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Tips from the Toolbox    Sponsored by: Banker's Toolbox
Are you effectively communicating with your front office staff? One of the biggest challenges facing community financial institutions is the disconnect between the customer facing staff at the branches and the compliance personnel in the back office. The front office staff can play a pivotal role in AML prevention by being the eyes and ears to any suspicious activity. To learn some real world tips and trick put in place at various institutions across the country that have helped bridge this gap

January 27, 2015
  • OCC issues extreme winter weather proclamation
    A proclamation has been issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency allowing national banks and federal savings associations at their discretion to close offices affected by extreme winter weather in the northeast United States.

  • Federal Reserve updates excess balance account FAQs
    Federal Reserve Services has announced the update of the Excess Balance Account (EBA) FAQs. A new section, "Account Management Practices and Sweeping," addresses questions raised by common account management practices between EBA agents and participants. Additional information is available at the Excess Balance Account Resource Center.

  • Federal Reserve releases plan for improvement payments
    The Federal Reserve has issued "Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System," which presents a multi-faceted plan for collaborating with payment system stakeholders, including large and small businesses, emerging payments firms, card networks, payment processors, consumers and financial institutions to enhance the speed, safety and efficiency of the U.S. payment system. The Federal Reserve's strategic direction for financial services focuses on improving the end-to-end speed, safety and efficiency of the payment system. The Federal Reserve undertook an extensive 18-month research program aimed at identifying key gaps and opportunities, gaining industry and end-user perspectives on needs and priorities and defining ways to achieve payment improvements. The Federal Reserve will host a webcast at 1:00 p.m. EST on January 29, to share views on the Federal Reserve's vision for the future U.S. payment system and plans for collaborating with stakeholders to achieve shared goals. In addition, a subsequent series of FedForum teleseminars on February 4 and 10 will present an overview of the strategies and a question-and-answer session. Details on accessing the webcast and registering for the FedForum events are included in an announcement on the FedPayments Improvement website.

  • New resources for consumers to fight ID theft
    The NCUA has announced the addition of new information regarding ways to combat identity theft to, its consumer web site. The site also contains other resources to help credit union members understand and prevent identity theft and other frauds and scams.

  • NCUA TRID rules webinar
    The NCUA will host a free webinar, "Preparing for the New TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures," on February 11, 2015, starting at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will provide a high-level overview of the significant changes to the disclosures and forms required under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) that are scheduled to go into effect August 1. Online registration is available.

  • Bureau seeks comment on student account scorecard
    The CFPB has published in this morning's Federal Register a notice and request for comment on its draft Safe Student Account Scorecard that would offer information to colleges and universities when soliciting agreements from financial institutions to market safe and affordable financial accounts for their students. Comments are due by March 9, 2015.

January 26, 2015
  • Chicago bank closed
    The Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking has closed Highland Community Bank, Chicago, Illinois. The FDIC was appointed receiver and all deposits have been assumed by United Fidelity Bank, fsb, Evansville, Indiana.

  • E-Payments Routing Directory change delayed
    Federal Reserve Financial Services has announced that the scheduled move of the Federal Reserve E-Payments Routing Directory has been postponed. The original move date was January 25, 2015. A new effective date for the move is to be determined.

  • CRA ratings released
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has released the ratings received by thirty national banks and federal savings associations that were recently examined for compliance with CRA. Two of the institutions listed were rated outstanding, and twenty-eight received satisfactory ratings.

  • FDIC update on professional liability lawsuits
    The FDIC has updated the data on its Professional Liability Lawsuits page to indicate that 14 such suits have been filed thus far in January 2015. As receiver for a failed financial institution, the FDIC may sue professionals who played a role in the failure of the institution in order to maximize recoveries. These individuals can include officers and directors, attorneys, accountants, appraisers, brokers, or others. Professional liability claims also include direct claims against insurance carriers such as fidelity bond carriers and title insurance companies. From January 1, 2009, through January 22, 2015, the FDIC has authorized suits in connection with 149 failed institutions against 1195 individuals for D&O liability.

