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Top Story Compliance Related

04/16/2021

First action filed under COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it has charged St. Louis-based chiropractor Eric Anthony Nepute and his company Quickwork LLC with violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, by deceptively marketing products containing vitamin D and zinc as scientifically proven to treat or prevent COVID-19. This is the first case the FTC has brought under the new law.

In a federal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf, the Commission is asking the court to exercise a provision of the new law to impose monetary penalties on Nepute and Quickwork, and to grant a preliminary injunction against the defendants. According to the complaint, the defendants marketed the vitamin D and zinc products under the brand name “Wellness Warrior,” and claimed that they were as, or more, effective than vaccines that are currently available. In addition to monetary penalties, the complaint seeks to bar the defendants from making such health claims unless they are true and can be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The Commission also seeks to bar the defendants from falsely claiming to have scientific evidence about the effects of vitamin D and zinc on COVID-19.

04/16/2021

OCC enforcement actions announced

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced new enforcement actions taken in February and March. Among those actions were:

04/16/2021

Treasury escalates Russia-related sanctions

The U. S. Department of the Treasury issued three press releases on Thursday announcing escalated sanctions against the Russian government's attempts to influence U.S. elections, the sanctioning of Russian persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine, and actions taken against Russia under a sweeping new sanctions authority.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against 16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government, following the Intelligence Community’s “Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Elections.” The assessment addresses the intentions and efforts of key foreign actors, including Russia, to influence or interfere with the U.S. elections and undermine public confidence in the election process.

OFAC also designated five individuals and three entities related to Russia’s occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and its severe human rights abuses against the local population.

Under the authority of a new Executive Order targeting aggressive and harmful activities by the Government of the Russian Federation, OFAC issued a directive that generally prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and further prohibits U.S. financial institutions from lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to these three entities. This directive expands upon existing prohibitions on certain dealings in Russian sovereign debt that have been in place since August 2019.

OFAC also designated ERA Technopolis; Pasit, AO (Pasit); Federal State Autonomous Scientific Establishment Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing Devices and Automation (SVA); Neobit, OOO (Neobit); Advanced System Technology, AO (AST); and Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz, AO (Positive Technologies), all of which are companies operating in the technology sector of the Russian Federation economy that support Russian Intelligence Services.

Additional information and identification of the persons designated under OFAC's actions can be found in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

04/14/2021

FEMA to suspend 7 California communities next week

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a Federal Register notice [86 FR 19580, 4/14/2021] that the agency has scheduled seven California communities for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

The affected communities are the cities of Carson, Culver City, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Santa Monica, all in Los Angeles County.

The suspensions are scheduled for April 21, 2021. However, if FEMA receives documentation that a listed community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to April 21, the community will not be suspended.

04/13/2021

Funding for Brooklyn housing development halted

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it has begun procedures to suspend federal affordable housing funds to Carbrook Associates, LP (Carbrook), after a HUD investigation revealed that Carbrook violated federal anti-discrimination laws in the operation of 81 units of multifamily housing in Brooklyn, New York.

04/12/2021

FDIC request for input on revision of official sign and ad requirements

The FDIC is renewing its February 2020 request for input regarding potential modernization of the official FDIC sign and advertising rules (12 C.F.R. Part 328) to reflect changes in deposit-taking via physical branch, digital, and mobile banking channels. The FDIC last significantly updated the rules in 2006. Last year's request for input was postponed in April 2020 due to shifted priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDIC encourages comments from all interested parties. The comment period closes on May 24th.

  • FIL-26-2021
  • 04/12/2021

    Agencies' statement and RFI on BSA model risk management guidance

    The federal banking agencies, in consultation with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the National Credit Union Administration, on Friday issued a joint statement addressing how risk management principles described in the "Supervisory Guidance on Model Risk Management" relate to systems or models used by banks to assist in complying with the requirements of Bank Secrecy Act laws and regulations. The statement further notes that it does not alter existing BSA/AML legal or regulatory requirements or establish new supervisory expectations, and that no specific model risk management framework is required.

    The agencies, along with the National Credit Union Administration and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also announced a request for information on the extent to which the principles discussed in the guidance support compliance by banks and credit unions with BSA/AML and Office of Foreign Assets Control requirements. The agencies are seeking comments and information to better understand bank practices and determine whether additional explanation or clarification may be helpful.

    Comments to the RFI will be accepted for 60 days, through June 11, 2021.

    04/09/2021

    Missouri bank assessed $11,000 flood penalty

    The Federal Reserve Board has announced its assessment of an $11,000 civil money penalty on a Missouri bank for violations of the National Flood Insurance Act.

    04/09/2021

    Fed proposes to automate routine Fed stock adjustments

    The Federal Reserve Board has announced it is requesting public comment on a proposal to automate non-merger-related adjustments to member banks' subscriptions to Federal Reserve Bank capital stock. The automated process would eliminate the need for member banks to file applications to adjust their stock subscriptions—except in the context of mergers—and would significantly reduce the annual reporting burden.

    Regulation I, which governs the issuance and cancellation of capital stock by the Reserve Banks, currently requires that a member bank apply to adjust its stock subscription at least annually and sometimes quarterly. A member bank determines its required stock subscription based on its capital and surplus (or total deposit liabilities for a mutual savings bank) as reported in the member bank's most recent Call Report. The Reserve Banks are developing software that will automatically pull the information needed to calculate member banks' required stock subscriptions from Call Reports and thereby automate the stock adjustment process. Further, the Board proposes that a Reserve Bank would adjust a member bank's stock subscription each time the member bank files a Call Report.

    The proposal would also make certain other technical changes to the regulation. Comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication of the proposal.

    PUBLICATION AND COMMENT PERIOD UPDATE: Scheduled for publication on 4/13/2021, with comments due by 6/14/2021.

    04/09/2021

    Burmese gems enterprise sanctioned

    Yesterday, OFAC designated Myanma Gems Enterprise, a Burmese state-owned entity that is responsible for all gemstone activities in Burma. Gemstones are a key economic resource for the Burmese military regime that is violently repressing pro-democracy protests in the country and that is responsible for the ongoing lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children. These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.

    Myanma Gems Enterprise was designated under Executive Order 14014, “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma,” for being a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Burma.

    Further identification information on Myanma Gems Enterprise can be found in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

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