R.I., other states tell money transfer company to cease activities

CRANSTON – State bank regulators have ordered a California-based money transfer business to stop activities in Rhode Island, citing the company’s “declining financial position.”

Thirty-eight other states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., took the same action on Friday, coordinating to issue a consent order.

Sigue is licensed in Rhode Island and 48 other states, but in recent months, the company experienced significant financial deterioration, according to a news release from the DBR.

The company failed to complete multiple money orders and transmissions and to maintain adequate net worth to cover outstanding liabilities, both violations of state currency transmission law, the DBR said. Many customers are still waiting for their funds.

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“This was a coordinated effort between state agencies and is an example of how state regulatory agencies can work quickly, effectively and uniformly in identifying troubled entities and take action to stop consumer harm,” said Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, DBR director.

The Money Transmission Regulator Association and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors assisted the states with acting quickly to protect consumer funds, Kelleher Dwyer said.

The consent order requires the company to preserve and provide access to all books and records, including information on impacted customers. States will use the company’s signed declarations to file bond claims on behalf of customers who are missing money. The state surety bond claim process is designed to help make impacted consumers whole.

After the consent order, the company website says it is no longer processing new money transfers, money orders or bill payments.

Consumers in Rhode Island who have been affected or believe they may have been affected should contact the R.I. Division of Banking at 401-462-9503, or by email at DBR.BankInquiry@dbr.ri.gov or by using the DBR’s electronic inquiry system at dbr.ri.gov/questioncomplaints.