January 23, 2015
  • Wells and JPMC to pay in mortgage kickback case
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced action taken by the Bureau and the Maryland Attorney General against Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase for an illegal marketing-services-kickback scheme involving a now-defunct title company. Action was also taken against a former Wells Fargo employee and his wife for their involvement in the scheme. Genuine Title would give the banks' loan officers cash, marketing materials, and consumer information in exchange for business referrals, according to the CFPB's complaint, filed in federal court. The proposed consent orders, which have also been filed with the court for approval, would require $24 million in civil penalties from Wells Fargo, $600,000 from JPMorgan Chase, and $11.1 million in redress to consumers whose loans were involved. The loan officer and his wife would pay a $30,000 penalty, and the loan officer would be barred from the mortgage industry for two years.

    A third financial institution whose loan officers also participated in the Genuine Title kickback scheme self-identified the practice and fired the officers involved (one of whom was the former Wells Fargo officer previously mentioned). It also cooperated with the Bureau's investigation and proactively initiated a remediation plan. As a result, the Bureau resolved its investigation into that institution without an enforcement action.

  • Communities to be suspended from Flood Program
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published in this morning's Federal Register three notices identifying communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program that are scheduled for suspension from the program due to noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.
    • The first identifies communities to be suspended on February 4, 2015, in Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin
    • The second identifies communities to be suspended on February 18, 2015, in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia
    • The third identifies communities to be suspended on March 2, 2015, in Indiana, Iowa and Virginia

  • Counterfeit cashier's checks
    The OCC has issued Alert 2015-3 concerning counterfeit cashier's checks using the routing number of The Bank, N.A., McAlester, Oklahoma. The checks are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with various Internet-based employment and purchase scams. Two variations of counterfeit checks currently in circulation resemble the bank's authentic checks. Information regarding the counterfeit checks will be posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits pages.

  • NMLS downtime
    The NMLS has announced it has scheduled system downtime from 9:00 pm. ET Friday, January 23 (this evening) until Saturday afternoon, January 24, to install system enhancements. Both the NMLS and Consumer Access systems will be unavailable during the downtime.

  • FHFA index rises
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that U.S. house prices rose in November 2014, up 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.6 percent change in October was revised downward to a 0.4 percent change.

  • Addition to Comptroller's Handbook
    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2015-5 to announce the addition of a new "Government Securities Act" booklet to the Comptroller's Handbook. As part of the Securities Compliance series, the new booklet consolidates certain guidance from the Comptroller's Handbook for Compliance "Securities Activities" booklet, issued in September 1991, and the Comptroller's Handbook booklet "Investment Securities," issued in March 1990.

  • NCUA announces late-filing penalties
    The NCUA has announced that 31 federally insured credit unions subject to civil money penalties for filing third-quarter 2014 Call Reports late have consented to those penalties. The late filers will pay a total of $12,820 in penalties.

January 22, 2015
  • FTC credit report accuracy follow-up study
    The Federal Trade Commission has issued a follow-up report that found most consumers who previously reported an unresolved error on one of their three major credit reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information on their report is still inaccurate. The original study issued in 2012 found that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (after it was disputed) on at least one of their three credit reports. The follow-up study announced today focuses on 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved dispute from the 2012 study and participated in a follow-up survey.

  • Texas debt collector sued by FTC
    The FTC has announced the filing of a federal court complaint against Commercial Recovery Systems, Inc. (CRS), a Texas-based debt collector, and its current and former principals for illegally threatening consumers with false claims that unless they pay a debt, they will face legal action or wage garnishment, or otherwise violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • December residential construction activity rises
    HUD and the Census Bureau have released their report on new residential construction activity in December 2014. The report shows:
    • Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were 1.9 percent below the revised November rate, but 1.0 percent above the December 2013 estimate.
    • Privately owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate 4.4 percent above the revised November estimate and 5.3 percent above the December 2013 rate.
    • Single-family housing starts in December were 7.2 percent above the revised November figure.
    • Privately owned housing completions in December 6.3 percent above the revised November estimate and 19.6 percent above December 2013 numbers.
    • Single-family housing completions in December were 9.5 percent above the revised November rate.

  • Lew on the State of the Union
    In remarks at The Brookings Institution, Treasury Secretary Lew discussed the series of proposals presented by the President in his State of the Union address.

