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PRESS RELEASE 02-09
December 24, 2002
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966
www.dfi.ca.gov

Department of Financial Institutions Makes Year End Announcement

Sacramento - Financial Institutions Commissioner Donald R. Meyer today announced year-end information for the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). DFI supervises over 700 financial institutions, including 187 banks and 221 credit unions. Total assets of state chartered financial institutions were $211 billion at year end 2001 and have increased to $223 billion as of September 30, and are projected to be $227 billion at year end 2002.

"Safety and soundness continues to be our mission as we welcome four new banks and nine converted credit unions. We are also pleased to report that there were no state bank or credit union closures in 2002 and bank and credit union assets continue to grow," said Commissioner Meyer.

During the year 2002, the Department:

  • licensed four new state banks;
  • bank asset's are projected to increase to $145 billion ($134.5 at year end in 2001); facilitated nine federal credit unions converting to state charter;
  • credit union asset's are projected to increase to $53 billion ($43.7 in 2001);
  • licensed 13 new transmitters of money abroad to service financial transactions between California and the rest of the world ($4 billion in 2001);
  • responded to over 25,000 consumer inquiries;
  • published three new consumer education publications, the Consumer Assistance for Customers of State Financial Institutions, Tips for Financial Transactions, and Transmitting Money Abroad and Cómo enviar dinero a países extranjeros - Información para el consumidor (Spanish);
  • continued emphasizing financial literacy by establishing a children's web page, speaking at community events, disseminating materials at public events and partnering with other agencies and organizations to bring information to seniors, students, and minority groups. The Governor proclaimed the first "California Financial Literacy Month" in April.

In addition, DFI introduced its redesigned Web site www.dfi.ca.gov in December, to better serve consumers of California's financial institutions in addition to serving California's financial institutions themselves.

The Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for administering State laws regulating state-licensed banks, state-licensed savings and loans, state-licensed trust companies, state-licensed offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), transmitters of money abroad, state-licensed credit unions, and state-licensed industrial banks. The Department reports to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Gray Davis.