Law:Title 2. Financial Regulatory Agencies (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 11. Finance Commission Of Texas

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  11.001.  Definitions.

(a) The definitions provided by Section 31.002 apply to this chapter.

(b)  In this chapter, "finance agency" means:

(1)  the Texas Department of Banking;

(2)  the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending; or

(3)  the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.002, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.002.  Purpose Of Commission; Strategic Plan.

(a) The finance commission is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Texas Department of Banking, the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, and the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner and serves as the primary point of accountability for ensuring that state depository and lending institutions function as a system, considering the broad scope of the financial services industry.  The finance commission is the policy-making body for those finance agencies and is not a separate state agency.  The finance commission shall carry out its functions in a manner that protects consumer interests, maintains a safe and sound banking system, and increases the economic prosperity of the state.

(b)  The finance commission shall prepare and periodically update a strategic plan for coordination of the state financial system. Each finance agency shall cooperate in preparation of the plan.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.003, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter B. Composition And Operation

Section  11.101.  Appointment; Terms; Oath.

(a) The Finance Commission of Texas is composed of nine members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

(b)  Members of the finance commission serve staggered terms of six years with the terms of one-third of the members expiring February 1 of each even-numbered year.

(c)  An appointment to the finance commission must be made without regard to the race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin of the appointee.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.102.  Qualifications Of Members.

(a) A member of the finance commission must be a registered voter of this state. Not more than two members may be residents of the same state senatorial district.

(b)  One member of the finance commission must be a banking executive, one member of the finance commission must be a savings executive, one member of the finance commission must be a consumer credit executive, and one member of the finance commission must be a mortgage broker.

(c)  Five members of the finance commission must be representatives of the general public. At least one of those members must be a certified public accountant.

(d)  A person may not be a public member of the finance commission if the person or the person's spouse:

(1)  is registered, certified, or licensed by a regulatory agency in an industry regulated by a finance agency;

(2)  is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization regulated by or receiving money from a finance agency;

(3)  owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization regulated by or receiving money from a finance agency; or

(4)  uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or money from a finance agency other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for finance commission membership, attendance, or expenses.

(e)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  "Banking executive" means a person who:

(A)  has had five years' or more executive experience in a bank during the seven-year period preceding the person's appointment; and

(B)  is an officer of a state bank.

(2)  "Savings executive" means a person who:

(A)  has had five years' or more executive experience in a savings association or savings bank during the seven-year period preceding the person's appointment; and

(B)  is an officer of a state savings association or savings bank.

(3)  "Consumer credit executive" means a person who:

(A)  has had five years' or more executive experience in an entity regulated by the consumer credit commissioner during the seven-year period preceding the person's appointment; and

(B)  is an officer of an entity regulated by the consumer credit commissioner.

(4)  "Mortgage broker" means a person who:

(A)  has had five years' or more experience as a mortgage broker, as defined by Section 156.002, during the seven-year period preceding the person's appointment; and

(B)  is a mortgage broker, as defined by Section 156.002.

(f)  Experience as banking commissioner, deputy banking commissioner, examiner, or supervisor of examiners for a state or federal banking regulatory agency is considered executive experience in a bank for the purposes of Subsection (e)(1)(A).  Experience as savings and mortgage lending commissioner, deputy savings and mortgage lending commissioner, examiner, or supervisor of examiners for a state or federal savings and loan regulatory agency is considered executive experience in a savings association or savings bank for the purposes of Subsection (e)(2)(A).

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.004, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.1021.  Conflict Of Interest.

(a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b)  A person may not be a member of the finance commission if:

(1)  the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in an industry regulated by a finance agency; or

(2)  the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in an industry regulated by a finance agency.

(c)  A person may not be a member of the finance commission if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of a finance agency.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.103.  Removal Of Members.

(a) It is a ground for removal from the finance commission that a member:

(1)  does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Section 11.102;

(2)  does not maintain during service on the finance commission the qualifications required by Section 11.102;

(3)  is ineligible for membership under Section 11.102 or 11.1021;

(4)  cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or

(5)  is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled finance commission meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the finance commission.

