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Banker's Toolbox Announces — ACQUISITION OF LOAN LOSS RESERVE POWERHOUSE, MAINSTREET TECHNOLOGIES
Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

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07/17/2019

Al-Qa'ida in Mali targeted

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that OFAC, in concert with the Department of State, took action targeting Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), a west African terrorist group designated in September 2018, by designating a JNIM leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Specifically, OFAC designated Bah Ag Moussa for acting for or on behalf of JNIM. OFAC also designated Bah Ag Moussa for acting for or on behalf of JNIM leader, Iyad ag Ghali, who was designated in February 2013. The Department of State also designated Ali Maychou as an SDGT. For identity information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/16/2019

CFPB support for organizations servicing the economically vulnerable

The Bureau has posted an article with information for organizations committed to helping people manage their money and work toward their goals. It is looking for approximately 40 organizations from across the country that are interested in using its "Your Money, Your Goals" toolkit, issue-focused booklets, and companion guides to help build the financial well-being of the people they serve. The Bureau will host a webinar on August 7, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET that will describe the application process.

07/16/2019

Second quarter Call Report materials

FDIC FIL-40-2019, issued on behalf of the FDIC, OCC, and Fed, provides information on the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report) for June 30, 2019. The Call Report does not include any new or revised data items this quarter. Most institutions must file their Call Reports by July 30, 2019.

07/16/2019

Protecting your bank from phishing attempts

FRBservices.org's July 15 FED360° newsletter includes an article, "Gone phishing—Tips to help protect your organization from phishing attempts." Phishing is used by threat actors in attempts to acquire sensitive information using a fraudulent solicitation, via email or on a website (or through text messages) in which the fraudster poses as a legitimate business or reputable person. The article offers tips to help protect banks and other organizations from phishing attempts:

  • Educate your staff on what phishing is, how to spot it and how/where to report it when it occurs.
  • Consider having occasional "testing" phishing exercises.
  • Have clear and well documented policies on how to manage phishing attempts to ensure staff respond appropriately
  • When possible, use technology to aid in the identification of phishing emails though the classification of internal versus external email sources
  • Add warning messages to the header of all incoming emails from external senders, alerting employees to review external messages with extra care
  • Maintain contemporary anti-virus and anti-malware scanning software to offer additional protections in the event staff inadvertently click on suspicious links embedded in the body of an email
  • Stay on top of the evolving phishing tactics by consulting with your information security staff to monitor trends and adjust internal policies and procedures accordingly
  • Restrict or remove email and web browsing on systems routinely used for payments processing

07/16/2019

Financial literacy reform efforts continue

Treasury and the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) yesterday released the Commission's report on Federal Financial Literacy Reform: Coordinating and Improving Financial Literacy Efforts. The report highlights the importance of financial literacy and education for all Americans, identifies ways to efficiently and effectively deliver financial education, and recommends actions to improve federal efforts to build financial capacity for consumers and communities.

07/16/2019

Application of securities laws to Opportunity Zone investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) have issued a Staff Statement that summarizes the application of federal and state securities laws to opportunity zone investments. The "opportunity zone" program was established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 to provide tax incentives for long-term investing in designated economically distressed communities.

The summary discusses:

  • What qualified opportunity zones (QOZs) are
  • When interests in qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) would be “securities” under federal and state securities laws
  • Registration of securities offerings with the SEC and/or state securities regulators and potential exemptions from securities registration for investments in a QOF (particularly through Rule 506 of federal Regulation D)
  • Broker-dealer registration requirements for persons selling interests in QOFs
  • Registration and exemptions from registration for QOFs that are “investment companies” and considerations for advisers to a QOF

07/16/2019

Nomura Securities to repay $25M

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday it has instituted two related enforcement actions against Nomura Securities International Inc., which has agreed to repay approximately $25 million to customers for its failure to adequately supervise traders in mortgage-backed securities. The SEC orders find that Nomura bond traders made false and misleading statements to customers while negotiating sales of commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities (CMBS and RMBS).

07/15/2019

NCUA Board to meet Thursday

The NCUA has published [84 FR 33787] a notice of the 10:00 a.m. July 18, 2019, open meeting of its Board. Among other matters for discussion, the Board will consider NCUA rules on fidelity bonds, guidance regarding prohibitions imposed by statute, and NCUA rules on real estate appraisals.

