News & Publications

NDBF RECOGNIZES WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY

Publication Date: Jun 14, 2019

NDBF RECOGNIZES WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY

WARNS OF DANGER SIGNS FOR SUSPECTED FINANCIAL ABUSE

June 14, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  — In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) reminds financial professionals and the public throughout Nebraska to be on the lookout for elder financial abuse, including potential exploitation by family members or caretakers.

“Senior financial exploitation is a growing problem. Many in our elderly population are vulnerable due to social isolation and distance from family, caregiver, and other support networks,” Deputy Director Claire McHenry said. “Taking the time to understand the warning signs and the steps that can be taken to report financial abuse are key to helping those who cannot help themselves.”

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which NDBF is a member, has developed resources to help call attention to the red flags of fraud and suspected guardian financial abuse. For example, the “Guarding the Guardians” publication provides examples of exploitation and information on how to report suspected abuse.

Examples of suspected guardian abuse include:

  • The guardian takes money from the protected individual’s investment portfolio to buy a flashy car for personal use.

  • The guardian overcharges for a caregiving service, such as billing the estate hourly for wait time to file paperwork in person when it could have been submitted online.

  • The guardian does not take the protected individual to medical appointments or purchase necessary medication.

The publication as well as other resources to help seniors are available on NASAA’s Serve Our Seniors website at serveourseniors.org/about/investors/. Other senior investor protection resources are available on the NDBF’s website at ndbf.nebraska.gov.

Financial and investment professionals also are encouraged to contact the agency to request a Senior$afe presentation on how to spot and report suspected senior financial exploitation.

Deputy Director McHenry asks anyone with suspicions of possible senior financial exploitation to contact the agency at 402-471-2171.

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 - WEAAD.pdf

###

Consumer Advisory

Publication Date: Apr 29, 2019

LPL Financial to pay $499,000 to Nebraska for Securities Violations

 

April 30, 2019 (Lincoln, Nebraska) – The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) announced today that LPL Financial has paid the State of Nebraska $499,000 as part of a nationwide settlement of claims that it sold unregistered securities.

 

“This settlement sends a strong message that states hold firms accountable and continue to serve a vital role in protecting investors,” Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

The settlement stems from a multi-state investigation led by Alabama and Massachusetts.  State securities regulators concluded that LPL offered and sold unregistered, non-exempt securities and failed to reasonably supervise the flow of information to ensure full and proper compliance with state securities registration requirements.

The settlement also found that LPL violated state securities laws by failing to maintain books and records, failing to effectively supervise its agents and staff, and that it was negligent in cancelling certain third-party services critical for compliance with state securities requirements.

In total, LPL will pay $26 million in civil penalties among the states. Additionally, LPL will offer to repurchase from investors’ securities held in LPL accounts determined to have been unregistered, non-exempt equity or fixed-income securities sold since October 1, 2006, plus 3% interest.

The settlement amount includes a $60,000 fine, $80,000 in costs to the Department, and $359,000 to be paid to the Department of Banking and Finance Settlement Cash Fund.  The settlement funds will primarily be utilized to further financial literacy programs for K-12 Nebraska students.

A copy of the Consent Order is available on the Department’s website http://www.nebraska.gov/ndbf/searches/Orders/20190410_LPLFinancialLLC_ConsentOrder.pdf 

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

Consumer Advisory - LPL Settlement.pdf

####

Consumer Advisory: Robo-Advisers

Publication Date: May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — Investors are increasingly turning to robo-advisers to help them manage their portfolios. Easy-to-use smartphone apps and online portals make setting up an account with a robo-adviser convenient and quick, which is contributing to their increasing popularity.

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today issued an investor awareness advisory providing information and resources to help investors better understand robo-advisers. The advisory discusses how robo-advisers work and things to consider when investing with a robo-adviser.The full advisory is available on the agency’s website here https://ndbf.nebraska.gov/about/news-publications.

Robo-advisers are relatively new to the investing landscape. Before making any financial decisions, ask questions, do your homework.

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 - Robo-Advisers.pdf

Informed Investor Advisory - Robo-Advisers.pdf

NDBF NOW ACCEPTING ONLINE FILING FOR UNIT INVESTMENT TRUSTS

Publication Date: Apr 22, 2019

April 22, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today announced that the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) Electronic Filing Depository (EFD) System has been expanded to accommodate the electronic filing of Form NF-UIT notice filings for unit investment trusts (UITs) with the NDBF.

Developed by NASAA, the EFD System was launched in 2014 and was initially used to facilitate the filing of Form D for Regulation D, Rule 506 offerings with state securities regulators and to pay related fees.

