The Department's primary function is the implementation of state laws mandating the regulation and licensing of designated businesses, professions, occupations and other specified activities. The Department is composed of five divisions and Central Management, which includes the administrative, legal, and data operations sections. The respective divisions are: Banking, Securities, Commercial Licensing & Regulation, Racing and Athletics and Insurance.
The Department Director is appointed by the Governor and serves statutorily as the State Banking Commissioner, Commissioner of Insurance, Real Estate Administrator and State Boxing Commissioner. The Board of Bank Incorporation hears appeals from decisions made by the Banking Division regarding applications for the chartering of financial institutions, new branches and locations and changes in the by-laws of certain regulated institutions. Other commissions housed within the Department include the Real Estate Commission, Real Estate Appraisal Board, Rhode Island Board of Accountancy and the Racing and Athletics Hearing Board. The Department issues approximately 80,000 licenses and conducts administrative hearings involving issuances, suspensions or revocations.
The Department was established by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1939 and is organized under Title 42 of the Rhode Island General Laws.