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Top Stories for August 2003

  • Two New Burma General Licenses Issued

    OFAC has issued two new General Licenses under the Burma sanctions program. Information regarding the new licenses has been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/29/03

  • Reg CC Amendments Announced

    The FRB has announced amendments to Appendix A of Regulation CC, effective November 1, 2003, that reflect the restructuring of the Federal Reserve's check processing operations in the Fourth District. As a result, some checks deposited in the affected regions that currently are nonlocal checks will become local checks that are subject to shorter permissible hold periods.Reg CC Amendment 8/29/03

  • Removal Orders and CMPs Issued

    The FDIC has announced the issuance of removal and prohibition orders in addition to imposing civil money penalties against bankers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Tennessee. Illinois Bankers    Wisconsin Banker    Minnesota Banker    Tennessee Banker    Tennessee Banker 8/29/03

  • FRB Proposes Changes to the Anti-Tying Restrictions

    The proposed exception provides that a financial subsidiary of a state nonmember bank shall be treated as an affiliate of the bank, and not as a subsidiary of the bank, for purposes of section 106. The anti-tying restrictions of section 106 generally apply to subsidiaries, but not affiliates, of banks. 68FR51938 (txt) 68FR51938 (pdf) 8/29/03

  • $3 Million CMP for Anti-Tying Violations

    The FRB has announced the issuance of a Combined Consent Order to Cease and Desist and an Order of Assessment of a civil money penalty in the amount of $3 Million against WestLB AG, Dusseldorf, Germany, and its New York Branch for violations of anti-tying restrictions of the Bank Holding Company Act and related unsafe and unsound banking practices.FRB Order 8/28/03

  • 23 Enforcement Actions Announced

    The OCC has announced 23 new enforcement actions taken against national banks and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks. Enforcement Actions 8/28/03

  • 35 CRA Evaluations Released

    The OCC has released the CRA performance evaluations for the period of July 15, 2003 through August 14, 2003. Of the 35 evaluations made public this month, 6 were outstanding, 28 were satisfactory and 1 was needs to improve. CRA Evaluations 8/28/03

  • OCC Bulletin Regarding Guidance

    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2003-37 concerning the publication in the Federal Register by the financial regulators of proposed interagency guidance on response programs for unauthorized access to customer information and customer notice. Information regarding the proposed guidance was featured in BOL Top Stories on August 12, 2003. 8/28/03

  • FRB Publishes August Working Papers

    The FRB has published the August edition of the working papers in the Finance and Economic Discussion Series. Topics include: An Empirical Test of a Two-Factor Mortgage Valuation Model: How Much Do House Prices Matter?; Inflation Scares and Forecast-Based Monetary Policy; and Volatility Puzzles: A Unified Framework for Gauging Return-Volatility Regressions.Empirical Test Monetary Policy Volatility Puzzles 8/27/03

  • Prelim 2nd Quarter Interest Rate Risk Data

    The OTS has released preliminary interest rate risk measures for the second quarter of 2003.
    Interest Rate Data 8/27/03

  • Addition and Updates to SDN List

    OFAC has added one new entry and updated four others. Information regarding the addition and the updates has been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/25/03

  • Anti-Tying Comment Period Starts

    The FRB has announced it will accept comments until September 30, 2003 on proposed interpretations to the anti-tying restrictions of the BHC and Reg Y. The interpretations provide a comprehensive guide to the restrictions and a new exception for subsidiaries of state nonmember banks.FRB Interpretation    FRB Comment Request    OCC Statement 8/26/03

  • Don't Let Your Customers Be Duped

    Help spread the word about a scam involving the FTC's Do Not Call program. Advertisements are running nationwide urging consumers to call an 800 number and pay only $2.95 to sign up on the system. The ads are not from the FTC who does not charge a fee for the service.FTC Warning 8/26/03

