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Top Story Compliance Related


FEMA to suspend communities from flood program

FEMA has published a notice [84 FR 65924] in today's Federal Register identifying communities in North Carolina scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on December 6, 2019, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The communities listed include:

  • Atkinson
  • Northwest
  • Pembroke
  • Roxboro
  • Tabor City
  • unincorporated areas of Brunswick, Columbus, Durham, Pender, and Robeson Counties

If FEMA receives documentation that a community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date, the suspension will not occur. Information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book.


FDIC CRA exams for first half of 2020

The FDIC has announced it has posted the lists of institutions scheduled for a Community Reinvestment Act examination during the first and second quarters of 2020. The schedules of institutions to be examined are based on the best information now available and are subject to change.


FDIC releases enforcement actions

The FDIC has released a list of recent enforcement actions taken in the month of October. Among those actions were:

  • A notice of charges and hearing and assessment of a $225,000 BSA/AML civil money penalty issued to a San Francisco bank.
  • A decision and order of prohibition issued to Donald V. Watkins, Sr., former chairman of the board of Alamerica Bank, Birmingham, Alabama, for violations of Regulation O involving his receipt of proceeds from four loans made by his bank to nominee borrowers in excess of amounts allowed under the regulation and without disclosing his personal interest in the loans to the bank.


FDIC seeks comments on analysis of regulatory actions

The FDIC has published [84 FR 65808] a request for comments on approaches it is considering to analyze the effects of its regulatory actions. The comments received will help the FDIC to strengthen its analysis of regulatory actions. Comments will be accepted through January 28, 2020.


OFAC issues new and amended Iran-related FAQs

OFAC has issued a bulletin announcing its issuance of amended Iran-related FAQ 303 and FAQ 304 and new Iran-related FAQs 805, 806, and 807.


Bureau publishes 2020 FCRA fee cap amount

The CFPB has announced the ceiling for 2020 on allowable charges that a consumer reporting agency can impose for providing a disclosure to a consumer will remain unchanged at $12.50. Appendix O to CFPB Regulation V in BankersOnline's Regulations pages has been updated accordingly.


Additional Cubametales-related designation

Treasury has announced OFAC's designation of Cuban company Corporacion Panamericana S.A. under Executive Order 13850 for being owned or controlled by, or having acted for or on behalf of, Cubametales, an entity designated on July 3, 2019, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. Since its designation, Cubametales, the Cuban state-run oil import and export company, has faced significant pressure as businesses refuse to conduct business with them as a result of its designation. In response, Cubametales repeatedly offered Corporacion Panamericana S.A. as an intermediary to continue operations and circumvent sanctions. For identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


Military travel lender and servicer settle with CFPB

The CFPB has announced settlements with Edmiston Marketing, LLC, also called Easy Military Travel, its principal, Brandon Edmiston, and USA Service Finance, LLC (USASF). Easy Military Travel, which was located in Murray, Kentucky and is no longer operating, offered and extended financing for airline tickets to military servicemembers and their families and was owned and managed by Edmiston. USASF, which is located in Mayfield, Kentucky, is a company that services travel-related loans, including loans made by Easy Military Travel, for servicemembers.

The Bureau found that Easy Military Travel and Edmiston misrepresented the true cost of credit in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. The consent order issued against Easy Military Travel and Edmiston requires restitution to servicemembers and their families who paid the hidden finance charges by imposing a suspended judgment for restitution in the amount of $3,468,224 and a $1 civil money penalty.

The Bureau found that USASF, which serviced travel loans made by Easy Military Travel, engaged in deceptive practices in violation of the CFPA by overcharging servicemembers and their families for a debt-cancellation product for loans financing airline tickets made by Easy Military Travel and purchased and serviced by USASF. The Bureau also found that USASF violated Regulation V, which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act, because it never established, reviewed, or updated any written policies or procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of the consumer information it furnished to consumer reporting agencies.

The consent order against USASF requires it to provide redress to borrowers who were overcharged for the debt-cancellation product, including paying $54,625 in restitution to borrowers with no outstanding balance on their loans and issuing additional restitution in the form of account credits to borrowers with outstanding balances. The consent order also requires USASF to pay a civil money penalty of $25,000 to the Bureau. The consent order prohibits USASF from collecting on or selling the travel loans purchased from Easy Military Travel. The consent order also requires USASF to establish and update reasonable written policies and procedures for the accuracy and integrity of consumer information it furnishes to consumer reporting agencies.


FATF to treat illegal wildlife trade as financial crime

The FATF has announced that FATF President Xiangmin Liu hosted one of the first regional meetings on tackling the illegal wildlife trade as a financial crime, in Beijing, China. FATF report this is the first time that public and private sector representatives, including anti-money laundering experts and wildlife experts, have come together to share experiences about detecting and combating the financial flows linked to the illegal wildlife trade.

During the next year, the FATF will work with the public and private sector, including the People’s Bank of China, the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce and The Royal Foundation, to develop a report on good practices that will assist in financial investigations of the illegal wildlife trade. The report will highlight how public-private partnerships and international cooperation can help to identify and disrupt the illicit proceeds of this devastating criminal activity.


SEC charges former healthcare execs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has amended a complaint to charge four former executives of Outcome Health, a private healthcare advertising company, with fraud in raising nearly half a billion dollars by falsely portraying the company as an overwhelming success to investors, clients, and auditors. The amended complaint alleges that Outcome Health's former executives, CEO Rishi Shah, President Shradha Agarwal, CFO Brad Purdy, and Executive VP Ashik Desai, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the company's business successes while raising hundreds of millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors.


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