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Top Story Compliance Related

01/25/2022

FinCEN proposes pilot on sharing SARs with foreign branches

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will, on January 25, 2022, publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on the proposed establishment of a limited-duration pilot program, subject to conditions set by FinCEN, to permit a financial institution with a SAR reporting obligation to share SARs and information related to SARs with the institution’s foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates for the purpose of combating illicit finance risk, in accordance with Section 6212(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act).

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted for through March 28. 2022.

01/24/2022

FFIEC best practices for exam information requests

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has announced it has issued a statement announcing best practices for requesting examination information from supervised entities, and a common authentication solution for secure access to the FFIEC members’ supervision systems. The statement presents the results of the final phase of the Examination Modernization Project in which FFIEC members addressed the feedback provided by supervised entities regarding examination requests and authentication requirements for FFIEC members’ supervision systems.

The FFIEC members have identified the following principles as best practices for requesting examination information from financial institutions:

  • Information requests should be risk-focused and relevant to the examination.
  • Supervised institutions should be given sufficient time to produce new or additional requested information.
  • Examiners should coordinate information requests among the examination team to avoid duplicative and/or redundant requests.
  • Information requests should be made through the supervised institution’s designated regulatory examination point-of-contact, if applicable, to avoid placing burden on other institution staff.
  • Information requests and supplemental information requests should be clearly articulated in writing.

01/24/2022

International Hizballah network sanctioned

The Department of the Treasury on Friday announced that OFAC has designated Hizballah-affiliated financial facilitator Adnan Ayad, as well as members of an international network of facilitators and companies connected to him and to Adel Diab.

For the names and identification information of the individuals and entities designated on Friday, see the January 21, 2022, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

01/21/2022

OFAC activity yesterday

OFAC has issued another Venezuela-related General License concerning transactions related to a Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. 2020 8.5 percent bond and updated a related Frequently Asked Question.

OFAC also is amending and reissuing its Transnational Criminal Organizations Sanctions Regulations and amending the definition of "applicable schedule amount" to make that amount automatically rise with OFAC's civil money penalty amounts when adjusted annually for inflation. Both of these amendments were published in today's Federal Register, and are effective immediately.

For more information and links to the License, FAQ, and amendments, see this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

01/21/2022

OCC December enforcement actions

The OCC has released a list of enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations and individuals during December 2021. Included were

  • the previously announced $1,000,000 civil money penalty assessed on CommunityBank of Texas (coordinated with an $8,000,000 penalty levied by FinCEN)
  • a $3,620,000 civil money penalty assessed against Flagstar Bank, FSB for a pattern or practice of multiple violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act and implementing regulations
  • an order of prohibition and for payment of a $150,000 civil money penalty against Carroll Green, former CFO, board chairman, CEO and president of Beauregard FSB, DeRitter, Louisiana, for multiple violations of Regulation O and for falsifying loan applications of bank borrowers

01/21/2022

OFAC targets Russian-backed actors destabilizing Ukraine

Treasury yesterday announced that OFAC has sanctioned four individuals engaged in Russian government-directed influence activities to destabilize Ukraine. This action is separate and distinct from the broad range of high impact measures the United States and its Allies and partners are prepared to impose in order to inflict significant costs on the Russian economy and financial system if it were to further invade Ukraine.

Designated yesterday were Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn, two current Ukrainian Members of Parliament from the party led by Victor Medvedchuk (Medvedchuk), who is already subject to U.S. sanctions for his role in undermining Ukrainian sovereignty in 2014; Volodymyr Oliynyk, a former Ukrainian official who fled Ukraine to seek refuge in Russia; and Vladimir Sivkovich, the former Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.

For identification information for the four designated individuals, see the January 20, 2022, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

01/20/2022

Report on financial services diversity and inclusion

The CFPB’s Office of Minority Women and Inclusion (OMWI) has released the CFPB Report on Diversity and Inclusion within Financial Services.

As part of the mandate of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, OMWI is charged with developing standards for assessing diversity and inclusion at the financial entities the Bureau regulates. To further that effort, CFPB engaged in analysis of public data to gain a better understanding of diversity and inclusion within the financial services sector and compiled a report to share its findings. The report can help the industry understand more about diversity and inclusion initiatives that their peers are undertaking and the various options available to entities of different sizes.

01/20/2022

IRS Wage Statement reminder

The Internal Revenue Service yesterday urged employers to be aware of the January deadline to file Forms W-2 and other wage statements. Timely filing of these documents helps employers avoid penalties and helps the IRS in fraud prevention.

A 2015 law made it a permanent requirement that employers file copies of their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. Forms W-2 are normally due to workers by January 31. Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Information and Forms 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, are also due to taxpayers by January 31. Various other due dates related to Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC, including dates due to the IRS, can be found on the forms' instructions.

01/20/2022

FDIC guidance to assist banks in Tennessee

The FDIC has issued FIL-06-2022 with guidance to help financial institutions in areas of Tennessee affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes on December 10 and 11, 2021.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared a federal disaster for selected areas affected in Tennessee on January 14, 2022. FEMA may make additional designations after damage assessments are completed in the affected areas. As of January 19, the affected areas in Tennessee include Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley and Wilson counties. An updated list of designated areas will be available at www.fema.gov.

01/19/2022

Overcharged LendingClub members to receive $10M+

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is returning more than $10 million to consumers who were charged undisclosed fees by online lender LendingClub Corporation.

The FTC sued LendingClub in April 2018, charging that the company falsely promised loan applicants that they would receive a specific loan amount with “no hidden fees,” when in reality the company deducted hundreds or even thousands of dollars in hidden up-front fees from the loans. The FTC also alleged that LendingClub told consumers they were approved for loans when they were not and took money from consumers’ bank accounts without authorization.

The FTC is distributing refunds directly to more than 15,000 LendingClub customers and encouraging additional LendingClub customers to apply for refunds. The FTC is sending refunds via PayPal to 15,748 LendingClub customers who complained to the company or the FTC about the hidden fees. In addition, between January 18 and 20, the FTC will email additional LendingClub customers who took out loans before January 6, 2017 and repaid the loan. The email will provide instructions on how to request a refund.

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