January 21, 2015
  • Bureau finalizes tweak to TRID Rule
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced it has finalized two minor modifications to the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule that will become effective with applications received on or after August 1, 2015. The changes address when consumers will receive updated disclosures after locking in an interest rate, and how consumers receive information regarding certain construction loans. The final rule announced yesterday will require that a revised Loan Estimate reflecting changes triggered by a rate-lock event be delivered no later than the third business day following the rate lock (consistent with the timing requirements for revised Loan Estimates triggered by other changed circumstances), and will revise the Loan Estimate form to allow a space for a disclosure that an updated Loan Estimate may be provided for certain construction loans that are expected to take over 60 days to settle.

  • CFPB posts new mortgage tool for consumers
    The Bureau has introduced a new interactive tool to help consumers determine their likely mortgage interest rate.

  • SCOTUS scuttles debit interchange fee challenge
    The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the "swipe fee" rules issued by the Federal Reserve Board in its implementation of the "Durbin Amendement" to the Dodd-Frank Act, reports Reuters. The SCOTUS refusal to hear the challenge will leave intact the March 2014 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the 21 cents per transaction fee cap set by the Federal Reserve were appropriate.

  • FRB updates payment system risk data
    The Federal Reserve Board has posted the 2014 Fourth Quarter Payment System Risk data. The report charts the peak and average daylight overdrafts and related fees.

  • OCC schedules director workshop in Miami
    The OCC will host a "Building Blocks for Directors" workshop at the Miami Hyatt Regency, February 23–25, 2015, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. Attendance is limited to the first 35 registrants.

  • SAR stats update
    FinCEN has issued the Fourth Quarter 2014 update of SAR Stats (formerly "By the Numbers"). The report is a compilation of numerical data gathered from the FinCEN Suspicious Activity Reports filed by financial institutions.

  • NCUA posts legal opinion on Risk-Based Capital proposal
    The NCUA has posted an opinion from an outside law firm regarding the agency's revised proposed risk-based capital rule . Comments on the revised proposed rule must be received within 90 days of its publication in the Federal Register.

January 20, 2015
  • OCC January 2015 enforcement actions
    The OCC has released the 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. Included were three previously reported Consent Orders for Civil Money Penalties totaling $950 million against three national banks for unsafe or unsound practices related to their foreign exchange operations.

  • FinCEN letter on casino sports gaming
    A letter has been released by FinCEN responding to a request for guidance from the American Gaming Association concerning the application of anti-money laundering (AML) programs for casinos. The letter stated "it has also come to our attention that casinos may be under the impression that unless specifically directed to do so, a casino never has to ask a patron whether he or she is betting on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another party. We are communicating directly with your organization to correct any such misperception and to remind your industry about the importance of applying a risk-based approach with respect to this issue as well as the need to implement reasonably designed AML programs to address among other risks, the risks associated with third-party betting."

  • Online payday lenders pay $21M
    The FTC has announced that AMG Services, Inc., and MNE Services, Inc., two payday lending companies, have settled charges that they violated the law by charging consumers undisclosed and inflated fees. Under the proposed settlement, they will pay $21 million, the largest FTC recovery in a payday lending case, and will waive another $285 million in charges that were assessed but not collected. The settlement also contains broad prohibitions barring the defendants from misrepresenting the terms of any loan product, including the loan's payment schedule, the total amount the consumer will owe, the interest rate, annual percentage rates or finance charges, and any other material facts. The settlement order also prohibits the defendants from violating the Truth in Lending and Electronic Fund Transfer Acts.

  • OFAC adds Kingpin designations
    Treasury has announced the designation of two Indian nationals and one company based in Pakistan as SDNTKs and the additions of their names to the SDN List. The individuals and company were designated due to their ties to D Company, a South Asian criminal organization.

  • HUD Choice Neighborhood Grants announced
    HUD has announced $3.2 million in new Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awards to seven communities in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and Missouri. The awards will help grantees craft comprehensive, locally driven plans to revitalize and transform distressed neighborhoods.

  • TIC November data posted
    Treasury has released the Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for November 2014. The sum total in November of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC outflow of $6.3 billion. Of this, net foreign private outflows were $2.9 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $3.4 billion.