07/15/2019

Regulators propose rule on land development loans

The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC have issued a joint press release requesting public comment on a proposal to clarify the treatment of land development loans under the agencies' capital rules. This proposal expands on the agencies' September 2018 proposal to revise the definition of high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) as required by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The land development proposal would clarify that loans that solely finance the development of land for residential properties would meet the revised definition of HVCRE, unless the loan qualifies for another exemption. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

07/15/2019

FinCEN advisory on FATF list

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory [FIN-2019-A004] to financial institutions regarding the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) updated list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies and relevant actions by the U.S. Government. These changes may affect U.S. financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches regarding relevant jurisdictions. The advisory also reminds financial institutions of the status and obligations involving these jurisdictions.

07/15/2019

OCC okays Gulf weather related closures

The OCC has issued a proclamation allowing national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks at their discretion to close offices affected by severe weather along the Gulf Coast.

07/12/2019

National Fair Housing Training Academy launched

HUD has announced it is partnering with the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., to develop the National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA). The Academy will prepare fair housing advocates, lawyers, investigators, and other stakeholders on effective strategies and techniques for addressing discriminatory housing policies and practices throughout the nation.

John Marshall Law School will receive $1.5 million over the next two years under HUD’s Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building grant program and will provide training related to civil rights history, current trends in housing discrimination, and investigating housing discrimination complaints. Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., which partners with governmental agencies to promote social, economic, and environmental resilience, will receive nearly $1.5 million over the next two years to assist HUD in revolutionizing the way the Academy offers fair housing training throughout the nation, including launching an online platform to deliver trainings more effectively while resulting in significant cost savings to taxpayers.

07/12/2019

Venezuela’s counterintelligence agency designated

OFAC has announced the designation of the Government of Venezuela’s General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, or La Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar, most commonly known as the DGCIM. As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of this entity, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by this entity, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Identification information on the DGCIM is included in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/12/2019

Student loan debt relief scheme stopped by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped a student loan debt relief scheme, alleging it bilked more than $23 million from thousands of consumers with false claims that it would service and pay down their student loans. After the FTC filed a complaint seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court order halted the scheme and froze its assets. The complaint stated that, since at least 2014, the operators of Mission Hills Federal and Federal Direct Group have lured consumers into paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in illegal upfront fees with false promises to lower consumers’ monthly student loan payments. The defendants also allegedly tricked consumers into submitting their monthly student loan payments directly to the defendants by falsely claiming to take over servicing the consumers’ loans. In reality, the defendants either only applied minimal payments on consumers’ loans or, in many instances, applied none of the payments to the loans, diverting consumers’ payments to themselves.

07/12/2019

Bureau debunks military personal finances myths

The Bureau has posted a Bureau Blog article examining five myths in the military community about personal finance:

  • Credit card companies are required to waive annual fees for servicemembers
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) only helps by lowering interest rates
  • The Military Lending Act (MLA) doesn’t protect a spouse or dependent children
  • You need to pay someone to help you with your financial issues
  • Financial issues are too complicated for the average person

07/12/2019

Veteran with assistance animal denied housing

HUD has announced the filing of a charge of discrimination against a Maine apartment owner who denied a veteran with disabilities the right to keep his assistance animal.

07/11/2019

Parts of FDIC Procedures Manual released

FDIC FIL 38-2019, issued yesterday, announces the posting of sections of the FDIC Applications Procedures Manual (manual) to its website to provide greater transparency regarding the FDIC's internal processes. The manual provides direction for FDIC professional staff assigned to review and process applications, notices, and other requests (filings) submitted to the FDIC. This is the first in a series of releases that will eventually include the complete manual, and each subsequent release will include multiple sections governing specific filing types. The manual does not establish supervisory requirements and is not industry guidance.

  • This initial release includes an Applications Overview section that addresses processing timeframes, filing receipt and acknowledgment, filing acceptance, review and evaluation of filing content, document preparation, delegations of authority, and other pertinent topics that are generally applicable to most types of filings.
  • The release also contains separate sections covering certain specific filing types, including federal deposit insurance, mergers, change in control, branch establishment, branch relocation, and branch closings.

The manual will be updated periodically for changes in laws, regulations, or processes. Additional resources related to the filing process are available on the FDIC's website.

07/11/2019

June FOMC minutes

The minutes of, and FOMC statement from, the June 18-19, 2019, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee have been released. The Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent.

07/11/2019

Powell discusses Monetary Policy Report to Congress

Federal Reserve Board Chair Powell has presented the Board’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. He reviewed the current economic situation and outlook before turning to monetary policy and also provided an update of the ongoing public review of the Board’s framework for setting monetary policy.

