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NEW ON BOL SPECIAL BRIEFINGS

April 18, 2014
  • OFAC Zimbabwe designations and removals
    OFAC has announced the designation of a Zimbabwean government official, an Angolan businessman, a Singaporean attorney, and a Zimbabwe-based entity pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13469 for their roles in undermining Zimbabwe's democratic processes and institutions or facilitating public corruption through support to the Government of Zimbabwe, senior government officials, and/or Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs). As a result of Treasury's actions, any assets of the individuals or entity designated that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons or with the United States involving these individuals and entity are generally prohibited. See the BOL OFAC Update Page for details.

  • Prohibition order
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a Consent Order of Prohibition against an individual who was president and chairman of the board of directors of a Missouri bank holding company and the former chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors of its subsidiary bank. He was involved in misusing TARP funds allocated to the holding company to purchase a luxury condominium.

  • NCUA Financial Literacy Twitter chat
    The NCUA will host a Financial Literacy Twitter chat on April 23, 2014, from 11 am to noon ET. Credit unions and consumers can follow the conversation on @TheNCUA and join using the #NCUAChat hashtag. Participants can also submit questions before the chat to socialmedia@ncua.gov.

  • Proposed NCUA risk-based capital rule Q&A
    The NCUA has posted a two-part, 20-minute video on its YouTube channel regarding the agency's proposed Risk-Based Capital Rule. The video contains a Q&A which provides an in-depth review of why the rule is needed and how credit unions would fare under both the current risk-based net worth system and the proposed risk-based capital rule.

  • NCUA Board meeting agenda
    The agenda for the April 24, 2014, meeting of the NCUA Board has been posted.


April 17, 2014
  • March residential construction report
    HUD and the Census Bureau have released the new residential construction statistics for March 2014. Compared to February 2014, building permits and housings completions were down, but housing starts were up.

  • Industrial production
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the March 2014 G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report. Production increased 0.7 percent in March after having advanced 1.2 percent in February.

  • Yellen on monetary policy and economic recovery
    In a presentation at the Economic Club of New York, Federal Reserve Board Chair Yellen reviewed the current economic outlook, and discussed the three big questions for the Federal Open Market Committee, policy challenges in an unprecedented recovery and recent changes to the Forward Guidance. She stated "The new guidance also reaffirms the FOMC's view that decisions about liftoff should not be based on any one indicator, but that it will take into account a wide range of information on the labor market, inflation, and financial developments."

  • April Beige Book
    The Federal Reserve has published the April 2014 issue of the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions By Federal Reserve District, (the "Beige Book").

  • Curry discusses cybersecurity
    In remarks before a Consumer Electronics Show Government meeting, Comptroller Curry discussed the importance of cybersecurity and the OCC's recent guidance on managing third-party relationships.

April 16, 2014
  • Bureau proposes relaxing remittances rule
    The CFPB has announced a proposal to amend subpart B of Regulation E to extend for an additional five years a temporary provision in § 1005.32(a) that permits insured institutions to estimate certain foreign remittance transfer pricing disclosures. The provision currently expires July 21, 2015. The proposal also—
    • Seeks comments on whether financial institutions on U.S. military installations abroad should be considered to be located "in a State" for the purposes of the rule
    • Would clarify that remittance transfers from an account that is not used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes will not be covered by the rule
    • Would provide broader application of the "conducted by telephone" provision allowing oral disclosures for certain transfers
    • Would treat faxed disclosures as written for the purposes of the rule.
    • Would provide an exception to certain error resolution requirements for delays required for security or other screening under BSA, OFAC or similar rules
    Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.

  • Wyoming bank pays flood CMP
    The Federal Reserve Board announced its imposition of a $9,985 civil money penalty on Uinta Bank, Mountain View, Wyoming, for Flood Act violations. Details have been posted to the BOL Flood Penalties Watch page.

  • FEMA to suspend communities
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a Final Rule identifying communities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on May 19, 2014, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • TIC data released
    Treasury has released the February 2014 Treasury International Capital (TIC) data. The sum total of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC inflow of $167.7 billion.

  • FOMC minutes
    The minutes of the Federal Reserve Board's discount rate meetings from February 10–March 17, 2014, have been released.

  • Yellen on liquidity and capital
    In a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's 2014 Financial Markets Conference, Chair Yellen discussed the actions of the Federal Reserve Board to strengthen bank capital requirements through the adoption of the domestic rule implementing the Basel III capital requirements in the United States; and the development of new liquidity standards for global banking firms, the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). She stated, "Federal Reserve staff are actively considering additional measures that could address these and other residual risks in the short-term wholesale funding markets. Some of these measures—such as requiring firms to hold larger amounts of capital, stable funding, or highly liquid assets based on use of short-term wholesale funding—would likely apply only to the largest, most complex banking organizations."

  • April FedFlash
    The Federal Reserve has posted the April 15, 2014, issue of FedFlash. Articles include discussion of the publication of new FedReceipts RTNs; the automated delivery of ACH return, NOC and payment information to Originators and Receivers; and a reminder to attend a local 2014 Fraud Symposium.

April 15, 2014
  • Lost cashier's checks and money orders
    OCC Alert 2014-17 warns of lost cashier's checks and money orders of MB Financial Bank, N.A., Chicago, Illinois. A courier has lost a shipment of the bank's cashier's checks and money orders, both of which include the bank's routing number of 071001737. The lost cashier's checks contain serial numbers ranging from 13045501 through 13045700. The lost money orders contain serial numbers ranging from 655401 through 655600. Stop payments have been placed on both the cashier's checks and money orders.

  • Conversion notice for Federal Reserve Financial Services customers
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has announced the successful completion of its conversion to the Enterprise Accounting System (EASy) distributed application. The EASy application replaced the mainframe-based Integrated Accounting System (IAS).

  • CFPB proposes new info gathering plan
    The CFPB has published a Notice and Request for Comment [79 FR 20865] on a proposed new Generic Information Collection Plan, "CFPB Generic Information Collection Plan for Studies of Consumers using Controlled Trials in Field and Economic Laboratory Settings." Information from the Bureau's research will be used for developmental and informative purposes in order to increase the Bureau's understanding of consumer credit markets and household financial decision-making. Written comments must be received on or before June 13, 2014.

  • Bureau Blog warns of student loan rate increase
    The CFPB has posted an "Explainer" blog article discussing an expected July increase in interest rates for new federal student loans. The Bureau's Paying for College tool has been updated with the new estimated rates.

April 14, 2014
  • Ukraine-related OFAC designations
    OFAC has announced the designation of Crimean separatist leaders Pyotr Zima, Aleksei Chaliy, Rustam Temirgaliev, Yuriy Zherebtsov, Mikhail Malyshev, and Valery Medvedev, former Ukrainian official Sergey Tsekov, and Crimea-based gas company Chernomorneftegaz pursuant to Executive Order 13660. These individuals and this entity are being sanctioned for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, or misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine; or having asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Payday lender pays up
    The Federal Trade Commission has announced a South Dakota-based payday lending operation and its owner will pay $967,740 as part of a settlement resolving FTC charges that they used a tribal affiliation and unfair and deceptive tactics to collect on payday loans. Consumers, whose accounts were garnished, were forced to travel to South Dakota and appear before a tribal court that did not have jurisdiction over their cases.

  • FDIC tech alert
    FDIC FIN-16-2014 announces a Technology Alert regarding the OpenSSL "Heartbleed" vulnerability. See the BOL Tech Talk Page for a discussion.

  • Curry on risk management
    In remarks during the American Bankers Association Risk Management Forum, Comptroller Curry discussed the important of risk management.

April 11, 2014
  • OFAC Kingpin Act designations and updates
    OFAC has announced it has designated ten entities and five individuals with ties to the Sanchez Garza family as specially designated narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). The Sanchez Garza family is a money laundering organization based in Guadalajara, Mexico that began operating on behalf of major narcotics traffickers Rafael Caro Quintero and Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno (a.k.a. El Azul) in the 1980s. This action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals or entities, and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. Changes were also made to six existing listings. Information regarding the designations and changes has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • FFIEC alert – OpenSSL vulnerability
    An FFIEC press release has announced an alert about the "Heartbleed" vulnerability to financial institutions using the OpenSSL cryptographic library. The FFIEC agencies expect financial institutions to incorporate patches on systems and services, applications, and appliances using OpenSSL, and upgrade systems as soon as possible to address the vulnerability. Financial institutions should consider replacing private keys and X.509 encryption certificates after applying the patch for each service that uses OpenSSL and consider requiring users and administrators to change passwords after applying the patch (not before). Financial institutions relying upon third-party service providers should ensure those providers are aware of the vulnerability and are taking appropriate mitigation action.

  • FDIC urges utilization of cyber resources
    The FDIC urges financial institutions to actively utilize available resources to identify and help mitigate potential cyber-related risks. Financial institutions should ensure that their information security staff are aware of and subscribe to reliable and recognized resources that can help quickly identify cyber risks as they emerge. Government and government-sponsored resources that financial institutions should consider include the following organizations:
  • FRB issues PCA directive
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a Prompt Corrective Action directive against NBRS Financial Bank, Rising Sun, Maryland.

  • OCC San Diego workshops
    The OCC will host two workshops in San Diego on May 6–7. The "Compliance Risk" and "Risk Assessment" workshops are designed exclusively for directors of institutions supervised by the OCC. The compliance risk workshop focuses on major compliance risks and consumer protection regulations, such as the Qualified Mortgage Rule and Bank Secrecy Act, along with key elements of an effective compliance risk management program. The risk assessment workshop discusses the OCC's approach to risk-based supervision, and best practices to identify, measure, monitor and control risk.

  • Bureau to help students choose a college
    The CFPB Blog announces the launch of a new version of the CFPB "Paying for College" tool kit and the reintroduction of the Bureau's "GI Bill Calculator" tool. The agency is also working with the Department of Education to develop a tool to provide information that complements what schools are providing to students in their financial aid packages.

April 10, 2014
  • BofA hit with $727 M reimbursement order and CMP
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced it has ordered Bank of America and its FIA Card Services, N.A. subsidiary to provide relief to consumers harmed by B of A and FIA's practices related to card add-on products. Payments to consumers under the order are estimated to be $727 million. The Bureau has also ordered Bank of America to pay a $20 million civil money penalty. The CFPB found that B of A and FIA employed deceptive marketing of add-on credit insurance products, and illegally charged about 1.9 million consumer accounts for credit monitoring and credit reporting services they were not receiving. According to the Bureau's press release, the bank has already completed major portions of the consumer reimbursements required by the order. The Bureau's efforts followed up on work begun by the OCC, which announced its imposition of a separate $25 million CMP on B of A and FIA. [CFPB Consent Order; OCC Consent Order; OCC Consent Order for CMP]

    The CFPB has posted an "Explainer" on its Blog to provide information about who is eligible for compensation under the Bureau's order, and in what amounts.

  • Counter Terrorism and Kingpin Act designations
    Treasury has designated Carlos Arnoldo Lobo (a.k.a. "El Negro Lobo") under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking. As a result of Treasury's action, all property and interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which Lobo has an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him. An entity was also added to OFAC's SDN list. Details are available in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Oil and Gas Production Lending added to Comptroller's Handbook
    OCC Bulletin 2014-15 announces the addition of a new booklet, "Oil and Gas Production Lending," to the Comptroller's Handbook. The booklet—
    • provides guidance to bankers and examiners in identifying risks that are pertinent to oil and gas production lending
    • establishes supervisory expectations pertaining to risk management of oil and gas production loans
    • includes expanded examination procedures, an internal control questionnaire, and verification procedures for examiners
    The following OCC publications were rescinded—
    • Banking Circular 215, "Guidelines for Collateral Evaluation and Classification of Troubled Energy Loans," June 18, 1986
    • Examining Circular 223, "Guidelines for Collateral Evaluation and Classification of Troubled Energy Loans," August 24, 1984
    • Examining Circular 223, Supplement #1, "Guidelines for Collateral Evaluation and Classification of Troubled Energy Loans," June 18, 1986

  • Call Report changes
    FDIC FIL-15-2014 has been issued to highlight the following call report changes which take effect with the March 31, 2014, Call Report submission due by April 30, 2014:
    • Questions about international remittance transfers for all institutions and, for those institutions with more than 100 transactions per calendar year, the estimated number and dollar value of international remittance transfers. This information will be collected in Schedule RC-M, Memoranda, initially in March 2014 and semiannually thereafter each June and December.
    • The reporting in Schedule RC-M of trade names used to identify physical offices and addresses of public-facing Internet websites at which the reporting institution accepts or solicits deposits from the public
    • A question in Schedule RC-E, Deposit Liabilities, asking whether the reporting institution offers deposit account products primarily intended for consumers
    • For institutions with $1 billion or more in total assets that offer consumer deposit account products, the total balances of those products in Schedule RC-E

  • Banking study shows strength of community banks
    The FDIC has released a the results of a research study on long-term consolidation in banking and the implications of this trend for community banks. A key finding of the study is that institutions with assets between $100 million and $10 billion, most of which can be considered community banks, have increased in both number and in total assets since 1985.

  • CFPB mortgage closing process forum
    The Bureau will hold a mortgage closing process forum in Washington, D.C. on April 23 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The forum is open to the public, subject to an RSVP requirement. It can be viewed live on the Bureau Blog.

  • Treasury prices secondary public offering of TARP CPP stock
    Treasury has announced a secondary public offering of the remaining 2,089,022 shares of common stock of Hampton Roads Bankshares, Inc., priced at $1.57 per share. The aggregate net proceeds to Treasury from the offering are expected to be approximately $3.3 million. The offering closing is expected to occur on or about April 14, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

  • FOMC meeting
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes, Statement, press conference video, and projections materials of the March 18–19, 2014, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

April 9, 2014
  • Appraisal Management Company proposal published
    The proposed rule by the CFPB, OCC, FDIC, FHFA and FRB that would establish Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies, previously announced in our Top Stories for March 25, has been published in today's Federal Register [79 FR 19521]. Comments on the proposal are due by June 9, 2014.

  • FRB CDIAC members for 2014
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the names of the members of the 2014 Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC). The CDIAC was established in 2010 to provide input to the Board on the economy, lending conditions, and other issues of interest to community depository institutions. The record of the April 4, 2014 meeting of the CDIAC was also released.

  • FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking
    The FDIC has announced a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Community Banking on April 9th. Topics for the meeting include an update from staff on the FDIC's community bank initiatives, and discussions about cyber security, the FDIC's ombudsman program and supervisory appeals process, customer due diligence and reporting requirements, and qualified and non-qualified mortgages.

  • Large Banks Leverage Ratio final rule and proposal
    A joint press release has been issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, and the OCC announcing the adoption of a final rule to strengthen the leverage ratio standards for the largest, most interconnected U.S. banking organizations with more than $700 billion in consolidated total assets or more than $10 trillion in assets under custody and their insured depository institution subsidiaries. A notice of proposed rulemaking was also issued that would modify the denominator calculation for the supplementary leverage ratio in a manner consistent with recent changes agreed to by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

  • Cordray discusses promotion of financial literacy
    In prepared remarks at the Jump$tart Coalition awards dinner, Director Cordray discussed the importance of school districts' and public officials' direct engagement in the financial education of children. He indicated the CFPB is working to promote financial education at a new level and committed to engaging and supporting teachers and parents. He said, "The Bureau plans to continue to work cooperatively with other organizations, like Jump$tart, to promote financial education and capability by coordinating existing K-12 financial education efforts nationally, building on best practices, and, where appropriate, filling critical gaps."

April 8, 2014
  • OFAC updates Iranian Transactions rule
    OFAC has published in the Federal Register a final rule [79 FR 18990] amending the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations by expanding an existing general license that authorizes the exportation or reexportation of food to individuals and entities in Iran to include the broader category of agricultural commodities; clarifying and adding certain definitions in OFAC regulations; and adding a new general license that authorizes the exportation or reexportation of certain replacement parts for certain medical devices. OFAC also issued an updated series of FAQs on Iran/TSRA General Licenses.

  • Volcker Rule CLO extensions authorized
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a press release and statement to announce its intention to exercise its authority to give banking entities two additional one-year extensions to conform their ownership interests in and sponsorship of certain collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) covered by section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act (also known as the "Volcker rule"). CLOs are securitization vehicles backed predominantly by commercial loans.

  • CCP winds down
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on the progress being made by Treasury to wind down the Capital Purchase Program (CCP). As of January 31, 2014, Treasury has sold all or part of its CPP investment in 162 institutions, with investments in 83 remaining. CPP was the primary tool for restoring stability to the U.S. financial system under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It involved Treasury investments of almost $205 billion in 707 eligible institutions, and a total of 624 of the original 707 institutions have exited the program.

  • Daylight overdrafts report
    The Federal Reserve has released data on peak and average day daylight overdrafts and related fees.

  • G.19 Consumer Credit report
    The February 2014 G.19 Report of consumer credit outstanding and terms of credit has been released.

  • Fed supports same-day ACH settlement
    The Retail Payments Office of the Federal Reserve has issued a statement supporting the announcement by NACHA that it is taking steps toward same-day ACH settlement for ACH network transactions.

