Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance

News & Publications

CONSUMER ALERT

Publication Date: Jan 11, 2018

NDBF Reminds Investors to Approach Cryptocurrency with Caution

January 11, 2018 (Lincoln, Neb.)  —  With cryptocurrencies continuing to attract headlines, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) today reminded Nebraska investors to be cautious about investments involving cryptocurrencies.

“Investors should go beyond the headlines and hype to understand the risks associated with investments in cryptocurrencies, as well as cryptocurrency futures contracts and other financial products where these virtual currencies are linked in some way to the underlying investment,” Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

Cryptocurrencies are a medium of exchange that are created and stored electronically in the blockchain, a distributed public database that keeps a permanent record of digital transactions. Current common cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Unlike traditional currency, these alternatives have no physical form and typically are not backed by tangible assets. They are not insured or controlled by a central bank or other governmental authority, cannot always be exchanged for other commodities, and are subject to little or no regulation.

“The recent wild price fluctuations and speculation in cryptocurrency-related investments can easily tempt unsuspecting investors to rush into an investment they may not fully understand,” McHenry said. “Cryptocurrencies and investments tied to them are high-risk products with an unproven track record and high price volatility. Combined with a high risk of fraud, investing in cryptocurrencies is not for the faint of heart.”

Last month, NASAA identified Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products as emerging investor threats for 2018. Unlike an Initial Public Offering (IPO) when a company sells stocks in order to raise capital, an ICO sells “tokens” in order to fund a project, usually related to the blockchain. The token likely has no value at the time of purchase. Some tokens constitute, or may be exchangeable for, a new cryptocurrency to be launched by the project, while others entitle investors to a discount, or early rights to a product or service proposed to be offered by the project.

NASAA offers a short animated video to help investors understand the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
 

Cryptocurrency Concerns

Some concerns investors should consider before investing in any offering containing cryptocurrency include:

  • Cryptocurrency is subject to minimal regulatory oversight, susceptible to cybersecurity breaches or hacks, and there may be no recourse should the cryptocurrency disappear.
  • Cryptocurrency accounts are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures bank deposits up to $250,000.
  • The high volatility of cryptocurrency investments makes them unsuitable for most investors, especially those investing for long-term goals or retirement.
  • Investors in cryptocurrency are highly reliant upon unregulated companies, including some that may lack appropriate internal controls and may be more susceptible to fraud and theft than regulated financial institutions.
  • Investors will have to rely upon the strength of their own computer security systems, as well as security systems provided by third parties, to protect purchased cryptocurrencies from theft.

Common Red Flags of Fraud

NDBF also reminds investors to keep watch for these common red flags of investment fraud:

  • “Guaranteed” high investment returns. There is no such thing as guaranteed investment returns, and there is no guarantee that the cryptocurrency will increase in value. Be wary of anyone who promises a high rate of return with little or no risk.
  • Unsolicited offers. An unsolicited sales pitch may be part of a fraudulent investment scheme.  Cryptocurrency investment opportunities are promoted aggressively through social media. Be very wary of an unsolicited communication—meaning you didn’t ask for it and don’t know the sender—about an investment opportunity.
  • Sounds too good to be true. If the project sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for exaggerated claims about the project’s future success.
  • Pressure to buy immediately. Take time to research an investment opportunity before handing over your money. Watch out for pressure to act fast or “get in on the ground floor” of a new tech trend.
  • Unlicensed sellers. Many fraudulent investment schemes involve unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms. NDBF can help investors research the background of those selling or advising the purchase of an investment.

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 Alert - Approach Cryptocurrency With Caution

Consumer Alert

Publication Date: Dec 27, 2017

NDBF Announces Top Investor Threats

Promissory Notes, Real Estate Investments and Ponzi Schemes Top the List

December 27, 2017 (Lincoln, Neb.)  —  The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) today released its annual list of top investor threats and reminded Nebraskans to use caution when approached with any unsolicited investment opportunities. “All investments involve a degree of risk. Investors can help protect themselves by taking time to research both the investment product and the person selling it. It’s best to learn about an investment before you lose money,” Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

The top threats were determined by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which NDBF is a member, to identify the most frequently identified source of current investor complaints or investigations. The following were cited most often:

