On July 12, the Division of Banks of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations issued guidance that authorizes its licensees and registrants to continue permitting their personnel to operate remotely from non-licensed locations subject to certain conditions and restrictions.
Among other things, the licensee or registrant:
- Cannot hold the unlicensed location out to the public as a place of business
- Must ensure that the individual working remotely only engages in activities that can be completed safely and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Division guidance
- Must ensure that the individual working remotely is strictly prohibited from engaging in any in-person customer interactions at the remote location
- Must have established security protocols to securely access systems through a virtual privacy network or other secure system
- Must have policies and procedures to protect data
- Must protect sensitive customer information
- Must ensure adequate supervision of remote personnel
The guidance also notes that the work location for mortgage loan originators has been the subject of various inquiries over the years and clarifies that MLOs are not required to live within a certain distance of a branch office and that “the Division will look to determine that the [branch] manager is able to provide adequate supervision for the given number and location of MLOs under his/her supervision.” The guidance replaces any previous guidance issued by the Division regarding telework and will continue, unless modified or withdrawn.
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