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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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—
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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
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.
BankersOnline is a free service made possible by the generous support of our advertisers and sponsors. Advertisers and sponsors are not responsible for site content. Please help us keep BankersOnline FREE to all banking professionals. Support our advertisers and sponsors by clicking through to learn more about their products and services.