 

  • PROMISSORY NOTES: A promissory note is a written promise to pay (or repay) a specified sum of money at a stated time in the future or upon demand. Companies may sell promissory notes to raise capital, and usually offer them only to sophisticated or institutional investors. But not all promissory notes are sold in this way. Promissory notes from legitimate issuers can provide reasonable investment returns at an acceptable level of risk, although state securities regulators have identified an unfortunately high number of promissory note frauds. 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 identified by securities regulators.
  • REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS: The promise of earning quick money through investments related to real estate continues to lure investors. Investors should be cautious about real estate investment seminars, especially those marketed aggressively as an alternative to more traditional retirement planning strategies involving stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Two of the most popular current investment pitches at these seminars involve so-called “hard-money lending” and “property flipping.” Hard-money lending is a term used to refer to real estate investments financed through means other than traditional bank borrowing. Investors may be tempted by the opportunity to earn greater rates of return by participating on a hard-money loan and may (or may not) appreciate the potential risks. Property flipping is the practice of purchasing distressed real estate, refurbishing it, and then immediately re-selling it in hopes of earning a profit. Property flipping financed through borrowed funds or outside investments can be done entirely lawfully, but it can also be a source for fraud. A scammer may, for example, defraud potential investors in the flip by misrepresenting the value of the underlying property or its profit potential.
  • PONZI/PYRAMID SCHEMES: A Ponzi scheme (named after 1920’s swindler Charles Ponzi) is a ploy wherein earlier investors are repaid through the funds deposited by subsequent investors. In a Ponzi scheme, the underlying investment claims are usually entirely fictional; very few, if any, actual physical assets or investments generally exist. As the number of total investors grows and the supply of potential new investors dwindles, there is not enough money to pay off promised returns and cover investors who try to cash out. Similarly, a pyramid scheme is a fraudulent multi-level marketing strategy whereby investors earn potential returns by recruiting more and more other investors. Multi-level marketing strategies are not intrinsically fraudulent, and there are many legitimate multi-level marketing companies offering various consumer products and services. What makes a multi-level marketing strategy into a fraudulent pyramid scheme is the lack of a genuine underlying investment enterprise or product upon which the strategy can hope to be sustained.
  • OIL & GAS INVESTMENTS: Many oil and gas investment opportunities, while involving varying degrees of risks to the investor, are legitimate in their marketing and responsible in their operations. However, as in many other investment opportunities, it is not unusual for unscrupulous promoters to attempt to take advantage of investors by engaging in fraudulent practices. These investments may be marketed as safe and secure, high-yield investments and therefore attract investors, such as seniors, who are interested in safety of principal with some income-producing potential. Oil and gas ventures are typically highly speculative, though, and may not be suitable for many investors. Because these ventures are so speculative, the potential for fraud is rife. Scammers may misrepresent the likelihood that an oil or gas well will be successful – or may not even ultimately drill a well at all. Fraudulent oil and gas schemes frequently take the form of Ponzi schemes, with investors’ funds being “recycled” to keep the scheme going.
  • AFFINITY FRAUD: In an affinity fraud, a con artist uses some sort of connection with the victim as the basis for the fraud. Affinity frauds may involve people who attend the same church, belong to the same club or association, or share a common hobby. The con artist knows it is often easier for victims to trust someone who seems to be like them. And once trust is gained, it is easier to exploit that trust to perpetrate a scam. Once a victim realizes that he or she has been scammed, too often the response is not to notify the authorities but instead to try (usually unsuccessfully) to solve problems within the group. Affinity fraud can not only be financially devastating to the victims, but often has the perverse effect of causing victims to lose trust in the group or affiliation that was previously a source of comfort or support. The psychological damage can be just as harmful as the financial damage.

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 Alert - Top Investor Threats

Investment Adviser Resources

Publication Date: Dec 19, 2017

NDBF IDENTIFIES COMPLIANCE, CYBERSECURITY RESOURCES FOR INVESTMENT ADVISERS

DECEMBER 19, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) draws attention to resources for its state-registered investment advisers available from the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”), of which it is a member.  At its annual conference in September, NASAA released two reports important to state-registered investment advisers.