(b)  If the banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, or consumer credit commissioner has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, or consumer credit commissioner shall notify the presiding officer of the finance commission of the potential ground.  The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.  If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, or consumer credit commissioner shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the finance commission, who shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

(c)  The validity of an action of the finance commission is not affected by the fact that it was taken when a ground for removal of a member of the finance commission existed.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.005, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 11.104.  Expenses And Compensation Of Members.

A member of the finance commission is entitled to:

(1)  the reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to travel incurred in connection with the performance of official duties; and

(2)  a per diem for each day that the member engages in the business of the finance commission.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1317, Sec. 28(b), eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 11.105.  Matter In Which Member Has Personal Interest.

A member of the finance commission may not act or participate in the portion of a commission meeting during which the matter considered specifically relates to an entity:

(1)  of which the member or the member's spouse is an officer, director, stockholder, shareholder, or owner; or

(2)  in which the member or the member's spouse has another financial interest.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 237, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.106.  Meetings.

(a) The finance commission shall hold at least six regular public meetings during each calendar year on dates set by the commission.

(b)  The presiding officer or three members of the finance commission may call a special public meeting of the commission.

(c)  The finance commission may hold an open or closed special meeting by telephone conference call if:

(1)  immediate action is required;

(2)  the convening at one location of a quorum of the finance commission is difficult or impossible;

(3)  notice is given for the meeting as for other meetings;

(4)  the notice specifies a location for the meeting at which the public may attend;

(5)  each part of the meeting that is required to be open to the public is audible to the public at the location specified in the notice of the meeting; and

(6)  the meeting is tape-recorded and the tape recording of each portion of the meeting that is required to be open to the public is made available to the public.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.107.  Presiding Officer.

(a) The governor shall appoint a member of the finance commission as presiding officer of the commission. The presiding officer serves at the will of the governor.

(b)  The presiding officer shall preside at and provide for the keeping of minutes of each public meeting of the finance commission.

(c)  The presiding officer may:

(1)  adopt rules and procedures as the presiding officer considers necessary for the orderly operation of the finance commission and for communication among the finance commission, the department, the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, and the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner;

(2)  adopt internal procedures governing the time and place of meetings, the type of notice for special public meetings, the manner in which public meetings are to be conducted, and other similar matters; and

(3)  appoint committees composed of finance commission members as the presiding officer considers necessary to carry out the commission's business.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.006, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.108.  Sunset Provision.

The finance commission is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the commission is abolished September 1, 2013.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.109.  Standards Of Conduct.

The presiding officer of the finance commission or the presiding officer's designee shall provide to members of the finance commission, as often as necessary, information regarding the requirements for office under this title, including information regarding a person's responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.110.  Training.

(a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the finance commission may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the finance commission until the person completes a training program that complies with this section.

(b)  The training program must provide the person with information regarding:

(1)  the legislation that created the finance agencies and the finance commission;

(2)  the programs operated by the finance agencies;

(3)  the role and functions of the finance agencies;

(4)  the rules of the finance commission with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;

(5)  the current budget for the finance agencies;

(6)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the finance agencies;

(7)  the requirements of:

(A)  the open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code;

(B)  the public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code;

(C)  the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code; and

(D)  other laws relating to public officials, including conflict-of-interest laws; and

(8)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the finance commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c)  A person appointed to the finance commission is entitled to reimbursement under Section 11.104, as if the person were a member of the finance commission, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1317, Sec. 28(c), eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 11.111.  Separation Of Functions.

The finance commission shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the finance commission and the management responsibilities of the banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, and consumer credit commissioner and staff of the finance agencies.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.007, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.112.  Public Testimony.

The finance commission shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the finance commission and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the finance agencies.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter C. Staff And Expenses

Section  11.202.  Hearings Officer And Auditor.

(a) The finance commission shall direct a finance agency to employ an internal auditor to provide services to and facilitate commission oversight and control over the finance agencies.

