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Top Story Compliance Related

11/10/2020

FinCEN advisory on FATF jurisdiction list

FinCEN has issued FIN-2020-A009, an "Advisory on the Financial Action Task Force-Identified Jurisdictions with Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism, and Proliferation Deficiencies."

  • Iran and North Korea continue to be listed by FATF as "high-risk" jurisdictions.
  • Iceland and Mongolia have been removed from FATF's "Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring" statement
  • Remaining on the "Increased Monitoring" list are Albania, The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe (some countries did not report their actions on its reforms because of the COVID-18 pandemic, and the list may not reflect their current status).

Financial institutions filing SARs with a connection to the advisory should include the key term "October 2020 FATF FIN-2020-A009” in SAR field 2 (Filing Institution Note to FinCEN) and the narrative.

11/09/2020

Treasury targets corrupt Lebanese official

The Department of the Treasury has announced that OFAC has sanction Gibran Bassil the president of the Free Patriotic Movement political party and member of the Lebanese parliament for his role in corruption. For detailed identification information on Bassil, see BankersOnline's November 6, 2020, OFAC Update

11/06/2020

Driver Loan, LLC and CEO subjects of Bureau suit

The CFPB has announced it has filed a lawsuit against Driver Loan, LLC, and its Chief Executive Officer, Angelo Jose Sarjeant, for allegedly engaging in deceptive acts or practices in taking deposits from and offering credit to consumers.

Driver Loan, based in Doral, Florida, offers short-term, high-interest loans to consumers funded by deposits made by other consumers. The Bureau alleges that Driver Loan and Sarjeant violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) by misrepresenting the risks associated with the deposit product it offered to consumers and by misrepresenting the annual percentage rate (APR) for extensions of credit it offered to other consumers. The Bureau’s complaint alleges that since 2017, Driver Loan purports to have offered short-term, high-interest personal loans totaling over $30 million, typically to drivers who work with ride-share companies. The loans range from $100 to $500 each and are repayable in 15 daily installments. The Bureau alleges that Driver Loan deceptively markets its loans as having an APR of 440% when the actual APRs are about 975%.

11/06/2020

Bureau files complaint against student loan debt relief companies

The CFPB yesterday filed a complaint against Performance SLC, LLC (PSLC), a California debt-relief business focused on federal student loan debt; Performance Settlement, LLC (PSettlement), a California debt-settlement company; and Daniel Crenshaw, the owner and CEO of the two companies.

The Bureau alleges that PSLC and Crenshaw charged illegal advance fees in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to student loan borrowers seeking to obtain loan consolidation, loan forgiveness, or income-driven repayment plans for their federal student loans, and that PSLC failed to make required disclosures to certain consumers in violation of the TSR. The Bureau also alleges that PSettlement and Crenshaw used deceptive tactics in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in order to induce consumers to sign up for PSettlement’s services. The complaint seeks redress to consumers, injunctive relief, and the imposition of civil money penalties against the defendants.

11/06/2020

CFPB issues no-action letter to BofA

The CFPB announced yesterday it has granted a no-action letter (NAL) to Bank of America, N.A. regarding certain small-dollar credit products. The NAL provides increased regulatory certainty that the Bureau will not bring a supervisory or enforcement action against a company for providing a product or service under certain facts and circumstances. Bank of America’s NAL application is based on the NAL Template issued by the Bureau on May 22, 2020 in response to an application from the Bank Policy Institute. The Bureau approved the NAL Template to further competition in the small-dollar lending space, which fosters access to credit while including important protections for consumers who seek small-dollar loan products.

11/06/2020

FinCEN renews GTOs

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced the renewal of its 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 renewed GTOs are identical to the May 2020 GTOs. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. The terms of this Order are effective beginning November 6, 2020 and ending on May 4, 2021.

The new GTOs cover certain counties within these major U.S. metropolitan areas: Boston; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

FinCEN's GTOs do not require banks to take any action. We report on them because they may affect a bank's customers.

11/06/2020

OCC Director’s Toolkit updated

The OCC has announced the update of its Director’s Toolkit to help bank directors for national banks and federal savings associations fulfill their corporate governance responsibilities. The Toolkit is a helpful guide for bank directors on strategic issues, risk management, and compliance responsibilities. The updated toolkit includes a revised Director's Book: Role of Directors for National Banks and Federal Savings Associations and adds a new publication, the Director’s Reference Guide to Board Reports and Information.

11/05/2020

FDIC CRA ratings released

The FDIC has posted a list of 72 banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in August 2020. Sixty-six banks received a Satisfactory rating, and we congratulate the following six banks, which were rated Outstanding:

11/05/2020

Servicemembers consumer protection webinar

The NCUA and the CFPB will co-host a webinar on financial literacy and consumer financial protections for servicemembers. The November 18 “Financial Readiness Resources and Information for Servicemembers, Veterans, and their Families" webinar is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET and run approximately 45 minutes. Participants will be able to log into the webinar and view it on their computers or mobile devices using the registration link. Registration is now open.

The NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection will share financial literacy resources for servicemembers and their families on MyCreditUnion.gov, and provide a brief overview of servicemember consumer financial protection laws and regulations. The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs will highlight their interactive learning tools and resources for servicemembers and their families.

11/03/2020

SMART payment plan deception ends in CFPB settlement

The CFPB has issued a consent order against SMART Payment Plan, LLC (Austin, Texas), after finding that the company's disclosures of its loan accelerator program were misleading and in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act's prohibition against deceptive acts or practices. SMART operates a loan payment accelerator program for auto loans called the SMART Plan that deducts payments from consumers’ bank accounts every two weeks and then forwards these payments every month to the consumers’ lenders. The consent order imposes a judgment against SMART requiring it to pay $7,500,000 in consumer redress and requirements to prevent future violations.

SMART provided consumers individualized “benefits summaries” that purported to state a specific amount of interest savings or other money savings consumers would get by enrolling in the SMART Plan, but SMART’s fees would ordinarily exceed the savings. SMART’s disclosures thus created the misleading impression that consumers would save money using its product.

The ordered consumer redress has been suspended upon SMART's payment of $1,500,000 by December 31, and a $1 civil money penalty to the Bureau (based on SMART'S inability to pay more based on sworn financial statements.

For additional information and a link to the Bureau's consent order, see "SMART Payment Plan LLC settles with Bureau over misleading statements" in the BankersOnline Penalty pages.

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