07/11/2019

Texas landlords face discrimination charge

HUD has announced that it is charging Plano, Texas, landlords Quang Dangtran, his wife, Ha Nguyen, and HQD Enterprise, LLC with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to lease a room to a prospective tenant because she is black.

07/11/2019

FDIC Board to meet Tuesday

The FDIC Board has posted a notice of a meeting in open session at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 16. On the agenda are memoranda and resolutions on:

  • a Final Rule to amend 12 CFR Part 370, "Recordkeeping for Timely Deposit Insurance Determination"
  • a Final Rule on Joint Deposit Accounts
  • a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking amending the Securitization Safe Harbor Rule

07/10/2019

CFPB settles suit against Freedom Debt Relief

The CFPB has announced it has settled its 2017 lawsuit against Freedom Debit Relief, LLC, the nation’s largest debt-settlement services provider. The company agreed to pay $20 million in restitution to affected consumers and a $5 million civil money penalty. The Bureau’s lawsuit alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by charging advance fees and failing to inform consumers of their rights to funds they deposited with the company. The Bureau also alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by charging consumers without settling their debts as promised, charging consumers after having them negotiate their own settlements with creditors, and misleading consumers about the company’s fees and its ability to negotiate directly with all of a consumer’s creditors.

The company has also agreed to a consent order with the FDIC. The Bureau will remit $493,500 of the $5 million civil penalty it assessed in light of the penalty that the company was ordered to pay the FDIC. This settlement is subject to approval by the court.

07/10/2019

Treasury targets Hizballah officials

The Treasury Department reports that OFAC designated on Tuesday three Hizballah political and security figures leveraging their privileged positions to facilitate Hizballah’s malign agenda and do Iran’s bidding. Specifically, OFAC designated Hizballah Members of Parliament Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and Hizballah security official Wafiq Safa, for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah. These individuals were designated under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

As a result of Tuesday’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. For identification details, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/10/2019

Powell addresses Stress Testing conference

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell delivered the welcoming remarks via video to the participants at “Stress Testing: A Discussion and Review," a research conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Powell said that the “Federal Reserve is strongly committed to stress testing as a cornerstone of our bank supervisory and financial stability missions. Stress testing is perhaps the most successful supervisory innovation of the post-crisis era. But if stress tests are to continue to serve their critical function, they will need to evolve in the years ahead to keep pace with the ever-changing financial system, as they have since the first round of tests in 2009.”

07/10/2019

Regulatory capital rules simplified

A joint press release from the Fed, FDIC, and OCC has announced a final rule that reduces regulatory burden by simplifying several requirements in the agencies' regulatory capital rules. The simplifications in the final rule only apply to banking organizations that do not use the "advanced approaches" capital framework, which are generally firms with less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets and less than $10 billion in total foreign exposure. The final rule will be effective as of April 1, 2020, for the amendments to simplify capital rules, and as of October 1, 2019, for revisions to the pre-approval requirements for the redemption of common stock and other technical amendments.

07/10/2019

Community banks exempted from the Volcker Rule

The Fed, FDIC, OCC, SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have announced the adoption of a final rule to exclude community banks from the Volcker Rule, consistent with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Under the final rule, community banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5 percent or less of total consolidated assets are excluded from the Volcker Rule.

The final rule also permits a hedge fund or private equity fund, under certain circumstances, to share the same name or a variation of the same name with an investment adviser as long as the adviser is not an insured depository institution, a company that controls an insured depository institution, or a bank holding company. The amendments in the final rule will be effective on publication.

07/10/2019

White paper on synthetic ID fraud

The Federal Reserve's FedPayments Improvement Task Force has released Synthetic Identity Fraud in the U.S. Payment System—A Review of Causes and Contributing Factors, a white paper on the growing problem of synthetic identity fraud in the U.S. payment system. The paper is a compilation of insights from Federal Reserve and industry subject matter experts. It’s intended to be a resource for industry professionals on the current state of synthetic identity fraud, including the scope of the issue, causes, contributing factors and its impact on the payments industry.

07/09/2019

FHFA announces replacement for its ARM index

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has published [84 FR 32738] a notice in today's Federal Register designating a replacement for its recently discontinued monthly index for adjustable rate mortgages.

The new index, to be called “PMMS+,” will be an adjusted version of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey 30-Yr FRM [fixed-rate mortgage], and will take effect immediately. FHFA intends to publish the PMMS+ Index value monthly and on approximately the same schedule as it has been publishing the existing index. FHFA is soliciting public comments on its designation of the replacement index and will consider any comments received through September 9, 2019, before finalizing its decision about the successor index.

