider commercially reasonable time frames for technology compliance in the event of an amendment to the Nebraska Technology Access Standards.  Due to the potential of cyber security issues, a standard predetermined time is not practical and the Administrator will need to present compliance concerns to the Director on a case by case basis.

 

#20

Section III., R.

Page 18

Can NDBF clarify who or what constitutes the “Customer” of the administrator for purposes of the “Warranty” provisions?

 

 

Response to #20

 

Customer includes all parties reliant upon the services of the Administrator. 

 

#21

Section IV., C.

Page 19

With respect to activities of the State, State Auditor, or Department, will any audit conducted be limited to a review of applicant activity related duties as Administrator of the pooled collateral program or will other applicant-related activities and financial information be subject to audit?

 

Response to #21

 

The Department is not in a position to limit, restrict or otherwise comment on any audit conducted by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

 

#22

Section V., F. (3) and

Exhibit E – Transactions

 

Page 21 and 30

Can NDBF explain why provisions requiring the Administrator to pre-approve the acceptance, substitution or withdrawal of any Pledged Securities are included in the RFP? There does

not appear to be any statutory authority for requiring prior approval by the Administrator. Section 77–2392 expressly provides that a bank, …shall have the right at any time and without prior approval to substitute or exchange other securities of equal value” subject to the requirement that the

substituted or exchanged securities do not reduce the market value of the securities to less than 102% of the public funds required to be collateralized.

 

 

Response to #22

 

The agreement between the Administrator and bank should provide for advance notice to the Administrator of any security substitutions. The provisions should enable communications preventing pledging gaps or mismatches which may result in non-compliance fees while maintaining required collateralization of public funds.  NDBF will consider responses which provide for prior or contemporaneous notice of substitution in lieu of prior approval. The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator. 

 

#23

Section V., G.

Page 22

Will the Administrator, in “providing” reports to custodial officials within 20 days after receiving monthly reports from Covered Depositories, be able to satisfy the requirement by posting the required information on the Administrator’s

website?

 

Response to #23

 

If the governmental unit has agreed in advance to receive such reports by accessing the administrator’s website, provision of reports may be accomplished by electronic means.

 

#24

Section V., G.

Page 22

Should the reports referenced in Section V. G. (1)-(7) be made available only to program participants, rather than being made available to the public?

 

Response to #24

 

The Department considers the reports referenced to be public records that should be made available to the public.

 

#25

Section V., G.

Page 22

As of what date is the information in the reports referenced in Section V. G. (1)-(7) to be obtained? 

 

Response to #25

 

The most recent available monthly report, as of the time of the request.

 

#26

Section V., H.

Page 22

Is the Administrator to retain any “non-compliance fees” received?

 

Response to #26

 

Yes. So long as the fee reflects non-compliance with the guidance.  The Department retains the authority to assess fines and penalties in accordance with the Banking Act. 

 

#27

Section V., H. and

Exhibit E –  Noncompliance and

Remedies

Page 22 and 31

Section V. H. authorizes recovery of non-compliance fee from Custodial Officials. The applicable list of program fees under Exhibit E only addresses non-compliance fees for Covered Depositories and Qualified Trustees and does not

make any reference to Custodial Officials under the

provisions regarding non-compliance and remedies. Should the RFP be revised to reflect the circumstances under which Custodial Officials may be subject to non-compliance fees?

 

Response to #27

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed circumstances under which Custodial Officials may be subject to non-compliance fees.  

 

#28

Exhibit E – Month-end

Bank Report of

Deposits and Monthend

Qualified Trustee

Report

 

Page 29 and 30

The bank reporting requirement relating to “deposits” and the Qualified Trustee reporting requirement, contain categories of information relating to collateral at items r) and s), relating

to face or par value and market value of securities pledged. Should these categories of information be deleted? If not, there would appear to be no statutory basis to require this information to be provided on a daily basis

 

Response to #28

 

The listed reporting requirements are considered to be essential for the Department to evaluate the Administrator’s performance. The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed format and information to be contained on the report, the timeliness of said report and the justification for the same.

 

#29

Exhibit E – Month-end

Bank Report of

Deposits

 

Page 29

Does a requirement for covered depositories to report daily balances of deposits only apply if a deposit guarantee bond is utilized for pledging purposes? (See Section 77-2394)

 

 

Response to #29

 

No. Administrator is to enable a process to confirm collateralization coverage, appropriately protecting public deposits. 