The 2017 NASAA Investment Adviser Coordinated Examination Report provides information about more than 1,200 coordinated examinations of state-registered investment advisers by 37 state securities regulators, including NDBF.  The report identified the top three findings as books and records, registration, and contracts. In particular, examiners found problems with client suitability information, inconsistencies between Parts 1 and 2 of Form ADV, and problems with the fee description in the contract. These findings are consistent with Nebraska’s examination findings. 

The exam report identifies 10 best practices to assist investment advisers in developing compliance policies and procedures, including maintaining all required records, maintaining up-to-date suitability information, and reviewing the Form ADV annually.  NDBF reminds investment advisers that under new rules, NDBF is requiring all investment advisers to adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations of the Securities Act of Nebraska on or before June 5, 2018. 

During the coordinated examinations, state securities examiners also found nearly 700 deficiencies involving cybersecurity.  Cybersecurity is a key priority for NDBF and NASAA.  In February 2016, NDBF surveyed its state-registered investment advisers about their cybersecurity practices.  The survey found that all firms used passwords on computers used for advisory business and most had created some policies and procedures about cybersecurity. The survey also found that investment advisers could improve cybersecurity readiness by using stronger passwords, maintaining up-to-date anti-virus/anti-malware software and operating systems, and encrypting sensitive client data, particularly on mobile devices.  NDBF will conduct a similar survey in February 2018 to gather updated information and identify trends in cybersecurity practices in Nebraska.

NASAA also released a cybersecurity checklist to help state-registered investment advisers gauge their cybersecurity preparedness; identify, protect, and detect vulnerabilities; and respond and recover from cyber events.  Cybersecurity is a growing challenge, even for smaller firms, and NDBF encourages investment advisers to review the checklist and prepare for possible cybersecurity events.  

 

Resources for State Investment Advisors

Consumer Alert

Publication Date: Dec 5, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has issued a Cease and Desist Order against Steve’s Payday Loans and its officers, directors, employees, and agents.  The Order prohibits Steve’s Payday Loans from deceptively claiming to be, and from operating as, a payday lender in Nebraska until the entity has obtained the required delayed deposit services business license in Nebraska.

NDBF Press Release - Steve's Payday Loans 12-5-2017

Steve's Payday Loans Cease and Desist Order

Federal Regulatory Alert

Publication Date: Nov 16, 2017

On November 13, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission issued a notice to consumers who lost money using Western Union services that they may be eligible for a refund.

If you lost money to scammers who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can now ask for your money back.   

To learn more, follow this link to the Federal Trade Commission.

12/31/2017 RENEWAL DEADLINE

Publication Date: Nov 15, 2017

NDBF REMINDS INVESTMENT ADVISERS, BROKER-DEALERS OF DECEMBER 31, 2017 RENEWAL DEADLINE

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, 2017.  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, 2018.

State-registered investment adviser and investment adviser representative deadlines:

  • By December 22, 2017 – Submit Nebraska specific forms and documentation to NDBF
    (see requirements)
  • Before December 26, 2017 – Submit renewal payments through CRD/IARD
  • Before December 27, 2017 – Submit required electronic form filings through CRD/IARD

FINRA broker-dealer and agent deadlines:

  • Before December 26, 2017 – Submit renewal payments through CRD/IARD
  • Before December 27, 2017 – Submit required electronic form filings through CRD/IARD

Non-FINRA Broker-Dealers and agents must submit all required forms and documentation to NDBF
( see requirements) by December 22, 2017.  

Consent Order

Publication Date: Nov 3, 2017

Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance entered into a Consent Order with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc.

On November 3, 2017, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance entered into a Consent Order with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc. The Consent Order resolves the Department’s April 20, 2017, Cease and Desist Order against the Ocwen entities and provides several protections for Nebraska mortgage consumers.

Under the Consent Order the Ocwen entities will not acquire new residential mortgage servicing rights until April 30, 2018, and will transition all loans to a new servicing system. The Ocwen entities will also engage an independent third-party auditor to test approximately 9,000 loan files for compliance with state and federal escrow laws at an estimated cost to the Ocwen entities of at least $4.4 million.