  • OCC revises Litigation section of Handbook
    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2015-4 announcing the revision of the Litigation and Other Legal Matters booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook. The revised booklet provides guidance to examiners assessing a bank's litigation exposures, associated risks, and risk management practices. The revision replaces information issued on February 2000.

  • Florida bank closed
    The OCC has closed the First National Bank of Crestview, Crestview, Florida. The FDIC was appointed receiver and all deposits have been assumed by First NBC Bank, New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Applications open for CFPB Advisory Board and Councils
    The Bureau has announced it is accepting applications for its Consumer Advisory Board (10 seats), Community Bank Advisory Council (7 seats) and Credit Union Advisory Council (8 seats). The seats become vacant in the fall of 2015.

January 16, 2015
  • OFAC amends Cuban Assets Control Regulations
    Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published in today's Federal Register a final rule [80 FR 2291] amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement policy changes announced by the President on December 17, 2014, to further engage and empower the Cuban people. The amendments facilitate travel to Cuba for authorized purposes, facilitate the provision by travel agents and airlines of authorized travel services and the forwarding by certain entities of authorized remittances, raise the limit on certain categories of remittances to Cuba, allow U.S. financial institutions to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the processing of authorized transactions, authorize certain transactions with Cuban nationals located outside of Cuba, and allow a number of other activities related to, among other areas, telecommunications, financial services, trade, and shipping. The amendments also implement certain technical and conforming changes. The amendments are effective upon today's publication. Treasury also published a fact sheet on the amendments.

  • Counterfeit cashier's checks alert
    The OCC has issued Alert 2015-2 regarding counterfeit cashier's checks using the routing number of First National Bank, Fort Pierre, South Dakota. Counterfeit checks presented to date have contained a remitter name of Taylor Andrew and have been made payable in the amounts of $1,985, $2,485, $2,890, or $2,985. Information regarding the counterfeit cashier's checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits pages.

  • Resolution plans for firms under $100B released
    A joint press release from the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC has announced the release of the public portions of resolution plans (commonly called "living wills") for firms with generally less than $100 billion in qualifying nonbank assets, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The plans can be reviewed on the websites of the Board and the FDIC.

  • January FedFlash
    FRB Services has posted the January 2015 issue of FedFlash. Featured articles include:
    • Reminder to File a Current Board Resolution and Official Authorization List
    • New Check Adjustments Webinar
    • E-Payments Routing Directory Moving Effective January 25, 2015
    • Continuation of the America the Beautiful Quarters program
    • New Operating Hours for National Settlement Service

  • Failing Bank Acquisitions webpage
    The FDIC has issued FIL-4-2-15 to announce the launch of a Failing Bank Acquisitions webpage to provide information on how the regulator markets failing institutions.

  • NCUA Board action
    An NCUA Board Action Bulletin has been issued to announce the results of the Board's January 15, 2015, meeting. The NCUA Board also announced its approval of the payment of up to $50,000 for costs associated with a data breach at Palm Springs Federal Credit Union of Palm Springs, California.

January 15, 2015
  • CFPB proposes Safe Student Account Scorecard
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced it is seeking input on a "Safe Student Account Scorecard." The scorecard would help colleges access upfront information about fees, features, and sales tactics before agreeing to a sponsorship with a financial institution to offer checking and prepaid accounts. A Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on the proposed scorecard from the public, including student and parent consumers, institutions of higher learning and financial institutions, has been issued. The scorecard specifically would ask financial institutions to provide schools:
    • a clear description of product fees and features;
    • full disclosure about the financial institution's marketing practices;
    • information on how much the financial institution earns from the accounts; and
    • an annual summary of fees collected.
    CFPB Director Cordray issued prepared remarks on the Student Accounts Press Call announcing the proposed scorecard.

  • SDN List updated
    Treasury has announced the designation of a Palestinian individual as an SDGT and the corresponding update of the SDN List.

