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About

The Arkansas Securities Department

The Arkansas Securities Department provides responsible oversight of securities and financial industries in Arkansas while simultaneously working to protect consumers and educate investors. In this capacity, the Department regulates a variety of financial services, products, and professionals. Established in 1959, the Department's statutory duties have evolved over the years. Today, the Department is responsible for oversight of the securities industry, non-depository mortgage lending industry, money services industry, state-chartered credit union industry, and state-chartered savings and loan industry in Arkansas.

Mission Statement & Strategic Plan

Promote an environment in which the securities and financial markets within the department’s jurisdiction function efficiently and without unnecessary regulatory impediments and in which the Department protects the financial well-being of Arkansas citizens through effective consumer protection and education.

Strategic Plan

Our History

Act 254 of 1959 placed responsibility for the sale of securities under the jurisdiction of the State Bank Department, and provided for a State Securities Commissioner. The Securities Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and subject to the supervision of the State Bank Commissioner, and operated as a division of the State Bank Department.

Act 38 of 1971 transferred both the State Bank Department and the State Securities Department to the Department of Commerce. Each division continued to function independently of the Commerce Department with regard to the prescribed statutory powers, authorities, duties and rule-making responsibilities they had prior to the transfer.

Act 471 of 1973 amended Act 254 of 1959 to provide that the Securities Division was no longer a part of the State Bank Department and the Securities Commissioner was no longer subject to the supervision of the State Bank Commissioner. The Act further provided that the Securities Division be renamed the Arkansas Securities Department and that all Acts previously regulated by the Securities Division be transferred to the new agency effective July 1, 1973.

In early 1975, it became apparent that the special revenue fund balances transferred to the Department by the Bank Department pursuant to Act 471 of 1973 would not be sufficient to continue operation of the Department at its current level. Act 863 of 1975 amended all Acts administered by the Department to reclassify all revenues received by the Department as general revenues. Thus, effective July 1, 1975, the Department ceased being a special revenue agency and became a general revenue agency with all expenditures paid from the general revenues of the State.

Act 691 of 1983 abolished the Department of Commerce. Section 3 of the Act directed that the State Securities Department shall function as an independent agency. The Securities Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

Act 659 of 1993 created on the books of the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State and those of the State Treasurer a fund to be known as the “Securities Department Fund.” Such fund is to be used for the maintenance, operation, support and improvement of the State Securities Department. Portions of the filing fees collected under the Securities Act are designated as special revenue and deposited into the Securities Department Fund. Currently, the maximum amount of fees deposited into such fund is limited to $2.5 million in each fiscal year. The remainder of the filing fees are deposited into General Revenues.

Pursuant to the Savings and Loan Association Act, Act 227 of 1963, as amended, the Securities Commissioner acts as the Supervisor of savings and loan associations. In 1997, the Savings and Loan Association Act was amended to do away with the Savings and Loan Association Board and transferred the Savings and Loan Association Board’s power and authority to the Securities Commissioner.

Act 759 of 2003 created the Investor Education Fund. The Investor Education Program is funded from administrative fines assessed under the Securities Act. Fines received in excess of $150,000 are deposited into General Revenues.

Pursuant to the Cemetery Act for Perpetually Maintained Cemeteries, as amended, the Securities Commissioner served as a voting member and Secretary of the Cemetery Board. Effective July 1, 2018, the Cemetery Board was merged into a newly created board with the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, and the Burial Board. The new board is under the Insurance Department.

Act 910 of 2019 established the Arkansas Department of Commerce and placed the Securities Department within the new Department. The Arkansas Securities Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and reports to the Secretary of Commerce.

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