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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 4 months ago

Go behind the scenes of Florida's financial regulators

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The Florida Office of Financial Regulation oversees more than 458,000 licensees statewide.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which turned 15 years old last year, maintains a treasure trove of business data — and regulatory authority.

For perspective: licenses under regulation by the OFR, created in 2003 through the Cabinet Reorganization Act of 2002 to be Florida’s primary banking, consumer finance and securities regulator, have increased 13% since 2013. The OFR, according to a new report, now oversees more than 458,000 licensees statewide. It has a budget of $40.4 million and 350 employees.

More girth: In fiscal 2017-2018, the OFR approved more than 76,000 license applications and answered more than 37,000 consumer calls. The office, in a move toward improved customer service, boasts that licenses are approved in an average of five days, while calls are handled in an average of 16 seconds.

The office, in its 2018 Fast Facts book, also discloses some interesting nuggets about Florida’s economy. Fiscal 2017-2018 highlights include:

Division of division of consumer finance

The division licenses and regulates non-depository financial service industries and individuals.

Total licenses: 110, 244

Mortgage, origination, servicing: 2,781 companies;  4,166 branches; 34,044

Consumer finance companies: 189 at 382 locations

Division of financial institutions

The division includes a bureau of bank regulation and a bureau of credit unions.

Institution    Total in state         Assets

Banks 81      $39.87 billion

Credit unions        66      $43.44 billion

International bank offices         21      $15.28 billion

Trusts         13      $187 million

Registered Family Trusts 10      N/A

Qualified limited service affiliates        3       N/A

Division of Securities

The division includes a bureau of enforcement and a bureau of registrations. Office administers and enforces compliance with the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act.

Dealers: 2,577

Investment Advisors: 6,307

Branches: 10,479

Stockbrokers: 323,939

Division of Securities

The division is the criminal justice arm of the OFR. Maintains investigative teams, working with local, state and federal law enforcement, mostly on securities and lending fraud.

Average active investigations: 210

Investigations that resulted in criminal actions: 25

Investigations that resulted in administrative actions: 14

Defendants convicted: 69

Prison years: 216

Probation years: 318

 

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