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Banker's Toolbox Announces — ACQUISITION OF LOAN LOSS RESERVE POWERHOUSE, MAINSTREET TECHNOLOGIES
Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

Top Stories

11/23/2018

HPML appraisal threshold adjusted for 2019

The Bureau is publishing in the November 23, 2018, Federal Register a final rule amending their official interpretations of Regulation Z to adjust for inflation the threshold for the exemption in section 1026.35(c)(2)(ii) from the HPML appraisal requirements to $26,700 for calendar year 2019.

BankersOnline's Regulation Z pages have been updated with this change.

11/23/2018

Exemption thresholds increase for Regs M and Z

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the Federal Reserve Board will publish in the November 23, 2018, Federal Register final rules amending their official interpretations and commentary for their regulations M (Consumer Leasing Act) and Z (Truth in Lending Act) to adjust for inflation the exemption threshold amount for calendar year 2019 to $57,200.

Under Regulation M, consumer leases with a total contractual obligation of more than the threshold amount are not covered by the regulation. Under Regulation Z, consumer credit extensions of more than the threshold amount or in which there is an express written commitment to extend credit in excess of the applicable threshold amount are exempt, unless the extension of credit is secured by any real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of the consumer, or is a private education loan.

BankersOnline's Regulation pages for Regulations M and Z have been updated to reflect these changes.

11/21/2018

Webinar on Faster Payments Council

The Federal Reserve has announced an informational webinar on the new U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) [see our 11/14/18 Top Story, "U.S. Faster Payments Council formed"] to address questions on the FPC's mission, what its members can expect, whether to join, and more. The one hour webinar will be presented twice -- December 5 at 11 a.m. CT and December 13 at 9 a.m. CT.

11/21/2018

Movement on Reg CC amendments (with some DD for good measure)

The Federal Reserve Board and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection have jointly announced proposed amendments to Regulation CC (12 CFR part 229) that would implement a statutory requirement to adjust for inflation the amount of funds depository institutions must make available to their customers. The amendments would apply in circumstances ranging from next business day withdrawal of certain check deposits to setting the threshold amount for determining whether an account has been repeatedly withdrawn. The Dodd-Frank Act amendments to the Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFA Act) require that the EFA Act's dollar amounts be inflation adjusted every five years by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The first set of proposed adjustments are detailed the agencies' Federal Register Notice. To help ensure that institutions have sufficient time to implement the adjustments, the agencies propose a compliance date that would be at least 12 months after publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.

The agencies also propose to implement in Regulation CC the EFA Act amendments made by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which include extending coverage of the EFA Act to American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.

Finally, the agencies are providing an additional opportunity for public comment on certain funds-availability amendments in subpart B of Regulation CC that the Board published in 2011 regarding funds availability schedule provisions and associated definitions. In taking this step, the agencies have not made a decision on whether to make any aspects of the 2011 proposal final. Reopening the comment period will provide the agencies with up-to-date public views to consider.

The Bureau is proposing to make some technical updates to Regulation DD (12 CFR part 1030) that relate to Regulation CC, as well as correct the typographical errors in the Appendix A formulas for calculating the APY (which BankersOnline called to the Bureau's attention many months ago), where terms in the formulas should have been shown as exponents.

Comments will be accepted for 60 days after publication.

11/21/2018

Bureau updates Compliance and Guidance webpage

The Bureau has updated its Compliance and Guidance webpage based on user feedback. There are some additional links on the pages, and some sections of the material have been rearranged.

11/21/2018

Illicit Russia-Iran oil network targeted by OFAC

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has designated nine targets in an international network through which the Iranian regime, working with Russian companies, provides millions of barrels of oil to the Syrian government. The Assad regime, in turn, facilitates the movement of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars (USD) to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) for onward transfer to HAMAS and Hizballah. U.S. sanctions prohibit material support to the Government of Syria, including shipments of oil to Syrian government-controlled ports, as well as material support to designated terrorist groups. For the names and identification information of the six individuals and nine entities designated in this action, see our OFAC Update.

OFAC has also, with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard, issued an OFAC Advisory to the Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community to alert persons globally to the significant U.S. sanctions risks for parties involved in petroleum shipments to Syria. These shipments create significant sanctions risk for entities and individuals in the shipping industry, including insurers, shipping companies, financial institutions, and vessel owners, managers, and operators.