 

#30

Exhibit E – Program

Fees

 

Page 30

Will NDBF consider allowing a higher maximum application fee if application fees are tiered based on bank asset sizes?

 

Response to #30

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed higher maximum application fees based on bank asset size and the justification for the same.

 

#31

Exhibit E – Program

Fees

 

Page 30

Will NDBF consider allowing an annual administration fee?

 

Response to #31

 

The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed annual administration fee and the justification for the same.

 

#32

Section VI., B. 2.

Page 33

This section requires specifically named individuals who will be working on NDBF’s project to be identified and for resumes to be provided to NDBF for review. At this time, applicant is unsure as to whether it will appoint a current employee or employees to fill this administrative role or if it

will hire new personnel for this purpose. May applicant simply designate individuals in leadership/supervisory roles who will

ultimately be responsible for supervisions and for whom responsible individuals will ultimately report, to satisfy this requirement?

 

Response to #32

 

Yes.

 

#33

General

N/A

If pending legislation (LB 854) is adopted, will the program requirements and forms be revised to reflect any such statutory changes?

 

Response to #33

 

Yes.

 

#34

General

N/A

Will NDBF allow proposed forms and agreements (Exhibits B, C, D, and E) to be modified, based on anticipated input from participants (Covered Depositories, Custodial Officials and Qualified Trustees)?

 

Response to #34

 

Yes. The RFP and the response of the applicant Administrator must contain all operating understandings between NDBF and Administrator.  The applicant Administrator should set forth any proposed forms and agreements and the justification for the same.

 

 

Single Bank Pooled Collateral Administrator Designated RFP 2020-001

Publication Date: May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020.  Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance Director Mark Quandahl has designated the Nebraska Bankers Insurance and Services Company (NBISCO) as the Administrator of the Single Bank Pooled Collateral program for the State of Nebraska.

Intent to Award RFP 2020-001

Publication Date: Apr 16, 2020

Notice of Intent to Award

And

Public Comment Period

April 16, 2020

 

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance states its intention to designate an Administrator of the Single Bank Pooled Method (SBPM) on or about May 1, 2020.

Pursuant to:  Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance RFP 2020-001

For:     Administrator of Single Bank Pooled Method

Intended appointee:   Nebraska Bankers Insurance and Services Company (NBISCO)

Any member of the public may comment on this notice of intent to award, the contents of RFP 2020-001, the intended appointee and the proposal response of the Nebraska Bankers and Insurance and Services Company from this date until 5:00 pm (the close of business) on April 30, 2020 by emailing said comments to mark.quandahl@nebraska.gov

 

Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance

By Mark Quandahl, Director

 

Notice of Intent to Award.pdf

 

RFP 2020-001 Schedule Update

Publication Date: Mar 30, 2020

Please note the updates to the schedule for RFP 2020-001.

Activity
Date/Time

5. Oral Interviews, Presentations and/or Demonstrations
03/13/2020 through 04/03/2020

6. Post “Notification of Intent to Appoint” on internet 

04/10/2020

7.  Public Comment Period
04/13/2020 through 04/27/2020

8.  Contract Finalization period  
04/10/2020 through 04/30/2020

9.  Designation/appointment       
05/01/2020*

10.  Protest Period for non-appointed applicants 
05/04/2020 through 05/15/2020*

11.  Administrator Start Date   
07/01/2020*

* Unchanged from previous activity schedule of events

 

RFP 2020-001 Schedule Update 20200330

Beware of Con Artists - COVID-19

Publication Date: Mar 9, 2020

NDBF Urges Nebraskans to Beware of Con Artists Looking to Profit from Coronavirus Fear and Uncertainty

March 9, 2020 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — In light of the ongoing developments related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and its impact on financial markets, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) is urging Nebraskans to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty.

 

“We know con artists are opportunistic and use current events to cloak their schemes with an air of immediacy and legitimacy. Never make an investment decision without understanding what you are investing in, who you are doing business with, where your money is going, how it will be used, and how you can get it back,” said NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry. “Always ask if the salesperson and the security are registered with their state or provincial securities regulator.”

 

Deputy Director McHenry also said investors should be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the market downturn and the coronavirus to scare investors into so-called “safer, guaranteed investments.” “If you have concerns about your retirement accounts or investments, talk to your financial professional,” Deputy Director McHenry said. “Avoid making decisions based on panic or fear.”

 

To help investors identify common telltale signs of possible investment fraud, NDBF has provided three questions to ask before making a new investment.

 

  • First, is the investment being offered with a guaranteed high return with little or no risk?