  • ID theft and refund fraud crackdown
    The Department of Justice has reported it has charged more than 880 defendants in stolen identity tax refund cases in the past year, and that the IRS reports having resolved or closed about 963,000 cases involving identity fraud victims. Attorney General Holder, in a video message on the DOJ website, urged Americans to protect themselves by reporting suspicious activity and learning more at the IRS website, the Justice Department's Tax Division website, and STOPFRAUD.GOV.

  • FDIC FILs
    The FDIC has issued FIL-13-2014, "Technology Outsourcing: Informational Tools for Community Banks"; and FIL-14-2014, "Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for the First Quarter 2014."

April 7, 2014
  • Counterfeit cashier's checks
    Alert 2014-16 has been issued by the OCC to warn of counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the correct routing number of Canon National Bank, Canon City, Colorado. Information regarding the counterfeit checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • March Housing Scorecard
    Treasury published the Administration's March 2014 Housing Scorecard, a comprehensive report on the U.S. housing market. The release indicates the housing market continues to show signs of improvement.

  • Minority-Owned Banks report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the list of minority-owned financial institutions and their branches as of December 31, 2013.

  • Large Commercial Banks report
    The list of insured U.S.-chartered commercial banks that have consolidated assets of $300 million or more, ranked by consolidated assets as of December 31, 2013, has been released by the Federal Reserve.

  • Prohibition letters issued
    The Federal Reserve has released five letters prohibiting the recipients, each of whom has been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust under Section 19 of the Federal Reserve Act, and are automatically prohibited from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party with respect to any federally insured banking organization or credit union.
  • CRA ratings released
    The FDIC has released the ratings received by state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Of the 91 banks examined, 5 received an Outstanding rating and 86 received a rating of Satisfactory.

  • Washington flood and mudslide recovery
    FDIC FIL-12-2014 has been issued to provide guidance to help financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of the State of Washington affected by flooding and mudslides.

  • NCUA Leadership Boot Camp
    Registration for the NCUA Leadership Boot Camp to be held in Baltimore, Maryland on April 12, 2014, is still open. Topics covered during the leadership boot camp will include:
    • Supervisory committee—your internal audit team
    • Bank Secrecy Act
    • Employment practice from CUNA Mutual
    • Succession planning and passing on the baton
    • Revisiting the allowance for loan and lease losses account
    • Board governance
    • Communications for credit union management

  • NCUA Board meeting video
    A video of the March 20, 2014 open meeting of the NCUA Board has been posted for viewing. The meeting's agenda included two items: (1) a proposed interagency rule on minimum requirements for appraisal management companies; and (2) the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund quarterly report.

April 4, 2014
  • FEMA to suspend communities
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a notice [79 FR 18825] in today's Federal Register identifying communities in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi and West Virginia where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on May 5, 2014, for their noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act info
    FEMA's Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration has issued a memorandum providing an Overview of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (beginning on page 3 of the PDF document). Additional information regarding the new law and its impact on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will be posted on FEMA's Flood Insurance Reform webpage.

  • South Sudan-related executive order
    The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has posted a notice announcing a new Executive Order, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to South Sudan." Property and interests in property of such persons in the U.S. (or within the possession or control of any U.S. person) are blocked. Individuals subject to the Order have not yet been identified.

  • OIG suggests CFPB improve its supervision
    The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Federal Reserve System and for the CFPB has issued an Evaluation Report, "The CFPB Can Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Its Supervisory Activities," which uses information in the Bureau's examination database as of July 31, 2013. Key recommendations are that the CFPB—
    • create and update relevant policies and procedures
    • track and monitor examination processes for staffing examinations and producing examination products
    • finalize its examiner commissioning program
    The report said that more than half of the 82 draft reports submitted by regional exam teams failed to meet Bureau requirements for submission within 30 days of fieldwork completion, and that several exams had been outstanding for more than a year. The OIG reports that CFPB officials have said that measures have been or will be taken to address the suggested improvements.

  • Disaster assistance for Washington mudslide victims
    HUD has announced federal disaster assistance to the State of Washington to provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following flooding and mudslides beginning on March 22, 2014, and continuing.

  • IRS retirement plan rollover guidance
    Treasury and the IRS have announced the issuance of guidance designed to help individuals accumulate and consolidate retirement savings by facilitating the transfer of savings from one retirement plan to another. Revenue Ruling 2014-9 simplifies the rollover process by introducing an easy way for a receiving plan to confirm the sending plan's tax-qualified status. The plan administrator for the receiving plan can now simply check a recent annual report filing for the sending plan on a database that is readily available to the public online.

  • March 2014 SCOOS
    The FRB has released the Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey (SCOOS) for March 2014. The survey provides information about the availability and terms of credit in securities financing and over-the counter (OTC) derivatives markets.

  • FRB economic models
    The Federal Reserve Board has posted links to informative articles regarding two tools it utilizes to predict the economy. The FRB/US Model is a large-scale estimated general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy that has been in use at the Federal Reserve Board since 1996. The model is designed for detailed analysis of monetary and fiscal policies. The Estimated Dynamic Optimization (EDO) Model is a medium-scale New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model of the U.S. economy that has been used at the Federal Reserve Board since 2006.

  • April 2014 FedFocus
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has posted the April 2014 issue of FedFocus. This edition features articles on key themes from consultation paper feedback and end-user research, mining the value of FedACH Services payment information, and FEDucation on taxes.

  • Cordray before the Bar
    In prepared remarks at the American Bar Association, Directory Cordray discussed the day-to-day activities of the CFPB. He noted, "We are the first federal agency ever created with the sole purpose of protecting consumers and seeing that they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace." In conclusion, he added, "our rulemaking process is designed to produce rules that deliver tangible value to consumers and make the financial markets work better."

April 3, 2014
  • FFIEC joint statements on cyber-attacks
    The FDIC has issued two Financial Institution Letters to distribute joint statements by the members of the FFIEC relating to the risks of cyber-attacks.
    • FIL-10-2014 includes an FFIEC statement describing risks related to recent cyber-attacks on ATMs and card authorization systems that have resulted in large dollar frauds, often called Unlimited Operations.
    • FIL-11-2014 transmits a statement notifying institutions of the risks associated with the continued distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on public-facing Web sites and the steps institutions are expected to take to address the risks posed by such attacks.

  • FHFA foreclosure prevention report
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the publication of the Fourth Quarter 2013 Foreclosure Prevention Report, also known as the Federal Property Manager's Report. The report indicates more than 3.1 million foreclosure prevention actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie have helped more than 2.5 million borrowers stay in their homes, including nearly 1.6 million who received permanent loan modifications.

  • Federal Reserve Board meeting notice
    The Federal Reserve has posted the notice of its April 8, 2014, Board of Governors meeting. The meeting may be attended in person or online.

  • OCC to host MSAAC meeting
    The OCC has announced it will host a public meeting of the Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC) on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) at the OCC's offices at 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C., and will be open to the public.

  • Marine antenna seller pays OFAC $85K
    OFAC has announced that Sea Tel, Inc. has agreed to pay $85,113 to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. The apparent violations by Sea Tel occurred when it invoiced and exported marine antenna systems to a South Korean distributor, with knowledge or reason to know that they were intended specifically for re-exportation, directly or indirectly, to Iran.

  • FATCA agreements
    Treasury and the IRS have separately announced that jurisdictions that have reached agreements in substance with the United States on the terms of intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) can be treated as having agreements in effect until the end of 2014. To date, the United States has signed 26 IGAs. The announcement provides that 19 additional jurisdictions will be treated as having IGAs in effect, bringing the total number of jurisdictions that are treated as having IGAs in effect to 45. This list is expected to continue to grow in the coming weeks as additional countries provide consent to having the status of their IGAs disclosed and additional agreements in substance are reached.

April 2, 2014
  • Bureau reports increased complaint volume
    The CFPB has announced the publication of the agency's 2013 Consumer Response Annual Report. The agency reported that the volume of consumer complaints filed with the agency in 2013 increased by 80% over 2012 volumes. That increase reflects both the CFPB's gradual additions to the types of complaints it accepts and the public's growing awareness of the new agency's role in accepting and following up on consumer complaints concerning financial services and products.

  • New garnishment booklet added to Comptroller's Handbook
    The OCC's Bulletin 2014-12 has announced the addition of a "Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefit Payments" booklet to the Comptroller's Handbook. The new booklet addresses requirements of the Treasury Department's Fiscal Service regulations, which—
    • establish procedures that financial institutions must follow when they receive a garnishment order against an account holder who receives certain types of federal benefit payments by direct deposit and
    • require financial institutions that receive such a garnishment order to determine the sum of such federal benefit payments deposited to the account during a two-month period and ensure that the account holder has access to an amount equal to that sum or to the current balance of the account, whichever is lower.

  • NCUA Small Dollar Lending webinar
    A free webinar, "Small Dollar Lending," will be offered by the NCUA on April 16, 2014, at 2 p.m. EDT. The webinar will discuss how some credit unions have created short-term lending programs that work for their members and factors to consider before starting such a program, including:
    • The benefits short-term, small-dollar loans can bring to a credit union's portfolio mix
    • Regulatory concerns governing this type of product offering
    • The costs associated with developing or initiating short-term loans
    Online registration is currently available for the webinar.

  • CRA ratings released
    The OCC has released the ratings received by twenty-eight national banks and federal savings associations recently evaluated for compliance with CRA. Three were rated outstanding and 25 received satisfactory ratings.

  • Seven indicted in mortgage scheme
    The Department of Justice has reported that seven individuals have been indicted for alleged participation in a mortgage fraud scheme that operated in the Miami, Florida area. Five of those charged owned or controlled properties in the area, and allegedly enlisted brokers and others to recruit straw buyers to fraudulently purchase condos in those properties, using documents with false statements and representations.

  • OFAC updates SDN list
    OFAC has announced a deletion from its SDN List. Details are included in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Burma Sanctions FAQs updated
    OFAC has issued updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) on its Burma Sanctions program.

  • Foreign Exchange Rates report
    The G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates Report for March 2014 has been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Report to Congress
    The Federal Reserve Board has delivered the April 2014 report to Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

  • Survey of Terms of Business Lending
    The February 3–7, 2014, E.2 Survey of Terms of Business Lending report has been released by the Federal Reserve System.

  • Curry addresses CRA conference
    In remarks at the 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, Comptroller Curry discussed the interagency effort to align the agencies' approaches to CRA evaluations, improve the evaluation procedures and provide effective training to CRA examiners. He stated "one of the most critical goals at the OCC is to develop and maintain the expertise of our examiners," to deal with the complexities of compliance and CRA requirements.

April 1, 2014
  • CFPB TILA-RESPA Rule Compliance Guide
    The CFPB has released its Small Entity Compliance Guide for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule. The guide highlights issues that financial institutions might find helpful to consider when implementing the rule. It may also be helpful to settlement service providers, software providers, secondary market participants, and other firms that serve as business partners to creditors. The Bureau also posted links to several other resources—including sample forms annotated with rule citations—designed to assist lenders and others in their compliance efforts.

  • FTC acts to stop scam raiding seniors' accounts
    A federal court judge has issued a temporary order halting a scam by the defendants who targeted and called senior citizens, lied to them to get their bank account information, and used this information to withdraw money from their bank accounts. The FTC alleges that the defendants' conduct violated the FTC Act and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, and that the telemarketing scheme drew in over $20 million between May 2011 and December 2013. The defendants used a telemarketing boiler room in Canada to cold-call seniors claiming to sell fraud protection, legal protection, and pharmaceutical benefit services.

  • Yellen on support of recovery
    In a speech at the 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago, Chairman Yellen discussed the actions taken by the Federal Reserve to help the recovery from the financial crisis and the Great Recession. She indicated the U.S. economy is still considerably short of the two goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress—maximum sustainable employment and stable prices—and "that there remains considerable slack in the economy and the labor market." She also said, "Earlier this month, the Fed reiterated its overall commitment to maintain extraordinary support for the recovery for some time to come."

  • NCUA prohibition order
    An NCUA order has been issued prohibiting the former employee of a California credit union from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. He had been sentenced to five years of probation, with the first year served in county jail; ordered to stay away from the credit union; enter into a gambling addiction treatment program and pay restitution in the amount of $606,541.33.

  • Pennsylvania CU closed
    The NCUA has announced the closing of Mayfair Federal Credit Union of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the immediate assumption of its members and deposits as well as a portion of the loan portfolio and other assets by Freedom Credit Union of Warminster, Pennsylvania.

  • Bureau blogs on financial education
    An article on the CFPB Blog reports on the recent field hearing in Atlanta of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to talk about workplace financial education. Director Cordray discussed why the workplace is an ideal location for financial education and suggested it can be good business for employers to help relieve employees' financial stress.

  • OCC celebrates 150 years
    A symposium commemorating the 150th anniversary of the OCC was opened by remarks from Comptroller Curry, who stressed the role that examiner "boots on the ground" supervision has played since its founding. The conference, jointly sponsored by the OCC and the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy, featured prominent public and private sector leaders discussing the current state of domestic and international banking in the context of recent and historical events.

  • OFAC CMP report
    OFAC has reported a payment of $157,500 from a private shipping and fuel supply company to settle potential civil liability for violations of sanction programs.

  • Treasury signs MOU with CFTC to improve data quality
    Treasury has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Treasury Office of Financial Research (OFR). The CFTC and OFR will begin a joint project to enhance the quality, types and formats of data collected from registered swap data repositories.



March 31, 2014
  • Interchange ruling reversed
    The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia District has reversed a July 31, 2013, district court ruling that would have required the Federal Reserve Board to revise portions of its debit card interchange rule (Regulation II, 12 CFR Part 235). The district court (see Top Stories for August 1, 2013) had found that the Board had ignored the intent of Congress in establishing its rules on "Reasonable and proportional interchange transaction fees" (§ 235.3) and "Prohibition on network exclusivity" (§ 235.7). The appeals court disagreed, holding that the Board's rules "generally rest on reasonable constructions of the statute," but required the Board to further explain its treatment of transaction-monitoring costs. See BankersOnline's Court Watch page for more information.

  • FDIC enforcement actions
    The FDIC has released a list of 39 administrative enforcement actions taken in February against banks and individuals, including three consent orders, five removal and prohibition orders, five civil money penalties (CMPs), and three section 19 orders, together with various termination and amendment orders. There were three CMPs totaling $11,430 for Flood Act violations, each of which has been added to BOL's Flood Penalties Watch page. A New Jersey bank was assessed a $35,000 CMP for violating the UDAP prohibitions of the FTC Act by imposing burdensome requirements not in compliance with Regulation E on consumers in its EFT error resolution process, and not affording the required protections against liability for unauthorized EFTs. The fifth CMP order, for $40,000, was issued in connection with a removal and prohibition order against an individual formerly affiliated with a California bank, for unsafe or unsound banking practices and breaches of fiduciary duty.

  • G.17 annual revision
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued the 2014 Annual Revision of the G.17 Industrial Product and Capacity Utilization Report.

  • Fourth quarter 2013 Trading Revenue report
    The OCC has issued its quarterly report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities for the Fourth Quarter 2013. Insured U.S. commercial banks and savings institutions reported trading revenue of $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, down $1.5 billion or 34 percent, from $4.5 billion in the third quarter. Trading revenues in the fourth quarter were $1.4 billion or 32 percent, lower than in the fourth quarter of 2012.

  • FTC settles unsecure mobile apps complaints
    The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Fandango and Credit Karma have agreed to settle charges that they misrepresented the security of their mobile apps and failed to secure the transmission of millions of consumers' sensitive personal information. The FTC complaints alleged the companies disabled a critical default process, known as SSL certificate validation, which would have verified that the apps' communications were secure. The Credit Karma app allows consumers to monitor and evaluate their credit and financial status, and the Fandango app allows consumers to purchase movie tickets and view show times, trailers, and reviews. [Fandango Complaint; Settlement] [Credit Karma Complaint; Settlement]

March 28, 2014
  • Former BofA CEO barred in settlement
    The New York State Attorney General's office has announced that the former Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Kenneth D. Lewis, has been barred for three years from serving as an officer or director of a public company as part of a $25 million settlement with Bank of America Corporation relating to the bank's actions before its 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2008. The bank allegedly failed to disclose forecasted losses at Merrill Lynch to shareholders before their vote on the proposed merger. Lewis also agreed to a payment—to be reimbursed by BofA— of $10 million as part of the settlement.

  • Addition to Comptroller's Handbook
    OCC Bulletin 2014-11 has announced the addition of the "Asset-Based Lending" booklet to the Comptroller's Handbook. The booklet applies to all national banks and federal savings associations engaged in asset-based lending activities and
    • provides risk management guidance to examiners and bankers for asset-based lending (ABL) activities
    • expands and replaces prior ABL guidance
    • presents risk-rating examples

  • OCC Mortgage Metrics Report
    The OCC Mortgage Metrics Report for the Fourth Quarter 2013 has been released. The percentage of early-stage delinquencies (mortgages that were 30-59 days past due) was 2.6 percent, down 8.7 percent from a year ago and at the lowest level at year-end since reporting began in January 2008. Seriously delinquent mortgages (60 or more days past due or held by bankrupt borrowers whose payments are 30 days or more past due) decreased to 3.5 percent compared with 3.6 percent at the end of the previous quarter and 4.4 percent a year earlier. In addition, 91.8 percent of mortgages were current and performing at the end of the quarter, compared with 91.4 percent at the end of the previous quarter and 89.4 percent a year earlier.