11/21/2018

October residential construction activity mixed

HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau have jointly announced October 2018 statistics on new residential construction:

  • Building permits: Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,263,000, 0.6 percent below the revised September rate of 1,279,000 and 6.0 percent below the October 2017 rate of 1,343,000. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 849,000, 0.6 percent below the revised September figure of 854,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 376,000 in October.
  • Housing starts: Privately owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,228,000, 1.5 percent above the revised September estimate of 1,210,000, but 2.9 percent below the October 2017 rate of 1,265,000. Single-family housing starts in October were at a rate of 865,000, 1.8 percent below the revised September figure of 8881,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 343,000.
  • Housing completions: Privately owned housing completions in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,111,000, 3.3 percent below the revised September estimate of 1,149,000 and 6.5 percent below the October 2017 rate of 1,188,000. Single-family housing completions in October were at a rate of 832,000, 1.2 percent below the revised September rate of 842,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 269,000.

11/21/2018

Regulators propose to raise residential RE appraisal threshold

The OCC, Fed and FDIC have issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would raise the threshold for residential real estate transactions requiring an appraisal to $400,000. The jointly prepared proposal would require that residential real estate transactions exempted by the $400,000 threshold obtain an evaluation consistent with safe and sound banking practices. Evaluations provide an estimate of the market value of real estate but could be less burdensome than appraisals because the agencies’ appraisal regulations do not require evaluations to be prepared by state licensed or certified appraisers.

The proposal also would incorporate the rural residential appraisal exemption in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act to the list of exempt transactions and require evaluations for these exempt transactions. In addition, the proposal would require institutions to appropriately review appraisals for compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

11/21/2018

Insured institutions earn $62M in third quarter

The FDIC has released its Third Quarter 2018 Quarterly Banking Profile. Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the FDIC reported aggregate net income of $62 billion in the third quarter of 2018, up $14 billion (29.3 percent) from a year ago. The improvement in earnings was attributable to higher net operating revenue and a lower effective tax rate.

11/21/2018

NCUA 2019 meeting schedule

The NCUA has released its monthly Board meeting schedule for 2019.

11/20/2018

OFAC targets two individuals

On Monday, Treasury issued press releases announcing OFAC's targeting of two individuals:

  • Concurrent with action by the UN Security Council's Libya Sanctions Committee, OFAC took action targeting Salah Badi (Badi), the leader of the Sumud Brigade militia that has sparked violent clashes in the south of Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
  • OFAC also sanctioned the Russia-born, South African national Vladlen Amtchentsev pursuant to E.O. 13722 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Velmur Management Pte. Ltd. (“Velmur”). Amtchentsev has advised on how to evade U.S. sanctions. In August 2017, OFAC designated Transatlantic Partners Pte. Ltd. (“Transatlantic”) for operating in the energy industry in the North Korean economy, and OFAC simultaneously designated Velmur for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Transatlantic.

For identification information on these two targeted individuals, see our OFAC Update.

11/20/2018

Société Général S.A. paying $2.3B in OFAC and BSA penalties

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced Monday that criminal charges had been brought against Société Général S.A. (SG) for conspiring to violate the Trading with the Enemy Act (“TWEA”) and the Cuban Asset Control Regulations promulgated thereunder (the “Cuban Regulations”) for SG’s role in processing billions of dollars of U.S. dollar transactions using the U.S. financial system, in connection with credit facilities involving Cuba (the “Cuban Credit Facilities”). Also announced was SG's agreement to accept responsibility for its conduct by stipulating to the accuracy of an extensive Statement of Facts, pay penalties totaling $1,340,165,000 to federal and state prosecutors and regulators, refrain from all future criminal conduct, and implement remedial measures as required by its regulators. Assuming SG’s continued compliance with the Agreement, the Government has agreed to defer prosecution for a period of three years, after which time the Government will seek to dismiss the charges. The $1.34 billion in penalties represents the second largest penalty ever imposed on a financial institution for violations of U.S. economic sanctions.

SG agreed to forfeit $717.2 million in a civil forfeiture action as part of the collective penalties. A separate payment of $54 million will be made to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Additional payments of $162.8 million to the New York County District Attorney's Office, $81.3 million to the Federal Reserve Board, and $325 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

SG and its New York branch also agreed to pay NYDFS $95 million (over and above the OFAC violations settlement) for BSA/AML violations.