  • FHFA 2015 Scorecard released
    The 2015 Scorecard has been released by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Specific priorities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their joint venture, Common Securitization Solutions, LLC, are listed. They include:
    • Maintenance, in a safe and sound manner, of credit availability and foreclosure prevention activities for new and refinanced mortgages to foster liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets;
    • Reduction of taxpayer risk through increasing the role of private capital in the mortgage market; and
    • Building of a new single-family securitization infrastructure for use by the Enterprises and adaptable for use by other participants in the secondary market in the future.

  • More EGRPRA outreach meetings scheduled
    A joint press release from the OCC, FDIC and FRB has announced an outreach meeting will be held on February 4, 2015, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as part of the agencies' regulatory review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA). Details on the Dallas meeting, including registration information, the webcast link, and the agenda, are available on the EGRPRA website. Additional meetings are currently scheduled in Boston on May 4, Chicago on October 19, and Washington on December 2. The agencies also plan to hold an outreach meeting focused on rural banks. The meetings may be viewed live online.

  • OCC 2015 Directors Workshop schedule
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced its 2015 schedule of workshops for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations.

  • Comptroller's Handbook revisions
    Bulletin 2015-2 (Retail Nondeposit Investment Products) and Bulletin 2015-3 (Conflicts of Interest) have been issued by the OCC to announce revisions to the Comptroller's Handbook.

  • FTC to host Tax ID Theft Awareness Week
    A series of events will be hosted by the FTC during the week of January 26–30 to raise consumer awareness about the threat posed by tax identity theft.

  • FDIC Board meeting notice
    The notice of the January 21, 2015, open meeting of the FDIC Board of Directors has been posted.

  • Matz and Cordray to host town hall webinar
    The NCUA has announced that Chairman Matz will host a ninety-minute free town hall webinar meeting with CFPB Director Cordray on February 10, at 3 pm. ET. This will be the fourth annual joint webinar to discuss NCUA and CFPB regulatory issues. Registration for the event is open.

  • NCUA Board meeting video
    The video of the December 11, 2014, open meeting of the NCUA Board is now available for viewing online.

  • Beige Book published
    The Federal Reserve Board has published the January 2015 issue of the Beige Book. The report is published eight times per year and contains information on current economic conditions in the twelve districts through reports from bank and branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources.

January 14, 2015

  • SCOTUS resolves rescission suit debate
    In a unanimous opinion released yesterday, the Supreme Court settled the question of whether a consumer must file a lawsuit to exercise an extended right to rescind a mortgage transaction, or simply notify the lender in writing. The Court held that 15 U.S.C. 1635 (the applicable portion of the Truth in Lending Act) requires only that the consumer provide a written notice to the lender. Previously, rulings in the First, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits had held that the consumer had to file suit. The Syllabus of yesterday's court decision in Jesinoski et ux. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al. has been paraphrased on BOL's CourtWatch page.

  • Pakistani added to SDN List
    Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced it has designated a Pakistani as an SDGT and added his name to the SDN List.

  • Discount rate meetings minutes
    The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes of its November 24 and December 15, 2014, discount rate meetings.

  • OCC paper on community bank collaboration
    The OCC has published a paper, "An Opportunity for Community Banks: Working Together Collaboratively." The paper describes how community banks can pool resources to obtain cost efficiencies and leverage specialized expertise. It also explores the benefits of collaboration, outlines how community banks can structure collaborative arrangements, and emphasizes the need for effective oversight of collaborative arrangements.

  • Webinar on proposed risk-based capital rule
    The NCUA will host a webinar on its revised proposed risk-based capital rule on January 21, beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

  • NCUA Report
    The January 2015 issue of The NCUA Report has been posted.

January 13, 2015
  • Bureau: Many don't shop mortgages
    The CFPB has posted an article and issued a news release about what most mortgage lenders would call the obvious: almost half of recent mortgage borrowers don't shop around for home mortgages. The releases report on a survey of individuals who obtained mortgages in 2013, which reveals that:
    • Almost half of borrowers seriously consider only one lender or broker before making an application
    • 77 percent of borrowers apply with a single lender or broker, rather than making multiple applications to seek the best deal
    • 70 percent of borrowers used lenders and brokers as a primary source of mortgage information, and 30 percent sought the information from real estate agents
    • Borrowers who were confident of their knowledge of available interest rates were twice as likely to shop for mortgages as consumers who knew little about rates
    The Bureau also promoted its new Owning a Home interactive resources designed to help borrowers approach the mortgage shopping process with more information.