07/09/2019

Consumer credit increases

The Federal Reserve Board has released May 2019 G.19 Consumer Credit data. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 percent. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 8-1/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4 percent.

07/09/2019

Federal Reserve Board CRA evaluations

The Federal Reserve Board's database of Community Reinvestment Act evaluations and ratings includes 18 entries for ratings made public in June 2019, fourteen of which were "Satisfactory."

These four banks received "Outstanding" ratings:

07/08/2019

FATF risk assessment guidance

The FATF requires each member country to identify, assess and understand the terrorist financing risks it faces in order to mitigate them and effectively dismantle and disrupt terrorist networks. Countries often face particular challenges in assessing terrorist financing risks due to the low value of funds or other assets used in many instances, and the wide variety of sectors misused for the purpose of financing terrorism. The FATF has issued "Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Guidance," which aims to assist practitioners, particularly those in lower capacity countries, in assessing terrorist financing risk at the jurisdiction level by providing good approaches, relevant information sources and practical examples based on country experience.

07/08/2019

Monetary Policy Report submitted to Congress

As required by the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Reserve Board has submitted its semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. The report discusses "the conduct of monetary policy and economic developments and prospects for the future," and is submitted semiannually to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and to the House Committee on Financial Services, along with testimony from the Federal Reserve Board Chair.

07/08/2019

224,000 new jobs in June

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released the June 2019 Employment Situation Report, which indicates that total nonfarm payroll employment in June rose by 224,000 jobs, exceeding a market projection of 162,000. The education and health services industry, which added 61,000 jobs, experienced the largest job growth in June. Manufacturing jobs increased as well, gaining 17,000 jobs.

07/08/2019

HUD to sell 'vacant' reverse mortgage loans

HUD has published [84 FR 32467] a notice of its intention to competitively offer multiple residential reverse mortgage pools consisting of approximately 1,500 reverse mortgage notes secured by properties with a loan balance of approximately $330 million. The sale will consist of due and payable Secretary-held reverse mortgage loans. The mortgage loans consist of first liens secured by single family, vacant residential properties, where all borrowers are deceased, and no borrower is survived by a non-borrowing spouse.

The sale is scheduled for July 24, 2019.

07/08/2019

FEMA ANPR on payments to WYO companies

FEMA has published [84 FR 32371] an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on possible approached to incorporating actual flood insurance expense data into the payment methodology FEMA uses to determine the amounts of payments to private insurance companies participating in the Write Your Own (WYO) flood insurance program. FEMA was directed to modify the way it pays WYO companies under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Comments are requested by September 6, 2019.

07/08/2019

Bureau publishes Fair Lending Report to Congress

The CFPB has published at 84 FR 32420 its seventh Fair Lending Report to Congress. The report describes the Bureau's fair lending activities in prioritization, supervision, enforcement, rulemaking, interagency coordination, and outreach for calendar year 2018.

07/05/2019

OFAC targets Cuban supporter of Maduro regime

On Wednesday, the Department of the Treasury announced OFAC had designated Cubametales, the Cuban state-run oil import and export company, for its continued importation of oil from Venezuela. Cuba, in exchange for this oil, continues to provide support, including defense, intelligence, and security assistance, to the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro.

OFAC also delisted PB Tankers S.p.A. and its vessels. PB Tankers ended its charter agreement with Cubametales and took other steps to increase scrutiny of its business operations to prevent future sanctionable activity.

For identity information on Cubametales and on the listings removed by OFAC, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/05/2019

$2.3B available for local homeless assistance

HUD has issued a Notice of Funding Availability announcing a record $2.3 billion is available in Continuum of Care homeless assistance grants to support thousands of local homeless assistance programs nationwide. The grants support a wide variety of local programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for individuals, including, veterans, youth, families, and persons experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness. The deadline for grant applications is 8 p.m. EDT on September 30, 2019.

07/05/2019

US-EU Financial Regulatory Forum statement

U.S. and European participants in the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum met on June 25–26, 2019, in Brussels to exchange views on financial regulatory developments as part of their ongoing regulatory dialogue. U.S. participants included officials from Treasury, the Fed, FDIC, SEC, OCC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the area of banking, participants discussed implementation of the final Basel III reforms, recent developments regarding host-country regulation of foreign banks, and resolution planning for global systemically important banks. For the U.S., topics included the recent U.S. proposal on foreign banking organizations, and the treatment of foreign funds under the Volcker Rule. For the EU, topics included elements for the completion of the Banking Union, including risk reduction and risk sharing. The participants acknowledged the importance of the Forum in fostering ongoing dialogue between the U.S. and the EU. A cooperative approach to the supervision and regulation of financial services should foster financial stability, investor protection, market integrity, and a level playing field.

