2003 Legislative Update
 from the New York State Assembly

Committee on Banks

Sheldon Silver, Speaker • Catherine Nolan, Chair • December 2003

Message from
the Chair

As the newly appointed Chairwoman of the Assembly Banks Committee, I am pleased to provide an update on the Committee’s activities during the 2003 legislative session. Thanks to the support of Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the cooperation of committee members and staff, the Banks Committee enjoyed a busy and productive year. Among our achievements was the extension of the State’s wildcard provisions that foster parity between federal and state-chartered banks. We also passed legislation, since signed into law, which extends the retention period of ATM surveillance tapes in an effort to curb ATM fraud. Additionally, this Committee will continue to monitor the national debate regarding federal preemption of state predatory lending laws, and we stand ready to re-examine this State’s predatory lending standards as the necessity arises.

I look forward to the upcoming 2004 legislative session, and I strongly encourage any person with questions or concerns for the Banks Committee to contact me.


Catherine Nolan

2003 Legislative Initiatives

Wildcard Provisions Extended
A.8890-A (Nolan)

Originally signed into law in September, 1997, “Wildcard” provisions foster competitive parity between federal and state-chartered banks by authorizing the Banking Board to permit state-chartered banks to exercise the same rights and powers that their federal counterparts receive. These provisions were set to expire on September 10, 2003, but this legislation — signed into law by the governor (Chapter 241) — will extend Wildcard for an additional 4 years. This bill also adds savings banks, and savings and loan associations to the Wildcard provisions, allowing these entities to enjoy the rights and powers of their federal counterparts upon petitioning the Banking Board.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Legislation
Preventing ATM Identity Theft
A.8442 (Nolan)

Previous law stated that banking institutions had to retain ATM surveillance recordings only for 30 days. Considering, however, the number of ATM scams designed to steal consumers’ ATM cards and pin numbers, banking institutions should retain potentially valuable video evidence for a longer time in order to improve consumers’ financial safety. This bill, signed into law by the governor (Chapter 553), will extend the retention period for ATM surveillance tapes from 30 to 45 days, and will combat ATM fraud by allowing consumers to account for errors in their bank statements before video evidence of the fraudulent activity is discarded.

ATM Access for the Visually Impaired
A.3863 (Weisenberg)

This legislation would require ATMs to have an audio as well as visual system of relaying messages, assisting the visually impaired by increasing their access to banking services. This bill has passed the Assembly.

ATM Emergency Access Buttons
A.4571-A (Stringer)

This legislation would require banks operating ATM facilities to equip such facilities with 911 or E-911 emergency access buttons wherever such emergency service is available. This bill has passed the Assembly.

Credit Union Legislation
Financial Education for Students
A.5171-B (Tocci)

It is vital that young people obtain the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to manage their personal finances and obtain general financial literacy. Education in personal financial management helps prepare students for the workforce and for financial independence once they achieve adulthood. This legislation has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 656), and will allow credit unions, upon agreement with a school’s governing body, to open and maintain a “student branch” there; such branches will provide in-school banking services and financial education to enrolling students.

Maintaining Parity between Federal and State Credit Unions
A.5342-C (Greene)

This bill provides state-chartered credit unions with the same powers and flexibility that federally-chartered credit unions enjoy, in order to ensure operating parity between the two charters. This bill has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 679).

The Banking Committee hosted Gretchen Dykstra, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs at a joint meeting of the Banks Committee and the Consumer Affairs Committee. Pictured, left to right: Pauline Toole, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs; Brian Quiara, Banks Committee analyst; Teri Kleinmann, Banks Committee Counsel; Commissioner Dykstra; Assemblywoman Nolan; and Benita Leigh-Lewis, Banks Committee assistant.

Additional Legislative Highlights
In addition to the abovementioned bills, the Banks Committee also worked on the following bills during the 2003 session:

A.7966 (Nolan)
This legislation allows the New York State Banking Department to submit fingerprints in order to conduct criminal history record checks of applicants for licensing, registration or certification, without having first established reasonable suspicion of such applicants. The Banking Department is currently the only New York State agency that cannot request a criminal history background check as standard procedure for applicants, and this prohibition inhibits its ability to conduct a comprehensive investigation of an entity’s safety and soundness during the application process. This bill has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 302).

A.7969 (Nolan)
This legislation provides that mortgage bankers and brokers (and respective applicants) must post a surety bond, the amount of which varies directly with the entity’s volume of business. This bill has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 146).

A.8889-A (Nolan)
By statute, banks cannot establish “separate locations” utilized primarily for check cashing purposes closer than three-tenths of a mile from an existing licensed check casher (subdivision 3 of §374 of the Banking Law). However, banks currently can set up “public accommodation offices” that offer no services other than check cashing services to circumvent this distance requirement. This legislation, which has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 635), deems public accommodation offices as “separate locations” so that banks cannot circumvent the intent of the current statute by placing such offices within 0.3 mile of a licensed check casher. Additionally, this bill extends the provisions of §374(3) for an additional 3 years to February 8, 2008.

A.8963 (Nolan)
This legislation prohibits businesses from engaging in misleading advertising, marketing or soliciting involving the unauthorized use of a banking organization’s name, and will prevent entities from suggesting that a given advertisement has originated from, or is endorsed by a banking organization, if such a claim is untrue. This bill has been signed into law by the governor (Chapter 663).

The Banks Committee held a joint public hearing with the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, the Assembly’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. The hearing focused on the important issue of remittances. Pictured, left to right: Assemblyman Luis Diaz, Assemblyman Peter Rivera, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Gretchen Dykstra, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, Chairwoman
NYS Assembly Committee on Banks
Room 424 LOB • Albany, NY 12248 • 518-455-4851

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