All investments carry risk that you may potentially lose some or all of your money. Anyone who says their investment offer has no risk is lying. No one can guarantee an investment return.

  • Second, is there a sense of urgency or limited availability surrounding the investment?

If the offer is legitimate, it will be there later. If someone offers you a “can’t miss” investment opportunity and puts you on the spot, do not be afraid to walk away.

  • Third, is the person offering the investment, and the investment itself, properly licensed or registered?

For the same reasons you would not go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist, you should avoid unregistered investment salespeople and their products.

“Make sure you have all the facts before you hand your money over to someone else to invest,” Deputy Director McHenry said. Deputy Director McHenry also encourages investors to contact NDBF with any questions about the investment professional they are working with or the product being offered.

 

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

 

#####

Press Release - Coronavirus March 9 2020.pdf

DDS LICENSE RENEWAL DEADLINE

Publication Date: Mar 6, 2020

 

DDS LICENSE RENEWAL DEADLINE

News Release Date: March 04, 2020

NDBF REMINDS DDS LICENSEES OF May 1, 2020 RENEWAL DEADLINE

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance ("NDBF") reminds DDS licensees holding an active Delayed Deposit Services license in Nebraska that it will expire on May 1, 2020.

Nebraska Statutes require that each Delayed Deposit Services Business renew its license annually. Be advised that Section 45-926 of the Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act prohibits the operation of a Delayed Deposit Services business without a license. Your current license will expire on May 1, 2020.

The 2020 Delayed Deposit Services Renewal Licensing Forms and Instructions are available on the Department web site at https://ndbf.nebraska.gov/industries/delayed-deposit-services-payday-len.... Licensees must use the licensing forms provided on the Department’s website. Forms from previous years will not be accepted.

To renew a DDS Business License, a licensee must submit the following:

1) Delayed Deposit Services Business License Renewal Application and Fee- MUST BE MAILED TO THE NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND FINANCE AND BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN APRIL 10, 2020.

Companies holding licenses in more than one county, all principal places of business and branches may be submitted on one application.

When you submit the license renewal application, you must include the appropriate renewal fees. The renewal fee is $500 for each principal place of business and $500 for each branch office.

2) Delayed Deposit Services Licensee Annual Report and Supplemental Annual Report for 2019- MUST BE ELECTRONICALLY SUBMITTED TO DOB.CONSUMERFINANCE@NEBRASKA.GOV NO LATER THAN APRIL 10, 2020.

Annual Report and Supplemental Annual Report for 2019 must be submitted for each license #.

3) Delayed Deposit Services Licensee Annual Report- Affidavit

Upon approval of the Annual Report and Supplemental Annual Report, the Department will email the Licensee’s Primary Contact the required Affidavit to be signed and notarized. The individual signing this form is

 

affirming that to the best of his or her knowledge the information contained in the Annual Report is true.

The completed Affidavit MUST BE MAILED TO THE NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND FINANCE.

ONCE APPROVED, RENEWAL LICENSES AND CERTIFICATES OF BRANCH APPROVAL WILL BE MAILED TO THE PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS.

You must still file an Annual Report and Supplemental Annual Report, even if you are not renewing your DDS license.

If you have questions, please email dob.consumerfinance@nebraska.gov and include your company name and license number in the subject line or call 402-471-2171.

State Bank Closure

Publication Date: Feb 14, 2020

NDBF Closes Ericson State Bank, Ericson, Nebraska

Contacts:

Mark Quandahl, Director                                       Patricia Humlicek Herstein, General Counsel

402-417-8982                                                          402-525-8312                                                                                                

mark.quandahl@nebraska.gov                               patricia.herstein@nebraska.gov

    

Main Office:  402-471-2171                                         

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2020 (Lincoln, Neb.) – The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) announced that at 4:00 p.m. today it closed Ericson State Bank, Ericson, Nebraska, because it was insolvent.  NDBF had been closely monitoring the bank for some time and recently made a demand for a capital injection, which was not met.

 

NDBF named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of the bank.  The FDIC has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Farmers and Merchants Bank, Milford, Nebraska.  The transaction includes the assumption of all customer deposits.  The sole office of Ericson State Bank, located at 427 Central Avenue, Ericson, Nebraska, will be open for business on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, under the name, Farmers and Merchants Bank.  Farmers and Merchants Bank is owned by Country Bank Shares, Inc., Milford, Nebraska.