“By continuing to embrace technology, states are providing more innovative capital formation solutions to benefit issuers and investors alike,” NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

Nebraska is among a growing number of states participating in the online filing of Form NF-UIT and among the 48 states participating in the online EFD system for Form D.  Future system enhancements are being considered to accommodate the electronic filing of Form NF-Mutual Funds and franchise filings.

The Department’s expansion of online filing for unit investment trusts  helps grow Nebraska and further the state’s mission of creating opportunities through more effective, more efficient and consumer focused state government.

The EFD website also enables the public to search and view, free of charge, filings made through EFD with state securities regulators. EFD is available at: https://www.efdnasaa.org.

“If you have questions about a particular offering, you should contact the NDBF,” McHenry said.

Issuers or investors with questions about EFD can contact the NDBF at (402) 471-3445.

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at www.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 - Online UIT Filings.pdf

###

NEO 1 % Disaster Loans

Publication Date: Apr 18, 2019

Nebraska Energy Office 1% Energy Related Disaster loans through Nebraska Financial Institutions

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance and the Nebraska Energy Office (NEO) presented a webinar on April 12, 2019.   The webinar focused on the NEO Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program 1% loans to assist those impacted by floods to repair their homes, provided the home has not been condemned. 

Please click here for a copy of the full webinar: 

NDBF & NEO 1 % Disaster Loans Webinar

Please click here for the slide deck with updated phone numbers since the call:  

Click here

 

Nebraska Energy Office 1%

Publication Date: Apr 1, 2019

Nebraska Energy Office 1% Energy Related Disaster loans through Nebraska Financial Institutions

Nebraska Financial Institutions should be aware of important changes to the Nebraska Energy Office’s Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program. The NEO has adjusted its Dollar and Energy Savings Loan program to make it more attractive to Nebraska Financial Institutions and more helpful to Nebraskans affected by the recent weather disasters.

Effective immediately, the Nebraska Energy Office (NEO) is offering Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program 1% loans to assist those impacted by floods to repair their homes, provided the home has not been condemned. 

Project applications need to be submitted to your Nebraska-based lender and the NEO office prior to installation for verification of compliance with program requirements.  However, if emergency improvements have been made, and you wish to apply for the 1% program with your lender, NEO will consider prior improvements provided installed equipment and materials meet program requirements.  NEO is also waiving the requirement that the property needs to be at least 5 years old for this offering.  

This program will end August 1, 2019.  All necessary project forms and additional information can be obtained here: 

Getting a Loan for Prequalified Projects

Additional questions, please contact energy@nebraska.gov

Representatives from Department of Banking and Finance and the Nebraska Energy Offices will hold a webinar to provide information and take questions from interested Nebraska Financial Institutions on the NEO’s Disaster Assistance 1% Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program

Event Information:         Nebraska Energy Office 1% Disaster Loans

Time:                                 9:00 am CST to 10:00 am CST  April 12, 2019

https://nvcn-cio.webex.com/nvcn-cio/onstage/g.php?MTID=e116112b646a7f8667e5861c73e9ab420

 

NDBF PROMOTES THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL LITERACY

Publication Date: Mar 29, 2019

 

April 2, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today announced its support of Financial Literacy Month, a nationwide investor awareness initiative that invites people to improve their understanding of financial principles and best practices.

"Educating investors of all ages empowers them to make sound financial choices," said Deputy Director Claire McHenry.

For this year’s Financial Literacy Month campaign, NDBF is focusing on raising awareness among millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, of the importance of investing and protecting those investments from financial predators.

"Financial literacy is important for the financial future of Nebraska. We cannot afford to let the next generation embark on these critical early investing years without the financial literacy and awareness they will need," McHenry said.

A recent survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the NDBF is a member, found that three-quarters of millennials (76 percent) said they do not have a brokerage account to hold investments such as stock, bonds, mutual funds or retirement assets. Among those who do invest, nearly half (46 percent) said they were not concerned about their financial security in retirement.

"This shows a gap in understanding of how to build wealth for a financially secure retirement. I encourage investors, or those thinking about investing, to visit our website, which offers a variety of investor awareness and protection resources." McHenry said.

Investors also are encouraged to contact NDBF before making an investment decision to learn more about the investment product and the person offering it for sale. "One quick call is all it takes," McHenry said. "Education is an investor’s best defense against investment fraud and best tool to build a strong financial future."

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 - Financial Literacy Month.pdf

###

WATCH FOR SCAMS AFTER NEBRASKA FLOODING

Publication Date: Mar 21, 2019

March 21, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.)  In the aftermath of widespread damage from the recent flooding throughout Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) cautioned investors to watch out for opportunistic investment scams.