  • FRB Publishes Adjusted Dollar Amount for Reg Z

    The FRB is required to adjust annually the dollar amount that triggers requirements for certain home mortgage loans bearing fees above a certain amount. The adjusted dollar amount for 2004 is $499.
    68FR50965 (txt) 68FR50965 (pdf) 8/25/03

  • Updating FinCEN Search Contact Point

    FinCEN has disseminated directions for financial institutions to follow in the event they need to update, change, add, or delete the institution’s point of contact information on FinCEN’s distribution list for receiving Section 314(a) search requests.
    FinCEN 8/25/03

  • ABA Helps Secure Fax Regs Delay

    As a result of efforts by the ABA and other organizations and associations, the FCC has delayed the effective date for regulations that require prior written permission for commercial faxes until January 1, 2005. Originally, those regulations were scheduled to take effect August 25, 2003. Regardless of the extension, however, fax transmitters still must obtain prior express permission from fax recipients with whom they do not have established business relationships.FCC News Release    FCC's reconsideration order 8/25/03

  • Hamas Entities and Leaders Designated SDGTs

    The President has announced the designation of five Hamas related charities and six leaders as SDGTs, the freezing of their assets in the U.S. and prohibiting transactions with U.S. nationals. Details of the designations can be found on the BOL OFAC Page. 8/25/03

  • OTS Regional Financial Management Seminars

    The Office of Thrift Supervision has scheduled three more regional seminars to be held during October 2003 in Columbus, Ohio; Warwick, Rhode Island; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to cover an Industry Overview, Accounting Updates, Examination Updates, Regulatory Capital Update, Interest Rate Risk and Capital Markets Update, and Audit Update. OTS SeminarsRegistration Form 8/25/03

  • Two Additional Burma General Licenses Issued

    OFAC has issued two additional General Licenses under the Burma sanctions program. Information regarding the new licenses has been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/25/03

  • FDIC Issues Final Rule Governing Filing Procedures

    The changes to Part 303 and the technical corrections to other regulations in Chapter III clarify: The rules relating to time period commencements; The FDIC's response time for certain filings; The required rating for expedited processing for thrift and thrift holding company filings; That the acquisition of control of a parent company of a state nonmember bank generally requires a change in control notice; and The certification to be made by an insured depository institution relating to golden parachute payments. FDIC:FIL-67-2003 68FR50457 (txt) 68FR50457 (pdf) 8/22/03

  • Strengthening Financial Risk Management at the FDIC

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation engaged McKinsey & Company to perform a review of its reserving methodology and processes as well as other financial risk management practices. The resulting report is posted on the FDIC website. Report 8/22/03

  • Flood Violation Civil Money Penalty

    The FRB has announced the issuance of a consent Order of Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty in the amount of $5,250 against the Community State Bank, Villa, Indiana for alleged violations of the National Flood Insurance Act.
    FRB Civil Money Penalty     Flood Training 8/21/03

  • Revised Exam Procedures Available Online

    The FDIC has placed the revised compliance examination procedures which superseded sections of the Compliance Examination Manual on its web site. FDIC Revised Procedures Online 8/21/03

  • Cashier's Checks Special Alert

    The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on Peninsula Bank, Englewood, Florida. Information regarding the counterfeit items and contact information has been placed on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 8/21/03

  • Late Return Dispute Resolution

    The Federal Reserve has established procedures to assist depository institutions in the resolution of late claim disputes including an enhanced sign-on method for payor bank/deposit services and check adjustments via FedLine for the Web.FRB Financial Services 8/21/03

  • U.S. International Reserve Position

    Treasury has released the U.S. reserve assets data for the week ending August 15, 2003. Reserve Position 8/21/03

  • G.20 Finance Companies Report

    The FRB has released the June 2003 G.20 Finance Report regarding owned and managed receivables.G.20 8/21/03

  • Thrifts Set Earnings Records

    The OTS has announced that in the second quarter of 2003 the nation's thrift industry set records for net income, profitability, equity capital and mortgage originations.OTS Records 8/21/03

