Volume 1 Number 9
March 1, 2004










Since taking office in 2003, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has forged a cooperative relationship with state financial regulators overseeing Florida’s banking, mortgage, investments and short-term loan industries.  The ultimate goal is to ensure Florida maintains a strong and healthy financial system and consumers are protected from fraud and abuse.  This has ensured that consumers continue to be protected from fraud and abuses and that Florida maintains its strong and healthy financial system.

Below are a few examples of actions taken to protect consumers or to promote the viability of this industry in 2003:

Predatory Lending – or charging unaffordable interest rates or loaning money to Floridians who cannot repay it

      • Established a predatory lending task force to help curb abusive practices.
      • Dedicated additional investigative resources to fight lending abuse and fraud.
      • Began a public education campaign to inform consumers of the dangers. 

Money Transmitters – or wire transfer services

      • Conducted an examination sweep of the transmitter industry and took corrective action when non-compliance with regulatory standards was discovered.

In addition to working with financial regulators, CFO Gallagher is also pushing a proposal this upcoming legislative session to prevent identity theft. 


CFO Gallagher spoke at the Leadership Dinner for the Florida Bankers Association in Palm Beach Gardens on February 25, 2004.

In Florida, there are currently no guidelines for financial institutions for the proper disposal of consumer records containing personal, financial and medical information.  In the past year, there have been several reported incidents of sensitive information being disposed of improperly, sometimes along with everyday office trash in public dumpsters.  Easy access to these kinds of documents creates the potential for identity theft, our nation’s fastest growing crime. 

If scam artists gain access to consumers' personal, financial and medical information, they can wreak havoc with consumers’ finances.  Florida’s regulators can help protect Floridians from having their identities stolen with the authority to require financial institutions, insurance companies and agents to properly dispose of sensitive information.