“Nebraskans have big hearts and are looking for ways to help out communities and neighbors impacted by flooding. However, we know from experience that financial predators are out there trying to seek profit from the misfortune of others,” said NDBF Director Mark Quandahl. “Unsolicited investment offers seeking to capitalize on the aftermath of the flooding should be approached with extreme caution.”

NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry reminded investors to watch for red flags of disaster-related scams, including unsolicited email, social media messages, crowdfunding pitches or telephone calls promoting investment pools or bonds to help flood victims, water-removal or purification technologies, electricity-generating devices and distressed real estate remediation programs. She said that scam artists may linger long after the flood waters have receded to prey on victims who anticipate receiving large lump-sum insurance settlements for damaged property and other losses.

NDBF offered three tips to help investors avoid disaster-related scams:
•Delete unsolicited emails or social media messages and hang up on aggressive cold callerspromoting flood-related investments, especially those from small companies touting unprovenor new technologies or products.
•Use common sense. Claims of guaranteed returns or low/no investment risk are classic redflags. Every investment involves some degree of risk.
•Do your homework. Contact NDBF to check that both the seller and investment are licensedand registered. If not, they may be operating illegally. Contact information for other statesecurities regulators is available on www.nasaa.org.

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.

NDBF Press Release - Nebraska Flooding - Scams Alert (03-21-2019)

####

Legislative Bills Approved March 8 2019

Publication Date: Mar 8, 2019

Legislative Bills 258  & 259 with Effective date March 8, 2019 and LB 355 has  Various Operational Dates.

For more information about the Legislative Bills please Click the below pdf links for the respective bills.

Legislative Bill 258 - Effective March 8, 2019

Legislative Bill 259 - Effective March 8, 2019

Legislative Bill 355 - Various Operational Dates

 

 

 

DDS LICENSE RENEWAL DEADLINE

Publication Date: Mar 5, 2019

NDBF REMINDS DDS LICENSEES OF May 1, 2019 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, 2019.

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, 2019.

The 2019 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 12, 2019.

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 2018- MUST BE ELECTRONICALLY SUBMITTED TO DOB.CONSUMERFINANCE@NEBRASKA.GOV NO LATER THAN APRIL 12, 2019.

Annual Report and Supplemental Annual Report for 2018 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.

2018 Annual Report

DDS Business License Renewal Application 2019

DDS 2018 Supplemental Annual Report

NDBF Participates in National Investor Awareness Campaigns

Publication Date: Feb 25, 2019

 

February 25, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) —The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) is participating in America Saves Week and Military Saves Week, February 25-March 2, to help raise awareness among investors, especially those entering the workforce or those early in their careers, of the importance of safeguarding their financial futures.

"Building a safe and secure financial future it is critical for all generations and we must ensure this important message is making its way to Millennials," said Deputy Director Claire McHenry.

The nation’s 75 million Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in the United States. With nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. population, Millennials also make up nearly two-fifths of all working age Americans – those saving and investing to build retirement nest eggs.

"Millennials either are just coming of age or are starting to get serious about building wealth for their financial futures. At the same time, many are straddled with student loan debt, are ill-equipped with the financial literacy tools necessary to build their future and may become susceptible to go-to promise of con artists: high returns for low risk," Deputy Director McHenry said.

To help promote investor awareness and protection, the NDBF is providing three quick tips.

1. Watch for the Red Flags of Fraud. "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is," Deputy Director McHenry said.

2. Understand Who You Are Doing Business With. "Many of us spend more time reading restaurant’s reviews than researching the background of our stockbroker or investment adviser," she said.

3. Know where to turn for help. "Your state securities regulator is just a click or call away," Deputy Director McHenry said.

NDBF can provide detailed information about an investment product, broker or adviser. This information is free and easy to obtain. For more information, please contact NDBF at (402) 471-3445 or online at www.ndbf.nebraska.gov.

NDBF is a proud partner in America Saves Week and Military Saves Week, national public awareness campaigns led by the Consumer Federation of America to motivate people to save for their financial future. To learn more, visit www.americasaves.org.

