Wiessmann Announces State Government Financial Information Exchange During HU Ceremony

While speaking at Harrisburg University’s “What Does Financial Literacy Mean to Me?” awards ceremony last night, Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann announced the formation of a state government financial information exchange. The exchange is part of Governor Wolf’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative.

Twenty state government agencies that offer some form of financial education or outreach to consumers form the exchange. Participating agencies work in a coordinated fashion to provide Pennsylvanians with personal financial information from non-commercial sources. Wiessmann noted that the exchange may expand to include other agencies.

As an example how the exchange operates, Wiessmann discussed the work of leaders from 12 agencies with hotlines addressing consumers on financial-related topics. This group is working toward the goals of ensuring their staffs know the appropriate places to refer calls that are not typically handled by their agencies, as well as making certain that the financial information they share with consumers is up-to-date and consistent across agencies.

“Imagine you suspect someone is taking advantage of your grandmother and defrauding her through a banking or retirement account. Who do you call with your questions or to file a complaint?” Wiessmann asked the audience. “Because of the work of the exchange, you will get an appropriate and helpful response whether you call the hotlines from the Department of Banking and Securities, the Department of Aging, or the Attorney General’s Office – or even the Department of Agriculture or Insurance Department.”

Additionally, she mentioned that four agencies — the Department of Banking and Securities, PennDOT, Department of Human Services, and Department of Labor & Industry — are collaborating on raising public awareness of the risks of unlicensed “easy money” loans advertised over the Internet from out-of-state companies.

Exchange agencies include:

  • Office of Administration
  • Department of Aging
  • Department of Agriculture
  • PA Attorney General
  • Department of Banking and Securities
  • Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
  • Department of Education
  • PA e-Health Partnership
  • PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
  • PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
  • PA Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
  • Department of Human Services
  • Insurance Department
  • Department of Labor & Industry
  • Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
  • Department of Revenue
  • PA State Police
  • Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
  • PA Treasury
  • Public Utility Commission

The exchange is also working on creating inter-agency collaborations on issues such as cybersecurity, financial fraud, and financial products being sold to senior citizens.

“When I first began talking about ‘Government that Works,’ this is the kind of outcome I imagined,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I am grateful that so many agencies, including several not under my jurisdiction, have joined this initiative and I congratulate their leaders.”

Members of the public can contact the Department of Banking and Securities consumer hotline (1-800-PA-BANKS) to file a complaint or ask questions about financial products, transactions, or companies. Consumers and businesses can learn more at www.dobs.pa.gov, and are also invited to connect to the department’s consumer and business outreach efforts by following us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.