TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Financial Services Commission has adopted a reorganization plan for the state’s new Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation that includes for the first time, a Bureau of Credit Unions. The Commission includes Gov. Jeb Bush, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, and two other state officials. Sharon Whiddon, who has been the chief credit union administrator since 1984, will head the new Bureau of Credit Unions. The new regulatory scheme resulted from the passage of a constitutional amendment four years ago and a statute creating the Department of Financial Services, which was the result of the merging of the old Departments of Banking & Finance and Insurance. FCUL’s Mark Ivester said the creation of a separate regulatory bureau for credit unions “is something the Florida Credit Union League has pushed a long time for ever since the constitutional amendment was passed four years ago.” Prior to the reoganization, credit union administration came under the Division of Banking which was the regulatory agency for all financial institutions in the state. The division was under the Department of Banking and Finance that was headed by Comptroller Bob Milligan. Under the new arrangement, the Office of Financial Institutions and Securities Regulation is headed by Gov. Bush, Gallagher, Attorney General Charlie Crist, and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, and within the OFISR are the Bureau of Banking and the Bureau of Credit Unions. The Bureau of Banking is being administered by Director Don Saxon, formerly with the old Department of Banking & Finance, and Deputy Director Alex Hager.

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