(b)  The Texas Department of Banking may employ a hearings officer to serve the finance agencies as determined by interagency agreement. For the purposes of Section 2003.021, Government Code, a hearings officer employed under this section is considered to be an employee of each agency for which hearing services are provided. The hearings officer's only duty is to preside over matters related to contested cases before a finance agency or the finance commission.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.203.  Limitation On Direction Of Auditor.

The internal auditor reports to the finance commission and is not subject to direction by the employing finance agency.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.204.  Sharing Of Staff, Equipment, And Facilities; Allocation Of Costs.

(a) The finance commission shall use the staff, equipment, and facilities of the finance agencies to the extent necessary to carry out the finance commission's duties. To reduce administrative costs, the finance agencies shall share staff, equipment, and facilities to the extent that the sharing contributes to cost efficiency without detracting from the staff expertise needed for individual areas of agency responsibility.

(b)  An interagency agreement must provide that the cost of staff used by the finance commission, including the internal auditor, is to be charged to the finance agencies in proportion to the amount of time devoted to each agency's business. All other costs of operation of the finance commission are to be shared by and included in the budgets of the finance agencies in proportion to the amount of cash receipts of each of those agencies.

(c)  The finance commission shall have charge and control of the property known as the Finance Commission Building and use of staff, equipment, and facilities of the finance agencies.  The Finance Commission Building refers to the property located in the city of Austin and titled in the name of the Banking Section of the Finance Commission of Texas, as described by deed recorded in Volume 5080, Page 1099, of the Deed Records of Travis County, Texas.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1317, Sec. 28(d), eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter D. Powers And Duties

Section  11.301.  Banking Rules. The

finance commission may adopt banking rules as provided by Section 31.003.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.302.  Savings Association And Savings Bank Rules.

(a) The finance commission may adopt rules applicable to state savings associations or to savings banks and may authorize state savings associations and savings banks to invest money of state savings associations or savings banks in any manner permitted for a federal savings association or federal savings bank domiciled in this state. This subsection does not authorize the finance commission to diminish or limit a right or power specifically given to state savings associations or savings banks by state law.

(b)  The finance commission may adopt rules to:

(1)  prevent state savings associations or savings banks from concentrating an excessive or unreasonable portion of the resources of state savings associations or savings banks in a type or character of loan or security authorized by Subtitle B or C, Title 3; and

(2)  establish standards for investments by state savings associations or savings banks, including limits on the amount that a state savings association or savings bank may invest in a type or character of investment to an amount or percentage of the savings association's or savings bank's assets or net worth.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 11.303.  Disclosure Of Certain Information To Finance Commission Prohibited.

Information regarding the financial condition of a state savings association or savings bank obtained through examination or otherwise may not be disclosed to a member of the finance commission, except that the savings and mortgage lending commissioner may disclose to the finance commission a file or record pertinent to a hearing or matter pending before the commission.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.008, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.304.  Consumer Credit Rules.

The finance commission may adopt rules necessary to supervise the consumer credit commissioner and ensure compliance with Chapter 14 and Title 4.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.305.  Research.

(a) The finance commission shall instruct the consumer credit commissioner to establish a program to address alternatives to high-cost lending in this state. The program shall:

(1)  study and report on the problem of high-cost lending, including without limitation the availability, quality, and prices of financial services, including lending and depository services, offered in this state to agricultural businesses, small businesses, and individual consumers in this state;

(2)  evaluate alternatives to high-cost lending and the practices of business entities in this state that provide financial services to agricultural businesses, small businesses, and individual consumers in this state;

(3)  develop models to provide lower-cost alternatives to assist borrowers who contract for high-cost loans; and

(4)  track the location of lenders who enter into loan contracts providing for an interest charge authorized by Section 342.201, map the location of the lenders by senatorial district and by any other appropriate areas, provide other demographic information relating to the loans and the location of the lenders, and provide information on the changes in the distribution of the lenders from 1997 through the date of the report.