January 12, 2015
  • Impact of debts on military careers
    The CFPB has posted an article on the negative impact personal debt may have on military duty status, potential promotions and careers. The article includes tips and information for military personal regarding management of debts, expenses, income and other personal finance matters.

  • Federal Reserve System income data released
    The Federal Reserve Board has announced that preliminary unaudited results indicate the Reserve Banks provided payments of approximately $98.7 billion of their estimated 2014 net income to the U.S. Treasury. The residual earnings of each Federal Reserve Bank are distributed to the Treasury, after providing for the costs of operations, payment of dividends, and the amount necessary to equate surplus with capital paid-in.

January 9, 2015
  • FHA reduces annual insurance premiums
    HUD Secretary Castro has announced that the FHA will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by one-half of a percent. The reduction is projected to save FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually. The new annual premium prices are expected to take effect towards the end of the month. The FHA will publish a mortgagee letter detailing its new pricing structure.

  • NMLS Ombudsman meeting scheduled
    An open meeting with the NMLS Ombudsman will be held on Monday, February 16, 2015, from 2:00–5:00 pm. PST, in conjunction with the 2015 NMLS Annual Conference & Training in San Diego, California. Conference registration is not required to attend the meeting. The meeting will be in-person only. Additional information on the NMLS Annual Conference has been made available.

  • November consumer credit report
    The Federal Reserve posted the November 2014 G.19 Consumer Credit Report. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 1¼ percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7½ percent.

  • January FedFocus
    The January 2015 issue of FedFocus has been posted by Federal Reserve Bank Services. The feature story reports how a bank enhanced its business continuity plan by ordering a backup VPN device. There are also articles on:
    • How to stay informed during FedCash Services disruptions
    • The number of Federal Reserve notes ordered for 2015
    • The 2015 America the Beautiful Quarters Program
    • The new registration process for FEDucation opportunities

  • EGRPRA outreach program notice
    OCC Bulletin 2015-1 has announced that the second in a series of outreach meetings on the interagency effort to reduce regulatory burden as required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA) will be held in Dallas on February 4, 2015. Individuals wishing to attend the outreach meeting in Dallas must register, and participation is limited. Online registrations are accepted through January 28, 2015, or until all seats are filled.

  • NCUA Board to meet
    The agenda for the January 15, 2015, meeting of the NCUA Board has been posted.

January 8, 2015
  • Federal Open Market Committee releases
    The statement and minutes of the December 16-17, 2014, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee have been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • New NCUA cyber fraud video
    A new two-part video on how to recognize, avoid and report cyber fraud has been released by the National Credit Union Administration. The video is available on the NCUA YouTube channel.

  • Bureau to launch demo on financial education
    The CFPB published a Notice and Request for Comment [80 FR 1027] in today's Federal Register in which it reports that the Bureau will, beginning in the winter of 2015, launch a multi-site financial education demonstration project to provide one-on-one and group financial counseling/coaching services to individuals with disabilities transitioning into the workplace or already employed.

January 7, 2015
  • California bank reports counterfeit cashier's checks
    The OCC has issued its Alert 2015-1 about counterfeit cashier's checks using the routing number for Simplicity Bank, Covina, California. The counterfeit checks do not resemble Simplicity's authentic checks. Information regarding the counterfeit checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.

  • FDIC Call Report advisory
    The FDIC has issued FIL-3-2015 reminding its supervised institutions of the December 31, 2014, Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report). The FIL indicates:
    • This Call Report does not require institutions to report any new or revised data items.
    • The Call Report forms and an instruction book update for December 2014 are available on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's website at and the FDIC's website at
    • Banks should review FIL-1-2015 and its accompanying Supplemental Instructions for further information on the fourth quarter 2014 Call Report.
      • This quarter's Supplemental Instructions include guidance on the applicability for Call Report purposes of a new accounting standard that allows institutions to elect whether or not to apply pushdown accounting in certain business combinations.
      • This guidance also provides that an institution's primary federal regulator reserves the right to require, or prohibit, the institution's use of pushdown accounting based on an evaluation of whether the election appears not to be supported by the facts and circumstances of the business combination.