 

“The failure of Ericson State Bank resulted primarily from large out-of-territory commercial loan losses and poor management practices which led to a deterioration of the bank’s capital.  When the capital was not replenished, the Department was left with no option but to place the insolvent institution in receivership,” said Mark Quandahl, NDBF Director.  Quandahl noted that the overwhelming majority of Nebraska banks are in a strong condition.

 

Ericson State Bank was chartered in 1959, and is a subsidiary of Wheeler County Bancshares, Inc., a one-bank holding company, located in Ericson, Nebraska, owned by Debra Poulsen and Jack Poulsen.  As of December 31, 2019, Ericson State Bank had total assets of approximately $100.9 Million and total deposits of approximately $95.2 Million. 

A copy of a 2019 NDBF regulatory action against the bank can be found at http://www.nebraska.gov/ndbf/searches/Orders/20190923_EricsonStateBank_ConsentOrder.pdf

 

The most recent closures of Nebraska state-chartered banks occurred November 4, 2011, when Mid City Bank, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, was declared insolvent, and February 13, 2009, when NDBF closed Sherman County Bank, Loup City, Nebraska.  Mid City Bank, Inc. was purchased by Premier Bank, formerly known as Purdum State Bank, Purdum, Nebraska.  Sherman County Bank was purchased by Heritage Bank, headquartered in Wood River, Nebraska.  Prior to the Loup City closing, no state-chartered bank had been closed since 1989.

 

Customers with questions about today's transaction should call the FDIC toll-free at

1-877-367-2717.

Interested parties may also visit the FDIC website:      

https://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html

Statistical data about the bank may be found at: https://www7.fdic.gov/idasp/confirmation_outside.asp?inCert1=18265

 

 

********************************************************************************

  • Mark Quandahl and Patti Herstein will be available between 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CST on Friday, February 14.

  • Mark Quandahl will be available on Saturday, February 15, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST.

  • The NDBF main office will be closed for the weekend and the Presidents’ Day Holiday on Monday, February 17, and will reopen Tuesday, February 18, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST

********************************************************************************

A copy of the official release is here:

NDBF Press Release Insolvent Bank Closure 2-14-2020

Single Bank Pooled Method Administrator RFP

Publication Date: Jan 10, 2020

Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance

January 10, 2020

Notice of Request for Proposal

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has issued a Request for Proposal for an Administrator of the Public Funds Security Act Single Bank Pooled Method described in Nebraska Revised Statutes Sections 77-2386 et seq.

The due date and time for responses to the RFP is 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on February 14, 2020. 

All information pertinent to this request can be found on the Department’s webpage at https://ndbf.nebraska.gov/

Questions regarding the RFP should be submitted to Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance Director Mark Quandahl at mark.quandahl@nebraska.gov.

Single Bank Pooled Method Administrator RFP

 

NDBF ANNOUNCES TOP INVESTOR THREATS FOR 2020

Publication Date: Dec 17, 2019

 

December 17, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today announced the top five investment products or schemes likely to trap Nebraska’s investors in the New Year and recommended steps they can take to protect themselves from investment fraud.

The list was developed by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which NDBF is a member, to identify threats investors are likely to see in 2020. The following were most frequently identified by NASAA members as the top five areas of concern for the coming year:

• Promissory Notes

• Ponzi Schemes

• Real Estate-related Investments

• Cryptocurrency-related Investment Products

• Social Media/Internet-based Investment Schemes

"It is important for investors to understand what they are investing in and who they are investing with. Don’t fall for promises of guaranteed high returns with little to no risk or deals pitched with a false sense of urgency or limited availability," said Deputy Director Claire McHenry. "Before you ring in the New Year, make a resolution to protect your money from fraudulent investments and those who may be trying to fleece you."

Investment offers that sound "too good to be true" often share similar characteristics. The most common telltale sign of an investment scam is an offer of guaranteed high returns with no risk. All investments carry the risk that some, or all, of the invested funds could be lost. "Anyone who says their investment offer has no risk is lying," Deputy Director McHenry said. "No one can guarantee an investment return. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."

Many of the threats facing investors involve private offerings, which are exempt from federal securities registration requirements and are not sold through public stock exchanges. "Unregistered private offerings generally are high-risk investments and don’t have the same investor protection requirements as investments sold through public markets," Deputy Director McHenry said.

Investors should always ask if the salesperson and the investment itself are properly licensed or registered. This information can be confirmed by the NDBF. Working with a properly licensed investment professional affords investors certain legal protections. "For the same reasons you wouldn’t go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist, you should avoid unregistered investment salespeople and their products," Deputy Director McHenry said.