  • February mortgage rates decrease
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has reported that the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.30 percent for loans closed in late February 2014, a decrease of 0.07 percent from January 2014.

  • Treasury offering Ally Financial stock
    Treasury has announced the start of an underwritten initial public offering of Ally Financial Inc. (Ally) common stock. Treasury is selling 95,000,000 shares of Ally common stock and has granted the underwriters an option to purchase an additional 14,250,000 of Treasury's shares.

  • Treasury to sell TARP CPP investments
    Treasury intends to sell preferred stock and subordinated debt CPP investments in the following institutions:
    • Community First, Inc. (Columbia, TN)
    • Freeport Bancshares, Inc. (Freeport, IL)
    • Great River Holding Company (Baxter, MN)
    • Marine Bank & Trust Company (Vero Beach, FL)
    • Patriot Bancshares, Inc. (Houston, TX)
    Treasury expects to start the auctions on or about March 31, 2014, and to close them at 6:00 p.m. ET on April 3, 2014.

  • Structure and Share Data Report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the September 2013 Structure and Share Data Report, which shows the assets, loans, and deposits of the U.S. offices of foreign banking organizations.

  • G.20 Finance Companies Report
    The January 2014 G.20 Finance Companies Report of owned and managed receivables outstanding has been released by the Federal Reserve.

  • NMLS system maintenance
    NMLS and Consumer Access will be unavailable from 9:00 p.m. ET, Friday, March 28th until Saturday afternoon, March 29th, due to installation of system enhancements.

March 27, 2014
  • BofA pays $9.3B to settle claims
    The Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) has reached a $9.3 billion settlement in cases involving Bank of America (BofA), its subsidiaries Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, and certain named individuals. The cases alleged violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label, residential mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. Allegations of common law fraud were made in the Countrywide and Merrill Lynch cases.

  • Tax fraud conviction sends couple to prison
    In another in a series of announcements about actions against tax fraudsters, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the sentencing of Detrick and Natashia Tucker, a husband and wife who owned and operated a tax preparation business named T&T Express Tax located in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The Tuckers will serve 12 months and one day and 46 months in prison, respectively, for crimes relating to the preparation of false tax returns. The court documents indicate they conspired to fraudulently inflate refunds on their clients' tax returns in order to attract more business.

  • Afghan drug trafficker designated
    Treasury has announced the designation of an Afghan national, Pahlawan Rozi, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Information regarding the designation has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Fact sheet on Affordable Care Act for victims of Domestic Abuse
    Treasury has announced the publication of a Fact Sheet that provides options for victims of domestic abuse to access the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

  • CCAR results
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the results of the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). The capital plans of 25 bank holding companies were approved, and those of the other five participating firms were objected to—four based on qualitative concerns and one because it did not meet a minimum post-stress capital requirement.

March 26, 2014
  • IRS issues virtual currency guidance
    The IRS has issued IR-2014-36 to announce the publication of a Notice with answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on virtual currency, such as Bitcoin. The FAQs provide basic information on the U.S. federal tax implications of transactions in, or transactions that use, virtual currency. The notice indicates virtual currency is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes. In general, that means that:
    • Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.
    • Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099.
    • The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.
    • A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.

  • FinCEN Advisory on FATF-identified jurisdictions
    FinCEN has issued Advisory FIN-2014-A003 on the recent update of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. The changes may affect U.S. financial institutions' obligations and risk-based approaches with respect to the named jurisdictions.

  • OCC reminders of impending compliance dates
    The OCC has issued Bulletins 2014-9 and 2014-10 to remind its supervised institutions of the April 1, 2014, effective date of the final Volcker Rule regulations and interim final rule permitting banking entities to retain their investments in certain in collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) notwithstanding the Volcker Rules. See BankersOnline's January 31, 2014, Top Stories for details.

  • FRB mobile banking survey
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a summary report of its most recent Survey of Consumers' Use of Mobile Financial Services. The first survey was conducted in December 2011 and the recent survey was conducted online during December 2013 with over 2,600 responding.

  • Residential sales decline
    HUD and the Census Bureau have released their report of new residential sales in February 2014. Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000. This is 3.3 percent below the revised January 2014 rate of 455,000 and is 1.1 percent below the February 2013 estimate of 445,000.

  • Home prices up
    A news release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports U.S. house prices rose 0.5 percent in January 2014 on a seasonally adjusted basis from December 2013 according to the monthly House Price Index (HPI). The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • Term deposit sale results
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced the results of its floating-rate offering of seven-day term deposits on March 24, 2014.

  • Fourth quarter 2013 FDIC State Profiles updated
    The FDIC has updated the Fourth Quarter State Profiles to include employment data that was revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 17, 2014. All other data in the State Profiles remain unchanged from the original release on March 11, 2014.

March 25, 2014
  • Agencies propose appraisal management company requirements
    The OCC, FRB, FDIC, CFPB, FHFA and NCUA have jointly announced a proposed rule that would implement minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). The minimum requirements in the proposed rule would apply to states that elect to establish an appraiser certifying and licensing agency with the authority to register and supervise AMCs. The proposed rule would not compel a state to establish an AMC registration and supervision program, and there is no penalty imposed on a state that does not establish such a program. However, an AMC would be barred by section 1124 of FIRREA (as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act) from providing appraisal management services for federally related transactions in a state that has not established such a regulatory structure. Under the proposal, participating states would require that an AMC:
    • Register in the state and be subject to its supervision;
    • Use only state-certified or licensed appraisers for federally related transactions, such as real estate-related financial transactions overseen by a federal financial institution regulatory agency that require appraiser services;
    • Require that appraisals comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice;
    • Ensure selection of a competent and independent appraiser; and
    • Establish and comply with processes and controls reasonably designed to ensure that appraisals comply with the appraisal independence standards established under the Truth in Lending Act.
    The proposal would provide a three-year period following the effective date of a final rule for states to implement the requirements. The 60-day comment period on the proposal will begin with its publication in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.

  • Payday lenders in Bureau's crosshairs
    Lest there be any doubt that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has painted a target on the payday lending industry, the Bureau today issued a report finding that four out of five payday loans are rolled over or renewed within 14 days. The study also shows that the majority of all payday loans are made to borrowers who renew their loans so many times that they end up paying more in fees than the amount of money they originally borrowed. The report, CFPB Data Point: Payday Lending, is based on data gathered over a 12-month period studying more than 12 million storefront payday loans. The report was issued today in coordination with the Bureau's Nashville 11 a.m. Payday Field Hearing, at which Director Richard Cordray will deliver remarks released this morning by the Bureau's press office.

  • Comptroller's Handbook exam procedures update
    OCC Bulletin 2014-8 has been issued announcing the addition of supplemental examination procedures regarding end-user derivatives and trading activities to the "Risk Management of Financial Derivatives" booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook.

  • Fed issues stress test data again
    Perhaps hoping that the "third try's the charm," the Federal Reserve Board has issued yet another press release to provide the "full corrected results" for the 2014 Dodd-Frank Act stress test.

  • Caribbean-based scheme to launder bank fraud proceeds halted
    The Justice Department and IRS announced yesterday the indictment of one U.S. and two Canadian citizens based in the Caribbean on charges of laundering of $200,000 of supposed bank fraud proceeds. The defendants allegedly assisted undercover law enforcement agents, posing as U.S. clients, in laundering purported criminal proceeds through an offshore structure designed to conceal the true identity of the proceeds' owners.

  • FATF to meet with private sector
    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will meet with representatives of the private sector in Brussels on March 25–26, 2014, to discuss updates to the guidance on the application of the risk-based approach in their relevant sectors. The meeting will also discuss issues related to the use of virtual currencies.

March 24, 2014
  • Flood amendments signed into law
    The White House has announced that the president has signed the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014," (HR 3370), described in our March 18, 2014, Top Stories.

  • OCC posts enforcement actions
    The OCC has released a list of new enforcement actions taken against individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations during February 2014. The six new orders are prohibition orders against:
    • a former Illinois bank manager found to have opened four fraudulent credit card accounts at his bank and used them for his personal benefit (loss to bank over $164,000)
    • a former vice president of a North Carolina bank found to have extended credit to customers without authorization and using false information, and to have misapplied assets of other bank customers and made false statements in attempts to cover up the loans
    • a former Ohio branch manager found to have misappropriated multiple customers' funds for her own use
    • a former CEO and chairman of a failed Oklahoma bank found to have been involved in making unauthorized payments totaling $1.67 million to his two adult children, both co-presidents and board members of the bank. Each of the former co-presidents was also issued a prohibition order and an order to make $100,000 restitution to the FDIC as receiver for the failed bank.

  • DOJ settles ADA suit over website and mobile apps
    The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently proposed a consent decree with subsidiaries of H&R Block Inc., to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The decree resolves the department's allegations that H&R Block failed to code its website and mobile apps in a manner that would make them accessible to individuals who have vision, hearing and physical disabilities, thus denying those individuals full and equal enjoyment of largely tax-preparation focused goods and services. The decree has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts for the court's approval. This action could hint at DOJ plans for rolling out ADA standards for websites and mobile apps.

  • Tax return preparer permanently barred
    DOJ also announced a Florida tax return preparer has been permanently barred by a federal court from preparing federal tax returns. The preparer allegedly prepared returns for customers that inflated income or included fictitious income; claimed false tax credits, including phony education credits and residential energy credits; falsely claimed head of household status; and claimed false dependents.

  • FHFA settles with Credit Suisse
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has completed an $885 million settlement with Credit Suisse, related companies and specifically named individuals. The settlement regards alleged violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during 2005–2007.

  • Corrected stress test results
    A Federal Reserve Board press release has been issued with corrections to the previously announced results for the 2014 Dodd-Frank Act stress tests.

  • OCC directors workshops
    A workshop for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations will be held by the OCC in Baltimore on April 28–30, 2014. The three-day workshop, "Mastering the Basics: A Director's Challenge," provides practical information on the roles and responsibilities of a community bank director. The fee is $99 and the workshop is limited to the first 35 registrants. Additional information and registration are available here.

  • ID theft schemers indicted
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced three alleged members of an international cybercrime, money laundering and identity theft conspiracy have been indicted on federal charges for using information hacked from customer accounts at more than a dozen banks, brokerage firms, payroll processing companies and government agencies in an attempt to steal at least $15 million from American customers. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft, and with aggravated identity theft.

  • CU closed
    The National Credit Union Administration has announced the liquidation of Parsons Pittsburg Credit Union of Parsons, Kansas, and the immediate assumption of members, assets, shares and loans by Golden Plains Credit Union of Garden City, Kansas. Parsons Pittsburg Credit Union is the third federally insured credit union liquidated in 2014.

March 21, 2014
  • Ukraine-related Executive Orders and Designations
    OFAC has announced the designation of sixteen Russian government officials, and members of the Russian leadership's inner circle, including a Russian bank, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13661, which was signed by President Obama on March 16, 2014 (see our March 17 OFAC Update). OFAC has also posted an announcement that President Obama has signed a new Executive Order "Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation In Ukraine," expanding the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660 of March 6, 2014, and expanded by Executive Order 13661. Treasury Secretary Lew issued a statement concerning the Executive Orders. Information regarding the latest designations and the Executive Orders has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Bank stress test results
    A press notice from the FRB has announced the release of the summary results of 2014 Dodd-Frank Act bank stress tests.

  • CFPB consumer complaint report
    The CFPB has announced the availability of its 2014 Annual Debt Collection Practices Act Report on the more than 30,000 consumer complaints it has received about the debt collection market. The report finds that many consumers complain that they are being hounded by debt collectors about debts they do not owe. Top complaints also include debt collectors' use of aggressive communication tactics and threats of illegal actions.

  • OCC technical amendments
    In a final rule published in today's Federal Register [79 FR 15639], the OCC has removed regulations on registration of mortgage loan originators, and regulations relating to privacy of consumer financial information. Rulemaking authority for those rules transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 21, 2011, and the OCC rules are therefore no longer operative. The OCC also is amending its regulations to update its address to reflect its move to a new headquarters building, to update the address of its Freedom of Information Act web portal, and to update its website address to the current www.occ.gov.

  • NCUA Board action
    An NCUA Board Action Bulletin has been issued to report that, at the March 20, 2014, meeting, an update on the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund was received and the Board unanimously approved a joint agency proposed rule on minimum requirements for appraisal management companies.

  • NCUA listening sessions
    Online registration is available for the NCUA's 2014 Listening Sessions. The sessions will be open to any topics related to NCUA and will take place before NCUA's proposed risk-based capital rule is finalized.

  • Financial literacy webinar
    The NCUA will host a free webinar, "Financial Literacy: Putting Your Mission into Action," on April 3, 2014, at 2 p.m. EDT.

  • Term deposit offering announced
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced that, on March 24, 2014, it will conduct a floating-rate offering of seven-day term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility.

March 20, 2014
  • Suit against tribal-affiliated payday lender to proceed
    The Federal Trade Commission has announced a Federal District Court judge has affirmed a lower court ruling allowing the Commission to sue allegedly deceptive payday lenders who are affiliated with American Indian tribes. The lender argued the FTC lacked authority to enforce the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) against tribes and tribal businesses. The judge found the FTC Act "grants the FTC authority to regulate arms of Indian tribes, their employees, and their contractors" and payday lenders cannot avoid key federal consumer protection statutes simply by aligning themselves with American Indian tribes.

  • FEMA to suspend communities
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published [79 FR 15542] a notice in today's Federal Register announcing its intent to suspend, effective April 16, 2014, communities in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • FOMC Minutes and Fed Funds projections
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes and a statement regarding purchases of securities from the March 18–19, 2014, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Board also release a table and charts summarizing economic and target federal funds rate projections.

March 19, 2014
  • CFPB unveils prepaid cards disclosure concepts
    The Bureau has posted examples of disclosure concepts for the packaging of prepaid cards. The disclosures are being developed as part of a larger project that will provide a variety of protections for prepaid card users. Comments may be submitted online or via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

  • OFAC Sanctions Symposium
    OFAC has announced that registration is open for the 2014 OFAC Sanctions Symposium to be held in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2014.

  • FinCEN director discusses AML high profile issues
    In prepared remarks at the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) 19th Annual International AML and Financial Crime Conference, FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery provided an update on some of the high profile and sensitive issues FinCEN has been working on in the past year. She commented on efforts to promote greater financial transparency in the marijuana industry, virtual currency issues, and the recent developments in Ukraine.

  • Cordray on the importance of consumer finance
    In a speech at the National Association of State Treasurers, CFPB Director Cordray discussed the importance of consumer finance. He also reviewed the actions being taken by the Bureau to build a consumer financial marketplace involving the "Save Our Homes" program, the Consumer Response function, "Tell Your Story" consumer comments, "Paying for College" tools, and the "Your Money, Your Goals" initiative.

  • January TIC data
    Treasury has released the Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for January 2014. The sum total in January of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows provided a monthly net TIC inflow of $83.0 billion.

  • Household debt and financial obligations ratios
    The Federal Reserve Board has posted the Household Debt Service and Financial Obligations Ratios for the fourth quarter of 2013.

  • Sale of term deposits results
    The results of the March 17, 2014, fixed-rate offering of term deposits through the Federal Reserve's Term Deposit Facility have been released.

March 18, 2014
  • Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act
    The Senate has passed legislation previously passed in the House (HR 3370) designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). The bill is not yet on the White House calendar. The bill, if enacted, would reinstate lower rates for grandfathered properties that were repealed under Biggert-Waters and would extend the effective date for new escrow rules required under Biggert-Waters from July 6, 2014, to January 1, 2016. Language in the bill also clarifies that escrow requirements would apply prospectively to loans closed on or after the new effective date, and that certain loans would not have to have flood insurance escrows. Escrows would be optional on—
    • Second liens (if proper coverage is in place in connection with the first lien)
    • Condo and co-op loans (if the RCBAP is property covered with flood insurance)
    • HELOCs
    • Commercial purpose loans secured by a residence
    • Nonperforming loans
    • Loans with a term under 12 months
    As noted, the bill is not yet on the White House's Pending Legislation calendar. We will watch for developments and include an announcement here, in BOL's Top Stories.

  • HUD disaster recovery grants announced
    HUD has issued press releases announcing a total of $436M in additional Disaster Recovery Grants will be provide to help communities in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado recover from 2013 tornadoes, storms and flooding.

  • Ukraine-related executive orders and designations
    OFAC has announced the designation of four Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov, leader of Ukranian Choice Viktor Medvedchuk, and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, under the March 10, 2014, Executive Order 13660 ("Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine"). OFAC also posted an announcement that President Obama signed a subsequent Executive Order, "Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation In Ukraine," which expands upon EO 13660 to provide the ability to target officials of the Government of the Russian Federation, any individuals or entities that operate in the arms or related materiel sector in the Russian Federation, and any individual or entity that is owned or controlled by, or provides material or other support to any senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation or any person designated pursuant to the latter order. Any assets of the individuals that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from conducting any transactions with them.

    In addition, Treasury Secretary Lew issued a statement to underscore the serious nature of the designations. Information regarding the designations and the Executive Orders has been posted in a March 17, 2014, BOL OFAC Update.

