2004 Legislative Update
from the New York State Assembly
Committee on Banks

Sheldon Silver, Speaker · Catherine Nolan, Chair · December 2004

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
the Chair

As Chairwoman of the Assembly Banks Committee, I am pleased to provide an update on the Committee's activities during the 2004 legislative session. Thanks to the continued support of Speaker Sheldon Silver and the cooperation of my Assembly colleagues, the Banks Committee engaged in a productive session. The Committee passed legislation giving customers of money transmitters information that is critical to making good, informed financial decisions. The Committee also passed a series of bills protecting the banking interests of Holocaust survivors and their heirs, and passed legislation protecting banking customers from identity theft. In addition, the Assembly Banks Committee held three public hearings, on the topics of: bank safety and security, federal preemption of state banking laws, and the suspension of CashPoint - a licensed money transmitter that provided bill paying services to customers in New York and throughout the country.

As always, I strongly encourage any person with questions or concerns for the Banks Committee to contact me.

Catherine Nolan

2004 Legislative Initiatives

Arming Customers of Money Transmitters with Critical Information
In October 2003, the Assembly Banks Committee conducted a public hearing on the topic of money transmission. The following bills are responses to concerns raised during that hearing:

A.9653 (Nolan)
In response to concerns raised as to whether or not customers have knowledge of the exchange rates that they will be charged, prior to making their transaction, this bill would require money transmitters to post currency exchange rates on a daily basis. This bill has passed the Assembly.

A.11261 (Titus)
This bill would enact the New York State Money Transmission Disclosure Act, which would require money transmitters to provide the customer with a written disclosure of basic information regarding the transmission of their funds prior to the time that the customer pays for the transaction. This bill has passed the Assembly.

Creating Valuable Partnerships Between Banking Entities and Holocaust Survivors
As reported in the New York Times, full distribution of a historic $1.25 billion settlement between Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors is being delayed by the banks. The New York State Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver, has long been a leader in protecting the interests of its residents who suffered or have family members who suffered as a consequence of the Holocaust. It is imperative to protect the banking interests of Holocaust survivors and their heirs. Accordingly, the Banks Committee and the Assembly have passed the following bills:

A.10194 (Nolan)
This bill would create the New York State Banking Holocaust Advisory Board for the purpose of making recommendations on how to better serve the victims and families of Holocaust survivors.

A.10195 (Nolan)
This bill would require banks doing business in New York State to inform their account holders of the Holocaust Claims Processing Office, so that potential victims can reclaim their rightful property expeditiously.

A.10196 (Nolan)
This bill would require the Superintendent of Banks to submit annual reports concerning the policies and activities of the Holocaust Claims Processing Office.

Preventing Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most common consumer fraud complaints in the nation. Through various means, thieves gain access to bank accounts and credit card information, and use this to defraud unsuspecting victims.

A.9654-B (Nolan)
In one common variety of identity theft, thieves tamper with automated teller machines (ATMs) - or even set up counterfeit machines - therefore compromising the privacy of customers who use those machines. Currently, ATMs operated by entities other than banks do not have to be registered with the New York State Banking Department. This bill would require such "non-bank" ATMs to register with the Department; this state oversight would ensure greater protection for ATM customers' private financial information. This bill has passed the Assembly.

A.10295 (Nolan)
In the event of identity theft, individuals must be able to act expeditiously in order to regain control of their privacy and finances. This bill would accomplish this task by requiring banking institutions to disclose immediately any breach of security of personal identifying information to any person whose information was, or might have been, acquired by an unauthorized person. This bill was reported from the Banks Committee.

Additional Legislative Highlights
In addition to the above mentioned bills, the Banks Committee also worked on the following bills during the 2004 session:

A.10875 (Nolan)
The financial industry evolves rapidly, and the Banking Law must respond as rapidly to ensure that consumers are properly protected by statutory and regulatory oversights. This bill, which has been signed into law by the Governor (Chapter 356), ensures that the supervisory powers held by the Superintendent of the Banking Department extend to the full range of entities she regulates, including bank holding companies, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and budget planners.

A.11023-A (Nolan)
Currently, New York State Banking Law does not authorize a direct conversion from a credit union to a state-chartered mutual savings bank. The procedure under state law is more complicated and burdensome, resulting in the state charter being a less attractive option for a credit union that is considering such a conversion. This bill, which has passed both the Assembly and the Senate, creates a streamlined process for a credit union that is seeking conversion to a mutual savings bank, and thus makes the state charter a more appealing option for a converting credit union to consider.

A.9445 (Lafayette)
The Banking Development District Program enables municipalities and New York State to offer certain economic incentives to encourage the establishment of commercial bank and thrift branches in areas where there is a need for banking services. The program had been set to expire on January 1, 2005. This bill, which has been signed into law by the Governor (Chapter 300) will extend this program until January 1, 2012.

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

New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Committee Updates ]