Mountain West Credit Union Association Issues Statement on SAFE Banking Act’s Removal from NDAA
December 14, 2021 — On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, the House Rules Committee amended the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) excluding the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The SAFE Banking Act would allow the financial services industry to do business with licensed marijuana retailers and require those financial institutions to subject any funds to anti-money laundering requirements.
“The Mountain West Credit Association is disappointed that yet again, this legislation, which provides important protections for our credit unions that wish to provide financial services to legal entities in their states, has failed to make it past the Committee,” said Scott Earl, President & CEO. “As financial services providers serving nearly 4 million members in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming, credit unions play a central role in our communities by fulfilling banking needs that may not be otherwise available.”
Currently, however, we cannot serve an industry that generates several billion dollars in sales and tax revenues—the recreational cannabis industry— without substantial risk due to ongoing uncertainty over federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act. This has become not only a states’ rights issue, but an important public safety issue. Without access to standard banking services, some of these companies have had to come up with alternative solutions. Many are unable to undertake the most basic functions of successful businesses, such as paying vendors, employees, and taxes, but instead have large amounts of money unsecured, unaccountable and at risk for abuse.
May 2021 — The proclamation issued today by Governor Doug Ducey recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month – https://difi.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/Mental%20Health%20Awareness%20Month%202021.pdf.
The Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI) joins the Governor’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues, support illness prevention efforts, and commit to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.
Statistics indicate nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosed mental health condition in any given year. Among people ages 10-34, suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in Arizona and the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a 40% increase of U.S. adults who reported adverse mental health symptoms, increased substance use, and suicidal ideation.
Recent Arizona legislation exemplifies the state’s commitment to ensuring those facing mental health issues and suicidal ideation can receive appropriate care. On March 3, 2020, Governor Ducey signed SB 1523, also known as Jake’s Law, https://difi.az.gov/jakes-law, which established the Mental Health Parity Advisory Committee coordinated within DIFI. The committee brings together mental health providers, advocates, family members, and health insurers to help guide implementation of mental health parity in Arizona – https://difi.az.gov/mental-health-parity-advisory-committee.
“Timely access to effective treatment gives individuals with mental health conditions the opportunity to lead full, productive lives. DIFI is proud to work with Arizona’s stakeholders on the hard work needed to implement Jake’s Law and bring appropriate resources to bear on this issue,” said DIFI Director Evan Daniels. For more information, visit https://difi.az.gov/content/mental-health-parity-1
FEB. 22 2021 —After obtaining evidence of operating in Arizona as a money transmitter without a license, the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions has issued a Cease and Desist Order regarding Oasiss Inc. dba Oasiss Money Exchange. The order requires the company to cease operating until the company becomes licensed and issues a civil money penalty of $10,000. Arizona consumers using Oasiss Money Exchange for payments or remittances should double check all transactions to ensure proper accounting for all funds.
“This Agency will not stand by when companies take shortcuts in their regulatory responsibilities,” said Director Evan G. Daniels. “Arizona businesses deserve a level playing field and Arizona consumers deserve the peace of mind of knowing the businesses they interact with are following the rules.”
Cease and Desist Order against Oasiss Inc. dba Oasiss Money Exchange can be found https://difi.az.gov/sites/default/files/21A-007-INS_0.pdf .
The Department recommends checking a company’s licensing record before engaging in any business transaction. Consumers can check a Department licensee’s record at https://difi.az.gov/license-search. If you believe you have been a victim of unlawful business activity in the financial services or insurance sectors, please contact the Department at (602) 771-2800 for the financial division, or (602) 364-3100 for the insurance division, respectively. Bilingual staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online at https://difi.az.gov/complaint.
Board compensation approved by the legislature
May 11, 2016 — Phoenix — Colorado and Arizona recently joined the growing number of states that allow state charted credit unions the controversial option of compensating board members. (CU Times)
Interim superintendent appointed
Dec. 18, 2015 — Phoenix — Andy Tobin has been named interim superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.
Arizona State Credit Union Ranked Number One, Ninth Year in a Row
March 25, 2015 – Phoenix, Arizona – For the ninth consecutive year, Arizona State Credit Union has been recognized as the number one credit union in Arizona by Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business. The rankings, published annually by Arizona Business Magazine, are based on the largest opinion poll in Arizona, and include more than 250 businesses and leisure categories
Vantage West Credit Union Recognized as a Great Place to Work
November 9, 2014 – Tombstone, Arizona – Vantage West Credit Union, with a branch located in Tombstone, has been named one of the country’s “Best Credit Unions to Work For in 2014.”
Arizona State Credit Union Displays All 27 Versions of American Flag in Honor of Fallen Heroes
May 22, 2014 – Phoenix, Arizona – Arizona State Credit Union will honor Americans who have died while in military service by displaying all 27 congressionally approved versions of the American flag during the Memorial Day weekend at its corporate headquarters.
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