  • G.17 report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the February 2014 G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report. Industrial production increased 0.6 percent in February after having declined 0.2 percent in January. In February, manufacturing output rose 0.8 percent and nearly reversed its decline of 0.9 percent in January, which resulted, in part, from extreme weather.

  • Curry on BSA/AML
    In a speech at the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specials (ACAMS) AML and Financial Crimes Conference, Comptroller Curry discussed accountability and risk management as they relate to the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts.

  • The NCUA Report
    The March 2014 issue of The NCUA Report has been posted, featuring articles on the 2013 Share Insurance Fund Report, the importance of good directors, board action on a voluntary liquidation proposal and the OIG Hotline for reporting fraud.

  • FATF issues mutual evaluation reports
    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has issued follow-up reports on the mutual evaluations of Mexico and Canada. Both countries have made significant progress in addressing deficiencies and have been removed from FATF's follow-up review process.

March 17, 2014
  • Consumer compliance interagency exam bulletin
    OCC Bulletin 2014-7 has been issued on the interagency examination procedures for consumer compliance. The procedures were updated to reflect new mortgage rules requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act. The OCC is in the process of incorporating the new procedures into the Comptroller's Handbook "Consumer Compliance" series.

  • March FedFlash
    The March 2013 issue of FedFlash has been posted. It features articles on a processing update for image-enabled savings bonds, a next generation VPN Solution initiative update, new FedReceipts RTNs, the FedACH Risk RDFI Alert Service, and registration information for 2014 Fraud Symposiums.

  • FRB annual statements
    The 2013 combined annual financial statements for the Federal Reserve Banks have been released, as well as statements for the 12 individual Federal Reserve Banks, and the consolidated variable interest entities (VIEs) that were created to respond to strains in financial markets.

March 14, 2014
  • OFAC adds to Kingpin list
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced yesterday the designation of Eduardo Mendoza Robles (a.k.a. Zeta 33) as a specially designated narcotics trafficker (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Mendoza Robles is responsible for transporting drugs, weapons, and cash across the U.S.-Mexico border on behalf of the Los Zetas cartel. This action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with Mendoza Robles, and freezes any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction. Additional details are available in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

  • Bureau schedules Nashville event
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has posted a "Save the Date" announcement for a field hearing on payday loans scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. Central Time, at the Nashville Public Library Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Fed announces another TDF offering
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced another in its series of small-value Term Deposit Facility operations designed to provide eligible institutions with an opportunity to gain familiarity with term deposit operations. The next offering, scheduled for March 17, 2014, will be for fixed-rate seven-day term deposits with an interest rate of 0.26 percent and a maximum tender amount of $1.25 billion.

  • FTC and court shut down debt collector
    The Federal Trade Commission has announced that a U.S. District Court has approved an FTC-requested Temporary Restraining Order and Asset Freeze to halt the debt collection operations of Federal Check Processing, Inc., alleged to have misrepresented that they were with the government, falsely accused consumers of committing check fraud, and threatened consumers with arrest.

  • NCUA posts March Board agenda
    The National Credit Union Administration has posted the agenda for the March 20, 2014, meeting of its Board of Directors. One of the items on the agenda is consideration of a proposed interagency rule on Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies.

March 13, 2014
  • New York to license virtual currency exchanges
    The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has announced it has issued a Public Order stating that the Department will consider proposals and applications in connection with the establishment of virtual currency exchanges located in the State of New York. The NYDFS is preparing a regulatory framework for such exchanges, due by mid-2014. Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky said there is an "urgent need for stronger oversight of virtual currency exchanges, including robust standards for consumer protection, cyber security, and anti-money laundering compliance."

  • HUD proposes FHA prepayment rule changes
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published in today's Federal Register a proposed rule [79 FR 14200] that would eliminate the practice of charging interest on a prepayment through the end of the month in which the mortgage is being prepaid (post-payment interest) with respect to FHA single-family mortgage loans consummated on or after the effective date of a final rule.

  • OCC releases more CRA evaluations
    The OCC has released lists of 48 national banks, federal savings associations and insured federal branches of foreign banks whose CRA ratings were made public during the months of January and February 2014. Twelve of the institutions on those lists received outstanding ratings.

  • Agencies publish stress test guidance
    The previously announced supervisory guidance by the OCC, FDIC and FRB on "Implementing Dodd-Frank Act Company-Run Stress Tests for Banking Organizations with Total Consolidated Assets of more than $10 Billion but less than $50 Billion" has been published [79 FR 14153] in today's Federal Register. The effective dates are April 1, 2014, for the Federal Reserve Board, and March 31, 2014, for the OCC and FDIC.

  • Curry on community reinvestment
    In remarks at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition annual conference, Comptroller Curry discussed how national banks and federal savings associations can more effectively serve the credit needs of rural communities, especially in economically distressed areas.

March 12, 2014
  • CFPB proposes new information collection
    The CFPB has published a Notice and Request for Comment (NRC) regarding a new information collection titled, "Debt Collection Survey from the Consumer Credit Panel." The CFPB plans to conduct a mail survey of consumers to learn about their experiences interacting with the debt collection industry. The survey will ask consumers about their experiences with debt collectors, whether they recognized the debt that was being collected, and about their interactions with the debt collectors. The survey will also ask consumers about their preferences for how they would like to be contacted by debt collectors, opinions about potential regulatory interventions in debt collection markets, and about their knowledge of their legal rights regarding debt collections. Written comments must be received on or before May 6, 2014.

  • CRA ratings released
    The OCC has released the ratings received by 34 national banks and federal savings associations that were recently evaluated for compliance with CRA. Of the 34 evaluations, nine are rated outstanding, 23 are listed as satisfactory, and two were rated as needs to improve.

  • FDIC state profiles
    The FDIC has posted the Fourth Quarter 2013 issue of FDIC State Profiles, a quarterly data sheet summation of banking and economic conditions by state.

  • FinCEN ruling on records of foreign exchange dealers
    FinCEN has issued administrative ruling FIN- 2014-R003 to clarify circumstances in which a dealer in foreign exchange may accept alternative travel documents as identification for a non-resident alien.

  • FRB fixed-rate offering results
    The results of the Federal Reserve Board's March 10, 2014, fixed-rate offering of term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility have been announced.

March 11, 2014
  • FINRA finds millennials struggle financially
    The FINRA Investor Education Foundation has released the results of its recent study, The Financial Capability of Young Adults—A Generational View, reporting that millennials—individuals born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s, often referred to as "Generation Y"—display low levels of financial literacy, "engage in problematic financial behaviors" and are worried about their debt. The study was released at the inaugural meeting of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.

  • Cordray on financial education
    In a presentation to the President's Advisory Council, CFPB Director Cordray discussed the importance of financial education in allowing consumers to make sound financial choices. He noted, "The most obvious way to create a more financially capable nation is to insist on having financial education in every one of our schools." He also reviewed five steps that would promote youth financial education.

  • FOMC Freedom of Information Act report
    The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has issued its 2013 annual report to the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act.

March 10, 2014
  • National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference
    The Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund have jointly announced their 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, to be held in Chicago March 31 through April 2, 2014. The registration deadline is March 14. An online agenda and registration information are available.

  • Housing scorecard
    Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have announced the release of the February 2014 edition of the Obama administration's Housing Scorecard, a comprehensive report of the U. S. housing market. Purchases of new homes rose, foreclosure completions continued their downward trend, and house prices were stable.

  • G.7 auto and truck data revised
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced the seasonal factors for auto and truck production have been revised back to September 2013 and extended through June 2015.

  • G.19 consumer credit report
    The January 2014 G.19 Consumer Credit Report has been released by the FRB. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5¼ percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of ¼ percent, while non-revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7½ percent.

  • Basel III amendments interim final rule
    OCC Bulletin 2014-6 has been issued announcing an interim final rule with request for comments. The rule, which is effective March 31, 2014, revises the OCC's regulatory capital rules, adding a new common equity tier 1 requirement, revising the definitions of tier 1 and tier 2 capital, and integrating federal savings associations into 12 CFR Parts 3 and 6 (Prompt Corrective Action).

  • Risk assessment and credit risk workshops
    The OCC will host two workshops for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations in Atlanta on April 8–9, 2014. The "Credit Risk" and "Risk Assessment" workshops are $99 each, with participation limited to the first 35 registrants for each topic.

  • Matz and Cordray town hall webinar online
    The NCUA has announced the February 12, 2014, town hall webinar hosted by Chairman Matz and featuring Director Cordray is available for registrants online.

  • FTC to review customer info security standards
    The Federal Trade Commission has announced its intention to begin a review and solicit comments this year on Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, 16 CFR Part 314, which implements Sections 501 and 505(b)(2) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

March 7, 2014
  • FinCEN updates Ukrainian advisory
    FinCEN has updated its February 25, 2014, Advisory to Financial Institutions on Recent Events Related to the Departure of Victor Yanukovych and Other Ukrainian Officials. [Update; Original]

  • CFPB reports on servicemember complaints
    The CFPB has posted a Bureau Blog article and issued a press release on complaints received from servicemembers and their families concerning financial products or services and the Bureau's recovery of more than $1 million for the servicemembers. The article and release showcased the release of Complaints received from servicemembers, veterans, and their families, a summary report on about 14,000 complaints from military consumers received between July 21, 2011, and February 1, 2014.

  • OFAC issues $500K CMP
    OFAC has announced a non-financial corporation has agreed to pay $504,225 to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.

  • New offering of 7-day term deposits
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced a March 10, 2014, fixed-rate offering of term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility. The Federal Reserve will offer seven-day term deposits with an interest rate of 0.26000 percent and a maximum tender amount of $1,250,000,000.

  • BHC Supervision Manual updated
    The Board has also posted the January 2014 semi-annual update of the Bank Holding Company Supervision Manual.

  • Mortgage debt outstanding
    The Fourth Quarter 2013 Mortgage Debt Outstanding Report has been released by the Federal Reserve.

  • March 2014 FedFocus
    Federal Reserve Bank Services has posted the March 2014 issue of FedFocus. This edition features articles on how to connect with a FedLine access solution, maintaining a cash system in a changing landscape, and FEDucation meetings and conferences.

  • NCUA Board meeting video
    A link to the video of the February 20, 2014, meeting of the NCUA Board of Directors have been posted on the NCUA Board's Web page.

March 6, 2014
  • Ukraine-related Executive Order
    The OFAC Resource Center was updated this morning with an announcement of a new Executive Order responding to "threats to the peace, security, or stability of Ukraine, as well as efforts to assert governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine." The announcement reports that the "Executive Order allows the United States to sanction any individual or entity that is responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine or that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine. It further allows the United States to sanction persons who are involved in the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or have asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine."

  • Counterfeit cashier's checks alert
    The OCC has issued Alert 2014-15 on counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the routing number of Urban Trust Bank, Lake Mary, Florida. Information regarding the checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts and Counterfeits page.

  • Final Affordable Care Act reporting regs
    A Fact Sheet has been released by Treasury and the IRS regarding final rules to implement the information reporting provisions of the Affordable Care Act for insurers and certain employers, which take effect in 2015.

  • New NMLS Ombudsman appointed
    The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) has appointed Robert Niemi as the new NMLS Ombudsman. The Ombudsman provides the financial services industries and other interested parties with a neutral venue to discuss issues or concerns regarding NMLS and state licensing.

  • NMLS fourth quarter 2013 reports
    The NMLS has released the fourth quarter 2013 Nationwide View of State-Licensed Mortgage Entities and the NMLS Federal Registry Quarterly Report.

  • Beige Book
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the March 5, 2014, issue of its Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, commonly known as the "Beige Book."

  • Yellen at ceremonial swearing-in
    The traditional ceremonial swearing-in of Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve Board was conducted yesterday at the Board's headquarters in Washington. The Board published Chair Yellen's remarks to those attending the gathering.

  • DFA stress test guidance for medium-sized firms
    The Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have announced final Dodd-Frank Act stress test guidance for medium-sized firms (those with assets between $10 and $50 billion). The guidance confirms that companies with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion are not subject to the Federal Reserve's capital plan rule, the Federal Reserve's annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, Dodd-Frank Act supervisory stress tests, or related data collections, which apply to bank holding companies with assets of at least $50 billion.

March 5, 2014
  • FDIC CRA evaluations
    The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for which ratings were assigned in December 2013. Of the 116 banks evaluated, four (in California, Colorado, Tennessee and Washington) earned an "outstanding" rating, one in Florida received a "needs to improve," and one Illinois bank was found to be in "substantial non-compliance."

  • OCC CRA exam schedule
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued its schedule of CRA examinations for the second quarter of 2014.

  • Auction of TARP CPP securities update
    The Department of the Treasury has issued an update on the previously announced sale of preferred stock of five financial institutions. As announced, the sale commenced on March 3 and will close at 6:00 pm ET tomorrow, March 6. The original sale announcement was included in the February 28 BOL Top Stories.

  • Foreign exchange rates
    The February 2014 G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates report has been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • Term deposits offering results
    The FRB has announced the results of its March 3, 2014, offering of seven-day term deposits.

  • Curry and Gruenberg on community banking
    In presentations at the annual convention of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Comptroller Curry discussed the importance of community banking, its supervision, and resources available from the OCC; and Chairman Gruenberg spoke on the importance, future and role of community banking.

March 4, 2014
  • NCUA 2013 Q4 Call Report data
    The NCUA has released the data from fourth quarter 2013 credit union Call Reports. Chairman Matz noted several key indicators reported growth but some trends were less favorable. Loans, membership and net worth saw continued positive growth, but net interest margins continued to decline.

March 3, 2014
  • Virginia and Pennsylvania banks closed
    The FDIC has announced the closing and assumption of all deposits of Millennium Bank, National Association, Sterling, Virginia, and Vantage Point Bank, Horsham, Pennsylvania. The banks were the 4th and 5th FDIC-insured institutions to fail in 2014.

  • FRB prohibition order
    The Federal Reserve Board has released a letter addressed to an individual currently in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to bank fraud, informing him of an order under Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and Section 205 of the National Credit Union Act prohibiting him from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party with respect to any federally insured banking organization or credit union.

  • FDIC enforcement actions
    The FDIC has released a list of administrative enforcement actions taken in January 2014 by the agency against banks and individuals. This list includes two civil money penalties (CMPs) totaling $24,605 issued against banks in California and Illinois for violations under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, further information on which has been posted on BankersOnline's Flood Penalties Watch page. There were also six CMPs against individuals relating to an Oklahoma bank in FDIC receivership, and eight removal/prohibition orders against individuals formerly affiliated with banks in Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

  • NCUA prohibition orders
    The NCUA has announced the issuance of orders prohibiting four individuals from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The four individuals had separately been ordered to pay a combined $1,876,782 in restitution for their various crimes as former employees of credit unions in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.

  • CRA exam schedule
    The FDIC has released its second quarter 2014 CRA examination schedule.

  • NCUA economic update
    The latest video in the NCUA Economic Update YouTube series has been posted.

  • NCUA proposes amendment
    The NCUA has published a proposed rule [79 FR 11714] in today's Federal Register that would amend its voluntary liquidation regulation to reduce administrative burdens on voluntarily liquidating federal credit unions (FCUs) and recognize technological advances by: Permitting liquidating FCUs to publish required creditor notices in either electronic media or newspapers of general circulation; increasing the asset-size threshold for requiring multiple creditor notices; requiring that preliminary partial distributions to members not exceed the insured limit for any member share account; specifying when liquidating FCUs must determine member share balances for the purposes of distributions; and permitting liquidating FCUs to distribute member share payouts either by wire or other electronic means or by mail or personal delivery.

February 28, 2014
  • Kingpin Act Designations
    Treasury has announced the designation of Hugo Cuellar Hurtado, a dual Colombian-Mexican national, for his material support to the narcotics trafficking activities of the Sinaloa Cartel and one of the organization's leaders, Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno (a.k.a. El Azul), under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Six other individuals and ten entities linked to Cuellar Hurtado were also designated. As a result of this action, all property and interests in property in the United States, or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the individuals and entities designated today have an interest, are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • OCC publishes Basel III conforming amendments
    The OCC has published in today's Federal Register [79 FR 11300] an interim final rule (and request for comments) making technical and conforming amendments to its regulations governing national banks and Federal savings associations to make those regulations consistent with the recently adopted Basel III Capital Framework. As part of these technical amendments, the OCC is revising and clarifying its regulations governing subordinated debt applicable to national banks and Federal savings associations. The rule will become effective on, and comments are due by, March 31, 2014.

  • $122M settlement announced by FHFA
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency, as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has announced a settlement with Société Générale, related companies and specifically named individuals for $122 million. The settlement resolves claims in a lawsuit alleging violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during 2006. A copy of the settlement agreement was included with the FHFA news release.

  • ID theft still at top of consumer complaint list
    The Federal Trade Commission has released its annual report on consumer complaints. Identity theft continues to top the national ranking, with American consumers reporting losses over $1.6 billion to fraud overall in 2013.

