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05/22/2020

SEC amends financial disclosure rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has voted to adopt amendments to its rules and forms to improve for investors the financial information about acquired or disposed businesses, facilitate more timely access to capital, and reduce the complexity and costs to prepare the disclosure. The amendments will update Commission rules which have not been comprehensively addressed since their adoption, some of them over 30 years ago.

The final rules, which affect SEC rules at 17 CFR parts 210, 230, 239, 240, 249, 270, and 274, will be effective January 1, 2021. Compliance will be required beginning with each registrant's fiscal year beginning on or after that date.

05/22/2020

Zimbabwe sanctions regs amended

OFAC has amended the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations at 31 CFR 541 to remove a general license that authorizes all transactions involving Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe as a result of these entities being removed from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

05/21/2020

Regulators release principles for small dollar lending

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC jointly issued principles for offering small-dollar loans in a responsible manner to meet financial institutions customers' short-term credit needs. The agencies issued the "Interagency Lending Principles for Offering Responsible Small-Dollar Loans" to encourage supervised banks, savings associations, and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to customers for consumer and small business purposes.

05/21/2020

Fed CRA evaluation ratings

Our monthly check of the Federal Reserve Board's listing of CRA evaluation ratings reveals that 14 ratings were made public in April. All of those ratings were Satisfactory, except for the evaluation of Eagle Bank, Bethesda, Maryland, whom we congratulate for its Outstanding rating.

05/21/2020

OFAC sanctions senior Iranian officials for human rights abuses

Treasury announced Wednesday that OFAC had taken action against Iran’s Interior Minister for his role in serious human rights abuses against Iranians, as well as seven senior officials of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) and a provincial commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Yesterday’s action also targets the Bonyad Taavon NAJA, which is translated as LEF Cooperative Foundation, along with its director and members of the board of trustees. The LEF Cooperative Foundation is an economic collaborative controlled by the LEF and is active in Iran’s energy, construction, services, technology, and banking industries.

All property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. for identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

05/21/2020

OCC finalizes CRA rule without FDIC and Fed

The OCC has announced its release of a final rule strengthening and modernizing the agency’s regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The OCC reported it made several changes to its December 2019 proposal that respond to stakeholders’ comments, including:

  • Clarifying the importance of the quantity and quality of activities as well as their value.
  • Increasing credit for mortgage origination to promote availability of affordable housing in low- and moderate-income areas.
  • Clarifying credit for athletic facilities to ensure they benefit and support low- and moderate-income communities.
  • Deferring establishment of thresholds for grading banks’ CRA performance and delineating banks’ deposit-based assessment areas until the OCC assesses improved data required by the final rule.

The final CRA rule applies to national banks and savings associations, which, according to the OCC, conduct the majority of all CRA activity. The rule will become effective October 1, 2020, with a compliance date of January 1, 2023. Small and intermediate banks have until January 1, 2024, to comply with requirements involving assessment area, data collection and recordkeeping.

The FDIC, which had issued a proposal for CRA modernization jointly with the OCC in December 2019, issued a statement by Chairman Jelena McWilliams that the FDIC "is not prepared to finalize the CRA proposal at this time." The Federal Reserve Board has not issued a proposal to amend its current CRA regulations.

05/20/2020

Winners of FinCEN's BSA Awards program

FinCEN has announced the award recipients of the 2020 FinCEN Director’s Law Enforcement Awards Program who will be publicly identified in an official ceremony on October 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The annual program recognizes law enforcement agencies that used Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting to successfully pursue and prosecute criminal investigation in seven categories:

  • SAR Review Task Force - Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Significant Fraud - Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations
  • Cyber Threat - Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations
  • State and Local Enforcement - New York State Police
  • Third Party Money Launderers - Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation
  • Transnational Organized Crime - Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Transnational Security Threat Category - Federal Bureau of Investigation

The description of each investigation illustrates the key role of financial industry BSA filings in law enforcement's pursuit of criminals.

05/20/2020

Commercial Bank Exam Manual updated

The Federal Reserve Board has posted an update of its Commercial Bank Examination Manual, which presents examination objectives and procedures that Federal Reserve System examiners follow in evaluating the safety and soundness of state member banks. The Manual is intended as guidance for planning and conducting bank examinations.

05/20/2020

OFAC designates China-based Mahan Air sales agent

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated China-based Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited for acting as a general sales agent for or on behalf of Iranian airline Mahan Air. Mahan Air is designated under counterterrorism authorities for providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), as well as under a counter proliferation authority that targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters.

As a result of yesterday’s action, all property and interests in property of Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Identity information is available in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

05/19/2020

FinCEN advisory on COVID-19 medical scams

Yesterday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued Advisory FIN-2020-A002 on Medical Scams Related to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to alert financial institutions to rising medical scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory contains red flags, descriptions of COVID-19 related medical scams, and information on reporting suspicious activity [insert "COVID-19 FIN-2020-A002" in field 2 (Financial Institution Note to FinCEN)]. This is the first of several advisories FinCEN intends to issue concerning financial crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FinCEN also issued a companion notice that provides detailed filing instructions for financial institutions, which will serve as a reference for future COVID-19 advisories.

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