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California State Senate Confirms Teveia R. Barnes as Commissioner of Department of Financial Institutions


March 13 - The California State Senate has voted to confirm the appointment of Teveia R. Barnes as commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Barnes to the position on March 12, 2012.

“It is an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions,” said Teveia R. Barnes, commissioner of financial institutions. “I am proud to serve the Governor, the people of California and the financial industry.”

“I am committed to remaining vigilant in carrying out DFI’s primary responsibility to protect and serve California’s citizens through the effective regulation and supervision of financial institutions licensed by the Department,” Barnes added.

As commissioner of financial institutions, Barnes has jurisdiction over state banks, credit unions, industrial banks, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, money transmitters and premium finance companies. Barnes’ priorities are to continue to preserve the integrity of the financial system in California and ensure the public’s trust and confidence by promoting the safety and soundness of state-chartered depository institutions and financial services companies. In addition, Barnes is committed to protecting consumers through the enforcement of applicable state and federal laws and regulations and the supervision of enterprise risk management. She will also continue working with DFI’s licensees to combat elder financial abuse.

“We all need a safe and affordable place to save our money and have access to financial services,” said Barnes. “I look forward to seeing more banks and credit unions participate in Bank On California to financially empower and enable more people in California.”

Barnes will encourage more banks and credit unions to participate in Bank On California, a volunteer initiative to financially empower people in California. Over forty financial institutions are participating in the Bank On California program. Half of the participating financial institutions are state-chartered banks and credit unions licensed and supervised by DFI. Barnes supports the expansion and implementation of new Bank On cities and counties throughout the state. Bank On California, under DFI’s leadership, expanded with Bank On Stanislaus in 2012. The program is also now available in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo counties through an expansion of Bank On Sacramento in 2012. There are now eight Bank On California coalitions: Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange, Sacramento (includes Amador, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo), San Francisco, San Jose and Stanislaus. Since Barnes became commissioner of DFI, several cities have decided to start new Bank Ons to assist the unbanked in their community, including Monterey, Santa Cruz, Salinas and Watsonville. Other regions are reaching out to DFI for guidance and technical assistance as they research a Bank On for their community needs.

Before her appointment as commissioner of financial institutions, Barnes was a partner at Foley and Lardner LLP and has over 35 years of finance and regulatory experience representing banks, other financial institutions, and not-for-profit companies. Barnes worked at Bank of America from 1986 to 1999 in multiple positions, including associate general counsel and senior vice president, where she was a member of the policy committee and represented BancAmerica Securities Inc. and the investment management, real estate, corporate trust and commercial divisions of Bank of America. Barnes has long been active in professional and civic affairs. She served on the boards of directors for U.S. Bank Advisory Board of Northern California, Rice University, On Lok, Inc., and Hospice by the Bay. She earned a Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law and received a BA degree in Economics, Political Science and German Studies from Rice University, where she was an Arthur B. Cohn Scholar.