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Oregon joins multiple states in $10.2 million settlement with Robinhood (Photo) - 09/21/23

Salem – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) announced today that it has joined a multi-state settlement with Robinhood Financial LLC, which will pay up to $10.2 million in penalties for operational and technical failures that harmed investors, including some in Oregon.

The settlement stems from an investigation spearheaded by state securities regulators in Alabama, Colorado, California, Delaware, New Jersey, South Dakota and Texas coordinated through the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) regarding Robinhood’s operational failures with respect to the retail market.

The investigation was sparked by Robinhood platform outages in March 2020, a time when hundreds of thousands of investors were relying on the Robinhood app to make trades. In addition, before to March 2021, there were deficiencies at Robinhood in its review and approval process for options and margin accounts, weaknesses in the firm’s monitoring and reporting tools, and insufficient customer service and escalation protocols that in some cases left Robinhood users unable to process trades even as the value of certain stocks was dropping.

“This multi-state settlement is another example of states working together to protect investors,” said DFR Administrator TK Keen. “DFR is committed to holding companies like Robinhood accountable when it failed to protect those who have entrusted them.”

The order sets out the following violations:

  • Negligent dissemination of inaccurate information to customers, including regarding margin and risk associated with multi-leg option spreads.
  • Failure to have a reasonably designed customer identification program.
  • Failure to supervise technology critical to providing customers with core broker-dealer services.
  • Failure to have a reasonably designed system for dealing with customer inquiries.
  • Failure to exercise due diligence before approving certain option accounts.
  • Failure to report all customer complaints to FINRA and state securities regulators, as may be required.

Robinhood neither admits nor denies the findings as set out in the orders. Robinhood will provide access to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)-ordered compliance implementation report to settling states. Robinhood retained an independent compliance consultant who made recommendations for remediation, which Robinhood has generally implemented.

One year after the settlement date, Robinhood will attest to the lead state, Alabama, that it is in full compliance with the FINRA-ordered independent compliance consultant’s recommendations or has otherwise instituted measures that are more effective at addressing the recommendations.

If you have questions or concerns about your investments or financial professional, please contact DFR at 1-888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email dfr.financialserviceshelp@dcbs.oregon.gov.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and  www.dcbs.oregon.gov.​​

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As students head back to school, now is a good time to review insurance policies (Photo) - 09/07/23

Salem – There is a lot of excitement and trepidation this time of year as children head back to school, whether it be elementary, middle, or high school, or even to college. As your students head off, now is a good time to review your insurance policies to give yourself peace of mind and help protect your family from financial disaster.

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) reminds Oregonians that having proper insurance coverage can provide greater peace of mind and protect your family. Here are some insurance tips to help your back-to-school season go smoothly.

  • Homeowners insurance

If your student is moving into a dorm room, your homeowners policy will likely cover their personal property in case of a loss. Ask your child to tell you if they buy a new computer or other pricey items, and have them keep receipts. Check with your agent or insurance company to ensure these items are covered. 

Students living off campus should consider renters insurance. This coverage will protect students’ personal property and provide liability coverage if someone is injured on the property. Premiums for renters insurance are reasonable, depending on the location, size of the rental unit, and the value of the possessions. A home inventory is always a good idea, whether they live on or off campus. This list of items will make a future insurance claim much quicker and easier to settle.

  • Auto insurance

Oregon requires every vehicle on the road to have auto liability coverage. Auto liability insurance pays for property damage and bodily injury to someone else if you are found responsible for an accident up to your policy’s limits. If the title to the vehicle is in your student’s name, they must have their own policy. If your college student is driving a vehicle you own, your child can likely stay on your policy and be listed as a driver.

Tell your insurance agent or company where the vehicle will be stored if the address differs from what is on your policy.

  • Health insurance

Students have several options for health insurance coverage while away at college. If your children are covered under your insurance now, they will still be covered while at school. Any insurance plan that offers dependent coverage must make that available until the dependent is 26. If you are currently enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO), your child may need to return to your home area for routine care and may have emergency care only while at school.

Many colleges and universities also offer their own student health insurance plans. The premiums and features vary widely by school. Check with your student’s school health center to see available coverage options.

