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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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CFPB settles suit against Freedom Debt Relief

The CFPB has announced it has settled its 2017 lawsuit against Freedom Debit Relief, LLC, the nation’s largest debt-settlement services provider. The company agreed to pay $20 million in restitution to affected consumers and a $5 million civil money penalty. The Bureau’s lawsuit alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by charging advance fees and failing to inform consumers of their rights to funds they deposited with the company. The Bureau also alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by charging consumers without settling their debts as promised, charging consumers after having them negotiate their own settlements with creditors, and misleading consumers about the company’s fees and its ability to negotiate directly with all of a consumer’s creditors.

The company has also agreed to a consent order with the FDIC. The Bureau will remit $493,500 of the $5 million civil penalty it assessed in light of the penalty that the company was ordered to pay the FDIC. This settlement is subject to approval by the court.


Treasury targets Hizballah officials

The Treasury Department reports that OFAC designated on Tuesday three Hizballah political and security figures leveraging their privileged positions to facilitate Hizballah’s malign agenda and do Iran’s bidding. Specifically, OFAC designated Hizballah Members of Parliament Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and Hizballah security official Wafiq Safa, for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah. These individuals were designated under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

As a result of Tuesday’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. For identification details, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


Federal Reserve Board CRA evaluations

The Federal Reserve Board's database of Community Reinvestment Act evaluations and ratings includes 18 entries for ratings made public in June 2019, fourteen of which were "Satisfactory."

These four banks received "Outstanding" ratings:


FATF risk assessment guidance

The FATF requires each member country to identify, assess and understand the terrorist financing risks it faces in order to mitigate them and effectively dismantle and disrupt terrorist networks. Countries often face particular challenges in assessing terrorist financing risks due to the low value of funds or other assets used in many instances, and the wide variety of sectors misused for the purpose of financing terrorism. The FATF has issued "Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Guidance," which aims to assist practitioners, particularly those in lower capacity countries, in assessing terrorist financing risk at the jurisdiction level by providing good approaches, relevant information sources and practical examples based on country experience.


Bureau publishes Fair Lending Report to Congress

The CFPB has published at 84 FR 32420 its seventh Fair Lending Report to Congress. The report describes the Bureau's fair lending activities in prioritization, supervision, enforcement, rulemaking, interagency coordination, and outreach for calendar year 2018.


US-EU Financial Regulatory Forum statement

U.S. and European participants in the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum met on June 25–26, 2019, in Brussels to exchange views on financial regulatory developments as part of their ongoing regulatory dialogue. U.S. participants included officials from Treasury, the Fed, FDIC, SEC, OCC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the area of banking, participants discussed implementation of the final Basel III reforms, recent developments regarding host-country regulation of foreign banks, and resolution planning for global systemically important banks. For the U.S., topics included the recent U.S. proposal on foreign banking organizations, and the treatment of foreign funds under the Volcker Rule. For the EU, topics included elements for the completion of the Banking Union, including risk reduction and risk sharing. The participants acknowledged the importance of the Forum in fostering ongoing dialogue between the U.S. and the EU. A cooperative approach to the supervision and regulation of financial services should foster financial stability, investor protection, market integrity, and a level playing field.


OFAC targets Cuban supporter of Maduro regime

On Wednesday, the Department of the Treasury announced OFAC had designated Cubametales, the Cuban state-run oil import and export company, for its continued importation of oil from Venezuela. Cuba, in exchange for this oil, continues to provide support, including defense, intelligence, and security assistance, to the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro.

OFAC also delisted PB Tankers S.p.A. and its vessels. PB Tankers ended its charter agreement with Cubametales and took other steps to increase scrutiny of its business operations to prevent future sanctionable activity.

For identity information on Cubametales and on the listings removed by OFAC, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


FDIC CRA evaluations

The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in April 2019. Of the 91 banks listed, 85 received a Satisfactory rating, two obtained a Needs to Improve rating, and these four were rated Outstanding:


OCC CRA evaluations

The OCC has released a list of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public in June. Twenty-three institutions were evaluated. Eighteen were rated satisfactory and the following five received outstanding ratings:


OFAC adds to its SDN List

The names of an individual and an entity have been added to OFAC's SDN List under its anti-terrorism program. A listing for another entity under that program was also updated. For details, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


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