Banking Interpretations

Gen. Reg. Part 38

July 17, 2007

Re: Branch office registration

Dear Mr. [---]:

Your December 7, 2006 letter has been forwarded to me for response.  I apologize for the delay in my reply. In this letter, you inquire whether a mortgage broker that has a loan officer operating out of a real estate broker's office needs a registration for a branch office at that location. You state that in this scenario, the broker will not own the location nor will the registrant be paying rent or remuneration for use of the space. You further state that it is your opinion that this would not be considered a branch office under the Banking Law and Regulations and therefore would not need a branch license.

Your conclusion that the scenario which you described would not require a branch license is based on your statement that the mortgage broker would not own the location or pay any type of consideration for the use of the space. While the current definition of a "full service" branch in Part 38.1 of the General Regulations of the Banking Board states that "licensee or registrant owns or pays rent or any other form of consideration for the use thereof", it is the Department's policy that all locations at which a mortgage broker or its officers are operating out of, must be registered with the Department as a branch office of that registrant. The Department no longer registers "loan solicitation" branches.  Therefore, a branch license would be needed for a loan officer to operate out of a real estate office or travel agency.


Christine M. Tomczak
Assistant Counsel