  • Credit report error tips
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Blog features an article explaining that more options are now available to consumers trying to correct errors on their credit reports. Supporting documentation can now be uploaded, mailed, or faxed to explain the errors in a credit report. The Bureau also posted prepared remarks by Director Cordray at the Bureau's Consumer Advisory Board Meeting and a news release about the credit reporting complaints received by the Bureau.

  • FDIC consumer tips
    The FDIC will issue, in observance of National Consumer Protection Week (March 2–8, 2014), a series of consumer tips on selected banking topics related to saving and protecting money.

  • Intent to sell TARP CPP stock announced
    The Treasury Department has announced its intent to sell several preferred stock Capital Purchase Program (CPP) investments under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The auctions, which will be offered principally to domestic qualified institutional buyers and certain domestic institutional accredited investors, will begin on or about Monday, March 3, 2014.

  • January mortgage interest rates increase
    A Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) news release reports that the January 2014 FHFA Index of contract interest rates increased 0.11 percent from December 2013 to January 2014. The index is calculated using FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey.

  • Reminder of removal of OFAC archives
    Treasury has issued a reminder of its previous announcement that OFAC will on or about March 5, 2014, cease to issued certain ".exe" self-extracting archives.

  • FRB Federal Advisory Council minutes
    The minutes of the February 7, 2014, meeting of the Federal Reserve Board Federal Advisory Council have been released.

  • NPR comment period extended
    The Federal Reserve System has extended for an additional 30 days, the public comment period on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on physical commodity activities conducted by financial holding companies. Comments are now due April 16, 2014.

  • CRA ratings released
    The OCC has released the ratings received by national banks and federal savings associations that were evaluated for compliance during October and November 2013.

  • NCUA to host BSA webinar
    A free webinar, "BSA-MSB Training: What You Need to Know," will be hosted by the NCUA on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 2 pm. ET. Online registration is available.

February 27, 2014
  • CFPB files suit against ITT Educational Services
    The CFPB has issued a press release and blogged to announce the filing of a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services, Inc., accusing the for-profit college chain of predatory student lending. Bureau Director Cordray offered comments on the CFPB action at a press conference on Wednesday.

  • January residential sales up
    HUD and the Census Bureau have announced that sales of new single-family houses in January 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, 9.6 percent above the revised December rate of 427,000 and 2.2 percent above the January 2013 estimate.

  • NCUA proposes revised PCA regulations
    The National Credit Union Administration has published in today's Federal Register a proposed rule [79 FR 11183] that would amend the agency's regulations regarding prompt corrective action (PCA) to restructure the regulations and make various revisions, including replacing the agency's current risk-based net worth requirements with new risk-based capital requirements for federally insured "natural person" credit unions. The proposed risk-based capital requirements would be more consistent with NCUA's risk-based capital measure for corporate credit unions and the regulatory risk-based capital measures used by the other Federal banking regulatory agencies. Comments on the proposal are due by May 28, 2014.

  • Insured institutions earn $40.3B in fourth quarter
    An FDIC press release has announced that insured commercial banks and savings institutions reported aggregate net income of $40.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a $5.8 billion (16.9 percent) increase from the $34.4 billion reported in 2012. This is the 17th time in the last 18 quarters that earnings have registered a year-over-year increase.

  • FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile
    The Fourth Quarter 2013 Quarterly Banking Profile has been released by the FDIC. Highlights include:
    • Quarterly net income of $40.3 billion is 17 percent higher than a year ago
    • Lower loss provisions remain key to earnings growth
    • Full-year net income of $154.7 billion represents a 10 percent increase
    • Loan growth remains modest, as mortgage lending declines
    • Two failures in fourth quarter are fewest since second quarter 2008
    The FDIC also made available remarks from Chairman Gruenberg and a video of yesterday's FDIC press conference.

  • Former bank VP pleads guilty to ICE charges
    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that a former Bank of America vice president pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.

  • Bureau extends application deadlines for advisory councils
    The deadlines for submission of applications for membership on the CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) and Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC) have been extended two weeks, to March 14, 2014.

February 26, 2014
  • FinCEN Ukrainian advisory
    FinCEN has issued an Advisory to U.S. financial institutions to remind them of their responsibility to take reasonable, risk-based steps regarding the potential suspicious movement of assets related to Viktor Yanukovych departing Kiev, Ukraine, and abdicating his responsibilities and other senior officials resigning from their positions or departing Kiev.

  • Counterfeit cashier's checks alert
    OCC Alert 2014-14 warns of counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name of First National Bank, Lenoir City, Tennessee. Information regarding the checks will be posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • NMLS conference blog
    The sixth annual NMLS Conference and Training concluded on February 21. The conference featured popular general sessions, breakouts by industry type, and training opportunities. The Conference Blog provides highlights, along with interviews and commentary from speakers and guests.

  • House prices continue to rise
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the House Price Index (HPI). This is the tenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

  • FRB discount rate meeting minutes
    The minutes of the January 27, 2014, meeting of the Federal Reserve Board discount rate meeting have been released.

  • Stress test results release dates
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced March 20 and March 26 as release dates for the latest supervisory stress tests results and related results from the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review.

  • OCC state fact sheets releases
    The OCC has released fact sheets on the performance and condition of 87 community national banks and federal savings associations in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Ninety-seven percent of banks are rated 1 or 2 on the five-point CAMELS scale, up from the low point of 82 percent in 2011.

  • FDIC Consumer News
    The winter issue of the FDIC Consumer News features tips on choosing and using credit cards. Other topics include; ways to protect personal information, money and banking tips for the tax season, testing one's deposit insurance IQ, and preparing for rising home equity line payments.

  • CFPB financial planning worksheet
    The CFPB Blog features instructions for the use of the CFPB My New Money Goal financial planning worksheet.

  • Cordray on financial education In his presentation at the Bureau's Financial Literacy and Education Commission meeting, Director Cordray discussed the importance of financial education, the role of employers, and the actions of the CFPB.

February 25, 2014
  • CFPB assesses CMP for fee splitting
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a Consent Order under which a Connecticut mortgage lender has agreed to pay an $83,000 civil money penalty (CMP) for violating federal law by illegally splitting real estate settlement fees. The violations were self-reported. The lender admitted liability and voluntarily provided information to the Bureau.

  • FRB to publish banking application data and guidance
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced that it will publish a semi-annual report with aggregate data and other information regarding banking applications (for example, those involving a planned acquisition or new branch office). The report will include statistics on the length of time taken to process applications and notices, the number of approvals, denials, and withdrawals, and the primary reasons for withdrawals.

  • Application guidance
    In connection with the Board's announcement (see previous story), SR 14-2/CA 14-1 was issued to describe common issues that have led to recent withdrawals of applications. The purpose of the letter is to provide financial institutions and the general public with a better understanding of the Federal Reserve's approach to applications and notices that may not satisfy statutory requirements for approval of the proposal or otherwise raise supervisory or regulatory concerns.

  • FinCEN publishes Housing GSE SAR requirements
    FinCEN has published its previously announced final rule [79 FR 10365] imposing AML program and SAR filing requirements upon Housing Government Sponsored Entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks), replacing current, less stringent, requirements that they report suspicious activity to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

February 24, 2014
  • OCC enforcement actions
    New enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with such institutions have been released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The orders included a $500,000 Civil Money Penalty assessed against an Indiana bank for inadequacies in its BSA/AML compliance program, and a $43,120 Civil Money Penalty assessed against a Pennsylvania bank for a pattern or practice of violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act and implementing regulations. The BSA/AML and Flood CMPs will be added to BOL's BSA/AML Penalties and Flood Penalties Watch pages, respectively.

  • FEMA to suspend communities
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a final rule [79 FR 10014] identifying communities in Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on April 2, 2014, because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • ATM skimmers get 5 years
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that two Romanian natives now residing in Queens, New York, were sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison Thursday for their roles in a scheme that stole $985,000 from bank customers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut by installing secret card-reading devices on ATMs that stole account information when customers swiped their cards.

  • FHC update
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the list of bank holding companies that have elected as of February 21, 2014, to be treated as financial holding companies.

  • 'Advanced approaches' risk-based capital requirements
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board have announced the "Advance Approaches" capital framework will permit certain banking organizations to begin using an additional approach to determine their risk-based capital requirements. The framework applies to large, internationally active banking organizations, generally those with at least $250 billion in total consolidated assets or at least $10 billion in total on-balance sheet foreign exposure, and includes the depository institution subsidiaries of those firms. The FRB also issued a final rule clarifying that bank holding companies using the Advanced Approaches framework will incorporate those changes into the capital planning and stress testing cycles that begin October 1, 2015.

  • FRB schedules 7-day term deposit operations
    The FRB plans to conduct a series of seven-day term deposit operations under its Term Deposit Facility (TDF) as part of the ongoing program of small-value offerings designed to ensure the operational readiness of the TDF and to provide eligible institutions with an opportunity to gain familiarity with term deposit procedures. The operations will be held on March 3, March 10, March 17, and March 24, 2014. Additional information is posted on the FRB Term Deposit Facility Resource Center page.

  • Currency and coin services data
    The Federal Reserve has released currency and coin services data from 1993-2113.

  • Matz promotes America Saves Week
    An NCUA press release has conveyed a message from Chairman Matz urging credit unions to educate their members and their communities about the importance of saving during America Saves Week and Military Saves Week, which runs February 24 to March 1. In addition, NCUA announced its first Twitter chat, the first of a two-part series focusing on financial literacy, on Wednesday, February 26, at 11 a.m. ET. Credit unions and consumers are encouraged to follow the conversation and contribute using the #NCUAChat hashtag on Twitter.

February 21, 2014
  • Counterfeit checks alerts
    Two Alerts have been issued by the OCC regarding counterfeit treasurer's checks bearing the name of United Bank, West Springfield, Massachusetts and counterfeit official checks bearing the name of The First National Bank of Bellevue, Bellevue, Ohio. Information regarding the counterfeit checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • Iran Sanctions Act removal
    OFAC has announced the deletion of two SDN List entries for an entity previously designated pursuant to Iran Sanctions Act. Information regarding the removals has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • FATCA rules updated
    Treasury and the IRS have released the last substantial package of regulations necessary to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA seeks to obtain information on accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in other countries. It generally requires U.S. financial institutions to withhold a portion of certain payments made to certain foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that do not agree to identify and report information on U.S. account holders. The proposed and temporary regulations released make additions and clarifications to previously issued FATCA regulations and provide guidance to coordinate FATCA rules with preexisting due diligence, reporting, and withholding requirements under other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. A Fact Sheet was also released.

  • Finance Companies Owned and Managed report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the December 2013 G.20 Finance Companies Owned and Managed Receivables Outstanding and Auto Loans: Terms of Credit report.

  • CRA ratings released
    The OCC has released a list of ratings received by forty-two national banks and federal savings associations recently evaluated for compliance with CRA.

  • SAR filings change for Housing GSEs
    FinCEN has issued a Final Rule that will require that Housing GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks) file SARs directly with FinCEN instead of filing less detailed reports through their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). This rule is effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

  • Calvery on marijuana, virtual currency and CDD
    In remarks at the Florida International Bankers Association Anti-Money Laundering Conference, Director Calvery discussed FinCEN's activities regarding the BSA obligations of financial institutions that bank marijuana-related businesses, virtual currency, and customer due diligence (CDD).

  • NCUA listening sessions
    The NCUA will host three "Listening Sessions" in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C, in July 2014. Registration for all Listening Sessions will be free and available online. Participation will be open to the first 150 people who register.

  • NCUA Board Action Bulletin
    A Board Action Bulletin has been posted by the NCUA regarding the action taken at the February 20, 2014, meeting of the NCUA Board.

  • CFPB complaint report
    The CFPB Blog features an article on the over 300,000 complaints received by the CFPB since July 2011. The type of complaints accepted, how they are submitted and what happens after submission are discussed.

February 20, 2014
  • Kingpin designations and Counter Narcotics removals
    Treasury has announced the designation of eight individuals and five entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act, the addition of their names and the deletion the names of four individuals and three entities from the SDN List. In addition, a change has been made to one existing listing. Information regarding the designations, deletions and change has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • January residential construction report
    HUD and the Census Bureau have released the new residential construction statistics for January 2014. Building permits, housing starts and housing completions declined from December 2013.

  • FOMC minutes and statement
    The minutes and statement of the January 28–29, 2014, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • OCC directors workshops in Virginia
    The OCC will host two workshops in Richmond, Virginia, on March 25–26, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. The fee for the "Compliance Risk" and "Credit Risk: A Director's Focus" workshops is $99 for each workshop, with registration limited to 35 attendees per session. Online registration is available.

February 19, 2014
  • Final rule on large banks prudential standards
    A press release has been issued by the Federal Reserve Board to announce its approval of a final rule, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, establishing a number of enhanced prudential standards for U.S. bank holding companies and foreign banking organizations with total U.S. consolidated assets of $50 billion or more. The standards include liquidity, risk management, and capital. U.S. bank holding companies subject to the rule will need to comply by January 1, 2015.

  • TIC data
    Treasury has released the December 2013 Treasury International Capital (TIC) data.

  • ACH quarterly data
    The Federal Reserve has released the reports of fourth quarter and annual 2013 commercial and government automated clearinghouse transactions processed:
  • Commercial and government checks reports
    The FRB has also released the reports of fourth quarter and annual 2013 commercial checks collected and returned, government checks, and postal money orders processed:
  • Fourth quarter loan/leases charge-off and delinquency rates
    The report of fourth quarter 2013 charge-off and delinquency rates on loans and leases at commercial banks has been released by the Board.

  • SPOE comment period extended
    The FDIC has extended the comment period by 30 days for the Single Point of Entry (SPOE) strategy for the resolution of Systemically Important Financial Institutions. The original request for comments was published in the Federal Register and reported in the December 11, 2013, BOL Top Stories. All comments must be received on or before March 20, 2014.

  • The NCUA Report
    The January 2014 issue of The NCUA Report has been posted. Each issue contains articles from the NCUA Chairman and Board Members.

February 18, 2014
  • FinCEN guidance on banking marijuana-related businesses
    FinCEN, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, has issued guidance [FIN-2014-G001] that clarifies customer due diligence expectations and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting requirements for financial institutions seeking to provide services to marijuana businesses. The guidance suggests that financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses in a manner consistent with their obligations to know their customers and to report possible criminal activity.

    [Editor's Note: FinCEN's Guidance was discussed at BOL's BSA•AML Top Gun Conference, Wednesday and Thursday of this week in Scottsdale, Arizona.]

  • Kingpin Act designations
    Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated Juanita del Carmen Rios Hernandez and her medical supply company, Distribuidora e Importadora de Productos Medicos del Norte, as specially designated narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Juanita del Carmen Rios Hernandez is the spouse of Mexican drug lord Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, a leader of Los Zetas drug cartel, who is jailed in Mexico and faces multiple federal indictments in the United States for narcotics and money laundering violations. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • OCC expectations—Bankruptcy discharge of secured debt
    OCC Bulletin 2014-4 has been issued as guidance to clarify the agency's supervisory expectations for national banks and federal savings associations regarding secured consumer debt discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. The guidance discusses:
    • the analysis necessary to "clearly demonstrate and document that repayment is likely to occur," which would preclude any charge-off as required by the Uniform Retail Credit Classification and Account Management Policy
    • when a bank may consider post-discharge payment performance as evidence of collectability and when this performance demonstrates both capacity and willingness to repay the full amounts due.

  • Minnesota CU closes
    The NCUA has announced the closing of St. Francis Campus Credit Union of Little Falls, Minnesota, and the assumption of members, assets, shares and loans by Central Minnesota Credit Union of Melrose, Minnesota. This was the second federally insured credit union liquidation in 2014.

  • Agenda posted for NMLS Ombudsman meeting
    The NMLS has posted the agenda for the February 18, 2014, Ombudsman meeting to be held in Miami.

  • G.17 Industrial Production report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the January 2014 G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report.

  • February 2014 FedFlash
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has released the February 2014 issue of FedFlash. The issue features articles on the address change for paper items sent to Atlanta, new FedReceipt RTNs, a check adjustments tip, and automatic delivery of payment information to health care providers.

February 14, 2014
  • GAO college debit card report
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the results of a study of college and university debit or prepaid card service agreements. The report [63 pages, PDF] examines the functions of college cards, the characteristics of schools and card providers offering the cards, and benefits and concerns related to them. The GAO recommends that—
    • Congress consider requiring that financial firms providing debit and prepaid card services to colleges file their agreements for public review and provide other relevant information
    • The Department of Education—
      • specify what constitutes convenient access to ATMs or bank branch offices for students receiving federal student aid funds
      • develop requirements for schools and card providers to present neutral information to students about their options for receiving federal student aid funds

  • NCUA board meeting agenda
    The NCUA has posted the agenda for the February 20, 2014, meeting of its Board.

  • Regulation P proposal published
    The Federal Reserve Board's proposal to rescind its Regulation P (12 CFR Part 216), described in yesterday's Top Stories, has been published in the Federal Register [79 FR 8904]. Comments are due by April 15, 2014.

