By the Division of Banks

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

Suffolk, SS.

COMMISSIONER OF BANKS
CHECK CASHER LICENSING
Docket No. 2009-122

CONSENT ORDER


In the Matter of
BOSTON CHECK CASHERS, INC.
Boston, Massachusetts

Check Casher License Nos. CC0030 et al.


WHEREAS, Boston Check Cashers, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, a licensed check casher under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 169A and 209 CMR 45.00 et seq. ("Boston Check Cashers" or the "Corporation"), has been advised of its right to Notice and Hearing pursuant to General Laws chapter 169A, sections 8 and 9, and having waived those rights, entered into a STIPULATION AND CONSENT TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CONSENT ORDER ("Consent Agreement") with representatives of the Division of Banks ("Division") dated December 11, 2009, whereby, solely for the purpose of settling this matter, and without admitting any allegations or implications of fact or the existence of any violation of state or federal laws and regulations governing the conduct and operation of a check casher, Boston Check Cashers agrees to the issuance of this CONSENT ORDER ("Consent Order") by the Commissioner of Banks ("Commissioner");

WHEREAS, an examination/inspection of Boston Check Cashers was conducted pursuant to General Laws chapter 169A, section 10, as of May 21, 2007, including follow-up visitations on September 17, 2008 and April 22, 2009 (the "examination/inspection") to assess the Corporation's level of compliance with applicable Massachusetts and federal laws and the Division's regulations governing the conduct of those engaged in the business of a check casher in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Report of Examination/Inspection (the "Report") issued pursuant to the Division's examination/inspection of Boston Check Cashers alleged violations of state and federal laws, which have been addressed by Boston Check Cashers in the Corporation's written response to the Report.

ORDER

NOW COME the parties in the above-captioned matter, the Division, and Boston Check Cashers, and stipulate and agree as follows:

  1. Immediately upon the execution of this Consent Order, Boston Check Cashers shall cease all solicitation and advertising for bank deposits in a manner that presents the appearance or implication that Boston Check Casher's business is that of a bank, and shall cease all solicitation and advertising for bank deposits on behalf of Republic Bank & Trust Company ("Republic Bank"), including solicitations for participation in any Republic Bank direct deposit programs for social security, disability, other government benefits, or any other deposits.
  2. Boston Check Cashers shall establish the following procedures within 30 days of the effective date of this Consent Order for the wind-down of the direct deposit bank account relationship between Boston Check Cashers' customers and Republic Bank, for which Boston Check Cashers acts as a third party for solicitation and distribution of social security, disability, other government benefit check and payroll deposits.Republic Bank has announced its intention to terminate such relationships on or before February 28, 2010. The procedures shall include: (i) providing written notification to existing direct deposit customers by mail and by hand delivery to all such customers who appear in person at a Boston Check Cashers location; such notification to be in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit A, setting forth detailed information on the account termination process;(ii) posting of signs in all licensed locations stating that the direct deposit program offered through Republic Bank has been terminated; and (iii) providing to the Division written certification that written notification described in Paragraph 2(i) above has been provided to all of Boston Check Cashers' customers who are direct deposit customers of Republic Bank through Boston Check Cashers.
  3. Boston Check Cashers shall refrain from entering into a relationship with any other financial institution to offer direct deposit services of social security, disability, or other government benefit checks, without the prior written approval of the Division.
  4. Boston Check Cashers shall not advertise the availability of refund anticipation loans at its licensed locations in a manner that presents the appearance that Boston Check Cashers is authorized to make refund anticipation loans.
  5. Boston Check Cashers shall establish, implement, and maintain procedures to ensure that the Corporation's disclosure forms, application forms, and any other documentation provided to consumers by Boston Check Cashers do not reference the availability of a small loan company's services in a manner that presents the appearance that Boston Check Cashers is authorized to make small loans.
  6. Boston Check Cashers shall establish, implement, and maintain policies and procedures to ensure that the Corporation deposits all checks received and cashed in a timely, consistent manner and in accordance with its established policy.
  7. Boston Check Cashers shall comply with all laws and regulations applicable to its conduct of the business of a check casher in Massachusetts, including, but not limited to, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 169A, the Division's regulations 209 CMR 45.00 et seq., 209 CMR 31.00 et seq., and the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") and its implementing regulation at 31 CFR Part 103.
  8. Boston Check Cashers shall establish, implement, and maintain procedures and policies to ensure that all applicable staff persons receive adequate instruction and ongoing, periodic training designed to ensure compliance with applicable law and the provisions of this Consent Order.
  9. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Consent Order, the Corporation shall submit to the Commissioner a written response that shall describe and provide evidence of the revised policies and procedures adopted by Boston Check Cashers to implement all corrective actions set forth in the provisions of this Consent Order.
  10. The provisions of this Consent Order shall not limit, estop, or otherwise prevent the Division, or any other state agency or department, from taking any other action affecting Boston Check Cashers or any of its officers and directors, or their successors or assigns if Boston Check Cashers fails to fully and promptly comply with the above provisions.
  11. ThisConsent Order shall become effective immediately upon the date of its issuance.
  12. The provisions of this Consent Order shall be binding upon Boston Check Cashers, its officers and directors, their successors and assigns.
  13. In accordance with the terms of the Consent Agreement entered by Boston Check Cashers and the Commissioner, Boston Check Cashers has waived all rights of appeal that it may have relative to this Consent Order or any of its provisions.
  14. The provisions of this Consent Order shall remain effective and enforceable except to the extent that, and until such time as, any provisions of this Consent Order shall have been modified, terminated, suspended, or set aside by the Commissioner or upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
  15. This Consent Order and the Consent Agreement are the complete documents representing the resolution of this matter. There are no other agreements, promises, representations, or warranties other than those set forth in this Consent Order.

    BY ORDER AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS.

    Dated at Boston, Massachusetts, this 11th day of December, 2009

    By: Steven L. Antonakes
    Commissioner of Banks
    Commonwealth of Massachusetts


EXHIBIT A

RE: Republic Bank & Trust Company (Currency Connection) Direct Deposit Accounts

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to inform you that effective February 5, 2010 Boston Check Cashers will no longer be able to provide direct deposit services for your social security, disability, other government benefit checks, or payroll through Republic Bank & Trust Company.

You should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) immediately to change your direct deposit instructions. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Republic Bank & Trust at 1-866-758-3973.

The following options are available to you:

  • Discuss with SSA the affordable direct deposit alternatives including a DirectExpress® debit card or an Electronic Transfer Account with a Massachusetts bank or credit union. Please contact SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or online at www.socialsecurity.gov/deposit for additional information.
  • Request that SSA mail your check directly to you.
  • Massachusetts law requires banks and credit unions in Massachusetts to cash your government benefit check for a one-time fee even if you do not have a deposit account.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Banks Consumer Assistance Unit at 1-800-495-BANK ext. 501.

Thank you for your cooperation and continued business.

Boston Check Cashers