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New business entity filings
were up 7.0% in 2017

MADISON - The number of new business entities formed in Wisconsin in 2017 grew by 7.0% compared to 2016, according to data compiled by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). As of December 31, new business filings totaled 45,512, compared to 42,519 in 2016.

The business formation data is compiled by DFI, which is the filing office for the creation of business entities in the state. DFI tracks new business entity creation on a monthly basis and posts the data on its website. The full report may be found at

Governor Walker Honors 18
with 2017 Financial Literacy Award

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker today announced 18 individuals, businesses, and organizations as recipients of the 2017 Governor's Financial Literacy Award, as selected by the Governor's Council on Financial Literacy.

"These individuals and organizations are to be commended for their dedication to helping citizens of all ages enhance their personal financial knowledge and skills," Governor Walker said. "Financial literacy is about equipping people with the tools they need to be financially secure and achieve their goals."

The recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the Capitol later this year. They were selected from 29 nominations submitted for consideration. Criteria considered during the screening process included innovative implementation, demonstrated measurable results, collaboration with partners, and whether the effort was focused on needs-based groups.

Read the full press release here

Consumers who lost money to scammers
via Western Union encouraged to file claims

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in alerting consumers who were victimized by scammers via Western Union's money transfer system that they can file claims and potentially recoup their money. Consumers who lost funds between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017, can file claims online at Claims must be filed by Feb. 12, 2018.

"For too long, Western Union looked the other way while allowing consumers to be ripped off by scam artists," said Cheryll Olson-Collins, Administrator of DFI's Division of Banking. "We're pleased that any Wisconsin consumers who were victimized will have the opportunity to get their money back."

See the full press release here

Wisconsin College Savings Program
Surpasses $5 Billion Mark

MADISON - The Wisconsin College Savings Program reached an important milestone in the new year, eclipsing the $5 billion mark in assets as of January 3, 2018. Edvest, Wisconsin's direct-sold college savings plan, surpassed $3 billion in assets in late-2017. Along with Tomorrow's Scholar, the state's advisor-sold plan, college savers have invested more than $5.008 billion in the Wisconsin College Savings Program. The continued growth of both programs reinforces the state's commitment to helping families save for higher education.

"We want to make sure Wisconsin families have the financial vehicles they need to make college a reality," said Jay Risch, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. "529 plans like Edvest and Tomorrow's Scholar are attractive to investors because of their low fees and tax advantages. We're thrilled that Wisconsin families are utilizing these tools to ensure future college education for their children."

See the full press release here.