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Top Story Compliance Related

09/25/2020

OFAC issues CAATSA designations and updates an SDN

OFAC has added two individuals and four entities to its SDN List under its CAATSA-IRAN sanctions program, and updated a listing for Nicolas Maduro Moros. For details, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

09/24/2020

Western Union refunds on the way

The Federal Trade Commission reported yesterday that $147 million is being mailed to 33,000 consumers in the second distribution of refunds resulting from the law enforcement actions brought against Western Union in 2017 by the FTC, the Department of Justice, and the Postal Inspection Service. Affected consumers are receiving compensation for 100 percent of their verified losses.

The FTC’s 2017 complaint against Western Union alleged that for many years, Western Union was aware that fraudsters around the world used the company’s money transfer system to bilk consumers, and that some Western Union agents were complicit in the frauds. The complaint alleged that Western Union failed to put in place effective anti-fraud policies and procedures and to act promptly against problem agents.

09/24/2020

Cuban Assets Control Regs amended

OFAC has amended [85 FR 60068] the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and published new and updated FAQs.

In a Treasury Department press release, the revisions were said to further implement the President’s foreign policy to deny the Cuban regime sources of revenue. They will restrict:

  • lodging at certain properties in Cuba
  • importing Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products
  • attending or organizing professional meetings or conferences in Cuba
  • participating in and organizing certain public performances, clinics, workshops, competitions, and exhibitions in Cuba

The changes are effective today.

09/24/2020

More OFAC pressure on Russian financier

On Wednesday, Treasury reported that OFAC had taken further action against the network of Kremlin-connected Russian operative Yevgeniy Prigozhin by targeting entities and individuals working on behalf of Prigozhin to advance Russia’s influence in the Central African Republic (CAR). Concurrently, OFAC is targeting those that have supported the Russian Federal Security Service directly, as well as those that assist persons helping designated Russian actors to evade U.S. sanctions.

See BankersOnline's OFAC Update for the names and identification information of the individuals and entities that OFAC has added to its SDN List.

09/23/2020

Telecom firm to pay $1.9M for facilitating credit card relief scheme

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Globex Telecom, Inc. and an affiliated company will pay a total of $1.9 million to settle charges that they facilitated a scheme that peddled bogus credit card interest rate relief, illegally charging consumers millions of dollars. The settlement marks the end of the FTC's first consumer protection case against a Voice over Internet Protocol service provider. The FTC and Ohio alleged that Globex provided a company called Educare Centre Services with the means to make calls to U.S. consumers, including illegal robocalls, to market Educare’s phony credit card interest rate reduction services.

09/23/2020

OFAC targets more Maduro regime officials

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has designated five key figures that have facilitated the illegitimate Maduro regime’s efforts to undermine democracy in Venezuela. The designations were made under Executive Order 13692. For names and other identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

09/22/2020

Blocked property report reminder

OFAC has posted a Treasury Department Bulletin with a reminder that holders of property blocked in accordance with OFAC regulations have a mandatory annual reporting requirement on that blocked property. That report, of all blocked property held as of June 30 is due by September 30 (one week from today).

09/22/2020

CFPB settles with auto lender over unfair loss damage waiver practices

The CFPB reports it has settled with Lobel Financial Corporation, an auto-loan service based in Anaheim, California. The Bureau found that Lobel engaged in unfair practices with respect to its Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) product, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). When a borrower has insufficient insurance, rather than force-placing collateral-protection insurance, Lobel places the LDW product, which is not itself insurance, on borrower accounts and charges a monthly premium of approximately $70 for the LDW coverage.

The LDW product provides that Lobel will pay for the cost of covered repairs and, in the event of a total vehicle loss, cancel the borrower’s debt. The Bureau found that Lobel continued to bill certain consumers for LDW coverage but then failed to provide it, and assessed fees from consumers that they were not obligated to pay.

The Bureau's consent order requires Lobel to pay $1,345,224 in consumer redress to approximately 4,000 harmed consumers and a $100,000 civil money penalty. The order also prohibits Lobel from failing to provide consumers with LDW coverage or similar products or services for which it has charged consumers or from charging consumers fees that are not authorized by its LDW contracts.

09/22/2020

Former Wells Fargo execs settle with OCC

The OCC has announced settlements with three former senior executives of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for their roles in the bank’s systemic sales practices misconduct.

  • a prohibition order with a $925,000 civil money penalty to former Community Bank Group Finance Officer Matthew Raphaelson
  • a cease and desist order with a $400,000 civil money penalty to the former Head of Community Bank Deposit Products Group Kenneth Zimmerman
  • a cease and desist order with a $350,000 civil money penalty to the former Head of Community Bank Human Resources Tracy Kidd

09/22/2020

FTC review of Affiliate Marketing Rule

The Federal Trade Commission has published [85 FR 59466] in today's Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking and request for public comment on its Affiliate Marketing Rule as part of the agency's systematic review of Commission regulations and guides. Included is a proposal to amend the Rule to correspond to changes made to the FCRA by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Comments are due by December 7, 2020.

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