11/20/2018

Fed publishes Reg I update

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has published a final rule in today's Federal Register to apply an inflation adjustment to the threshold for total consolidated assets in Regulation I. Federal Reserve Bank (Reserve Bank) stockholders that have total consolidated assets above the threshold receive a different dividend rate on their Reserve Bank stock than stockholders with total consolidated assets at or below the threshold. Based on the change in the Gross Domestic Product Price Index as of September 27, 2018, the total consolidated asset threshold will be $10,518,000,000 for calendar year 2019.

11/20/2018

NY landlords settle HUD discrimination claim

HUD has announced that Nolo Contendere, LLC, and Nolo Contendere LLC Trust, the owners and agent of an apartment complex in Syracuse, New York, will pay $15,000 under a HUD Consent Order resolving allegations that the owners and their agents refused to allow a woman with mental disabilities keep an assistance animal. The case came to HUD's attention when a woman with mental disabilities filed a complaint alleging that Nolo Contendere, LLC, and its owners refused to allow her to keep an assistance animal. HUD's charge of discrimination alleged that after the tenant brought the animal home, an agent for Nolo Contendere confronted her about the animal. The landlords refused to make an exception to their “no-pets” policy, even after the woman provided documentation attesting to her disabilities. HUD’s charge further alleged that the landlords initiated a retaliatory eviction action against the tenant after she made the accommodation request, in violation of th e Fair Housing Act.

11/20/2018

Webinar on alternatives to LIBOR rates announced

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) will hold a webinar on December 6, 2018, to promote awareness and understanding of efforts to develop alternative reference rates to LIBOR, because of the uncertainty as to continued availability of LIBOR after 2021.The webinar will provide participants with background information on LIBOR and recent developments in the market, including initiatives of the Alternative Reference Rates Committee.

11/19/2018

Bureau updates small entity guides for EGRRCPA

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has posted updated (November 2018) versions of its Small Entity Compliance Guides for the HOEPA and Loan Originator rules to reflect the broadened and expanded exemption for manufactured home retailers in section 107 of EGRRCPA and certain other updates detailed in the Version Log for each guide document.

11/19/2018

September TIC data

Treasury has released Treasury International Capital data for September 2018. The sum total in September of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a net TIC outflow of $29.1 billion. Of this, net foreign private inflows were $23.5 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $52.7 billion. residents increased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in September; net purchases were $7.5 billion. Net purchases by private foreign investors were $21.0 billion, while net sales by foreign official institutions were $13.6 billion. U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $23.4 billion.

11/19/2018

Federal Reserve data updates

11/19/2018

Fed posts 2019 fee schedule

The Federal Reserve Board has approved the fee schedule for Fed priced services effective January 2, 2019.

The Reserve Banks project that they will recover 100.9 percent of their priced services costs in 2019. The Reserve Banks expect to fully recover actual and imputed expenses, including profit that would have been earned if a private-sector firm provided the services. Overall, the Reserve Banks estimate that the price changes will result in a 2.5 percent average price increase. The price changes should result in a 4.0 percent average price increase for check-clearing customers; a 2.0 percent average price increase for Fedwire Funds customers; and a 6.0 average price increase for Fedwire Securities customers. The fees will remain unchanged for the Reserve Banks' FedACH Services and National Settlement Service. Lastly, the Reserve Banks estimate that the price changes will result in a 7.5 percent average price increase for FedLine Solutions customers.

11/19/2018

NCUA update on CU failures

The NCUA has issued an update on 2018 credit union failures through September 30, 2018. Six federally insured credit union liquidations in the first three quarters of 2018 resulted in a $744.9 million loss to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. No failures were reported for the month of October.

11/16/2018

Treasury sanctions 17 involved in Khashoggi murder

On Thursday, OFAC designated Saud al-Qahtani, his subordinate Maher Mutreb, Saudi Consul General Mohammed Alotaibi, and 14 other members of an operations team for having a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. These individuals were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, to target perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.

As a result of these designations, any property or interests in property of the individuals designated today within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction is blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons. For identity information on the 17 individuals, see our OFAC Update.

11/16/2018

FinCEN reissues and expands GTOs

FinCEN announced Thursday the issuance of revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The purchase amount threshold, which previously varied by city, is now set at $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. FinCEN is also requiring that covered purchases using virtual currencies be reported. FinCEN posted a copy of the GTO and an FAQ about the orders. The order covers the period from November 17, 2018, through May 15, 2019.

The GTOs' coverage has been expanded to include 12 metropolitan areas, defined as follows:

  • Texas counties of Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas
  • Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, in Florida
  • Boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan, in New York City
  • California counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara
  • City and County of Honolulu in Hawaii
  • Washington county of King
  • Massachusetts counties of Suffolk and Middlesex
  • Illinois county of Cook.

