It’s hard to believe that this time last year most of our DFI operations were performed remotely. While our registration, licensing, examination, enforcement, and outreach work never stopped during the pandemic, how we conducted business certainly did change in many ways. Customer service and our obligation to serve the public, however, have remained a top priority.
I am very pleased to report that DFI has come a long way to get back to normal operations, well back to at least the “new normal!” What does this mean for you? Well, for most of our stakeholders, it means that you really will not see much change because you will continue to be able to reach our staff through email or phone, just as you were able to throughout the pandemic. Our goal remains the same, that you can reach a live person when you contact us.
In fact, we regularly monitor our call center, and from September 2021 through June 2022, callers into our agency call center reached a live person 96% of the time or better each month. In the few instances where our lines are busy, we pride ourselves in promptly returning your calls.
Similarly, collaboration between state regulators around the country has remained very strong, and we continue to fully participate in multi-state joint examinations and enforcement matters. Sharing information is essential to effective regulation of national financial service providers. We also strive to make sure our employees have the best training possible. In this regard, our staff have been able to resume in person training to ensure that we remain a leader in financial regulation.
For our industry registrants, licensees, and chartered institutions, the “new normal” may look a little different from during the pandemic. In particular, our Divisions of Securities, Consumer Services, Credit Unions, and Banks have all started onsite examination work. These exams, however, look a little different from prior to the pandemic. In addition to determining the scope of our examinations based upon a variety of traditional factors, our examiners are now evaluating the scope of their onsite presence using a variety of new considerations. Beyond considerations about whether an onsite component to the exam will help identify compliance violations, our examiners are also taking into consideration new factors such as whether our federal counterparts will be onsite and whether there is adequate space within your institution for exam work.
While I am sure that we will still see a lot of change through the rest of the year, it does feel like we have come a long way. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that during the pandemic you observed our commitment to serve!
Charlie Clark, Director