  • Denied insurance claims

If your family experiences a claim denial or settlement disagreement, and you are unable to resolve the issue with your insurance company, you can file a complaint on the DFR website. The division’s advocates are also available to help answer general questions. Call 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email dfr.insurancehelp@dcbs.oregon.gov. The division’s website also has resources available at dfr.oregon.gov.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and  www.dcbs.oregon.gov.​​

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Workers' compensation costs to drop for 11th-straight year - 09/06/23

Salem – In 2024, Oregon employers, on average, will pay less for workers’ compensation coverage, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today. The decline in costs marks 11 years of average decreases in the pure premium rate – the base rate insurers use to determine how much employers must pay for medical costs and lost wages. 

Underpinning the cost decreases is the success of Oregon’s workers’ compensation system, which includes programs to control costs, maintain good worker benefits, ensure employers carry insurance for their workers, resolve disputes, and improve workplace safety and health.

The numbers illustrate positive, long-term trends, including:

  • Employers, on average, would pay 90 cents per $100 of payroll for workers’ compensation costs in 2024, down from 93 cents in 2023, under a proposal by DCBS. That figure covers workers’ compensation claims costs, assessments, and insurer profit and expenses.
  • The pure premium rate would drop by an average 6.7 percent under the proposal. In fact, the pure premium will have declined by 49 percent from 2015 to 2024.

The reduction in costs is due to an improvement in loss experience and loss development patterns in Oregon, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). NCCI is the U.S. rate-setting organization whose recommendation DCBS reviews as part of its annual public process to decide rates.

Employers’ total cost for workers’ compensation insurance includes the pure premium and insurer profit and expenses, plus the premium assessment. Employers also pay at least half of the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment, which is a cents-per-hour-worked rate.

The decrease in the pure premium of 6.7 percent is an average, so an individual employer may see a larger or smaller decrease, no change, or even an increase, depending on the employer’s own industry, claims experience, and payroll. Also, the pure premium does not take into account the varying expenses and profit of insurers or individual policyholders’ experience modification, if eligible. 

The stability of Oregon’s workers’ compensation system helps sustain the trend in lower costs. The system includes the Workers’ Compensation Division; Oregon OSHA; the Workers’ Compensation Board, which resolves disputes over the state’s workers’ compensation and workplace safety laws; the Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers, an independent advocate for workers on workers’ compensation and workplace safety and health; and the Small Business Ombudsman, an independent advocate for small business owners on workers’ compensation.

The premium assessment funds those successful programs. 

The premium assessment, which is a percentage of the workers’ compensation insurance premium employers pay, is added to the premium. It would remain at 9.8 percent in 2024, the same as 2023, under the DCBS proposal. In fact, 2024 would mark the third straight year the premium assessment remained at 9.8 percent.

“Oregon has a robust workers’ compensation system that strives to prevent injuries while also providing comprehensive benefits to injured workers and keeping costs low for employers,” said Andrew Stolfi, DCBS director and insurance commissioner. “This system has proven advantageous for everyone.”

Meanwhile, the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment funds return-to-work programs, provides increased benefits over time for workers who are permanently and totally disabled, and gives benefits to families of workers who die from workplace injuries or diseases. 

The fund’s revenue comes from a cents-per-hour-worked assessment. The assessment would decrease to 2.0 cents per hour worked in 2024 from 2.2 cents in 2023. It is the lowest rate since the inception of the cents-per-hour assessment in 1996. Because the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment is shared by employers and workers – no matter the industry – a reduction in the rate saves money for both groups.

The decrease in the pure premium will be effective Jan. 1, 2024, but employers will see the changes when they renew their policies in 2024.

Oregon’s workers’ compensation premium rates have ranked low nationally for many years. Oregon had the 10th least expensive rates in 2022, according to a nationally recognized biennial study conducted by DCBS. 

The following cost chart summarizes the changes and includes information about how to participate in the virtual public hearing set for Thursday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m.:


More information about Oregon workers’ compensation costs:  http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/cost/Pages/index.aspx 


Workers’ Compensation Cost Summary: Effective Jan. 1, 2024



Pays for


Recent Rate History

Pure premiumMedical costs and benefits for lost wages. Excludes insurer expenses and profit.