Note that the orders do not affect banks or credit unions directly, although they should be aware of them in case they detect activity that may signal attempts to avoid the GTO. The orders are addressed to title insurance companies and their subsidiaries or agents.

11/16/2018

FHA 2018 Annual Report

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has released its 2018 Annual Report to Congress on the economic condition of the agency's Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund). The report states the MMI Fund had a total Economic Net Worth of $34.8 billion and a Capital Reserve Ratio that remains above the statutory minimum for a fourth consecutive year.

11/16/2018

FHFA Performance and Accountability Report

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its Performance and Accountability Report, which details FHFA's activities as regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and as regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during fiscal year 2018. For the tenth consecutive year, FHFA received an unmodified audit opinion on its FY 2018 financial statements from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

11/16/2018

Fannie and Freddie refinance volume down

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 253,135 refinances in the third quarter of 2018, compared with 299,460 in the second quarter. FHFA's third quarter Refinance Report also shows that 1,865 loans were refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total number of HARP refinances to 3,493,005 since inception of the program in 2009. The Report also indicates:

  • Through the third quarter of 2018, 33 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.
  • One U.S. territory and nine states account for more than 70 percent of borrowers who remain eligible for HARP and have a financial incentive to refinance as of June 30, 2018: Puerto Rico, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alabama and Georgia.
  • Borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared with borrowers eligible for HARP who did not refinance through the program.

11/16/2018

Fed Board to review practices

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it will review during 2019 the strategies, tools, and communication practices it uses to pursue its congressionally-assigned mandate of maximum employment and price stability. The review will include outreach to a broad range of interested stakeholders.

11/16/2018

Reg J simplified

The Federal Reserve Board has approved final amendments to simplify Regulation J (Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks and Funds Transfers through Fedwire) and to make it conform more closely with Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks). The amendments become effective as of January 1, 2019.

11/16/2018

Regulators' statement on supervisory practices following wildfires

A joint press release by the OCC, Fed, FDIC, NCUA, Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the California Department of Business Oversight published a statement on supervisory practices regarding financial institutions and their customers affected by California wildfires. The agencies will provide appropriate regulatory assistance and flexibility to affected institutions subject to their supervision. The agencies encourage institutions operating in the affected areas to meet the financial services needs of their communities.

11/16/2018

McWilliams discusses financial services trends

In remarks delivered at the Office of Financial Research and the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy Fourth Annual Financial Stability Conference in Washington, D.C., FDIC Chairman McWilliams discussed the following trends affecting financial services and how regulators should respond to those trends:

  • The evolving role of banks in the financial system
  • Migration in mortgage activity from banks to nonbanks
  • Implications of migration for banks and regulators

11/16/2018

FTC issues 2018 financial report

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its Fiscal Year 2018 Agency Financial Report, which describes the Commission’s strong fiscal management and key program performance of the agency during the past year. The report highlights FTC accomplishments in furtherance of its missions to protect consumers and promote competition, and reaffirms the agency’s commitment to responsible stewardship of resources and sound financial operations.

11/15/2018

Otting on condition of U.S. banking system

In a speech in Tokyo, Comptroller Otting discussed the strength and resiliency of the U.S. banking system and ongoing efforts to ensure the system continues to be a source of strength for the U.S. and global economies.

11/15/2018

FDIC RFI on small-dollar lending

The FDIC has announced that it is seeking public comment on issues related to small-dollar lending by FDIC-supervised financial institutions. The Request for Information (RFI) solicits comments on the consumer demand for small-dollar credit products, the supply of small-dollar credit products currently offered by banks, and what the FDIC can do to better enable banks to offer responsible, prudently underwritten credit products to meet consumer demand.

UPDATE: Published 11/20/18, with a 62-day comment period ending 1/21/19.

11/15/2018

2018 Money Smart version released

The FDIC has released the 2018 version of its popular instructor-led Money Smart for Adults financial education curriculum. Instructors can use the fully scripted materials with minimal preparation to deliver unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial education. The 2018 version of Money Smart for Adults replaces the previous version, which was released in 2010. Features of the 2018 version include:

  • Fourteen modules that cover basic financial topics and include vibrant graphics and exercises;
  • Expanded content on topics such as mobile banking, reading a pay statement, renting an apartment, and creative ways to save money, as well as updated information on standard topics such as credit reports and scores;
  • Activities that allow participants to practice what they've learned during training and apply it to their own lives;
  • A "Take Action" section that encourages participants to identify at least one thing they plan to do because of what they learned during the training;
  • An updated Guide to Presenting Money Smart for Adults that guides instructors on how to use the Money Smart material effectively, along with supplemental tools and tips for supporting participants with disabilities; and
  • An updated Scenarios for Financial Inclusion supplement featuring individuals with disabilities considering various financial decisions.

