2023 Regular Session
To: Banking and Financial Services
By: Representative Aguirre
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION OF LAW IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE SALES FINANCE LAW TO CLARIFY THAT EMPLOYEES OF A STATE LICENSEE MAY WORK FROM HOME OR OTHER REMOTE LOCATION SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS; TO REQUIRE A LICENSEE THAT ALLOWS ITS EMPLOYEES TO WORK FROM HOME OR ANOTHER REMOTE LOCATION SELECTED BY THE EMPLOYEE TO PAY A SPECIAL EXAMINATION FEE; TO PROVIDE THAT LICENSEES THAT DO NOT ALLOW REMOTE WORK ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PAY SUCH SPECIAL EXAMINATION FEE; TO AMEND SECTION 63-19-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT THE LICENSEE FROM INDICATION ON THE LICENSE THE LOCATIONS FROM WHICH EMPLOYEES ARE WORKING REMOTELY; TO AMEND SECTION 63-19-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSIONER TO CHARGE THE LICENSEE FEES FOR SPECIAL EXAMINATIONS BASED ON THE AVERAGE DAILY COST OF ALL EXAMINERS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND CONSUMER FINANCE; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 63-19-7, 63-19-11, 63-19-19 AND 63-19-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to interfere with employees of a licensee, licensed under this Chapter 19, Title 63, Mississippi Code of 1972, working from home or another remote location selected by the employee, provided that the licensee:
(a) Ensures all in-person customer interactions will not be conducted at home or other remote location through videoconference or teleconference mechanisms, and will not designate the home or other remote location to consumers or customers as a business location;
(b) Maintains appropriate safeguards for licensee and consumer data, information and records, including the use of secure virtual private networks where appropriate;
(c) Employs appropriate risk-based monitoring and oversight processes of work performed from home or other remote location, and maintains records of the same;
(d) Ensures consumer information and records, in their tangible form or kept on portable electronic storage devices, are not maintained at home or other remote location;
(e) Ensures consumer and licensee information and records remain accessible and available for regulatory oversight and exams; and
(f) Provides appropriate employee training to keep all conversations about, and with, consumers conducted from home or other remote location confidential, as if conducted from a commercial location, and to ensure remote employees work in an environment conducive and appropriate to that privacy.
(g) Designate a separate area dedicated solely to conducting the business of a sales finance licensee.
(2) The provisions of this sections shall not be applicable to any bank, trust company, private banker, industrial bank or investment company authorized to do business in this state, and which routinely engages in the practice of financing the sales of motor vehicles, exempted from licensure under Section 63-19-7.
SECTION 2. To offset the costs of supervision and administration, as provided in Section 1 of this act, a licensee that allows its employees to work from home or another remote location selected by the employee must pay a special examination fee. Such fee shall be in addition to the regular examination fee as provided for in Section 63-19-27. Licensees that do not allow remote work are not required to pay such special examination fee.
SECTION 3. Section 63-19-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-19-15. Each license shall specify the location of the office and must be conspicuously displayed there. No such specification of office location shall be required to identify the remote location of employees of the licensee who are working from home or another location outside of the office designated on the license.
SECTION 4. Section 63-19-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-19-27. (1) The commissioner may charge the licensee an examination fee in an amount not less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) nor more than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) for each office or location within the State of Mississippi, plus any actual expenses incurred while examining the licensee's records or books that are located outside the State of Mississippi. However, in no event shall a licensee be examined more than once in a two-year period unless for cause shown based upon consumer complaint and/or other exigent reasons as determined by the commissioner. All expense fees paid to the commissioner for examinations conducted under this subsection shall be deposited by the commissioner in the State Treasury in a special and separate fund to be known as the "Consumer Finance Fund."
(2) When any special examination is conducted and so denominated by the commissioner, he or she shall charge the licensee so examined the cost based on the average daily cost of all examiners of the department plus actual and necessary expenses. The fees for any special examination conducted under this subsection shall be deposited by the commissioner into the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance's Maintenance Fund and may be expended for any purpose authorized for that fund.
SECTION 5. Section 63-19-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
63-19-7. No person shall engage in the business of a sales finance company in this state without a license therefor as provided in this chapter. However, no bank, trust company, private banker, industrial bank or investment company authorized to do business in this state shall be required to obtain a license under this chapter. They shall, however, comply with all of the other provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 6. Section 63-19-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
63-19-11. With each initial application for a license, the applicant shall pay to the commissioner at the time of making the application a license fee of Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750.00), and for renewal applications, an annual renewal fee of Four Hundred Seventy-five Dollars ($475.00) for each calendar year for each place of business so operated.
SECTION 7. Section 63-19-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
63-19-19. If a licensee is a firm, association or corporation, it shall be sufficient cause for the suspension or revocation of a license that any officer, director or trustee of a licensed firm, association or corporation, or any member of a licensed partnership, has so acted or failed to act as would be cause for suspending or revoking a license to such party as an individual. Each licensee shall be responsible for the acts of any or all of his employees while acting as his agent, if such licensee after actual knowledge of said acts retained the benefits, proceeds, profits or advantages accruing from said acts or otherwise ratified said acts.
SECTION 8. Section 63-19-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
63-19-23. The administrator shall, at intermittent periods, make such investigations and examinations of any licensee or other person as he deems necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. For such purpose he may examine the books, accounts, records and other documents or matters of any licensee or other person. He shall have the power to compel the production of all relevant books, records and other documents and materials relative to an examination or investigation. Such investigations and examinations shall not be made more often than once during a year unless the administrator has reason to believe the licensee is not complying with the provisions of this chapter.
SECTION 9. Section 1 of this act shall be codified in Chapter 19, Title 63, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.