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance will receive regular reports on Nebraska mortgage loans and will interact with the Ocwen entities, on behalf of consumers, through an enhanced consumer complaints processing procedure. The Department will also receive regular reports on the Ocwen entities’ financial condition for three years and will get direct notification if certain liabilities are incurred by the Ocwen entities.

For media inquiries contact Mark Quandahl, Director, or Patricia Herstein, NDBF General Counsel. Consumers can contact NDBF Department Legal Counsel for information regarding the Ocwen entities, or in the event they experience problems with payments or other account issues.

Ocwen - Consent Order, Exhibit A and Exhibit B
Ocwen - Loan Servicing Cease and Desist 4 20 2017 seal

CONSUMER ALERT

Publication Date: Nov 2, 2017

NDBF OFFERS NEW PUBLICATION ON RED FLAGS OF GUARDIAN FINANCIAL ABUSE

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) announced the availability of a new brochure, “Guarding the Guardians,” to help spotlight suspected guardian financial exploitation.

“Education is an investor’s best defense against this type of financial abuse. We are pleased to provide this free resource to the public to strengthen awareness of the warning signs of guardian financial abuse,” said Deputy Director Claire McHenry.

A guardian is a person or entity appointed by a court to exercise some or all authority over a person and/or estate. A guardian has power to make decisions related to the health and safety of the incapacitated person. Financial abuse by guardians occurs when the guardian improperly uses the protected individual’s financial accounts.

In addition to helping individuals identify suspected guardian abuse, the “Guarding the Guardians” brochure also provides examples of warning signs of exploitation and offers information on where to turn for help.

The brochure was developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which NDBF is a member. A copy of the brochure is available on the agency’s website at www.ndbf.nebraska.gov/about/news-publications. To learn more about investor education resources available in Nebraska, contact the NDBF at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 for out of state. 

Guardian Brochure
Consumer Alert - Guardian Financial Abuse

CONSUMER ALERT

Publication Date: Sep 15, 2017

NDBF ISSUES BINARY OPTIONS ADVISORY

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — A binary option is a type of all-or-nothing investment contract, similar to placing a bet. Like the flip of a coin, there are only two possible outcomes: heads you win or tails you lose. When an investor purchases a binary option contract, the investor predicts the value of an underlying asset (currency, stock, etc.) at a predetermined time or date in the future – similar to placing a bet. If the investor correctly predicts the asset price at the end of the contract, which can be just a matter of minutes, the investor receives the payout agreed upon in the contract. If the investor is incorrect, there is no payout and the investor loses the amount invested in the binary option.

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) is cautioning investors about schemes related to binary options amid the proliferation of online binary option platforms and a growing number of related investor complaints. The advisory provides information and resources to help investors better understand binary options, their risks and where to turn for help.

The advisory also discusses common investor complaints and offers common tactics and warning signs of schemes related to binary options, including: unsolicited investment offers; high-pressure sales tactics; personal information requests; and a lack of information about the offering firm or its management.

The full advisory is available on the agency’s website at www.ndbf.nebraska.gov/about/news-publications.

Before making any financial decisions, ask questions, do your homework and contact NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

CONTACT: Claire McHenry, Deputy Director – Securities Bureau
PHONE: (402) 471-2171
EMAIL: claire.mchenry@nebraska.gov

Consumer Alert Binary Options

CONSUMER ALERT

Publication Date: Aug 31, 2017

Ohio Company Ordered to Stop Soliciting Investors

August 31, 2017 (Lincoln, Nebraska) – The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“Department”) issued a Cease and Desist Order against an Ohio company known as A Voice 4 U, LLC; its President, Katrina S. Farmer (“Farmer”); and its affiliates, control persons, officers, directors, agents, and employees.  The Order prohibits the entity and individuals named from offering or selling securities in Nebraska until the securities have been registered with the Department. The Order also prohibits the entity and individuals named from offering or selling securities in Nebraska until they are registered as broker-dealers or agents of a broker-dealer with the Department.  