  • 2004 HOEPA Trigger Established

    The FRB has announced the 2004 adjustment to the dollar amount that triggers HOEPA for home mortgage loans when total points and fees payable by the consumer exceed the fee-based trigger which is adjusted annually. FRB HOEPA Trigger 8/20/03

  • Disciplinary Actions Against Accountants

    The FDIC has issued FIL-66-2003 concerning the interagency final rules that establish procedures under which the agencies can remove, suspend, or bar an accountant or firm from performing audit and attestation services for insured depository institutions. Information regarding the final rules was previously featured in BOL Top Stories on August 13, 2003. 8/19/03

  • FIL Regarding OFAC Changes

    The FDIC has issued FIL-65-2003 regarding the addition of one corporation to the SDNT list and the designation of two individuals as SDGTs. The information concerning the OFAC changes was added on August 8, 2003 to the BOL OFAC Page. 8/19/03

  • September HOEPA APR Reference Rates

    The Federal Reserve has posted the new reference rates which lenders must use to determine if loans for which applications are received in September will be subject to HOEPA under the APR trigger test. Use the FRB H.15 to find applicable release which lists the Treasury Security with the same maturity term as your loan. To make the calculation, you use the yield in effect on the 15th of the month that precedes the month you received the application.
    H.15 Daily Rates    H. 15 Weekly Rates 8/19/03

  • August Financial Holding Company List

    The FRB has issued the August 1, 2003 list of bank holding companies that have elected to become financial holding companies or be treated as financial holding companies. FRB FHC List 8/19/03

  • Burma Program New Licenses Issued

    OFAC has issued five new general licenses under the Burmese sanctions program. Details regarding the new licenses have been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/18/03

  • SDGT Added and Three Entries Updated

    A foreign terrorist organization has been listed as a SDGT and three existing entries have been updated by OFAC. Information regarding the listing and the updates has been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/18/03

  • July 2003 G.17 Report

    The FRB has released the G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report for July 2003.G.17 8/18/03

  • Bank Lending Practices Survey Results

    The results of the August 2003 senior loan officer opinion survey on bank lending practices has been released by the FRB. FRB PR Full Report 8/18/03

  • OTS Issues Cost of Funds Reports

    The OTS has issued reports regarding the national average cost of funds ratio to OTS regulated SAIF insured institutions.June 2003 Report Historical Report 8/18/03

  • Federal Agency Lockbox Service Opportunities

    The Financial Management Service has published an Invitation for Expressions of Interest for the General Lockbox Network. Any qualified financial institution that is interested in providing general lockbox services to Federal government agencies must submit a notice of intention to respond.FMS Lockbox Invitation 8/18/03

  • OCC Issues Final Rule to Promote Public Welfare

    This final rule updates the regulation to reflect the additional types of public welfare investment structures that have become more common in recent years and that are permissible under the governing statute. 68FR48771 (txt) 68FR48771 (pdf) 8/15/03

  • FIL Regarding Burma Sanctions

    The FDIC has issued FIL-64-2003 concerning an Executive Order issued by the President with respect to Burma (Myanmar) that added four new entries to the SDN list, blocked property of the government of Burma, and prohibited certain transactions. Information regarding the Executive Order was previously included in BOL TOP Stories on July 30, 2003. 8/15/03

  • Counterfeit Money Orders Special Alert

    The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding counterfeit money orders drawn on The Monongahela Valley Bank, Inc., Fairmont, West Virginia. The counterfeit money orders contain a misspelled word and are printed on the wrong color stock. Information regarding the money orders and contact information has been placed on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 8/15/03

  • FRB Finance and Economics Working Papers

    Eleven new working papers in the Finance and Economics Discussion series are now available on the FRB Web site. Topics range from "Economic and Regulatory Capital Allocation for Revolving Retail Exposures" to "Inflation Persistence and Relative Contracting".FRB Working Papers 8/14/03

