Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (Sept. 27, 2011)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (Sept. 27, 2011) Credit: AP

A real estate finance division has been created under the state's new Department of Financial Services.

The division, one of five, will focus on the mortgage industry, make sure lessons from the financial crisis aren't forgotten and oversee the many new rules that have been adopted in the past few years, state officials said.

The department was formed when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo merged the banking and insurance departments. It was done to save money, including $25 million in its first year, but is also an attempt to improve oversight.

"The governor's vision in merging banking and insurance was to create a stronger agency able to not only improve its regulation of those two essential industries but also cover many things that currently fall between regulators," said financial services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.

The new department had its startup celebration Monday at Pace University in Manhattan, with 19 former banking and insurance superintendents marking the occasion.

The four other divisions are banking, insurance, capital markets and financial frauds and consumer protection.

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