Information about each of the 2020 investor threats and contact information for all state and provincial securities regulators can be found on NASAA’s website at www.nasaa.org. NDBF also offers a wide range of free investor education materials and can help investors research the background of those selling or advising the purchase of an investment. NDBF can be reached at (402) 471-3445 or through its website at https://ndbf.nebraska.gov/.

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Consumer Advisory - Top Investor Threats.pdf

BlueExpress Electronic Securities Filing Outage and Update

Publication Date: Dec 2, 2019

December 2, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) announced today that ClearSky is conducting updates to its BlueExpress filing solution.  Filers using BlueExpress to file Form NF for mutual fund filings should be aware of scheduled disruptions to electronic filings and a change required in order to continue electronic filing. 

 

Filers should expect an electronic filing outage on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in order for ClearSky to complete and verify the migration and confirm state access to the new filing database.  Filers will also need to update the BlueExpress State URL. NDBF notified electronic filers of the required update. If you did not receive the notification or otherwise need assistance, please contact NDBF at DOB.SecuritiesFiling@nebraska.gov or 402-471-3445.

 

ClearSky provided NDBF with the following schedule:

 

Date:  

January 8, 2020          Final day to use current BlueExpress State URL

January 9, 2020          Electronic filing outage for all filers

January 10, 2020        Electronic filing to resume using new BlueExpress State URL

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Industry Advisory - BlueExpress Outage and Update.pdf

SECURITIES LICENSE RENEWAL DEADLINE

Publication Date: Oct 31, 2019

 

NDBF REMINDS INVESTMENT ADVISERS, BROKER-DEALERS OF DECEMBER 31, 2019 RENEWAL DEADLINE

November 1, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance ("NDBF") reminds state-registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, and their agents and representatives that registrations in Nebraska expire on December 31, 2019. Firms will need to assemble required documentation and review filings to make sure information is accurate and up-to-date. Failure to submit filings or provide required information by the appropriate deadline will result in the termination of the registration on January 1, 2020.

State-registered investment adviser and investment adviser representative deadlines:

By December 20, 2018 – Submit Nebraska specific forms and documentation to NDBF

Before December 26, 2018 – Submit renewal payments through CRD/IARD

Before December 26, 2018 – Submit required electronic form filings through CRD/IARD

FINRA broker-dealer and agent deadlines:

Before December 26, 2018 – Submit renewal payments through CRD/IARD

Before December 26, 2018 – Submit required electronic form filings through CRD/IARD

Non-FINRA Broker-Dealers and agents must submit all required forms and documentation to NDBF by December 20, 2019

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2020 Non FINRA Renewal Notice and Checklist.pdf

2020 IA Renewal Notice.pdf

Industry Advisory

Publication Date: Oct 28, 2019

 

Department of Banking and Finance

Industry Advisory

NDBF OFFERS RESOURCES TO HELP INVESTMENT PROFESSIONALS WORK WITH CLIENTS AFFECTED BY THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

October 28, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today announced the availability of resources to raise awareness of the impact of the opioid epidemic on investment professionals and their clients, especially senior investors.

"The opioid crisis in North America is devastating families and our communities. It is also a rising contributor to elder financial abuse," said NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2017 declared opioid abuse a public health emergency and estimated in 2017 that 11.4 million Americans misused prescription opioids. Recent research by Virginia Tech’s Center for Gerontology and the Elder Justice Coalition identified a connection between opioid abuse and elder abuse, including financial exploitation.

Deputy Director McHenry said the agency is offering two new resources to help raise awareness of how the opioid crisis impacts investment professionals and their clients.

The first is a guide to help investment professionals understand the many ways opioid use disorder might affect their clients, how to spot signs of financial exploitation, and how to help clients affected by opioid abuse. The guide also includes a list of helpful resources. The second resource consists of conversation starters financial professionals can use to help start a dialogue with clients about the financial ramifications of opioid addiction.

"Investment adviser representatives and broker-dealer agents are well positioned to be part of the solution, but they have to be prepared to talk to clients in crisis," Deputy Director McHenry said. "The cost of opioid addiction and treatment can have major financial ramifications. Clients facing opioid addiction – either themselves or within the family – may be strapped for resources and can be vulnerable to poor financial decision-making or even fraud."

The resources are also available on the agency’s website ndbf.nebraska.gov.

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

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Industry Advisory - Opioid Guide.pdf

Industry Advisory - Opioid Addiction.pdf