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Mich governor creates new department to regulate FIs
EAST LANSING, Mich. (1/22/13)--Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has created a new department to increase assistance to, and regulation of, Michigan credit unions, banks, insurance and mortgage companies.

Snyder announced Wednesday that he established the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) in an executive order that goes into effect in 60 days (mlive.com Jan. 17). Snyder signed the order Thursday, the Michigan Credit Union League told News Now.

"We're hopeful that creation of a new, independent department places a strong emphasis on the importance of credit unions and the other covered industries, as important players in the economic recovery and continued progress of our state," David Adams, league CEO, told News Now. "We look forward to continuing to work with Director [Kevin] Clinton and the staff of the Credit Union Division in this new capacity." 

DIFS will take over the functions that have been handled by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, which is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, mlive.com said. 

Credit unions and the other industries regulated by the new DIFS learned of the move in advance of Snyder's State of the State address, but it was for the most part unexpected by the department's covered industries, Adams said.

However, the formation of the new department is a positive change that provides more direct interaction with the governor, places greater emphasis on the importance of the industries it covers--including credit unions--and perhaps streamlines any regulatory and rulemaking processes, he added. 

The credit union industry has a very strong working relationship with its state regulators in Michigan, and would expect that relationship and the services they provide to continue unhindered, Adams concluded.
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