February 13, 2014
  • FRB proposes repeal of Regs DD and P and changes to V
    The Federal Reserve Board has requested comment on notices of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to repeal Regulation DD (Truth in Savings) and Regulation P (Privacy of Consumer Financial Information) and to amend the Identity Theft Red Flags rule in Regulation V (Fair Credit Reporting). Because the CFPB has already issued interim final rules that are substantially identical to the Board's Regulation DD and Regulation P, the Board is proposing to repeal its versions of those regulations. The proposed amendment to Regulation V would reflect legislation that amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to clarify that the ID Theft Read Flags provisions apply only to creditors that regularly extend credit or obtain consumer reports in the ordinary course of their business. The amendments to the FCRA were intended to narrow the scope of the law so that it would not be applied to professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, who sometimes allow consumers to delay payment. Comments on the proposals must be submitted within 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

  • Paper check processing weather delays
    Federal Reserve Bank Services has issued a notice that weather conditions in the Atlanta area may cause some delays in paper check presentments and paper return items.

  • CRA ratings released
    The OCC has released the ratings http://www.occ.gov/static/cra/aug13.html received in August 2013 by twenty-six national banks and federal savings associations recently evaluated for compliance with CRA. Four banks on the list received "outstanding" ratings.

  • OCC directors workshop
    The OCC will host a workshop, "Mastering the Basics: A Director's Challenge," in Denver on March 31–April 2, 2014, for new and experienced directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. The three day workshop provides practical information on the roles and responsibilities of a community bank director. The workshop fee is $99 and registration is limited to 35 individuals.

  • Comptroller's Handbook update
    The OCC has issued an updated "Retirement Plan Products and Services" booklet for the Comptroller's Handbook. The new booklet:
    • updates examination procedures and groups them by risk. The expanded examination procedures supplement the core assessment standards in the "Large Bank Supervision" and "Community Bank Supervision" booklets of the Comptroller's Handbook
    • updates references and adds a list of abbreviations
    • adds references to recent significant U.S. Department of Labor regulations and policy issuances
    • adds a discussion of Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering and Regulation R
    • adds a discussion of board and senior management responsibilities regarding oversight of risk management

  • Cordray at FLEC meeting
    In prepared remarks at the public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) in Washington, D.C., CFPB Director Cordray discussed the importance for school districts, as well as state and local officials, of being directly involved in the financial education of children. He also reviewed the activities of the CFPB through its "Paying for College" tools and the "Ask CFPB" database to provide information to consumers.

  • Shedding light on student financial products
    A CFPB Blog article has been posted on information uncovered in a review of financial institution arrangements with colleges and universities to market bank account, prepaid cards, debit cards and other financial products to students. Some of the arrangements included—
    • direct payments for the use of school logos in marketing (a practice that Congress restricted for student loans)
    • bonuses for recruiting students to sign up for financial products
    • discounted bank services to colleges in exchange for permission to market to their students

February 12, 2014
  • Afghan heroin trafficker and organization tagged
    Treasury announced the designation of Afghan national Lahore Jan under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Lahore Jan is a known narcotics trafficker in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He is involved in moving money for the Taliban and other narcotics traffickers using his hawala, a value transfer system, called the Lahore Jan Shanwari Exchange. His name and that of the transfer system have been added to the SDN list with the SDNTK designation. For additional details see our BOL OFAC Update.

  • Yellen delivers Monetary Policy Report to Congress
    Chairman Yellen presented the Federal Reserve Board's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress and testified before the House Committee on Financial Affairs. She reviewed the current economic situation and outlook, monetary policy, and an update of the agency's progress on regulatory reforms and supervisory actions to strengthen the financial system. She emphasized she expects a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy.

  • CFPB Consumer Advisory Board meeting
    The Bureau has issued an invitation to attend a meeting of its Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) to be held at 10:00 a.m. ET on February 27 in Washington D.C. The event is open to the public but an email RSVP is required. Director Cordray will offer remarks, and the Consumer Advisory Board will listen to consumer groups, community and industry representatives, and members of the public. An agenda for the meeting was also provided. The two-hour session is the only portion of the full two-day CAB meeting scheduled for February 26–27 that will be open to the public.

  • Webinar on FRB community bank risk-based supervision program
    The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has issued an invitation to a webinar on the Community Bank Risk-Focused Consumer Compliance Supervision Program. The "Outlook Live" presentation will take place Thursday, March 6, 2014, from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Eastern Time. Online registration for the program is required.

February 11, 2014
  • Cordray comments suggest HMDA changes
    In prepared remarks for a recent Bureau HMDA press call, CFPB Director Cordray discussed the actions being taken by the Bureau to improve access to information about the residential housing market. But much of the Director's focus was on the possibility of substantial change in the data to be collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and the methods for submitting the data. A Small Business Review Panel will be convened to receive feedback from industry and consumer groups regarding potential improvements to the HMDA data collection and disclosure process as well new proposed rules, including changes mandated under Dodd-Frank Act.

  • Final Affordable Care Act employer regs
    The Treasury Department has announced that Treasury and the IRS have approved final regulations implementing employer responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that take effect in 2015. The rules address a number of questions about how plans can comply with the employer shared responsibility provisions; ensure that volunteers such as firefighters and emergency responders do not count as full-time employees; and phase in provisions for businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees and those that offer coverage to most but not yet all of their full-time workers. A Fact Sheet was also issued.

  • Over 3M HARP refinances
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued a news release to announce that more than 3 million homeowners have now refinanced their mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

  • Currency and coin data
    The Federal Reserve Board has released currency and coin data for 1993–2013 including value, volume, calendar year totals, Federal Reserve expenses, cost of new currency and $1 coin inventories.

  • CFPB tax tips
    A Bureau Blog article, "Getting a grip on income tax season," provides solutions for filing tax returns, with tips on where to get free help, preparing one's own return, whether filing is even required, and how to handle a refund. The article also identifies organizations that provide services to taxpayers.

February 10, 2014
  • Morgan Stanley settles suit for PLS violations and fraud
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddies Mac, has announced a settlement agreement with Morgan Stanley, related companies and specifically named individuals for $1.25 billion. The settlement resolves claims in a Federal Court lawsuit filed by FHFA alleging violations of Federal and State securities laws and common law fraud in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Fannie and Freddie between 2005 and 2007.

  • Balkans designation removals
    Treasury has announced that the names of three individuals with the BALKANS designation have been removed from the OFAC SDN List. Details have been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • January Housing Scorecard
    HUD has announced that the Obama Administration has released the January 2014 edition of its Housing Scorecard. HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski said, "In 2013, the number of U.S. properties which started the foreclosure process was down 33 percent from 2012, while sales of previously owned homes rose by 9.1 percent. With foreclosures down, home sales up, and equity continuing to grow, the housing market continues to make slow, but steadily improving progress."

  • G.19 Consumer Credit report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the December 2013 G.19 Consumer Credit outstanding and Terms of Credit Report.

  • OCC schedules Texas workshops
    An OCC News Release has announced two workshops in Houston to be held on March 11–12, 2014. The "Compliance Risk" and "Risk Assessment" workshops are designed exclusively for directors of institutions supervised by the OCC. The fee is $99 for each workshop, with attendance limited to 35 participants per session. Additional information and online registration are available.

  • Comptroller's Handbook updated
    OCC Bulletin 2014-2 has been issued to announce the update of the "Mortgage Banking" booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook. The booklet—
    • provides updated guidance to examiners and bankers on assessing the quantity of risk associated with mortgage banking and the quality of mortgage banking risk management
    • includes wholesale changes to the functional areas of production, secondary marketing, servicing, and mortgage servicing rights to incorporate recent lessons learned and regulatory changes
    • addresses recent amendments to Regulation X and Regulation Z issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), as well as other statutory and regulatory changes, including those directed by the Dodd-Frank Act

  • OCC Counterfeit and Unauthorized Banking lists
    The OCC has announced the availability of the Unauthorized Bank List 1996–2013 and the Counterfeit, Fictitious, and Stolen Official Documents List 2002–2014.

  • MSB closes after FinCEN BSA CMP
    FinCEN has announced the assessment of a civil money penalty (CMP) against Saleh H. Adam, doing business as Adam Service, a money services business (MSB). A FinCEN investigation determined that, since November 2007, Adam Service committed serious and willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act's (BSA) program, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements. Saleh H. Adam also agreed to cease operating as a money services business and immediately surrender the MSB's registration to FinCEN.

  • CFPB updates mortgage data tool
    The CFPB Blog has announced updates to the Bureau's web-based tool for mortgage statistics for counties and cities. The new features allow a user to choose custom filters, create custom summary tables, download the data, and save and share results. Tools for developers are also provided.

February 7, 2014
  • Treasury targets networks linked to Iran
    Treasury has announced actions targeting a diverse set of 9 entities and 12 individuals located around the world for evading U.S. sanctions against Iran, aiding Iranian nuclear and missile proliferation, and supporting terrorism. The entities and individuals are located in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Liechtenstein. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders list
    The Foreign Sanctions Evaders List (FSE List) has been introduced by OFAC to identify foreign persons sanctioned under Executive Order (E.O.) 13608, "Prohibiting Certain Transactions With and Suspending Entry Into the United States of Foreign Sanctions Evaders With Respect to Iran and Syria." The persons sanctioned will be identified with the program tags [FSE-IR] and [FSE-SY]. The FSE List will be available in almost all of the same file formats as the SDN List. The initial FSE List contains four individuals and nine entities. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • FedFocus
    The February 2014 issue of FedFocus has been posted by Federal Reserve Bank Services. This edition features public comments on U.S. payment system improvements. Other articles discuss the next generation VPN Solution, cross-border payments, updated FedComplete packages, and FEDucation.

  • Curry and Gruenberg on Dodd-Frank
    Comptroller Curry presented a statement and written testimony and Chairman Gruenberg provided a statement before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Messrs Curry and Gruenberg discussed what their respective agencies are doing to improve the security of consumer financial information held by the institutions they supervise, to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

  • GAO comments on housing programs
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report suggesting that more efforts are needed in fair housing controls and toward improved access for non-English speakers in a key government housing program. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) offshoot, MHA Outreach and Borrower Intake Project, includes a Treasury Department requirement that servicers monitor compliance with fair lending laws, but no assessment has yet been made of the extent to which servicers are meeting that requirement. Also, notwithstanding a 2000 Executive Order and a 2011 Attorney General's memorandum, says the report, Treasury has only recently developed guidelines and procedures for MHA programs relating to improving access for limited English proficiency persons.

February 6, 2014
  • Securities firm fined $8M for AML and SAR violations
    A news release from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced the assessment of an $8 million fine against New York-based Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) for substantial anti-money laundering (AML) compliance failures and other related violations. The fine, the largest levied by FINRA for AML violations, resulted from a failure to have an adequate anti-money laundering program in place to monitor and detect suspicious penny stock transactions; failing to sufficiently investigate potentially suspicious penny stock activity brought to the firm's attention; the failure to file SARs; and the lack of an adequate supervisory system to prevent the distribution of unregistered securities. As part of the FINRA action, BBH's former Global AML Compliance Officer Harold Crawford was also fined $25,000 and suspended for a month.

  • New FEMA community suspensions
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a final rule [79 FR 7087] identifying communities in Indiana, Kentucky , New York and Pennsylvania where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on March 3, 2014, because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • OFAC counter terrorism designations
    Treasury has targeted the financial and support networks of the Haqqani Network leadership by designating Saidullah Jan, Yahya Haqqani, and Muhammad Omar Zadran as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. All three are being designated for acting for or on behalf of the Haqqani Network while Muhammad Omar Zadran is also being designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban. Information regarding the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Curry and Gruenberg on the Volker rule
    Comptroller Curry presented a statement and written testimony, and Chairman Gruenberg a statement, on the Volcker Rule before the House Committee on Financial Services.

  • OCC Risk Governance Framework proposal
    OCC Bulletin 2014-1, issued yesterday, announced a January 27, 2014, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) [79 FR 4282] that would establish minimum standards for the design and implementation of a risk governance framework for large insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more. Comments on the proposal will be accepted through March 28, 2014.

  • Counterfeit checks alerts
    The OCC has issued two Alerts regarding counterfeit cashier's checks with the routing number of The First National Bank of Wellston, Wellston, OH and counterfeit official checks with the routing number of LifeStore Bank, West Jefferson, NC. Information regarding the counterfeit checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • Health care credit cards
    The Bureau Blog features an article explaining health care credit cards and four things consumers need to know about how the deferred interest credit cards work.

February 5, 2014
  • Flood participation suspensions
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a notice [79 FR 6833] of its intent to suspend certain communities in Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin from participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, because of their noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The suspensions will be effective March 17, 2014, unless FEMA receives documentation of a community's corrective action.

  • Industry thanked for response to payment system paper
    The Financial Services Policy Committee of the Conference of Presidents of the Federal Reserve System has issued a press release thanking payment system participants for their feedback to the Reserve Banks' September 2013 consultation paper, "Payment System Improvement – Public Consultation Paper." Responses were received from individual financial institutions, businesses, payment networks and processors, software vendors, payment innovators, consultants, and consumers, as well as from trade groups representing financial institution and business members. The Reserve Banks also announced they are exploring the need for faster retail payments and for identifying gaps and opportunities related to payment system security. Updates on the payments system improvements efforts can be seen at FedPaymentsImprovement.org.

  • CRA ratings
    The FDIC has released the ratings received by state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Of the 99 institutions listed, four garnered "outstanding" ratings, and one received a "needs to improve."

  • Recordkeeping requirements reminder
    FIL-7-2014 has been issued to remind FDIC-supervised institutions of the Final Rule published on December 19, 2013, consolidating separate recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for securities transactions that they conduct. The Rule rescinded a transitional rule for state savings associations and expanded the coverage of Part 344 to cover all FDIC-supervised institutions, while increasing to 500 transactions the threshold of the rule's Small Transaction Exception. The Final Rule was effective January 21, 2014.

  • NCUA free webinar
    A free webinar, "Field of Membership Strategies for Federal Credit Unions," will be hosted by NCUA on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET. The following topics will be covered:
    • Determining when expansions make sense strategically
    • Advantages of each type of federal charter
    • Policy requirements for various expansion options
    Online registration is required in advance of the program.

February 4, 2014
  • Reg CC revised proposal published
    The Federal Reserve Board's December 2013 revisions to its March 25, 2011 [76 FR 16862] proposed rule that would amend Regulation CC has finally been published in today's Federal Register [79 FR 6673]. The current proposed revisions would affect only subsections C (Collection of Checks) and D (Substitute Checks) of the regulation, to encourage depositary banks to receive and paying banks to send returned checks electronically. The proposal includes two alternative approaches to that goal. The Board is also requesting comment on applying Regulation CC's existing check warranties to checks that are collected electronically and on new warranties and indemnities related to checks collected electronically and to electronically-created items. The Board has asked for comments on the current revised proposal by May 2, 2014. The current proposal does not affect the part of the 2011 proposal addressing funds availability and disclosures (subpart A), which now requires the concurrence of the CFPB before a final rule can be issued. The involvement of the CFPB is not required for amendments to subparts C and D of the regulation.

  • Yellen assumes Chair
    Janet L. Yellen has taken the oath of office as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

  • Lew on 2014 economic outlook
    In remarks at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Secretary of the Treasury Lew stated "this can and should be a breakthrough year for our economy." He noted it is imperative that Congress move right away to increase the government's borrowing authority. He commented that progress in Washington around the budget and the farm bill can mark the beginning of a productive period of bipartisan action.

  • Foreign exchange rates
    The January 2014 G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates Report has been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • SLOOS on bank lending practices
    The Fed has released the January 2014 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) on Bank Lending Practices.

  • NCUA updates share insurance booklet
    The NCUA has released an updated Your Insured Funds booklet, which provides consumers and credit unions with the latest share insurance coverage information in a new, easy-to-read format.

  • FTC Data Security Statement to Senate Banking Committee
    Testimony was presented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before the Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs. The ongoing efforts of the agency to promote data security through civil law enforcement, education, and policy initiatives were discussed.

  • Students respond to CFPB
    An article on the CFPB Blog discusses some of the responses received from private student loan borrowers regarding their experiences and problems.

February 3, 2014
  • FDIC enforcement actions
    A list of 54 orders for administrative enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in December 2013 has been released by the FDIC.

  • Idaho bank closed
    The FDIC has announced the closing of Syringa Bank, Boise, Idaho. All of the bank's deposits were assumed by Sunwest Bank, Irving, California. The closing was the first of an FDIC-insured institution in Idaho since April 24, 2009.

  • Registration of Municipal Advisors rule
    FIL-6-2014 has been issued by the FDIC regarding a final rule requiring municipal advisors to register with the SEC. The FIL applies to any FDIC-supervised financial institution that meets the Dodd-Frank definition of "municipal advisor."

  • NCUA prohibition orders
    Five orders have been issued by the NCUA prohibiting designated individuals from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.

  • G.20 Finance Companies report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the January 31, 2014, G.20 Owned and Managed Receivables Outstanding and Auto Loans: Terms of Credit Report, which includes data through November 2013.

  • FHC data updated
    The Federal Reserve has released the list of bank holding companies that have elected as of January 31, 2014, to become or be treated as financial holding companies.

  • E-Payment routing directory terms of use
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has issued a reminder of a new requirement for users to agree to terms of use before they can access the E-Payments Routing Directory.