From 2012 to 2014, Farmer sold profit-sharing agreements in A Voice 4 U, LLC to investors in Nebraska. The profit-sharing agreements were not registered in Nebraska under the Securities Act of Nebraska. Neither A Voice 4 U, LLC nor Farmer were registered in Nebraska as a broker-dealer or agent of a broker-dealer.  The sale of unregistered securities and the solicitation of investments by unlicensed broker-dealers is illegal under Nebraska law.

Individuals who invested in the above securities are asked to contact the Department.

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on the Department’s website at www.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.

CONTACT: Thomas A. Sindelar, Investigation Supervisor
PHONE: (402) 471-2171
EMAIL: thomas.sindelar@nebraska.gov 

A Voice 4 U C&D
A Voice 4 U Consumer Alert

Hurricane Harvey Consumer Alert

Publication Date: Aug 31, 2017

NDBF Cautions Investors to Watch for Scams in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

AUGUST 31, 2017 (Lincoln, Neb.)  —  In the wake of widespread damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) is cautioning investors to watch out for opportunistic investment scams.

“As we are seeing in Texas and Louisiana, natural disasters bring out the best in people, with neighbors helping neighbors. Unfortunately, we know from experience that disasters also can bring out the worst in people, particularly those seeking to profit from the misfortune of others,” NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry said. “Unsolicited investment offers seeking to capitalize on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey should be approached with extreme caution.”

McHenry urged investors to watch for red flags of hurricane-related scams, including unsolicited email, social media messages, crowdfunding pitches or telephone calls promoting investment pools or bonds to help storm victims, water-removal or purification technologies, electricity-generating devices and distressed real estate remediation programs.

Scam artists also may linger to prey on storm victims who anticipate receiving large lump-sum insurance settlements. “The potential for fraud remains even after the skies have cleared. Be wary of any promoter promising quick and high returns on your investments,” McHenry warned.

NDBF also cautioned about fraudulent charitable solicitations that prey on the goodness of people seeking to help those in need. “The best advice is to do your research. Give to those charitable organizations that are registered properly with state authorities. As with any charitable contribution, those who want to contribute to relief efforts should send contributions to only those charities with an established track record of making sure the donations get to the victims,” McHenry said.

 

NDBF offered three tips to help investors avoid disaster-related scams:

  • Delete unsolicited emails or social media messages and hang up on aggressive cold callers promoting hurricane-related investments, especially those from small companies touting unproven or new technologies or products.
  • Use common sense. Claims of guaranteed returns or low/no investment risk are classic red flags. Every investment involves some degree of risk.
  • Do your homework. Contact NDBF to check that both the seller and investment are licensed and registered. If not, they may be operating illegally.

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 matters, call NDBF’s Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state.

CONTACT: Claire McHenry, Deputy Director – Securities Bureau
PHONE: (402) 471-2171
EMAIL: claire.mchenry@nebraska.gov

Hurricane Harvey Consumer Alert

Financial Institution Officers

Publication Date: Aug 24, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has adopted forms and guidelines to implement amendments to the laws governing the licensing of bank executive officers and credit union loan officers.  The amendments, adopted as part of LB 140 (2017), are effective August 24, 2017, and authorize exemptions from the licensing process.  The Department has also updated a number of related forms to reflect the amendments.

Click here for the Financial Institution Officer Exemptions

Investment Adviser Seminar

Publication Date: Jul 13, 2017

NDBF to Hold August 17th Investment Adviser Compliance Seminar

The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (“NDBF”) recently announced comprehensive amendments to its Rules under the Securities Act of Nebraska, contained in Title 48 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, became effective on June 5, 2017.  The amendments reflect NDBF’s goal of reducing regulatory complexity and promoting uniformity while protecting investors and promoting capital formation in Nebraska.

The NDBF Bureau of Securities will host a compliance seminar on August 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm CDT to assist investment advisers and their compliance personnel in understanding and complying with these new requirements.  Speakers will include NDBF Director Mark Quandahl, Deputy Director – Securities Bureau Claire McHenry, and Securities Bureau Counsel Mike Cameron. 

People may attend in person or electronically via webinar.  Space is limited.  Register by August 11, 2017 to reserve your seat.

