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Department receives national banking reaccreditation

March 05, 2008

Department receives national banking reaccreditation

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2008

Minnesota Department of Commerce Receives National Banking Reaccreditation

(Washington, D.C. --) The Conference of State Bank Supervisors announced this week that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has received its fourth consecutive certificate of accreditation from CSBS, certifying that the department maintains the highest standards and practices in state banking supervision.

CSBS reaccredited the Department for a five-year period on Feb. 15, 2008. First accredited by CSBS in 1990, the Department supervises 330 commercial banks with total assets of $36.3 billion, as of September 30, 2007.

Besides commercial banks, the Division of Financial Examination of the Department of Commerce is also responsible for the regulation of state chartered credit unions, mortgage companies, premium finance companies, accelerated mortgage payment companies, motor vehicle finance companies, consumer small loan companies and regulated loan companies, currency exchanges, money transmitters, automatic teller machines, and electronic funds transfer. The Division is also responsible for the licensing and financial regulation of insurance companies operating in Minnesota.

"This reaccreditation is an important part of our mission to protect Minnesota consumers, so we are pleased to be recognized by our peers for this achievement," said Kevin M. Murphy, Deputy Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The accreditation review begins with completion of an extensive self-evaluation questionnaire on all department operations: administration and finance, personnel, training, examination, supervision, and legislative powers.  Next, an external review team comprised of veteran state and federal regulators performs an on-site review and presents its findings to an audit team and to the Performance Standards Committee, which votes on the reports of the review team and the audit team.

The report and scores are based on documentary evidence, such as a random sample of examination reports and other files. The CSBS Review Team conducted a thorough review of the Division's self-evaluation questionnaire, interviewed key management personnel, a cross section of examiners and the reports of examination.

"The accreditation process provides an objective critical analysis to ensure we are current in our examination policies and procedures," Murphy said. "It also confirms that we employ nationally recognized best practices in regulatory supervision and oversight."

"Deputy Commissioner Murphy and the Department's staff are to be congratulated on establishing and maintaining the high standards set by the program.  To maintain their accreditation, state banking departments must work to keep up with the changing industry that they regulate. The Minnesota Department has demonstrated that it has met this challenge," said CSBS President and CEO Neil Milner.