(b)  The program may:

(1)  apply for and receive public and private grants and gifts to conduct the research authorized by this section;

(2)  contract with public and private entities to carry out studies and analyses under this section;

(3)  provide funding for pilot programs; and

(4)  make grants to nonprofit institutions working to provide alternatives to high-cost loans.

(c)  Not later than December 1 of each year, the consumer credit commissioner shall provide to the legislature a report detailing its findings and making recommendations to improve the availability, quality, and prices of financial services.

(d)  The Texas Department of Banking and the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending shall jointly conduct a continuing review of the condition of the state banking system.  The review must include a review of all available national and state economic forecasts and an analysis of changing banking practices and new banking legislation.  Periodically the departments shall submit a report to the finance commission on the results of the review, including information relating to the condition of the state banking system at the time of the report and the predicted condition of that system in the future.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 2.03(c), eff. June 16, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.009, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 11.3055.  Financial Services Study.

(a) The finance commission may assign the banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, or consumer credit commissioner to conduct research on:

(1)  the availability, quality, and prices of financial services, including lending and depository services, offered in this state to agricultural businesses, small businesses, and individual consumers in this state; and

(2)  the practices of business entities in this state that provide financial services to agricultural businesses, small businesses, and individual consumers in this state.

(b)  The banking commissioner, savings and mortgage lending commissioner, or consumer credit commissioner may:

(1)  apply for and receive public and private grants and gifts to conduct the research authorized by this section; and

(2)  contract with public and private entities to carry out studies and analyses under this section.

Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2001.

Renumbered from Finance Code Sec. 11.305(a), (b) and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 2.03(c), eff. June 16, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.010, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.306.  Mortgage Broker Rules.

The finance commission may adopt mortgage broker rules as provided by Chapter 156.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1254, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  11.307.  Rules Relating To Consumer Complaints.

(a) The finance commission shall adopt rules applicable to each entity regulated by the Texas Department of Banking or the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending specifying the manner in which the entity provides consumers with information on how to file complaints with the appropriate agency.

(b)  The finance commission shall adopt rules applicable to each entity regulated by a finance agency requiring the entity to include information on how to file complaints with the appropriate agency in each privacy notice that the entity is required to provide consumers under law, including Pub. L. No. 106-102.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 867, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 6.011, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  11.308.  Interpretation Of Home Equity Lending Law.

The finance commission may, on request of an interested person or on its own motion, issue interpretations of Sections 50(a)(5)-(7), (e)-(p), (t), and (u), Article XVI, Texas Constitution. An interpretation under this section is subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code, and is applicable to all lenders authorized to make extensions of credit under Section 50(a)(6), Article XVI, Texas Constitution, except lenders regulated by the Credit Union Commission. The finance commission and the Credit Union Commission shall attempt to adopt interpretations that are as consistent as feasible or shall state justification for any inconsistency.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1207, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 13, 2003.



Section 11.309.  Rules Relating To Check Verification Entities.

(a) In this section, "check verification entity" and "financial institution" have the meanings assigned by Section 523.052, Business & Commerce Code.

(b)  The finance commission shall adopt rules:

(1)  requiring a check verification entity to register with the banking commissioner:

(A)  at the intervals the finance commission determines, but not less frequently than annually; and

(B)  by providing to the banking commissioner the information that the finance commission determines is necessary to enable a financial institution or a check verification entity to comply with the requirements of Section 523.052, Business & Commerce Code;

(2)  authorizing the banking commissioner to charge a check verification entity a reasonable annual fee, not to exceed $100, to register with the commissioner; and

(3)  requiring the banking commissioner to establish an electronic notification system, through secure e-mail or another secure system, to be used by a financial institution to notify check verification entities as required by Section 523.052, Business & Commerce Code.

(c)  The finance commission may not impose a duty on the banking commissioner under Subsection (b)(3) to verify the validity or completeness of information transmitted through the electronic notification system.

(d)  The banking commissioner may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations from public and private entities to establish and maintain the secure notification system.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1044, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 10.001, eff. September 1, 2009.


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