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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.)

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NCUA Board to meet Thursday

The NCUA has published [84 FR 33787] a notice of the 10:00 a.m. July 18, 2019, open meeting of its Board. Among other matters for discussion, the Board will consider NCUA rules on fidelity bonds, guidance regarding prohibitions imposed by statute, and NCUA rules on real estate appraisals.


Student loan debt relief scheme stopped by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped a student loan debt relief scheme, alleging it bilked more than $23 million from thousands of consumers with false claims that it would service and pay down their student loans. After the FTC filed a complaint seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court order halted the scheme and froze its assets. The complaint stated that, since at least 2014, the operators of Mission Hills Federal and Federal Direct Group have lured consumers into paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in illegal upfront fees with false promises to lower consumers’ monthly student loan payments. The defendants also allegedly tricked consumers into submitting their monthly student loan payments directly to the defendants by falsely claiming to take over servicing the consumers’ loans. In reality, the defendants either only applied minimal payments on consumers’ loans or, in many instances, applied none of the payments to the loans, diverting consumers’ payments to themselves.


Venezuela’s counterintelligence agency designated

OFAC has announced the designation of the Government of Venezuela’s General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, or La Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar, most commonly known as the DGCIM. As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of this entity, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by this entity, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Identification information on the DGCIM is included in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


National Fair Housing Training Academy launched

HUD has announced it is partnering with the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., to develop the National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA). The Academy will prepare fair housing advocates, lawyers, investigators, and other stakeholders on effective strategies and techniques for addressing discriminatory housing policies and practices throughout the nation.

John Marshall Law School will receive $1.5 million over the next two years under HUD’s Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building grant program and will provide training related to civil rights history, current trends in housing discrimination, and investigating housing discrimination complaints. Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., which partners with governmental agencies to promote social, economic, and environmental resilience, will receive nearly $1.5 million over the next two years to assist HUD in revolutionizing the way the Academy offers fair housing training throughout the nation, including launching an online platform to deliver trainings more effectively while resulting in significant cost savings to taxpayers.


Veteran with assistance animal denied housing

HUD has announced the filing of a charge of discrimination against a Maine apartment owner who denied a veteran with disabilities the right to keep his assistance animal.


Parts of FDIC Procedures Manual released

FDIC FIL 38-2019, issued yesterday, announces the posting of sections of the FDIC Applications Procedures Manual (manual) to its website to provide greater transparency regarding the FDIC's internal processes. The manual provides direction for FDIC professional staff assigned to review and process applications, notices, and other requests (filings) submitted to the FDIC. This is the first in a series of releases that will eventually include the complete manual, and each subsequent release will include multiple sections governing specific filing types. The manual does not establish supervisory requirements and is not industry guidance.

  • This initial release includes an Applications Overview section that addresses processing timeframes, filing receipt and acknowledgment, filing acceptance, review and evaluation of filing content, document preparation, delegations of authority, and other pertinent topics that are generally applicable to most types of filings.
  • The release also contains separate sections covering certain specific filing types, including federal deposit insurance, mergers, change in control, branch establishment, branch relocation, and branch closings.

The manual will be updated periodically for changes in laws, regulations, or processes. Additional resources related to the filing process are available on the FDIC's website.


Texas landlords face discrimination charge

HUD has announced that it is charging Plano, Texas, landlords Quang Dangtran, his wife, Ha Nguyen, and HQD Enterprise, LLC with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to lease a room to a prospective tenant because she is black.


FDIC Board to meet Tuesday

The FDIC Board has posted a notice of a meeting in open session at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 16. On the agenda are memoranda and resolutions on:

  • a Final Rule to amend 12 CFR Part 370, "Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination"
  • a Final Rule on Joint Deposit Accounts
  • a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking amending the Securitization Safe Harbor Rule


Community banks exempted from the Volcker Rule

The Fed, FDIC, OCC, SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have announced the adoption of a final rule to exclude community banks from the Volcker Rule, consistent with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Under the final rule, community banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5 percent or less of total consolidated assets are excluded from the Volcker Rule.

The final rule also permits a hedge fund or private equity fund, under certain circumstances, to share the same name or a variation of the same name with an investment adviser as long as the adviser is not an insured depository institution, a company that controls an insured depository institution, or a bank holding company. The amendments in the final rule will be effective on publication.


Regulatory capital rules simplified

A joint press release from the Fed, FDIC, and OCC has announced a final rule that reduces regulatory burden by simplifying several requirements in the agencies' regulatory capital rules. The simplifications in the final rule only apply to banking organizations that do not use the "advanced approaches" capital framework, which are generally firms with less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets and less than $10 billion in total foreign exposure. The final rule will be effective as of April 1, 2020, for the amendments to simplify capital rules, and as of October 1, 2019, for revisions to the pre-approval requirements for the redemption of common stock and other technical amendments.


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