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Top Story Compliance Related

11/26/2019

OFAC takes bite of Apple

OFAC has announced that Apple, Inc. has agreed to pay $466,912 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations. Apple appears to have violated regulations by dealing in the property or interests in property of SIS, d.o.o. (“SIS”), a Slovenian software company previously identified on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker. Specifically, from on or about February 24, 2015 to on or about May 9, 2017, Apple hosted, sold, and facilitated the transfer of SIS’s software applications and associated content. OFAC determined that Apple voluntarily disclosed the apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case.

11/25/2019

FDIC TRID Rule teleconference scheduled

The FDIC has issued FIL-73-2019 announcing the agency will host a teleconference on December 11, 2019, for FDIC-supervised institutions to provide information and answer questions relating to the TRID Rule, including a review of common issues and tips to help banks address and avoid mistakes. The program, "Understanding the Requirements of the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID Rule)," is scheduled to run from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

  • Registration is required.
  • Following a formal presentation, FDIC staff will respond to questions during a Question-and-Answer segment. Institutions should submit questions by December 4 by sending an email to BankerTeleconference@FDIC.gov.

11/25/2019

Iran Minister added to SDN List

OFAC has added Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, to the SDN List for his role in the Iranian regime’s wide-scale internet censorship. Internet access in Iran, managed by Azari Jahromi’s ministry, was blocked for several days in November based upon what Iranian authorities describe as national security concerns in the wake of anti-regime protests throughout the country. For identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

11/25/2019

Bureau settles with background screening company

The CFPB announced on Friday it has filed a proposed stipulated judgment with Sterling Infosystems, Inc. to resolve allegations that Sterling violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Sterling is a privately-held Delaware corporation headquartered in New York whose primary business is to prepare background screening reports on individual job applicants to assist employers in employment-making decisions. If entered by the court, the stipulated judgment will require Sterling to pay monetary relief to consumers and a civil money penalty and prevent Sterling from engaging in the allegedly illegal conduct again.

In its complaint, the Bureau claims that Sterling violated the FCRA by failing to employ reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it included in the consumer reports it prepared. Specifically, the Bureau alleges that Sterling’s procedures created a heightened risk that its consumer reports would include criminal records belonging to another individual with the same name as the applicant. The Bureau also alleges that Sterling had a practice of including “high-risk indicators” in its reports without taking any steps to verify the accuracy of them. These “high risk indicators,” which Sterling obtained from a third party, characterized addresses that the consumer may have lived at as “high risk.”

11/22/2019

$1.8M in refund checks sent to defrauded consumers

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is mailing 79,771 refund checks totaling over $1.8 million to consumers who signed up for “risk-free” trial offers for skin care products, but were enrolled in negative option programs with recurring monthly charges. A Complaint filed by the FTC in June 2015, charged seven individuals and 15 companies with selling Auravie, Dellure, LéOR Skincare, and Miracle Face Kit branded skincare products through deceptive “risk-free trials.” According to the FTC, the defendants convinced consumers to provide their credit card information, purportedly to pay nominal shipping fees, but instead used it to impose unauthorized monthly charges for unordered products.

11/22/2019

NCUA Board approves two measures

The National Credit Union Administration Board has announced its unanimous approval of two items on the agenda for its November 21 open meeting:

  • A final interpretive ruling and policy statement to expand career opportunities for individuals convicted of certain minor offenses.
  • A proposed rule raising the threshold for requiring a residential real estate appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000.

11/22/2019

Venezuela Sanctions Regulations amended

OFAC has announced it has amended the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations to incorporate additional Executive Orders, add a general license authorizing U.S. Government activities, and add an interpretive provision. The amendments became effective this morning with their publication [84 FR 64415] in the Federal Register.

11/21/2019

OCC changes OREO amendments date

The OCC has published [84 FR 64193] an amendment of its October 22, 2019, rule amending the agency's OREO-related regulations to change the effective date from December 1, 2019, to January 1, 2020.

11/21/2019

CFPB to assess TRID rule

The CFPB has announced it is requesting public comment on an assessment it will conduct on the TRID Rule.

As part of its assessment, the Bureau stated it intends to address the TRID Rule’s effectiveness in meeting the purposes and objectives of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, the specific goals of the rule, and other relevant factors. Section 1022(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau to publish a report of its assessment within five years after the effective date of the rule being assessed (the TRID Rule became effective on October 3, 2015).

The public is invited to comment on the feasibility and effectiveness of the assessment plan, recommendations to improve the assessment plan, and recommendations for modifying, expanding, or eliminating the TRID Rule, among other questions. The comment period opened upon publication of the notice in the Federal Register on November 22 and will close on January 21, 2020.

Updated to reflect date of and link to Federal Register publication.

11/21/2019

Fed announces annual reserves exemption amount

The Federal Reserve Board has announced the annual indexing of the reserve requirement exemption amount and the low reserve tranche. These amounts are used in the calculation of reserve requirements for depository institutions. The Board also announced the annual indexing of nonexempt deposit cutoff and the reduced reporting limit.

For net transaction accounts in 2020, the first $16.9 million, up from $16.3 million in 2019, will be exempt from reserve requirements. A 3 percent reserve ratio will be assessed on net transaction accounts over $16.9 million up to and including $127.5 million, up from $124.2 million in 2019. A 10 percent reserve ratio will be assessed on net transaction accounts in excess of $127.5 million.

The new low reserve tranche and reserve requirement exemption amount will apply to the 14-day reserve maintenance period that begins January 16, 2020. For depository institutions that report deposit data weekly, this maintenance period aligns with the 14-day computation period that begins Tuesday, December 17, 2019. For depository institutions that report deposit data quarterly, this maintenance period aligns with the seven-day computation period that begins Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

Related to the annual indexing of reserve requirements is the Fed's update of its Reserve Maintenance Manual, which provides information regarding reserve calculations and account maintenance for depository institutions that file the Federal Reserve (FR) 2900 form (Report of Transaction Accounts, Other Deposits and Vault Cash) with the Federal Reserve, either weekly or quarterly. The November 2019 edition of the manual is now available.

  • [Editor's Note: The table appearing in the Board's Federal Register submission document is missing the row with the reserve requirement for net transaction accounts in excess of $127.5 million. We have contacted the Federal Reserve Board staff to call the omission to their attention. We determined that the reserve amount on the missing line should be $3,318,000 plus 10% of the amount over $127.5 million.]

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