January 31, 2014
  • Underwriting standards continue to ease
    The OCC has announced the release of its 19th Annual Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices, which shows that underwriting standards are continuing to ease for both commercial and retail products. The OCC cautions banks to pay appropriate attention to underwriting, loan structures, and loan administration as competition and the quest for earnings can lead to the assumption of heightened risk.

  • FHA to accept e-signatures on some loan documents
    A press release and Mortgagee Letter 14-03 have been issued by HUD to announce the grant of expanded authority to lenders to accept electronic signatures on documents associated with mortgage loans. Current FHA policy allows for electronic signatures only on third party documents not controlled by the lender. The new policy allows e-Signatures on origination, servicing, and loss mitigation documents, as well as FHA insurance claims, REO sales contracts and related addenda.

  • Calvery discusses FinCEN focus
    In a presentation at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference, FinCEN Director Calvery discussed the focus of FinCEN on securities fraud, market manipulation, and computer intrusion. The importance of information sharing, the value of BSA data, and FinCEN's partnerships with other agencies and governments were also reviewed.

  • New FinCEN virtual currency rulings
    FinCEN has published two administrative rulings regarding certain persons involved in the "mining" of or investments in virtual currency. Ruling FIN-2014-R001 states that, to the extent a user creates or "mines" a convertible virtual currency solely for the user's own purposes, the user is not a money transmitter under the BSA. Ruling FIN-2014-R002 states that a company purchasing and selling convertible virtual currency as an investment exclusively for the company's benefit is not a money transmitter. The rulings provide further interpretation of FinCEN's March 18, 2013, Guidance, "Applications of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies."

  • CFPB report highlights mortgage servicing problems
    The CFPB has announced the issuance of a Supervisory Highlights report highlighting unfair and deceptive practices in the mortgage servicing market uncovered through the Bureau's supervision program in 2013. The report discusses servicer violations such as unfair practices with servicing transfers, waivers of consumer rights, poor payment processing, and failing to provide correct information to consumer reporting agencies.

  • Agencies publish proprietary trading rules
    The OCC, FRB, FDIC and SEC ("Agencies") have published in today's Federal Register two rules relating to Prohibitions and Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in, and Relationships With, Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds.
    • A Final Rule [79 FR 5535] to implement section 13 of the BHC Act, which was added by section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 13 contains certain prohibitions and restrictions on the ability of a banking entity and nonbank financial company supervised by the Board to engage in proprietary trading and have certain interests in, or relationships with, a hedge fund or private equity fund.
    • An Interim Final Rule [79 FR 5223] carves out an exception to the Final Rule described above to permit banking entities to retain investments in certain pooled investment vehicles that invested their offering proceeds primarily in certain securities issued by community banking organizations of the type grandfathered under section 171 of the Dodd-Frank Act.
    Both rules are effective April 1, 2014. Comments on the Interim Final Rule will be accepted through March 3, 2014.

  • NCUA publishes derivatives rule
    The NCUA has published [79 FR 5228] a final rule permitting Federal credit unions only to engage in limited derivatives activities for the purpose of mitigating interest rate risk. This rule is effective March 3, 2014.

January 30, 2014
  • CFPB files mortgage kickback enforcement action
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced the filing of an administrative proceeding Notice of Charges against PHH Corporation and its affiliates (PHH). The Notice alleges that PHH used mortgage reinsurance arrangements to solicit and collect illegal kickback payments and unearned fees in exchange for the referral of private mortgage insurance business. This administrative proceeding follows the Bureau's settlements in 2013 with five mortgage insurers who participated in similar schemes.

  • January FOMC statement
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a press release on the January 29, 2014, statement of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Committee affirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. The FOMC also reaffirmed its expectation that the current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to ¼ percent will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6½ percent. In addition, the FOMC issued a statement that beginning in February 2014, it will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $35 billion per month rather than $40 billion per month.

  • Weather may delay FRB paper check service
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has issued a notice that, due to the weather conditions in the Atlanta area, check presentments and paper return items may be delayed.

  • FINRA fines NY securities firm for AML lapses
    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that it has fined Banorte-Ixe Securities International, Ltd., a New York-based securities firm that services Mexican clients investing in U.S. and global securities, $475,000 for not having adequate anti-money laundering systems and procedures in place and for failing to register approximately 200 to 400 foreign finders who interacted with the firm's Mexican clients. FINRA also suspended Banorte Securities' former AML Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, Brian Anthony Simmons, for 30 days in a principal capacity, as he was responsible for the firm's AML procedures and for monitoring suspicious activities. FINRA stated that, as a result of the firm's AML compliance failures, Banorte Securities opened an account for a corporate customer owned by an individual with reported ties to a drug cartel, and did not detect, investigate or report the suspicious rapid movement of $28 million in and out of the account.

January 29, 2014
  • GAO SCRA study
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the results of a limited study (using data obtained from three mortgage servicers and a credit union) of the effectiveness of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in protecting eligible active duty military personnel in the event that their military service prevents them from meeting financial obligations. The report examined—
    • available information on changes in the financial well-being of servicemembers who received foreclosure-prevention and mortgage-related interest rate protections under SCRA, including the extent to which they became delinquent and the impact of protection periods; and
    • Department of Defense's (DOD's) partnerships with public- and private-sector entities to provide financial education and counseling about SCRA mortgage protections to servicemembers and views on the effectiveness of these partnerships.
    The GAO announcement includes links to a one-page synopsis of the study and to the full 30-page report, both in PDF format.

  • BankersOnline's Read A Reg update
    BankersOnline's Read A Reg pages for CFPB regulations B, X and Z have been updated to incorporate all of the Bureau's amendments through January 18, 2014. Affected sections include a link near the top of the page to our older versions of the same sections, showing pre-2014 provisions, with the amendments shown as pending. If you come across a current page that still refers to one of those amendments (other than appraisal rule and integrated disclosure amendments pending for 2015), we'd appreciate hearing from you in an email to John Burnett with information on the regulation and section we missed.

January 28, 2014
  • Counterfeit cashier's checks alerts
    Two Alerts have been issued by the OCC about counterfeit cashier's checks issued in the name of Lubbock Nation Bank, Lubbock, Texas and First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Lakewood, Lakewood, Ohio. Information concerning the counterfeit cashier's checks have been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • Residential sales report
    The December 2013 Residential Sales Report has been released by HUD and the Census Bureau.

  • Russian bank pays $9.5M OFAC CMP
    OFAC has announced that Joint-Commercial Bank ("Bank of Moscow"), Moscow, Russian Federation, will pay $9,492,525 to settle potential civil liability for 69 alleged violations of an Executive Order and Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations. The total base penalty amount for the alleged violations was $14,063,000. OFAC considered the following mitigating factors in agreeing to the reduced penalty agreement:
    • No penalties or violations within five years
    • Remedial action was taken by the bank
    • The bank cooperated with OFAC's investigation.

  • 150 Years of National Banking symposium
    An OCC press release has announced the agency will co-host with the Boston University Center for Finance, Law & Policy a symposium in Boston on March 31 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the OCC and the national banking system. Breakfast and registration will begin at 7 a.m. and the symposium will run through 5 p.m. Additional information on the gathering and online registration is available on the Boston University website.

  • Message for consumer hacking victims
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has posted a Blog article listing four steps consumers can take to determine if fraudulent charges or debits have been made on their accounts. The Bureau also released a Consumer Advisory to help consumers protect themselves in the wake of the recent breaches of payment card and other data.

January 27, 2014
  • Fictitious cashier's checks alert
    The OCC has issued Alert 2014-5 concerning fictitious cashier's checks issued in the name of The Bank of Crossville, a branch of the First National Bank of Pikeville, Tennessee, that are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with an online job opportunity scam. Information regarding the counterfeit checks will be added to the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • Bureau proposes supervision of nonbank money transfers
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a rule that would allow it to supervise certain nonbank international money transfer providers for the first time. The proposed rule would bring new oversight to larger nonbank international money transfer providers, to make sure they are adhering to the CFPB's new protections for consumers sending money abroad. The Bureau released a fact sheet on the proposal with its announcement.

  • Expectations for large holding companies
    Federal Reserve SR Letter 14-1 has been issued to provide additional information on that agency's expectations for the recovery and resolution preparedness of certain large domestic bank holding companies.

  • Paper items address change
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has announced that beginning February 4, 2014, all paper items currently sent to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (via mail, courier, or overnight delivery) should be sent to a new address.

  • Oklahoma bank closed
    The FDIC has announced the closing of The Bank of Union, El Reno, Oklahoma. All of the bank's deposits have been assumed by BancFirst, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  • Kansas CU in conservatorship
    NCUA has announced that the Parsons Pittsburg Credit Union, Parsons, Kansas, has been placed into conservatorship and the NCUA named as agent to handle its day-to-day operations.

  • FDIC Community Affairs webinar
    FDIC FIL- 5-2014 has been issued to announce a webinar, "Saving Strategies During America Saves Week 2014," to be held on February 4, 2014 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. Potential strategies and approaches for institutions to consider pursuing to promote savings during America Saves Week will be highlighted. Registration must be completed by January 31.

  • Call Report revisions
    The FDIC has issued FIL-4-2014 announcing the approval of several revisions to the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report) for implementation as of March 31, 2014, and March 31, 2015. Additional revisions were also approved to the FFIEC 101, Regulatory Capital Reporting for Institutions Subject to the Advanced Capital Adequacy Framework, that will take effect March 31, 2014.

January 24, 2014
  • FEMA to suspend communities
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published in today's Federal Register a notice identifying communities in California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on February 19, 2014, because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • Counter Terrorism designation
    Treasury has announced the designation of a Palestinian national as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and addition of his name to the OFAC SDN List. Information regarding the individual has been posted in a BankersOnline OFAC Update.

  • Securities firm in $152M OFAC settlement
    OFAC has announced the payment of $152 million by Clearstream Banking, S.A, a financial institution registered and organized under the laws of Luxembourg, under an agreement to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of Iranian Transactions and Sanctions violations. The civil money penalties were the first issued for violations regarding a securities firm's use of an omnibus account with a U.S. financial institution as a conduit to hold securities on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran.

  • Treasury schedules note auctions and sale of preferred stock
    Treasury has announced two offerings— its first floating rate note auctions, to be held quarterly in April, July, and October 2014; and the sale of TARP stock investments in six institutions to be offered on or about January 27, 2014.

  • NCUA board action bulletin
    A Board Action Bulletin has been issued by the National Credit Union Administration to announce actions taken at its January 23, 2014, board meeting. The actions included:
    • Approval of a proposed rule to better protect all credit unions and the Share Insurance Fund by strengthening risk-based capital requirements for federally insured credit unions.
    • Approval of a final rule to modernize regulations by giving approved federal credit unions limited authority to mitigate interest rate risk by allowing the purchase of specified, "plain vanilla" derivatives.
    • Renewal of the current 18 percent interest rate cap for most loans, and 28 percent for consumer-friendly alternatives to predatory payday loans, at federal credit unions through September 10, 2015.
    • The agency's 2014–2017 Strategic Plan and 2014–2015 Annual Performance Plan describing NCUA's strategic goals in the areas of safety and soundness, consumer protection and financial literacy, regulation and transparency, and workforce development and diversity, as well as the steps to be taken in the coming year to reach those objectives.

  • NCUA risk-based capital calculator
    A new Risk-based Capital Calculator is available from the NCUA to help federally insured credit unions better understand how the proposed changes to the Prompt Corrective Action rule may affect their risk-based capital ratios.

January 23, 2014
  • First quarter Call Report revisions
    FDIC FIL-3-2014 has been issued to announce revisions to the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report) that will take effect March 31, 2014, and March 31, 2015. The Call Report revisions include certain reporting changes proposed by the FFIEC's member agencies in FIL-8-2013 dated March 8, 2013. The FFIEC and the agencies have modified those proposed reporting changes in response to comments received on the proposal, including concerns about reporting burden.

  • FHC update
    The Federal Reserve Board has updated its list of bank holding companies whose elections to become or be treated as financial holding companies (FHCs) were effective as of January 21, 2014.

  • OCC schedules LA directors workshop
    The OCC will host a workshop February 10–12, 2014, in Los Angeles for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. The "Mastering the Basics: A Director's Challenge" session is designed exclusively for directors of institutions supervised by the OCC and provides practical information on the roles and responsibilities of board participation. The workshop is limited to the first 35 registrants.

  • Cordray reviews CFPB accomplishments
    In prepared remarks at the 82nd Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, Director Cordray reviewed the accomplishments of the Bureau and personal stories submitted by consumers.

  • GAO report on flood insurance strategies
    The Government Accountability Office has issued a report on "Flood Insurance: Strategies for Increasing Private Sector Involvement." According to the stakeholders with whom GAO spoke, several conditions are needed:
    • Insurers need to be able to accurately assess risk to determine premium rates
    • Insurers need to be able to charge premium rates that reflect the full estimated risk of potential flood losses while still making a profit, and to decide which applicants they will insure
    • Insurers need sufficient consumer participation to properly manage and diversify their risk, although many property owners do not buy flood insurance because they may have an inaccurate perception of their risk of flooding

January 22, 2014
  • FCA withdraws proposed rural investment rule
    The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) has published a notice [79 FR 3543] withdrawing its proposed rule published [73 FR 33931] on June 16, 2008, that would have authorized Farm Credit System institutions to make certain investments in rural communities. With today's notice, the FCA is terminating that rulemaking.

  • Chicago CU liquidated
    The National Credit Union Administration has announced the liquidation of Bagumbayan Credit Union of Chicago. Great Lakes Credit Union of North Chicago, Illinois, has assumed Bagumbayan's members and deposits.

  • NCUA posts regs to be reviewed
    In other NCUA news, the agency posted a list of regulations it will review in 2014. Public comments on the substance and clarity of each rule are now being accepted through August 4, 2014.

January 21, 2014
  • Flood Act CMPs
    The OCC has announced four orders of assessment of civil money penalties (CMPs) for violations of the Flood Act with the largest of these being $51,765 against Mutual of Omaha Bank, Omaha, Nebraska. The four CMPs total $84,850. The links for details regarding the CMPs have been posted on the BOL Flood Penalties Watch page.

  • Other OCC enforcement actions
    The Flood Act CMPs were included in the OCC's list of new enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations.

  • Illinois bank closed
    The FDIC has announced the closing of DuPage National Bank, West Chicago, Illinois, and the assumption of all deposits by Republic Bank of Chicago, Oak Brook, Illinois. This is the first bank failure for 2014.

  • Bank pays $32,400 OFAC CMP
    OFAC has announced the payment of $32,400 by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (HSBC) to settle potential civil liability for three apparent violations of the Global Terrorism Sanctions regulations. OFAC concluded that the apparent violations were not the result of willful or reckless conduct. The total base penalty amount for the apparent violations was $20,083. The settlement amount was increased due to OFAC's findings that HSBC employees were aware or had reason to be aware of the violations which resulted in an economic benefit to the bank; an incomplete response was initially provided to an administrative subpoena; and the transactions were not screened for potential OFAC matches.

  • OCC workshops for bank directors
    The OCC will host two workshops in Miami, Florida, on February 4–5, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. The "Compliance Risk" and "Credit Risk: A Director's Focus" workshops are designed exclusively for directors of institutions supervised by the OCC. The fee is $99 for each of the workshops, which are limited to the first 35 registrants.

  • Residential construction activity
    HUD and the Census Bureau have released residential construction statistics for December 2013. Building permits, housing starts, and housings completions all were lower than the November 2013 levels but above those of December 2012.

  • OFAC guidance on JPOA for Iran sanctions relief
    Guidance and FAQs have been issued by OFAC concerning the implementation of United States commitments under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) by the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China regarding Iranian sanctions.

  • G.17 Industrial Production report
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the December 2013 and 2013 year-end G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report.

January 17, 2014
  • Mortgage lender pays $81K for kickbacks
    A CFPB press release has announced the agency has issued a consent order requiring a Missouri mortgage lender, Fidelity Mortgage Corporation, and its former owner and current president, to pay $81,076 for funneling illegal kickbacks to a bank in exchange for real estate referrals.

  • OCC counterfeit checks alert
    OCC Alert 2014-3 has been issued concerning counterfeit cashier's checks in circulation that are purportedly issued by the First National Bank, Vandalia, Illinois. The bogus checks appear to have been used in a nationwide online job opportunity scam. Details of the alert have been added to BankersOnline's Alerts and Counterfeits page.

  • Kingpin Act designation
    Treasury has announced the designation of Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero, a Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico-based senior lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (SDNTK) pursuant to the provisions of the Kingpin Act. Information regarding the designation has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • TeleCheck to pay $3.5M for FCRA violations
    The FTC has announced that TeleCheck Services, Inc., one of the nation's largest check authorization service companies, and its associated debt-collection entity, TRS Recovery Services, Inc., have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle charges that they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The complaint filed by the FTC alleged TeleCheck did not follow proper dispute procedures, failed to follow reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it provided to its merchant clients, and failed to promptly correct errors on consumers' reports.

  • SC2 program adds seven cities
    HUD has announced the Obama Administration's expansion of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to include Brownsville, Texas; Flint, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Macon, Georgia; Rockford, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, congressmen, foundations, non-profits and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents.

  • OCC proposes 'Heightened Expectations' guidelines
    The OCC has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) of formal guidelines for its heightened expectation program for large national banks and federal savings associations. The program was developed to strengthen the governance and risk management practices and to enhance the agency's supervision of those institutions.

