Vermont Story Archive

Vermont Receives NASCUS Five-Year Re-Accreditation

July 15, 2021 – The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) is proud to announce Vermont has earned Re-Accreditation following a series of in-depth reviews and assessments by a panel of veteran state supervisors.

More than 88% of the $989 billion in state-chartered credit union assets are supervised by NASCUS’ 28 accredited state agencies.

“Accreditation is direct evidence of an agency’s capabilities and benefits all credit unions in the state as well,” said NASCUS President and CEO Lucy Ito. “It recognizes the professionalism of a state agency’s regulators, supervisors, and staff, while potentially delivering an impetus and support for legislation to modernize state law and policy changes to advance state supervisory processes and best practices.”

“Our department routinely examines the financial firms operating in Vermont to ensure their compliance with our laws. Accordingly, it is important for independent experts to examine our department’s operations to ensure we are following best practices and providing the highest level of service to Vermonters,” said Vermont Commissioner Michael Pieciak. “I am proud of our team for receiving Accreditation.”

NASCUS accreditation is a robust process that includes disciplined self-evaluation, peer review, and ongoing monitoring. The process, administered by the NASCUS Performance Standards Committee (PSC), measures a state regulatory agency’s ability and resources to carry out its regulatory and supervisory programs effectively.

To earn Accreditation, a credit union state supervisory agency must demonstrate that it meets accreditation standards in agency administration and finance, personnel and training, examination, supervision, and legislative powers.

NASCUS adopted the Accreditation Program in 1989 to administer and assure states’ credit union examination and supervision quality standards. This program, modeled on the university accreditation concept, applies national performance standards to a state’s credit union regulatory program.


What Supreme Court’s Robocall Decision Means For Credit Unions

April 8, 2021 — The Supreme Court has handed financial institutions a major victory in their fight against lawsuits involving automated calls and text messages to consumers.

In a 9-0 decision last week, the court sided with companies, including banks and credit unions, that have been sued for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Financial institutions have paid big settlements in recent years to resolve suits that allege they made illegal calls.

The court’s ruling will reduce, but not eliminate, the threat of litigation, predicted Kyle Tayman, a lawyer at Goodwin Procter who represents financial institutions in robocall cases. “I think that’s going to be greatly diminished, but I don’t think we can say it’s completely gone forever,” he said.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court sided with companies, including banks and credit unions, that have been sued for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Consumer advocates argued that the decision will add to the flood of unwanted robocalls to U.S. households, and called on Congress to impose new restrictions.

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Vermont Department of Financial Regulation Announces Top Investor Threats For 2021

March 5, 2021 — The Securities Division of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation today reminded investors to be on the lookout for investment schemes pitched through the internet and social media, particularly those involving precious metals, cryptocurrencies, promissory notes, and foreign exchange markets.

Schemes related to these products were identified as the top threats facing investors this year in a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation is a member. The survey includes responses of enforcement officials with state and provincial securities regulators throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The survey found fraudulent internet- or social media-based frauds as the top threat to investors. Ranked second are cryptocurrency-related and precious metals-based investments, especially those purchased through self-directed individual retirement accounts, which lack the services and protection of traditional IRAs and can be fertile soil for scammers. Foreign exchange-related schemes rounded out the top three threats. In particular, enforcement officials expect to see a resurgence of high-yield foreign exchange and cryptocurrency-related schemes targeting investors this year disguised as membership or investment programs.

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New Commissioner Named
July 7, 2016 — Michael Pieciak is the new commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, replacing Susan Donegan who completed her service June 30.

Formerly deputy commissioner of the agency’s securities division, Pieciak has practiced law in Vermont and New York, and has public service to former Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

In a statement, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin praised Pieciak. “Susan Donegan left big shoes to fill, but I cannot think of someone who is more prepared to lead DFR at this critical time than Mike,” Shumlin said.

Vermont, Idaho Approved for Reaccreditation
Feb. 1, 2016 — State financial institution regulatory agencies in both Idaho and Vermont have been approved for reaccreditation by NASCUS and the Conference of State Banking Supervisors (CSBS) following recent reviews.


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