  • Accountants Rule Published in Federal Register

    Section 36, as implemented by 12 CFR part 363, requires that each insured depository institution with total assets of $500 million or more obtain an audit of its financial statements and an attestation on management's assertions concerning internal controls over financial reporting by an independent public accountant (accountant). The insured depository institution must include the accountant's audit and attestation reports in its annual report. This was previously published in BOL Top Stories on August 11th. 68FR48256 (txt) 68FR48256 (pdf) 8/13/03

  • HMDA 2004 Training Presentation

    FFIEC has placed a training presentation regarding HMDA 2004 and the revisions to Reg C on its Web site.FFIEC HMDA Training 8/13/03

  • ID Theft Notification Program Comments

    Financial regulators have requested comments on a proposed interagency guidance that would require financial institutions to develop a response program to protect against risks to customer information which includes procedures for the notification of customers whose information may have been compromised. Interagency Guidance  FDIC PR   FDIC FIL   OCC NR   FRB PR   OTS PR 8/13/03

  • U.S. International Reserve Position Released

    Treasury has released the U.S. reserve assets data for the week ending August 8, 2003.Reserve Position 8/13/03

  • Fed Funds Target Rate Set

    The Federal Open Market Committee has set the target rate for federal funds.Target Rate 8/13/03

  • Interagency Guidance on Response Programs

    The Agencies are requesting comment on proposed guidance entitled Interagency Guidance on Response Programs for Unauthorized Access to Customer Information and Customer Notice. 68FR47954 (txt) 8/12/03

  • Credit Repair Firm to Pay $1.15 Million

    One of the country's largest credit-repair operations has agreed to pay more than $1.15 million in consumer redress to settle FTC charges that it violated federal law by falsely claiming that it could remove derogatory information from consumers’ credit reports, even if that information was accurate and not obsolete. FTC Complaint Settlement 8/12/03

  • OCC Issues Liquidity Management Bulletin

    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2003-36 regarding the "Interagency Advisory on the Use of the Federal Reserve's Primary Credit Program in Effective Liquidity Management" which was previously issued by the financial regulators. Information concerning the advisory was published in BOL Top Stories on July 24, 2003. 8/12/03

  • OFAC Adds New SDN and Two SDGTs

    OFAC has blocked the property and interests of a new SDN entity and two new individuals have been added as SDGTs. Information regarding the new listings has been placed on the BOL OFAC page. 8/11/03

  • Regulators Can Discipline Outside Auditors

    The financial regulators have issued final rules governing their authority to take disciplinary actions against independent public accountants and accounting firms that perform audit and attestation services required by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.   Joint Final Rule  FRB PR  OCC NR 2003-62   OTS 03-25   FDIC PR-77-2003 8/11/03

  • Guidelines for Real Estate Lending Policies

    The OCC has issued an advisory letter regarding the reiterated and expanded guidance contained in its Commercial Real Estate and Construction Lending booklet. Finished lot loans, risk management insurance products and nonconforming loan amounts are addressed by the guidance. OCC AL 2003-7 8/11/03

  • Thrift Activities Handbook Updated

    OTS has issued a regulatory bulletin regarding the update of the Operations Analysis section of the Thrift Activities Regulatory Handbook. OTS RB-32-39 8/11/03

  • Counterfeit Cashier's Checks Special Alert

    The FDIC has issued a Special Alert regarding counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on Klein Bank, Spring, Texas and The Peoples State Bank, Clyde, Texas. Information regarding the checks and contact information has been placed on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page. 8/11/03

  • FinCEN Seeks Comments on Strategic Plan

    FinCEN has published a draft of its 2003-2008 Strategic Plan. Comments are sought from all parties that might be affected or interested.FinCEN Strategic Plan 8/11/03

  • ECOA Adverse Action New Address

    The OCC has announced that its Customer Assistance Group has a new address. Banks should begin using the new address in adverse action notices required under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act as soon as practicable.OCC Bulletin 2003-33 8/8/03

  • OCC Bulletin Regarding NPR

    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2003-35 announcing the publication in the Federal Register on August 5 of a notice of proposed rulemaking on bank activities and operations; and real estate lending and appraisals. The publication of the NPR was previously reported in BOL Top Stories. 8/8/03