Average 6.7 percent decrease from 2023. 


  • 2023: 3.2 percent decrease
  • 2022: 5.8 percent decrease
  • 2021: 5.6 percent decrease
  • 2020: 8.4 percent decrease

Premium assessment*


State regulatory costs to administer workers’

compensation and

workplace safety programs.

  • 9.8 percent of premiums for insured employers. 



This amount is unchanged from 2023 and 2022. The rate was increased by 0.4 percentage points in 2022 and 1.0 percentage points in 2021.
Self-insured employer and employer group premium assessment*Self-insured employers and self-insured employer groups pay the premium assessment, plus an additional amount to fund reserves that ensure prompt payment of claims in the event of insolvencies.


  • 0.1 percent for self-insured employers.


  • 0.1 percent for public-sector self-insured groups.


  • 0.5 percent for private-sector self-insured employer groups.

These amounts are unchanged from 2023.


Workers’ Benefit Fund 

(Payroll assessment)

Special benefits for certain injured workers and their families, and return-to-work programs.2.0 cents per hour worked. Employers and employees split the cost.The rate was 2.2 cents per hour from 2020 through 2023.


The public hearings for the workers’ compensation assessment and the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment are Thursday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Written testimony will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, by the Director's Office of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, 350 Winter St. NE, P.O. Box 14480, Salem, OR 97309-0405.


The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For information, visit http://www.dcbs.oregon.gov/



Oregon finalizes 2024 health rates for individual, small group markets; sees robust options in all counties (Photo) - 09/05/23

Salem – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has finalized the rate decisions for 2024 health insurance for the individual and small group markets. The division reviews and approves rates for these markets through a detailed and transparent public process before they can be charged to policyholders.

The division hosted public hearings, took public comment, and – after careful consideration and a rigorous review – reached the final decisions announced today. The division published preliminary decisions in July before the public hearings. In the public hearings, members of the public, health insurance companies, and the division had the opportunity to further review and analyze the preliminary decisions.

“We know the cost of health insurance and medicine continue to rise due to circumstances out of people’s hands,” said Andrew R. Stolfi, Oregon’s insurance commissioner and director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “We work hard to ensure consumers have multiple choices for coverage and to keep premium costs down as much as possible. We are fortunate to have the Oregon Reinsurance Program, which helps stabilize the market and leads to more options in every county across the state.”

Oregon currently has at least five health care options for people to choose from in the individual market in all but one county. All 36 counties have at least four options. This is a big improvement from 2019 when 12 of Oregon’s counties had three or fewer insurers in the individual market. The improvement is even better when factoring in the Health Insurance Marketplace. In 2019, only five counties had at least four companies selling marketplace coverage; today, that is all 36 counties. Also in 2019, 24 of the 36 counties had two or fewer marketplace plans for people to choose from.

“This is a testament to how far we’ve come in increasing access to comprehensive health care to as many people in the state as possible,” Stolfi said. “We will continue to work to make health care accessible and affordable for all Oregonians.”

Individual market
The division issued final decisions for six companies in the individual market with average rate changes ranging from a 3.5 percent increase to an 8.5 percent increase for an overall weighted average increase of 6.2 percent, which is a half percent improvement over last year’s average of 6.7 percent. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $467 to $537 a month.

Small group market
In the small group market, the division issued final decisions for eight companies with average rate increases ranging from 0.8 percent to 12.4 percent, for an overall weighted average increase of 8.1 percent, which was slightly higher than last year’s average of 7.8 percent. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland range from $387 to $459 a month.

2024 final health insurance rate request chart

Facts for 2024:

  • All 36 Oregon counties will have at least four health plan options in the individual market for its residents and 35 will have at least five. One-third of Oregon counties are offering six options.
  • The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market – lowering rates by nearly 6 percent for the sixth straight year.
  • Medical costs continue to rise due to inflation, increased use, and the cost of new specialized prescription drugs.

