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DBO Reports Record Number Of CFL Licensees

California prohibits any person (unless exempt) from engaging in the business of a finance lender or broker without obtaining a license from the Commissioner of Business Oversight.  Cal. Fin. Code § 22100(a).  This applies to persons engaged in the business of making commercial as well as consumer loans, whether secured or unsecured.  Licensees are required to file an annual report with the Commissioner by March 15 of each year.  Cal. Fin. Code § 22159(a).  The Commissioner is required to make a "composite" of these reports available as a public record.  Cal. Fin. Code §  22160.  The Commissioner recently fulfilled this obligation by posting this report for the 2018 calendar year.  The report contains a large amount of data about licensed lender activity.

According to the Commissioner, the last year marked a 10 year high in the number of licensees and licensed locations.  However, the number of applications for licenses was slightly below the 10 year high.  Below is a graph prepared from the data in the Commissioner's report.

 Cal License

It appears that the increase in licensees has not kept pace with the number of applications.  For example, 1,398 applications for new licenses were received in 2017, but the number of licensees at the end of 2018 had increased by only 293 (the report does not disclose the number of licenses that were surrendered).

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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm

Keith Paul Bishop is a partner in Allen Matkins' Corporate and Securities practice group, and works out of the Orange County office. He represents clients in a wide range of corporate transactions, including public and private securities offerings of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and tender offers, corporate governance matters and federal and state securities laws (including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act), investment adviser, financial services regulation, and California administrative law. He regularly advises clients...