  • OCC Issues Reg C Transition Bulletin

    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2003-34 regarding the prior issuance by the FRB of final transition rules for Reg C. Information regarding the final rule was previously announced in the May 28, 2003 BOL Top Stories. 8/8/03

  • Bank Directors and Corporate Governance

    The role of the board of directors in the control process and how they can become more informed were two of the many topics relating to corporate governance that were discussed by FRB Governor Bies at the Community Bank Directors Conference. She also reviewed the risks that can occur at community banks without effective governance.
    Speech 8/8/03

  • Consumer Credit Report Released

    The FRB has released the G.19 Consumer Credit Report for June 2003.G.19 8/8/03

  • CRA Evaluations Released

    The FDIC has issued the list of state nonmember banks evaluated in May 2003 for compliance with CRA. Of the 157 banks evaluated, 14 received an outstanding rating and the remainder were rated satisfactory.CRA List 8/7/03

  • Director Nomination Disclosures Proposed

    The SEC has proposed rule changes that would strengthen disclosure requirements relating to nomination of directors and shareholder communications with directors. The changes result from an internal study conducted by the SEC staff. Information regarding the study was previously reported in BOL Top Stories on July 14, 2003. SEC PR 8/7/03

  • NCUA Continues Interest Rate Ceiling

    The current 18 percent per year federal credit union maximum loan rate was scheduled to revert to 15 percent on September 9, 2003 The NCUA Board has continued the current ceiling through March 8, 2005. 68FR46439 (txt) 68FR46439 (pdf) 8/6/03

  • Weekly Reserve Position Data Released

    Treasury has released the U.S. International reserve assets data for the week ending August 1, 2003. International Reserve Position 8/6/03

  • Bogus IDs Cases Settled

    The FTC has announced the settlement of the cases against two companies who were marketing fake international driver's permits. The firms claimed the IDPs, which were marketed on a Web site, were valid as driver's licenses in all states and also would serve as government issued photo identification. FTC PR   Settlement Order 8/6/03

  • Advance Fee Loan Operation Shut Down

    The FTC has settled a complaint it filed against a New York loan office that used newspaper classified ads and an Internet Web site to induce consumers to pay an advance fee ranging from $50 to $300 to obtain a guaranteed loan of a desired amount regardless of the consumer.s credit history. The company falsely advertised a full refund if the consumer did not get the promised loan.  FTC PR  Settlement 8/6/03

  • Comments Requested on Applicability of State Law to National Banks

    The OCC proposes to amend parts 7 and 34 of their regulations to add provisions clarifying the applicability of state law to national banks. These provisions would identify types of state laws that are preempted, as well as types of state laws that generally are not preempted, in the context of national bank lending, deposit-taking, and other authorized activities. 68FR46119 (txt) 68FR46119 (pdf) 8/5/03

  • Comments Sought On Basel Accord ANPR

    The financial regulators have issued a joint ANPR and request for comments regarding the proposed implementation of the new Basel Capital Accord in the United States. Information regarding the ANPR was previously reported in BOL Top Stories on July 14.   FRB PR    OCC NR 2003-61    OTS 03-24    FDIC-PR-75-2003    FDIC FIL-62-2003    FDIC FIL-61-2003    ANPR    Draft Guidance 8/5/03

  • August 1 FHC List Released

    The FRB has released the August 1, 2003 list of bank holding companies that have become or have elected to be treated as financial holding companies under the provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act.  FHC List 8/5/03

  • Agencies Issue Sound Practices Paper

    The FRB, OCC and SEC have issued an "Interagency Paper on Sound Practices to Strengthen the Resilience of the U.S. Financial System" which identifies sound practices to strengthen the resilience of critical U.S. financial markets.  Interagency Paper    OCC NR 2003-28 8/5/03

  • June Asset and Price Liability Tables Available

    The Asset and Price Liability Tables for June 30, 2003 have been released by OTS.  Asset -Liability Tables 8/5/03