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at www.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 - Military Saves Week.pdf

Informed Investor Advisory Military Saves.pdf

###

Electronic Surety Bond Adoption

Publication Date: Jan 28, 2019

Electronic Surety Bond Adoption

EFFECTIVE February 1, 2019

On January 25, 2019 the Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance signed the Order Adopting Acceptance of Electronic Surety Bonds for Mortgage Bankers, Installment Loan Licensees, Installment Sales Licensees and Money Transmitter Licensees.  Effective February 1, 2019, Electronic Surety Bond (ESB) tracking will be managed through NMLS for the following license types:

•             Mortgage Banker License

•             Mortgage Banker Registration

•             Installment Loan License

•             Installment Sales License

•             Installment Sales Registration

•             Money Transmitter License

Management of ESBs through NMLS will allow for the tracking of surety bond requirements and the maintenance of surety bond information validated by authorized surety companies and/or surety bond producers. After February 1, 2019, new company license applications will be required to meet all surety bond requirements by completing the electronic process. Current licensees must convert all existing surety bonds to NMLS via the submission of an ESB by the date listed on the Conversion Plan found on the State Licensing Requirement page of the NMLS Resource Center. Please thoroughly review the Conversion Plan and take the necessary steps to convert existing surety bonds by the January 31, 2020 deadline. Failure to complete the conversion process may affect your company’s ability to renew your license for the next year. Refer to the renewal section of the Conversion Plan for more information. 

Licensees must first grant authority to their surety bond company/producer in NMLS, and then contact the company/producer to prepare the ESB. See the ESB for Licensees page for resources and more information. As noted in the Conversion Plan, there is an ESB Quick Guide on the NMLS Resource Center for your reference. 

If you have any questions about the ESB adoption plan, feel free to contact this agency at 402-471-2171or by email at dob.mortgage@nebraska.gov.  When contacting this agency, please specify the type of license you are referring.

Electronic Surety Bond Adoption

ADVISORY: PROMISSORY NOTES

Publication Date: Jan 24, 2019

January 24, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) —The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) announced today the release of a new Informed Investor Advisory to raise investor awareness of the risks associated with investments in promissory notes.
State securities regulators have identified promissory notes as a leading source of complaints to their agencies. In fact, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which NDBF is a member, reported 210 investigations involving promissory notes, which led to 149 formal enforcement actions by state securities regulators in 2017.
The advisory reminds investors to be cautious of short-term promissory notes. Investors should be cautious about promissory notes with durations of nine months or less, as these notes generally do not require federal or state securities registration. Such short-term notes have been the source of most (though not all) of the fraudulent activity involving promissory notes.
The full advisory is available here: ndbf.nebraska.gov/about/news-publications.
Before making any financial decisions, ask questions, do your homework and contact NDBF at 402-471-2171.
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.

                                                                                                                                                                        ###

Informed Investor Advisory Promissory Notes.pdf

Consumer Advisory - Promissory Notes.pdf

DDS Legislative Changes-LB194

Publication Date: Dec 7, 2018

NEBRASKA DELAYED DEPOSIT SERVICES LICENSING ACT

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2019

On April 19, 2018, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts approved Legislative Bill 194 ("L.B. 194") which was passed by the Nebraska Unicameral on April 18, 2018. L.B. 194 amended certain provisions of the Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 45-901 to 45-931 ("Act"), which will become effective on January 1, 2019. The revised Act can be found at https://nebraskalegislature.gov.

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance ("NDBF") will update current Interpretative Opinions and Frequently Asked Questions providing guidance on the Act on this website on or immediately after the effective date of such changes. Guidance regarding the Act in its current form continues to be available on the NDBF website at https://ndbf.nebraska.gov.

Questions regarding the Act may be directed to the NDBF at dob.consumerfinance@nebraska.gov@nebraska.gov> or by calling (402) 471-2171.

NDBF RELEASES CYBERSECURITY REPORT, BEST PRACTICES TO NEBRASKA ADVISERS

Publication Date: Dec 3, 2018

Dec. 3, 2018 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) released today the results of its 2018 Cybersecurity Survey of Nebraska-Registered Investment Advisers. The report details results of a voluntary survey issued to all Nebraska advisers used to assess cybersecurity practices and risk management.  The 2018 survey is follow up to the 2016 Cybersecurity Survey to determine whether Nebraska advisers had improved their cybersecurity practices. 

“The Department wishes to thank all of the Nebraska advisers that participated in the survey,” Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

In general, NDBF found that Nebraska advisers were taking steps to address cybersecurity threats, but that firms also could improve their practices.  The survey focused on several cybersecurity issues, including devices, Wi-Fi access, passwords and encryption, and anti-virus/anti-malware protections.  The report also identifies best practices and resources to assist firms to address cybersecurity issues. 

“Cybersecurity remains a key priority for the Department,” said Deputy Director McHenry.  “It is essential that investment advisers address cybersecurity threats to protect their clients and their firms, regardless of the size of the firm.”

2018 Cybersecurity Survey Report.pdf

 

###