07/05/2019

Fed Board looking for IPAC members

The Federal Reserve Board has announced that it is seeking individuals to serve on its Insurance Policy Advisory Committee on International Capital Standards and Other Insurance Issues (IPAC)., which was established by Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA). Statements of interest must be received within 60 days of publication of a notice to be posted in the Federal Register with instructions on how to apply for membership. The Board seeks to form a diverse group with expertise in life, property and casualty, and reinsurance issues. Twenty-one individuals will be selected to serve staggered terms of up to three years.

07/05/2019

FDIC CRA evaluations

The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in April 2019. Of the 91 banks listed, 85 received a Satisfactory rating, two obtained a Needs to Improve rating, and these four were rated Outstanding:

07/03/2019

$150M in affordable housing grants

HUD has announced it is offering $150 million in grants to provide affordable housing to approximately 18,000 non-elderly persons living with disabilities through its Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD anticipates awarding 300 grants ranging from $20,000 up to $3 million to eligible public housing agencies. Applications are due by Thursday, September 5, 2019.

07/03/2019

OFAC adds to its SDN List

The names of an individual and an entity have been added to OFAC's SDN List under its anti-terrorism program. A listing for another entity under that program was also updated. For details, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/03/2019

OCC schedules workshop in Sioux Falls

A workshop will be hosted by the OCC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on August 6–7, for directors, senior management team members, and other key executives of institutions supervised by the OCC. The "Building Blocks: Keys to Success for Directors and Senior Management" workshop provides practical information on the roles and responsibilities of board participation.

07/03/2019

FDIC updates Compliance Examination Manual

The FDIC has updated five sections of its Consumer Compliance Examination Manual. The June 2019 updates include:

  • Consumer Compliance Examinations and Third Party Risk (II-1.1, 2.1, 3.1, and VII-4.1): Section was added and minor technical changes made to incorporate the Interagency Statement Clarifying the Role of Guidance
  • Appeals (II-11.1): Updates were made to procedures for the review and processing of requests for review of material supervisory determinations to reflect amendments to the FDIC’s Guidelines for Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations
  • SOURCE Violation Codes (II-14.1): SOURCE violation codes were updated, added, or deactivated to reflect amendments to Regulations E related to the CFPB’s prepaid account rule and updates to the HMDA requirements
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (V-9.1): The HMDA chapter was updated to incorporate revised interagency HMDA examination procedures, HMDA data validation instructions for FDIC examination staff, and tables listing the Designated Key HMDA Data Fields
  • Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (V-16.1): New chapter includes procedures for assessing compliance with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

07/03/2019

OCC CRA evaluations

The OCC has released a list of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public in June. Twenty-three institutions were evaluated. Eighteen were rated satisfactory and the following five received outstanding ratings:

07/03/2019

CFPB report on U.S. credit card market

The Bureau has blogged about a recent data point report that explores patterns of revolving and repayment of credit card accounts in the United States. The report offers insights on how consumers use their credit cards as a line of credit rather as a payment mechanism, a topic which has not been the subject of extensive prior research. Main findings include:

  • Two thirds of actively used credit card accounts carry a revolving balance
  • Accounts show variation in repayment patterns
  • There is a substantial geographic variation in revolving rates and the duration of sustained debt periods

07/03/2019

IRS to allow SSN truncation on W-2 forms

The IRS has issued final regulations [84 FR 31717] amending applicable sections of the Internal Revenue Code to permit employers to voluntarily truncate employees' social security numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that are furnished to employees so that the truncated SSNs appear in the form of IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs). The amendments are effective upon publication, but will apply to returns, statements, and other documents required to be filed or furnished after December 31, 2020.

07/02/2019

OCC Bulletin for covered savings associations

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2019-31 describing the process for federal savings associations with total consolidated assets of $20 billion or less (on their Call Report as of December 31, 2017), to elect to operate as covered savings associations able to engage in national bank powers under the OCC's final rule published on May 24.

07/02/2019

FATF presidency changes

Xiangmin Liu of the People's Republic of China assumed the position of President of the Financial Action Task Force on July 1, 2019. He succeeded Marshall Billingslea of the United States. Mr. Liu currently serves as Director-General of the Legal Department at the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank. In this role, he is responsible for developing many of China’s key financial sector laws, regulations and policies

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