11/15/2018

FDIC Board meeting notice

The FDIC has posted the notice of its Board meeting to be held on November 21, 2018.

11/15/2018

OFAC updates Congo sanctions regs

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has published [83 FR 57308] a final rule amending the Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Regulations to implement Executive Order 13671 of July 8, 2014 (“Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”). The rule also incorporates other technical and conforming changes. The amendments are effective immediately.

11/15/2018

OCC releases enforcement actions

The OCC has released a list of new enforcement actions taken against OCC-supervised institutions and individuals formerly affiliated with such institutions. Included were two Cease and Desist orders issued to banks in Miami, Florida, and Lafayette, Ohio; the $100 million Civil Money Penalty Orders issued to Capital One Bank (USA), N.A, and Capital One, NA, reported here on October 24; a Formal Agreement with a Naples, TX bank; and a Prompt Corrective Action Directive issued to a Newark, New Jersey, bank.

There were also four Removal/Prohibition Orders issued to:

  • a former teller at JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (Columbus, OH), found to have misappropriated $80,000 from a vault and manipulated cash totals to conceal the theft;
  • a former personal bankers at JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (Columbus, OH), found to have converted the proceeds of a bank customer's checks to her own use, causing a loss to the bank of $42,000;
  • a former teller at PNC Bank, NA (Wilmington, DE), found to have stolen approximately $21,500 from her cash drawer; and
  • a former customer service and sales representative at Wells Fargo Bank, NA (Sioux Falls, SD), found to have made unauthorized withdrawals totaling $12,800 from a customer's account.

11/14/2018

Treasury targets key terrorism networks

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action Tuesday to target four Hizballah-affiliated individuals who lead and coordinate the group’s operational, intelligence, and financial activities in Iraq.

See our OFAC Update for identifying information on these four designees and other additions to OFAC's SDN List.

11/14/2018

Illinois bank pays $15,000 for Flood Act violations

The Federal Reserve Board has issued an order assessing a $15,000 civil money penalty on an Illinois bank for a pattern or practice of violations of § 208.25 of Regulation H, which implements the National Flood Insurance Act.

11/14/2018

OCC enforcement actions manual released

The OCC's Bulletin 2018-41 was issued Tuesday to announce the agency's Policies and Procedures Manual, Institution-Affiliated Party Enforcement Actions and Related Matters. This manual generally sets forth the OCC’s existing policies and procedures for taking enforcement actions against a current or former institution-affiliated party (IAP) in response to violations of laws, regulations, final agency orders, conditions imposed in writing, or written agreements; unsafe or unsound practices; or breaches of fiduciary duty. The OCC also updated its policies and procedures manuals (PPMs) regarding bank enforcement actions and related matters and civil money penalties, primarily to ensure consistency with its policies and procedures for enforcement actions against IAPs. These PPMs are effective upon issuance.

This bulletin rescinds OCC Bulletin 2016-5, Civil Money Penalties, issued February 26, 2016, and OCC Bulletin 2017-48, Bank Enforcement Actions and Related Matters, issued October 31, 2017.

11/14/2018

Proposed rule on 401(k) hardship distributions

The IRS has published [83 FR 56763] in today's Federal Register proposed amendments to the regulations relating to hardship distributions from section 401(k) plans. The amendments reflect statutory changes affecting section 401(k) plans, including recent changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. These regulations would affect participants in, beneficiaries of, employers maintaining, and administrators of plans that contain cash or deferred arrangements or provide for employee or matching contributions. Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by January 14, 2019.

11/14/2018

Update on FHFA single-security initiative

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued an update on its Single Security Initiative (SSI) and the Common Securitization Platform (CSP) initiative. The report details activity and progress on the development of the CSP and toward the launch of a single, common security called the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS).

11/14/2018

October 2018 SLOOS

The Federal Reserve has issued the October 2018 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices, which addressed changes in the standards and terms on, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the previous three months.