  • Dean named FDIC Regional Director
    The FDIC has announced that it has appointed Michael J. Dean as Regional Director for the agency's Atlanta Region. Dean has been the Acting Regional Director for that office since April 2014. He oversees the FDIC's bank supervisory and compliance activities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The Atlanta Region supervises 819 institutions with combined assets of over $454 billion.

January 6, 2015
  • New SDN List format released
    Treasury has announced OFAC's release of a new format for the SDN List. The format was jointly developed with the United Nations and the Wolfsberg Group of International Banks to create a universal sanctions list format that can be efficiently used by governments worldwide and enhances sanctions compliance. The enhancements include:
    • new metadata, including specific labels for name parts that go beyond the standard "Last name, First name" style of current sanctions lists
    • language scripts beyond the standard Latin script used in many sanctions lists
    • a data dictionary of all valid look-up values in the header of the file
    • a flexible "feature identifier" functionality that augments the normal identification look-up values that are currently available in the SDN List formats
    FAQs on using the new format were also released. There are no current plans to replace any of the current OFAC file formats with the new, enhanced XML product.

  • Brokered deposits guidance
    The FDIC has issued FIL-2-2015 with guidance in the form of "Frequently Asked Questions" or "FAQs" to promote consistency by insured depository institutions in identifying, accepting, and reporting brokered deposits.

  • CRA ratings released
    The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Of the 91 institutions listed, seven were rated outstanding and 84 received satisfactory ratings.

January 5, 2015
  • Call Report FIL
    FIL-1-2015 has been issued by the FDIC regarding the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for the Fourth Quarter, 2014. With the exception of reports by institutions with more than one foreign office, the Call Reports must be filed and pass validation checks by January 30, 2015.

  • Sanctions against North Korea
    An Executive Order (E.O.) has been signed by President Obama authorizing the imposition of sanctions against the Government of North Korea and the Workers' Party of Korea in response to the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's numerous provocations, particularly the recent cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment and the threats against movie theaters and moviegoers. Pursuant to the authorities of the E.O., Treasury has designated three entities and 10 individuals for being agencies or officials of the North Korean government. Their names have been added to the SDN List with the DPRK2 identifier.

  • NCUA loans and grants notices
    The National Credit Union Administration has published notices in this morning's Federal Register announcing access to two Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) programs for small credit unions:
    • A Notice of Funding Opportunity [80 FR 260] inviting eligible credit unions to submit applications for participation in the OSCUI Loan Program
    • A Notice of Funding Opportunity [80 FR 263] inviting eligible credit unions to submit applications for participation in the OSCUI Grant Program
    Participation in these programs is subject to funding availability.

  • Exchange rates
    The G.5A 2014 Annual and G.5 December 2014 exchange rates data have been posted by the Federal Reserve Board.

January 2, 2015
  • Prohibition orders issued
    The NCUA has issued six orders prohibiting designated individuals from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.

  • Consumer Compliance Outlook
    The Fourth Quarter 2014 issue of the Federal Reserve's Consumer Compliance Outlook newsletter has been released, with featured articles on "Transitioning from an Intermediate Small Bank to a Large Bank Under the Community Reinvestment Act" and "Managing Compliance Risk Through Consumer Compliance Risk Assessments."

  • Treasury FIO reinsurance report
    The Treasury Department's Federal Insurance Office (FIO) has issued its report on the global reinsurance market and its role in supporting insurance in the U.S. The report, which is required by Title V of the Dodd-Frank Act, summarizes the history of reinsurance as a product and an industry, and outlines its various functions.

  • Board releases Discount Window lending data
    The Fourth Quarter 2012 Discount Window lending data have been released by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • 2015 currency and reserve bank budgets
    The Federal Reserve Board's Freedom of Information Office has released the Currency and Reserve Bank budgets for 2015.

  • 2015 HMDA and CRA data entry software
    The FFIEC has announced the availability of the 2015 versions of HMDA and CRA data entry software.

    Today we begin anew our collection of the Top Stories affecting banks and banking, with the start of a new year. For our archive of stories back to the year 2000, click the drop-down list near the top or bottom of this page.

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