Where:            Training Room – Basement Level
                        1526 K Street
                        Lincoln, NE 68508

When:             August 17, 2017
                        2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Registration:  Click here to email the NDBF Securities Bureau.  Include in the email your name, firm, and whether you will attend in person or via webinar. Webinar participants will be emailed instructions on joining the webinar.

 

 NDBF Investment Adviser Compliance Seminar

Securities Rules Update Announced

Publication Date: Jun 20, 2017

Securities Act of Nebraska Rules Effective

Comprehensive Securities Rules Update Announced

JUNE 20, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The Nebraska Department of Banking & Finance (“Department”)
announces that amendments to its Rules under the Securities Act of Nebraska contained in Title 48 of
the Nebraska Administrative Code became effective June 5, 2017. These amendments represent the
first comprehensive amendments to these rules since 1999, as 33 of the 42 chapters in Title 48 were
amended.

The amendments reflect the Department’s goal of reducing regulatory complexity and promoting
uniformity while protecting investors and promoting capital formation in Nebraska. Highlights of the
amendments include the following:

  • Implements filing requirements for Regulation A, Tier 2 Offerings,
  •  Increases the maximum amount that can be raised pursuant to the Intrastate Offering Exemption, Section 8-1111(20) of the Securities Act of Nebraska, from $750,000.00 to $1,000,000.00,
  •  Amends the information required to be submitted to the Department to request an Order Curing Late Notice for certain notice filings,
  •  Adopts the most recent North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) Statements of Policy concerning the registration of securities in Nebraska,
  •  Adopts the recent amendments to NASAA’s Brochure Rule for state -registered investment advisers,
  •  Adopts NASAA’s model custody rule for state -registered investment advisers, which includes a definition of the term “custody”,
  •  Adopts rules concerning succession planning for state-registered investment advisers, and
  •  Repeals a rule concerning debt securities issued by a church or congregation

Copies of the updated regulations are available on the Department’s website.

The Department will be conducting compliance seminars with state-registered investment advisers to
discuss rule amendments affecting them. Details regarding the seminars will be forthcoming in the next
few weeks.

 

View Notice of New Securities Rules

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Publication Date: Jun 15, 2017

NDBF Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Encourages Financial Firms to Watch for Signs of Elder Financial Fraud and Exploitation

June 15, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) – In recognition of World Elder Abuse Day on June 15, 2017, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) reminds financial professionals of the importance of safeguarding Nebraska’s senior population by keeping a watchful eye for signs of elder financial exploitation and promptly reporting possible abuse to appropriate authorities.

Elder financial abuse is on the rise due to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and the increasing number of retirees throughout North America.

"Seniors are often targeted for financial fraud and exploitation because they may be isolated from family, caregivers, and other support networks. In other instances, it could be family or caregivers who are taking advantage of the vulnerable adult who feels he/she cannot say anything due to fear of retribution. That's why it is important to know the red flags that could signal an elder's savings may be in danger, " NDBF Director Mark Quandahl said.

Director Quandahl highlighted three warning signs of possible elder financial fraud or exploitation to watch for:

  • Has the elder moved away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other "friends" or strangers who show excessive interest in his or her finances or accounts, refuse to allow the elder to speak or are reluctant to leave the senior's side during conversations?
  • Does the elder show an unusual degree of fear, anxiety, submissiveness or deference toward the person accompanying him or her?
  • Does the elder display unexplained or unusual excitement over an investment opportunity, financial windfall or prize check?

"Financial services professionals are uniquely positioned to serve as a front line of defense to spot potential elder financial fraud and exploitation and alert authorities," Director Quandahl said.

Financial professionals who suspect elder financial fraud or exploitation are encouraged to contact NDBF through the department's website at www.ndbf.nebraska.gov, or by calling the NDBF Consumer Hotline toll free at (877) 471-3445 in Nebraska, or (402) 471-3445 if you are out of state. People who have reason to believe a vulnerable adult has been abused, neglected or exploited may contact the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, Adult Protect Services 24-hour hotline toll free at (800) 652-1999 or lo.cal law enforcement.

NDBF has teamed with the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which it is a member, to provide free training to help financial services employees learn how to identify and report suspected cases of senior financial exploitation. To learn more about the Senior$afe training program, or to request a training session for your firm, contact the Department.

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day