  • FedImage Retrieval Pricing Options Change

    Effective September 1, 2003, FedImage Retrieval customers will have the option to change the way they pay for retrieving check images stored in our image archive. This new option allows customers to elect to pay for retrieval services through a per retrieval fee or through a new subscription retrieval service. The subscription retrieval service applies a fee across each image archived rather than paying on a per-retrieval basis. You can then retrieve images without an additional retrieval fee. The per-item fee varies depending on your monthly retrieval rates. Federal Reserve Financial Services Announcement 8/4/03

  • OCC Orders Bank to Refund Fees

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has entered into a formal agreement with First Consumers National Bank, Beaverton, Oregon, that requires the Bank to refund various credit card fees to customers. The agreement requires the Bank to refund annual fees on Bank-issued credit cards charged to customers on or after a particular date when the Bank knew it would have to liquidate its credit card portfolio and it should have informed customers of that fact when they renewed or initiated their credit cards. The OCC asserted that the Bank’s failure to do inform customers was an unfair and deceptive practice. The amount of annual fee refunds is approximately $1.65 million. NR 2003-60 Formal Agreement 8/4/03

  • FDIC Warns of Entity Advertising Unlawfully

    The FDIC has issued an alert regarding Fidelity Financial Trust, an entity unlawfully advertising FDIC membership on its Internet Web site. The Web site for the entity indicates that its main office is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The FDIC does not insure this entity nor any products or services that it offers. SA-45-2003. ) 8/4/03

  • 2002 HMDA Data Available<

    Data regarding mortgage lending transactions for the year 2002 at 7,771 financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act has now been made available online by the FFIEC. These data include disclosure statements for each financial institution, aggregate data for each metropolitan area, and nationwide summary statistics regarding lending patterns. FFIEC Press Release. (Includes links to Tables) 8/4/03

  • FCRA-Related Changes in Works?

    Secretary of the Treasury John Snow testified before the Senate Banking Committee on strengthening the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Among the proposals being considered are free credit reports upon request; a National Security Alert System; a system for having bank regulators watch for red flags indicative of fraud; a prohibition on the sale or transfer of ID theft debt; and giving FTC the authority to adopt rules requiring adverse action notices to be given when an applicant's credit score results in their being offered less favorable rates. Treasury Press Release 8/4/03

  • CRA Data Available on Small Biz and Farm Lending

    The FFIEC announced that the 2002 data is now available on small business, small farm, and community development lending reported by commercial banks and thrifts. The 2002 CRA data reflect originations and purchases of small business, small farm, and community development loans from 1,986 institutions, including 1,495 commercial banks and 491 savings associations. FFIEC Press Release 8/4/03

  • OCC Proposes Predatory Lending Rule

    The OCC is proposing proposed a new regulation that would clarify what types of state laws apply to national banks and would establish a strong anti-predatory lending standard. In a related action, the OCC announced its position that the Georgia Fair Lending Law does not apply to nationally chartered banks or to national bank operating subsidiaries.   Release 2003-59   Statement From The Comptroller    Georgia Preemption Order    NPRM    Q&As - Georgia (GFLA)    Q&As - NPRM    OCC Working Paper 8/1/03

  • FDIC & NCUA Issue Advance Fee Scam Alerts

    The FDIC and NCUA each put out an alert relating to fraudulent activities involving the use of official financial institution logos in newspaper advertisements. This practice is believed to affect as many as 50 financial institutions. Fraudulent ads for various types of loans are being used to dupe unwitting victims into believing they will be dealing with a legitimate financial institution. They are asked to pay an advance fee, and must, as part of the application process, reveal personal information, such as Social Security numbers, that could be used for ID theft. No loan proceeds are actually advanced, and the scammers escape with the advance fees.   SA-44-2003   NCUA Advisory

  • FDIC Call and Thrift Financial Reports

    Preliminary data for June 30, 2003, are now available. FDIC 8/1/03

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