Final decisions for each insurance company can be found at oregonhealthrates.org.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.​​

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REMINDER: Resumption of federal student loan repayments begins in October (Photo) - 08/31/23

Salem –The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding everyone with federal student loans that payments will resume for all borrowers in October, following a pause implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Interest accrual resumes Sept. 1, potentially affecting borrowers’ outstanding loan balances. Since March 2020, interest on most federal student loans had been temporarily paused. 

“An important aspect of this transition is that people’s student loan balances have remained unchanged, but with the resumption of interest accrual, they will begin to rise,” said Lane Thompson, Oregon student loan ombuds. “We encourage borrowers to be active in understanding the implications of this change on their financial obligations.” 

To facilitate a smooth transition and ensure accurate communication, all borrowers are urged to log in to studentaid.gov, the official U.S. Department of Education platform for federal student aid, and verify the accuracy of their contact and servicer information. Also, it is recommended that borrowers review their repayment options. Circumstances can evolve over time, making it essential to align repayment strategies with current financial status. 

“A lot can change in three years, so it is paramount for people to verify the accuracy of their information,” Thompson said. “Ensuring that contact details are up to date will help borrowers stay informed about their loan status.” 

In conjunction with the resumption of payments, the Biden administration has introduced an on-ramp program, which includes a fact sheet. This initiative aims to provide some relief to borrowers by prohibiting loan servicers from reporting missed payments to credit bureaus for one year. This measure offers a safety net for those facing difficulties in making payments after the extended payment pause. 

DFR advises all borrowers to remain vigilant against potential scams. Instances of fraud have been reported in which scammers attempt to deceive people into making payments to unauthorized entities instead of their legitimate loan servicer. 

“Scammers are out and trying to take advantage of the situation,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Borrowers are encouraged to seek written communication, such as letters, from their servicers to verify authenticity.” 

The Oregon Attorney General’s office is also integral in safeguarding those with student loans. 

“My office plays a vital role in protecting student loan borrowers from misleading and deceptive practices. This fall will be no exception – we will be closely watching what happens when the pause on repayment ends in October,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “If you have a concern about a practice of your loan servicer pertaining to your student loans, I urge you to file a complaint.”

It is critically important for borrowers to find out their loan servicer’s name and contact information, and understand their repayment plan and options. This knowledge empowers people to effectively manage their loan obligations. 

For more information and guidance on student loan repayments, visit DFR’s help page or contact the student loan ombuds office at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or dfr.bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and  www.dcbs.oregon.gov.​​

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Oregon among states to recoup $5.5 million in overcharges for investors in Lear Capital commodity firm bankruptcy (Photo) - 08/28/23

Salem – Investors who purchased retail precious metals from Lear Capital are eligible to receive compensation as a part of Lear’s bankruptcy plan, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation announced today. 

State securities regulators had been investigating Lear for deceptive securities and commodities activities and misleading marketing at the time of the company’s bankruptcy. 

Under the terms of the bankruptcy plan, Lear will provide $5.5 million to be distributed to investors in Lear’s precious metals. Lear investors who filed a timely bankruptcy claim will receive refunds based on calculations determined by Lear’s bankruptcy plan. In addition, Lear will provide a pro rata distribution of the remaining funds to investors who did not file claims. The pro rata distribution applies to investors who bought precious metals from Lear between Jan. 1, 2016, and March 3, 2022.

As a part of Lear’s bankruptcy plan, the company has also agreed to improve its sales practices and disclosures, including agreeing to not misrepresent its fee, not offer portfolio assessments of securities holdings, not hold itself out as an investment adviser in any way, and not provide investment advice or commit securities or commodities fraud.

“We are always on the lookout for businesses that use deceptive tactics to take advantage of investors,” said TK Keen, administrator for DFR. “Lear Capital got people to invest hard-earned money without proper fee disclosures and racked up millions of dollars at the expense of investors. Our division is committed to holding companies accountable that breach the trust of their customers.”

Various regulators had alleged that the Los Angeles-based company, which sells and buys back metals through both direct-to-consumer transactions and self-directed IRA transactions, used deceptive business practices and violated investor protection laws. These actions were resolved as part of the $5.5 million bankruptcy settlement.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and www.dcbs.oregon.gov.​​

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