The Conference of State Bank Supervisors named Robert Niemi, an Ohio regulator, the new ombudsman of the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

In his new role Niemi, who is the deputy superintendent for consumer finance at the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, will act as a guidance counselor for financial services providers, state regulators and other parties that need to discuss licensing-related concerns or other issues with state regulation.

The NMLS is a web-based licensing system maintained collectively by the states for mortgage, consumer lending, money services and debt collection businesses.

Niemi will serve as NMLS ombudsman while fulfilling his current duties with the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, where he oversees non-depository lenders that do business in the state, 16 types of licenses used there, and nine sections of the Ohio Revised Code.

Prior to working for the state, Niemi had more than 23 years of mortgage industry experience, which included working with depository and non-depository lenders, and various regional and national management positions with mortgage associations across the Midwest.

He earned first-hand knowledge of the mortgage licensing process while working as a loan originator and an approved NMLS mortgage instructor, Robert Entringer, commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, noted in a press release. Entringer is the chairman of the State Regulatory Registry, a CSBS affiliate that operates NMLS.

Niemi is taking over the ombudsman job from Tim Siwy, former acting deputy secretary of non-depository institutions and consumer services for the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.

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