COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
COMMISSIONER OF BANKS
CHECK CASHER LICENSING
Docket No. 2009-133
In the Matter of
NORTHEAST CHECK CASHING, INC
D/B/A THE MONEY STOP
Check Cashing License No. CC0054
WHEREAS, Northeast Check Cashing, Inc. d/b/a The Money Stop, Worcester, Massachusetts, a licensed check casher under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 169A and 209 CMR 45.00 et seq. ("Northeast" 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 November 10, 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, Northeast agrees to the issuance of this CONSENT ORDER ("Consent Order") by the Commissioner of Banks ("Commissioner");
WHEREAS, an examination/inspection of Northeast was conducted pursuant to General Laws chapter 169A, section 10, as of April 28, 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 Northeast alleged a banking relationship for the direct deposit of certain government issued checks.
NOW COME the parties in the above-captioned matter, the Division, and Northeast, and stipulate and agree as follows:
- Immediately upon the execution of this Consent Order, Northeast shall cease all solicitation and advertising for bank deposits including solicitations for participation in any direct deposit programs for social security, disability, other government benefits, or any other deposits; such activities being in violation of the Commonwealth's unauthorized banking statute, M.G.L. c. 167, section 37, as well as the Division's regulation 209 CMR 45.14(2), which prohibits a check casher from implying that its business is that of a bank.
- Within 30 days from the execution of this Consent Order, Northeast agrees to initiate the process of terminating its contractual relationship for direct deposit account services or any other services offered to customers of Northeast by the Republic Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, Kentucky. To implement the termination process, Northeast shall submit a plan (the "Plan") to the Division detailing the process to terminate and wind down the direct deposit bank account relationships between Northeast customers and Republic Bank & Trust Company, for which Northeast acts as a third party for solicitation and distribution of social security, disability, other government benefit check and payroll deposits. The Plan must be filed for approval with the Division within 30 days from the execution of this Consent Order and shall include, but not be limited to, details describing information to be provided to existing direct deposit customers setting forth suitable alternatives for the receipt of government benefits at no or minimal cost to beneficiaries, including affordable options available through the Department of the Treasury, financial institutions doing business in Massachusetts which are required to provide no cost check cashing service for pensioner/retiree government benefit checks under M.G. L. c. 167, section 46 and 209 CMR 35.00 et seq. and any other suitable alternatives. The Plan must be approved by the Division prior to implementation.
- Northeast shall comply with all laws and regulations applicable to conducting 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. Such obligations shall necessarily include the duty to address and correct, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Report, all violations and areas of concern addressed in the Report.
(a) Within thirty (30) days of Northeast's receipt of the Report, the Corporation shall submit to the Commissioner a written response that addresses the areas of concern specified in the Report. The written response shall describe the revised policies and procedures adopted by Northeast to implement all corrective actions set forth in: (i) the "Examiner's Comments and Conclusions" section of the Report and (ii) the provisions of this Consent Order.
(b) Northeast shall establish, implement, and maintain procedures and policies to ensure that all applicable staff persons receive adequate instruction and ongoing, periodic training to ensure proper implementation and execution of the revised practices and procedures implemented pursuant to this Consent Order.
- 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 Northeast or any of its officers and directors, or their successors or assigns if Northeast fails to fully and promptly comply with the above provisions.
- This Consent Order shall become effective immediately upon the date of its issuance.
- The provisions of this Consent Order shall be binding upon Northeast, its officers and directors, their successors and assigns, and those persons in active participation with it, directly or indirectly, acting individually or through any corporate or other entity.
- In accordance with the terms of the Consent Agreement entered by Northeast and the Commissioner, Northeast has waived all rights of appeal that it may have relative to this Consent Order or any of its provisions.
- 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.
- 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 10th day of November, 2009
By: Steven L. Antonakes
Commissioner of Banks
Commonwealth of Massachusetts