  • Treasury to sell Ally stock
    The U.S. Treasury Department plans to sell 410,000 shares of Ally Financial, Inc. common stock in a private offering at $7,375 per share. The stock was acquired under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

  • Fake OCC correspondence
    OCC Alert 2014-4 warns of fictitious correspondence in circulation that allegedly was issued by the OCC regarding funds purportedly under the control of the agency and possibly other government entities. Correspondence may be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail. Samples of the fraudulent documents, which include a solicitation as well as an invoice, are listed below. This material is being sent to consumers in an attempt to elicit funds from them and to gather personal information to be used in possible future identification theft.

  • Mortgage protection message for servicemembers
    A CFPB Blog article reviews ways in which recent new mortgage rules can assist servicemembers with troubled mortgages and problems resulting from Permanent Change of Station orders.

  • NCUA Board meeting agenda
    The agenda for the January 23, 2014, meeting of the NCUA Board of Directors has been posted.

  • TIC data released
    The Treasury International Capital (TIC) for November 2013 has been released.

January 16, 2014
  • OCC directors workshops for 2014
    The 2014 schedule for workshops for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations has been released by the OCC.

  • FedFlash
    The January 15, 2014, issue of FedFlash has been posted. This edition features articles on new features and options available for the FedTransaction Analyzer tool, changes to the E-Payments Routing Directory, new Fedreceipts RTNs, and a Check Adjustments tip.

  • Flood insurance program GAO report
    The Government Accountability Office (GA0) has issued a report on a study of the National Flood Insurance Program. The report indicates progress has been made on contract management, but monitoring and reporting could be improved.

January 15, 2014
  • Agencies approve TruPS CDOs interim final rule
    A joint press release has been issued by five federal agencies (FRB, CFPB, FDIC, OCC, and SEC) announcing the approval of an interim final rule to permit banking entities to retain interests in certain collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) notwithstanding the investment prohibitions of the Volcker rule.

  • Mortgage relief scammers pay $3.5 M
    The FTC has announced that, pursuant to the terms of an almost $3.6 million settlement, the defendants in an alleged mortgage relief scam will surrender their assets and be banned permanently from providing mortgage relief and debt relief services to consumers. A $25.1 million judgment, reflecting the total amount of fees taken in by the scheme, was imposed on the defendants. The judgment will be suspended when they surrender their assets -- an estimated $3.5 million. The settlement represents the FTC's largest judgment to date against a purported mortgage assistance relief provider.

  • Call Report FIL
    FDIC FIL-1-2014 has been issued with instructions for the fourth quarter 2013 Call Report. The Call Report forms and instructions are available on the FFIEC and FDIC websites.

  • Term deposits offering results
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the results of its January 13, 2014, fixed-rate offering of term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility.

  • Proposal on FHC commodities activities
    A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) has been issued by the Federal Reserve Board seeking comments on whether additional restrictions would help ensure that physical commodities activities authorized for financial holding companies (FHCs) are conducted in a safe and sound manner and do not pose a threat to financial stability. Comments are due March 15, 2014.

  • Discount Rate Meetings minutes
    The minutes of the discount rate meetings for November 12–December 16, 2013, have released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • Bureau publishes openings on Advisory Board and Councils
    The Consumer Financial Protection Board has published in today's Federal Register a solicitation of applications [79 FR 2636] for membership on its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council. Completed application packets are due by February 28, 2014.

January 14, 2014
  • Bureau extends Debt Collection ANPRM
    The CFPB has published in today's Federal Register a notice [79 FR 2384] extending through February 28, 2014, the comment period on its November 12, 2013, Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [78 FR 67847] on debt collection practices. The comment period was originally set to close on February 10.

  • Counterfeit cashier's checks alerts
    The OCC has issued alerts for counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the names of—
    • Florida Community Bank, N.A., Weston, Florida
    • Simplicity Bank, Covina, California
    Information regarding the counterfeit items has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • Chinese bank branches approved
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued an order approving the application of Wing Lung Bank Limited, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, to establish a federal branch in San Francisco, California, and to upgrade its existing limited federal branch in Alhambra, California, to a full-service branch.

  • Changes to E-Payments Routing Directory
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has announced that starting February 3, 2014, users of the E-Payments Routing Directory will be required to agree to the terms of use before they can access any of the directory's Fedwire® or FedACH® participant search or download functions. This change may affect institutions accessing those functions using automated means.

  • NCUA webinar reminder
    The NCUA has issued a reminder that it is not too late to register for its free January 15 webinar, "Profiling Products and Services for Underserved Members." The session is a follow-up to its January 23, 2013, "Strategic Uses of the Low-Income Designation" webinar.

January 13, 2014
  • OFAC Counter Terrorism designations
    Treasury has designated three individuals and three entities under its Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) program, and added their names to the SDN List. Information on the designations has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • December Housing Scorecard
    HUD and Treasury have released the December 2013 Housing Scorecard, the Obama Administration's comprehensive report of the U.S. housing market. The agencies noted that since the beginning of 2012, the number of homeowners underwater has declined by 5.7 million and homeowners' equity has risen by 55 percent to $9.7 trillion, both "encouraging signs that the housing market recovery is providing millions of American homeowners with more economic security."

  • State agencies adopt NMLS MLO test
    The NMLS and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) have announced that effective January 1, 2014, agencies in Nevada, New Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will no longer require mortgage loan originators (MLOs) to take a second specific test component when seeking licensure with their agencies. Thirty-nine state and territorial agencies have now adopted the new national SAFE Act MLO test.

  • Banks' resolution plans released
    The Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC have announced the availability of the public portions of resolution plans for 116 institutions that generally had less than $100 billion in qualifying nonbank assets, which submitted plans for the first time in December 2013, the latest group to file resolution plans with the agencies.

  • Reg HH proposal
    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a request for comment on proposed revisions to the Regulation HH risk-management standards for certain financial market utilities that have been designated as systemically important by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Comments are also requested on related revisions to part I of the Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR policy). Comments on both proposals must be submitted by March 31, 2014.

  • CRA/HMDA Reporter newsletter
    The FFIEC has announced the availability of the 2014 CRA/HMDA Reporter newsletter, which contains information on collecting accurate CRA and HMDA data and guidance on completing data submissions.

  • Reserve Banks pay $77.7B to Treasury
    A press release issued by Federal Reserve Board has announced that preliminary unaudited results indicate that the Reserve Banks provided for payments of approximately $77.7 billion of their estimated 2013 net income to the U.S. Treasury.

  • CFPB—Taking control of mortgage payments
    The Bureau's Blog features an article with tips for consumers on taking control of their mortgage payments.

January 10, 2014
  • Bureau updates consumer booklets
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published in today's Federal Register a notice of availability of three revised consumer publications, including a consumer information brochure and two booklets required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and Regulation Z. The CFPB is making technical and conforming changes to each of the three publications in conjunction with the January 2014 effective dates for many provisions of the Bureau's rulemakings that regulate practices in mortgage origination and servicing. Those who provide these publications may use earlier versions until existing supplies are exhausted. However, when reprinting these publications, the most recent version should be used.
    • What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC Brochure)
    • Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (CHARM Booklet)
    • Shopping for Your Home Loan, Settlement Cost Booklet

  • FRB Consumer Compliance Handbook updated
    The Federal Reserve Board has published the November 2013 update to the Consumer Compliance Handbook. [Full Manual (711-page PDF); Links to sections] A summary of changes was also released.

  • FRB Flood Act enforcement actions
    The Federal Reserve has announced two orders of assessment of civil money penalty (CMP) for violations of the Flood Act against Tioga State Bank, Spencer, NY ($4,180) and TransPecos Bank, Pecos, TX ($2,710). The links for details regarding the CMPs have been posted on the BOL Flood Penalties Watch page.

  • January FedFocus
    Federal Reserve Bank Services has posted the January 2014 issue of FedFocus, which features the results of the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study. Other articles discuss the FedTransaction Analyzer tool, the continuation of the America the Beautiful quarters program, business continuity, and new check adjustment webinars.

  • Read a Reg pages updated
    Today is the effective date for several of the major CFPB mortgage-related amendments to Regulations X and Z. We burned the midnight oil (well, not quite, but it was late) last night to ensure that our Read a Reg pages were current this morning, with all the January 10 changes melded into the rules. At the top of each affected page is a link back to the earlier version of the page with the old verbiage, with then-pending amendments noted. We'll be doing the same job to blend in the interagency HPML and Bureau ECOA Appraisal Rules for January 18. That will leave our Read a Reg pages annotated with further HPML Appraisal Rule amendments effective July 18, 2015, and Regulation X and Z amendments effective August 1, 2015, implementing the Bureau's Integrated RESPA/TILA Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure Rule.

January 9, 2014
  • OFAC Kingpin Act designation
    Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), OFAC has announced the designation of Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, a.k.a. Chino Antrax, a Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico-based senior lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel. Gamboa was designated for his role in controlling Los Antrax, an extremely violent arm of the Ismael "Mayo" Zambada Garcia organization and for playing a significant role in international drug trafficking. Information regarding the designation has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • Freddie and Fannie to delay guarantee fee changes
    The FHFA has announced agency direction to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay the previously announced plans to increase the base guarantee fee for all mortgages by 10 basis points, update the up-front fee grid, and eliminate the up-front 25 basis point adverse market fee that has been assessed on all mortgages. Those changes had been scheduled for implementation in March and April 2014. FHFA said it would give at least 120 days' notice before implementing any changes.

  • Fed schedules TDF offering
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced a fixed-rate offering of term deposits with full allotment of tenders through its Term Deposit Facility (TDF) will be conducted on January 13, 2014. Twenty-eight-day term deposits with an interest rate of 0.26 percent and a maximum tender amount of $1,250,000,000 will be offered.

  • FOMC minutes
    The minutes of the December 17–18, 2013, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee have been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • G.19 Consumer Credit report
    The Federal Reserve has released the November 2013 G.19 Consumer Credit Outstanding and Terms of Credit report.

  • Matz and Cordray to host meeting
    NCUA Director Matz and CFPB Director Cordray will host a free town hall meeting on February 12, beginning at 3 pm ET. During the webinar, participants will be able to pose questions about any topic relating to the credit union industry or the work of CFPB. Online registration is required.

  • CFPB explains new mortgage rules
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has posted a CFPB Blog article and released a USAToday.com opinion editorial by Director Cordray explaining what the new CFPB mortgage rules mean to consumers who are shopping for a home loan and while they own their homes.

January 8, 2014
  • JPMorgan admits BSA violations
    FinCEN has distributed a news release announcing that it has fined JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., $461 million for willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by failing to report suspicious transactions arising out of Bernard L. Madoff's decades-long, multi-billion dollar fraudulent investment scheme. "In consenting to the assessment of a civil money penalty, JPMorgan admitted to the facts set forth by FinCEN and that its conduct violated the Bank Secrecy Act," said the release. FinCEN said that the bank attempted to protect itself when it became suspicious of Madoff's fraud, but failed to file required Suspicious Activity Reports with FinCEN which might have "saved thousands of other fraud victims untold misery and loss." FinCEN's notice stated that the OCC will collect a $350 million payment under a Civil Money Penalty Order against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., JPMorgan Bank and Trust Company, N.A., and Chase Bank USA, NA. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has approved a deferred prosecution agreement under which JPMorgan will forfeit $1.7 billion (which will be contributed to the recovery funds for Madoff victims). FinCEN agreed to consider its penalty satisfied by JPMorgan's payment to the SDNY. The combined payments agreed to by the JPMorgan banks total $2.05 billion.
  • OFAC designation
    OFAC has announced the designation of a citizen of Afghanistan as a SDGT and the addition of his name to the SDN List. Information regarding the designation has been posted in a BOL OFAC Update.

  • NMLS Ombudsman meeting announced
    An open meeting with the NMLS Ombudsman will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET, prior to the NMLS Annual Conference in Miami, Florida. Conference registration is not required to attend the meeting. The meeting will be in-person only; there will be no dial-in available.

  • NCUA insurance coverage estimator improved
    The NCUA has announced the release of the Share Insurance Estimator, a new, improved insurance coverage estimator which replaces the NCUA E-Calculator.

  • Examination modernization webinar
    The NCUA will host a free webinar, “NCUA Examination Modernization,” on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar is open to credit unions of all asset sizes.

  • Consumer resources for mortgage rules
    The CFPB has announced the release of additional resources for consumers regarding the new protections provided by the Bureau's mortgage rules. The new materials include sample letters that consumers can send to their mortgage servicers, mortgage tips, answers to questions, consumer tools, and fact sheets. Print copies of the materials are available in seven languages.

January 7, 2014
  • CFPB Ability-to-Repay: Fact vs. Fiction
    The Bureau has announced the release of an Ability-to-Repay: Fact vs. Fiction Guide intended to help dispel some of the most common misconceptions about what the rule actually means for consumers.

  • Rise in equity valuation ratios examined
    The results of an examination of the rise in equity valuation ratios and how it could reflect changes in discount rates used by investors is discussed in a FEDS Notes article. FEDS Notes are articles in which Board economists offer their own views and present analysis on a range of topics in economics and finance. These articles are shorter and less technically oriented than FEDS Working Papers.

  • December 2013 SCOOS released
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the December 2013 Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey on Dealer Financing Terms (SCOOS). The quarterly survey provides information about the availability and terms of credit in securities financing and over-the counter (OTC) derivatives markets.

  • New Director at FHFA
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the swearing in of its new Director, Melvin L. Watts, a former North Carolina congressman. He is the first Senate-confirmed Director of the agency.

January 6, 2014
  • $8 billion recovered by FHFA
    The Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) has announced its recoveries have reached nearly $8 billion through settlements with seven financial institutions that sold private-label securities (PLS) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. In 2011, the FHFA initiated litigation against 18 financial institutions involving allegations of securities law violations and, in some instances, fraud in the sale of private-label securities (PLS) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • CRA ratings
    The FDIC has released the ratings received by state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Five of the 102 banks listed received an Outstanding (O) rating and three received a Needs to Improve (NI) rating.

  • CFPB schedules mortgage servicing rule training
    A reminder has been posted on the Bureau Blog of the January 10, 2014, effective date for the new mortgage rules. On that date, the CFPB will host “Protecting homeowners: New tools for empowering consumers and advocates,” a training program on the new servicing rule for housing counselors, legal aid attorneys, and other advocates.

  • New number for NMLS
    The NMLS has announced that its Call Center has a new toll-free number - 855-NMLS-123 (855-665-7123).

  • Bernanke comments
    In a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia, Ben Bernanke reflected on his eight-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. His remarks covered the Federal Reserve's commitment to transparency and accountability; financial stability and financial reform; monetary policy; and the prospects for the U.S. and global economies.

  • Regulation A proposal published
    The Federal Reserve Board has published in today's Federal Register [79 FR 615] its proposed rule to amend Regulation A (12 CFR Part 201—Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks) to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that amend the emergency lending authority of the Federal Reserve Banks under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, and require the Board, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, to establish by regulation certain policies and procedures with respect to emergency lending under that section.

January 3, 2014
  • FRB posts Section 19 prohibition letters
    The Federal Reserve Board has released seven Section 19 letters issued during December 2013. The recipients are prohibited from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party with respect to any insured depository institutions, including, but not limited to, any bank, savings association or credit union, and their holding companies, as well as Edge corporations and Agreement corporations. Scroll down on the linked page for the links to the letters.

  • Bureau asks for mortgage closing 'pain points'
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published in today's Federal Register a request for information on key consumer “pain points” associated with mortgage closing and how those pain points might be addressed by market innovations and technology. The request marks the beginning of the next phase of the Bureau's Know Before You Owe initiative, which will attempt to identify ways to improve the mortgage closing process for consumers. Comments are due by February 7, 2014.

January 2, 2014
  • 2014 NMLS renewal period ends
    The NMLS has announced the closing of Renewal Period for 2014 and the beginning of the Reactivation Period. Information on reactivation is posted on the NMLS's Renew/Reactivate page.

  • FDIC technical assistance videos
    The FDIC has released four new technical assistance videos in its third installment of videos to provide useful information to bank directors, officers, and employees on regulatory issues and proposed regulatory changes. The videos cover the following topics:
    • Municipal securities—supervisory expectations, investment policies, and basic and expanded pre-purchase analysis and on-going monitoring of municipal securities
    • ALLL (allowance for loan and lease losses)—overview of applicable interagency policy statements, discusses pertinent accounting standards, reviews measuring impairment and estimating credit losses, and illustrates an effective loss migration analysis
    • TDR (troubled debt restructuring)—how to identify a TDR, the related accounting and regulatory treatment, and the multiple note concept
    • Managing fair lending risk—summarizes the fair lending laws, discusses the concepts of disparate treatment and disparate impact, and reviews fair lending risk indicators, mitigation strategies, and the components of an effective compliance management system

  • Prohibition order
    The NCUA has issued an order prohibiting a former employee of a Louisiana federal credit union from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The individual had entered a pretrial intervention program relating to charges of felony theft in connection with her employment at the credit union.

  • Country Exposure Lending Survey
    The FFIEC has posted the September 30, 2013, E.16 Country Exposure Lending Survey.






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