Complaint FAQs

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 in Main

The Division of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) is charged with the overall supervision and regulation of all state-chartered and state-licensed financial institutions in the State of Hawaii (including banks; savings banks; foreign bank branches, agencies and representative offices; savings and loan associations; trust companies; depository and nondepository financial services loan companies; and credit unions), all escrow depositories, and all money transmitters.

DFI does not supervise or regulate national banks, federal savings banks or federal credit unions.

Before filling out the Complaint Form, please review these instructions. They will help you to understand our functions and better enable us to act on your complaint. Additional information regarding the complaint process can be found at Consumer Complaint FAQs.

What can DFI do in response to a consumer complaint?

DFI can investigate and take certain actions only against those institutions within DFI’s regulatory jurisdiction (see a list of: DFI-Regulated Institutions). If DFI has jurisdiction over the institution, DFI can direct the institution:

• to discontinue violation of a law administered by DFI, namely the Code of Financial Institutions codified in Chapter 412, HRS, Chapter 449, HRS, which relates to escrow depositories, or Chapter 489D, HRS, which relates to money transmitters;

• to discontinue violation of an administrative rule administered by DFI , namely Chapters 16-24, 16-25, 16-26, 16-27, 16-28, and 16-31, Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR);

• to discontinue any unsafe or unsound practice; or

• to cease conducting business in an unsound or unsafe manner.

What DFI can not do

DFI cannot litigate or seek monetary redress on behalf of individual complainants. DFI cannot serve as an arbitrator of private disputes and cannot determine contractual rights and obligations between an institution and an individual. DFI also cannot render opinions or interpretations to individuals so as to determine an individual’s rights against an institution.

While DFI will make every effort to help address consumer complaints, there are situations and transactions that are beyond the jurisdiction of DFI. For some complaints, particularly those involving the denial of loans, improper handling of checks, or the failure to disburse funds under a loan agreement, a consumer may need to consult an attorney about pursuing civil remedies.

How do I file a complaint about an institution that is regulated by DFI?

Complaints should be in writing. Use of  DFI’s Complaint Form   is preferred, but not required. To download or to view the form and its accompanying information sheet, click above on “Complaint Form” or on the link at the end of this page. Upon request, DFI will mail the Complaint Form to you. You may also pick up the form at the DFI office.

Information you should include in your written complaint:

1. Your name, address and telephone number.

2. Name of the institution the complaint is against, name of the branch office (if applicable), address and telephone number.

3. Detailed description of the specific complaint against the institution, giving the dates involved and the names of the people with whom you dealt.

4. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons you have dealt with who are important to your complaint.

5. Copies (not originals) of all pertinent documents, such as contracts, letters, receipts and statements.

6. Description of the resolution you desire or would find acceptable.

7. Your signature and the date signed.

Complaints can be mailed or delivered to:

If by mail:

Division of Financial Institutions
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 2054
Honolulu, HI 96805

If in person or by courier:

Division of Financial Institutions
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
335 Merchant Street, Room 221
Honolulu, HI 96813


 DFI Complaint Form