11/14/2018

U.S. Faster Payments Council formed

A group of payments industry leaders has announced the formation of a newly incorporated organization, the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), to work toward the goal of a ubiquitous, world-class payment system that allows Americans to safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, at any time and with near-immediate funds availability. The FPC will be focused on private-sector approaches to solving problems and addressing issues that inhibit adoption of faster payments. Through dialogue, collaboration and education, the FPC will channel its resources toward the most pressing challenges and opportunities.

11/13/2018

FEMA to suspend communities in four states

FEMA has published a final rule [83 FR 56269] identifying communities in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Oregon to be suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program on November 16, 2018, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • Colorado: Towns of Breckenridge and Silverthorne and unincorporated areas of Summit County
  • Iowa: Cities of Bevington, Carlisle, Cumming, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianola, Lacona, Martensdale, Norwalk and Spring Hill and unincorporated areas of Warren County
  • North Carolina: Cities of Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis, and Locust; Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Fairview, Harrisburg, Huntersville, Midland and Stanfield; and unincorporated areas of Iredell, Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties
  • Oregon: Cities of Brookings and Gold Beach and unincorporated areas of Curry County

11/13/2018

OFAC extends general licenses

OFAC has announced the extension of the expiration date of certain general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ). A Treasury spokesperson stated "EN+, RUSAL, and GAZ are proposing substantial corporate governance changes that could potentially result in significant changes in control of these sanctioned entities. As the review of these complex proposals is ongoing, OFAC is extending the expiration date of related licenses until January 7."

11/13/2018

Federal Reserve Supervision and Regulation Report

The Federal Reserve has released its November 2018 Supervision and Regulation Report, which summarizes banking conditions and the Federal Reserve’s supervisory and regulatory activities, in conjunction with semiannual testimony before Congress by the Vice Chairman for Supervision. The report does not reflect the full extent of tailoring of regulations and supervision--required by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA)--which is in varying stages of implementation. Supervisory portfolios are described in their pre-EGRRCPA form. Changes to regulatory thresholds adopted to reflect EGRRCPA are underway and will be reflected in the next report.

11/13/2018

Fed to publish U.S. financial stability report

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it intends to begin publishing a semiannual report presenting the Board's view of the outlook for U.S. financial stability. The Financial Stability Report will include a summary of the Board's framework for assessing the resilience of the U.S. financial system and a discussion of key indicators related to the main financial stability vulnerabilities tracked by the Board: asset valuations, borrowing by businesses and households, leverage in the financial sector, and funding risks. The report is intended to help the public and market participants understand and evaluate the Board's assessment of financial stability conditions.

11/13/2018

OCC OKs closing banks affected by wildfires

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Tuesday that it has issued a proclamation allowing institutions it supervises affected by wildfires and high winds in California to close, and reminded those institutions of the OCC's Bulletin 2012-28, "Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions."

The announcement also included a link to the OCC's Major Disaster News Center page, which includes information for consumers and other bank customers impacted by disasters.

11/09/2018

Treasury targets supporters of Russian occupation of Crimea and control of Eastern Ukraine

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Thursday it had imposed additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continuing malign activity and destabilizing behavior by designating three individuals and nine entities under Ukraine-related authorities. These designations include two individuals and one entity engaged in serious human rights abuses under the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014 (SSIDES), as amended by Section 228 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). OFAC also imposed sanctions on eight entities and one individual that were responsible for advancing Russian interests by operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13685 as codified pursuant to CAATSA, and which authorizes sanctions on, among others, any person determined to operate in the Crimea region of Ukraine. One of these eight entities is also being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13661 for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Bank Rossiya and Yuri Valentinovich Kovalchuk, persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the E.O. 13661.

As a result of Thursday’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For identifying information on the individuals and entities targeting in OFAC's action, as well as several administrative updates to OFAC's SDN List, see our OFAC Update.

11/09/2018

FHFA and Bureau release mortgage origination dataset

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) have released for public use a new loan-level dataset collected through the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) that provides insights into borrowers’ experiences in getting a residential mortgage.

The NSMO is a component of the National Mortgage Database (NMDB®), the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information designed to support policymaking and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends. The NMDB was launched by FHFA and the BCFP in 2012.

In each quarter since 2014, FHFA and the BCFP sent surveys to borrowers who had recently obtained mortgages to gather feedback on their experiences during the process of getting a mortgage, their perception of the mortgage market, and their future expectations. FHFA and the BCFP have been compiling the NSMO survey data and this dataset is the first public release.

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