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Top Story Compliance Related

12/13/2019

FDIC and OCC proposal to modernize CRA

The FDIC and the OCC have announced a proposal to modernize the agencies’ regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that have not been substantively updated for nearly 25 years. The proposed rules are intended to increase bank activity in low- and moderate-income communities where there is significant need for credit, more responsible lending, greater access to banking services, and improvements to critical infrastructure. The proposals will clarify what qualifies for credit under the CRA, enabling banks and their partners to better implement reinvestment and other activities that can benefit communities. The agencies will also create an additional definition of “assessment areas” tied to where deposits are located—ensuring that banks provide loans and other services to low- and moderate-income persons in those areas.

Comptroller Otting and FDIC Chairman McWilliams issued statements regarding the publication of the joint notice of proposed rulemaking to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 60 days following Federal Register publication.

UPDATE: Published at 85 FR 1204 on 1/9/2020, with a 60-day comment period ending 3/9/2020.

12/13/2019

Ortega son sanctioned for money laundering and corruption

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and two companies he owns or controls and uses to finance and launder money for the Ortega regime. OFAC also designated Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo S.A., a company owned or controlled by Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo as well as by Nicaraguan Vice President and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega, and two other companies owned or controlled by Rafael Ortega.

For identification information on Rafael Ortega and the three companies designated, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

12/13/2019

Update on status of Payday Lending Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin Division) has again continued its stays of the litigation of pending case Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. et al v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau et al and of the August 19, 2019, compliance date of the Bureau's Payday Lending Rule, and ordered that the parties file a Joint Status Report about proceedings related to the Rule and litigation no later than April 24, 2020.

12/12/2019

Operators of debt collection scheme banned

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that, under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Commission, the operators of a scheme that conned consumers into paying non-existent debts will be permanently banned from the debt collection business and from misleading consumers about debt. A complaint filed by the FTC against Global Asset Financial Services Group, LLC alleges that the operators of the company falsely claimed to be attorneys or affiliated with attorneys to pressure consumers into making payments on debts they did not owe, and threatened to take legal action against consumers if they did not pay. In addition to being banned from debt collection, debt brokering activities, and misleading consumers, the defendants also will be banned from misrepresenting to consumers whether they are attorneys.

12/12/2019

McWilliams on Brokered Deposits rule

In her keynote address at the Brookings Institution yesterday, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams spoke on "Brokered Deposits in the FinTech Age." After discussing the history of the general prohibition on brokered deposits at banks with lower capital ratios, which was a reaction to the failures in 1982 of Pacific Coast Bank and Penn Square Bank, McWilliams discussed a revised rule with a new framework for brokered deposits that the FDIC Board is scheduled to vote on today.

12/12/2019

FDIC schedules 'listening session' webinar

FDIC FIL-80-2019, issued yesterday, announces a webinar to solicit feedback regarding its supervisory appeals and dispute resolution processes for FDIC-supervised financial institutions. The session will offer an opportunity for bankers and other interested parties to provide input and recommendations regarding these processes. Participants will also be asked to provide suggestions regarding the role of the Office of the Ombudsman in assisting in resolving disagreements. Participants will be requested to provide suggestions on information that the agency could publish on these topics.

The webinar is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 19, using Cisco WebEx conferencing software. A Fact Sheet supplies additional details.

12/12/2019

Fed issued three outstanding CRA evals in November

Our review of the CRA evaluations made public by the Federal Reserve Board in November reveals that, of the 21 evaluations issued that month, 18 received a Satisfactory rating, and these three institutions' evaluations were rated Outstanding (links are to their evaluation reports):

12/12/2019

OFAC designates weapons network and Mahan Air agents

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated an Iranian shipping network involved in smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). OFAC also designated three Mahan Air general sales agents—Gatewick LLC, Jahan Destination Travel and Tourism LLC, and Gomei Air Services Co., Ltd—based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. Mahan Air was designated in 2011 for providing financial, material, or technological support for or to the IRGC-QF. See BankersOnline's OFAC Update for identification details.

12/11/2019

University of Phoenix pays $191M to settle charges

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, will settle for a record $191 million to resolve FTC charges that they used deceptive advertisements that falsely touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross. Under the settlement, the university will pay $50 million in cash and cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students who were harmed by the deceptive ads. A complaint filed by the Commission alleged that the university and Apollo relied heavily on advertising to attract students, including specific ads that targeted military and Hispanic consumers. The companies’ ads featured employers such as Microsoft, Twitter, Adobe, and Yahoo!, giving the false impression that the university worked with those companies to create job opportunities for its students and tailor its curriculum for such jobs.

12/11/2019

Retirees distribution deadline reminder

The Internal Revenue Service reminds retirees born before July 1, 1949, that they usually must take distributions from their retirement plans by December 31. The payments, called required minimum distributions (RMDs), are normally made by the end of the year. Those who turned 70½ in 2019 are allowed to wait until April 1, 2020, to take their first RMDs. The special April 1 deadline only applies to the RMD for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by December 31. For example, a taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2018 and received the first RMD on April 1, 2019, must receive a second RMD by December 31, 2019. The required distribution rules apply to:

  • Owners of traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
  • Owners of traditional Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs
  • Owners of Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs
  • Participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans

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