Guidelines for Assistance

The SCC's Bureau of Financial Institutions responds to thousands of individual consumer inquiries and complaints each year. The Bureau provides free professional information and complaint services to all residents of Virginia and, in some cases, to out-of-state residents if the complaint involves an entity regulated by our Bureau. The Bureau has jurisdiction over Virginia financial institutions and certain out-of-state entities chartered, licensed, or registered by our office. These entities include:

Table Display of Regulated Financial Institutions
Regulated Financial Institutions
  • Banks (including Holding Companies and Trust Companies)
  • Check Cashers
  • Consumer Finance Companies
  • Credit Unions
  • Debt Management Agencies / Credit Counseling Agencies
  • Debt Settlement Services Provider
  • Independent Trust Companies
  • Industrial Loan Associations*
  • Money Transmitters / Money Order Sellers
  • Mortgage Lenders / Brokers
  • Motor Vehicle Title Lenders
  • Savings Institutions
  • Short-Term Lenders (Payday Lenders)
  • Student Loan Servicers
*Not available online

The Bureau maintains a list of all licensees/registrants, updated weekly. Visit Regulated Institutions - Verify a License to access these reports.

The Bureau of Financial Institutions does not have the authority to resolve complaints involving entities that are not under Virginia jurisdiction. Some institutions are regulated by federal governmental agencies. For example,

  • Commercial banks having the word "National" or using ''N.A." (National Association) in their title are organized under and subject to federal law. Inquiries or complaints concerning these national banks should be directed to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Phone: 800-613-6743 or Online:
  • Savings banks and savings and loan associations having the word "Federal" in their name or which use the initials FSB (Federal Savings Bank), FSA (Federal Savings Association), FA (Federal Association) or FSLA (Federal Savings and Loan Association) are also regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal agency. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Phone: 800-613-6743 or Online:
  • Federally regulated credit unions are similarly identified by the word "Federal" in their name. Inquiries or complaints concerning federal credit unions should be directed to the National Credit Union Administration. Phone: 800-755-1030 (NCUA Consumer Assistance Hotline) or Online:
  • If a complaint relates to a mortgage loan that is secured by property outside Virginia, you should contact that state's banking authority. (You may contact our office to obtain contact information for other state regulators.) Information on many financial institutions and their regulator(s) can also be found on Consumer Access online at

What we Can do:

  • Answer your questions as to whether or not the financial institution is licensed by our office
  • Provide you with the number of complaints filed against a particular institution
  • Respond to questions on the requirements of the law
  • Thoroughly review your written complaint
  • Provide you with a written response to your complaint

What we Cannot do:

  • Recommend a particular financial institution or loan product
  • Provide legal services or act as your attorney

If you Have a Complaint

Please, contact the financial institution first! If you have any questions or complaints concerning your financial institution, you should first attempt to contact the company directly. If a mistake has been made, in many situations the institution will make the correction once it is made aware of the error.

When contacting the institution, a written letter is best. State your concern and keep copies of your correspondence. If you contact the company by e-mail, also keep a copy of the correspondence. If you contact the institution by telephone, document the calls (the dates and times you called, the name and title of the persons you spoke to, and what was said by both parties in the conversation).

If you Require Assistance from the Bureau

Your complaint should be filed electronically online or on the complaint form (to be submitted by mail or fax) available on the Bureau's File a Complaint page at These options are recommended, but not required.
Please DO NOT INCLUDE any personal financial information.

If your complaint is mailed or faxed without using the complaint form, it must include the following information:

  1. Your name, address, and telephone number
  2. The exact name of the financial institution, address, telephone number, and name of the person you dealt with
  3. A description of the problem
  4. A description of any steps taken to resolve the problem
  5. A statement of how you think the company should resolve your problem
  6. Your signature
  7. A copy of any letters, documents, notes, contracts, or receipts pertinent to your complaint (PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS.)

What Happens After I File a Complaint with the Bureau?

  1. We will review your complaint to see if it is within our jurisdiction.
  2. We will advise you by letter or email that your complaint has been received.
  3. We will notify the financial institution of your complaint and provide a copy of the complaint to the institution for its response to the issues.
  4. We will review the response from the financial institution.
  5. We will advise you of the action taken.

How Long Does It Take?

You should allow 30-45 days from the receipt of your complaint until we can provide you with a final response. Each case is different; it may take longer depending on the complexity of the complaint and the research involved.

Should I Call for Status Updates?

It is not necessary to call. We will provide you written correspondence when your complaint is received, when additional information is needed, or when we have a received a response to your complaint.

If, after filing your complaint, you obtain additional information relating to your complaint, you can forward copies of that information to our office. Please use the reference number assigned to your complaint as listed on the Bureau's acknowledgment letter.

Visit Us Online

A listing of all institutions licensed or registered by our office can be found at Access the Consumers tab, select Banks & Consumer Lenders, then Verify a License.

If you have difficulty determining whether the Bureau regulates a particular institution, please contact our office directly. The Bureau encourages consumers to try and resolve any problem with their financial institution before filing a complaint with our office.

Contact Us

Phone: 804-371-9657 or (toll-free) 800-552-7945