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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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Regulators approve proposal to change Volcker rule requirements

Five federal regulators have announced their approval of the previously-announced joint proposal that would simplify and tailor compliance requirements relating to the "Volcker Rule." The proposal should be published shortly, to be followed by a 60-day comment period.


FCC seeks comment on interpretation of TCPA

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission has published [83 FR 26284] a notice requesting comment on issues related to interpretation and implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) following the recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in ACA International v. FCC:

  • what constitutes an "automatic telephone dialing system";
  • how to treat calls to reassigned wireless numbers; and
  • how a called party may revoke prior express consent to receive robocalls under the TCPA.

The Commission's prior interpretations on those three issues were voided by the Court. The notice is a summary of the Commission's Public Notice released on May 14, 2018. Comments are due on June 13, and reply comments by June 28, 2018.


FFIEC Appraisal Subcommittee to meet Friday

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has published a notice [83 FR 26058] in today's Federal Register of a special open meeting of its Appraisal Subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. EDT Friday, June 8, via teleconference. The agenda includes discussion and action on state requests for extensions of the implementation period to establish an Appraisal Management Company program. Persons interested in listening to the meeting should email the Subcommittee by noon on Thursday to obtain dial-in information.


HUD grants for island homeless programs

HUD has awarded nearly $20 million to support dozens of local homeless housing and service programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the territories, including those impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year.


Ukraine-/Russia-related General License issued

OFAC announced it has issued General License 16 authorizing U.S. persons to engage in specified transactions related to winding down or maintaining business involving EN+ Group PLC, JSC EuroSibEnergo, or any entity in which EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, until October 23, 2018.


FDIC FILs issued

The FDIC has issued FIL-31-2018 on the previously announced proposed amendment to the Volcker Rule. The agency also issued FIL-30-2018 further explaining the approval of a final rule issued jointly with the OCC to shorten the securities transaction settlement cycle.


Debt collectors pay $2.7M to settle FTC charges

A North Carolina debt collection operation, Lombardo, Daniels & Moss, and its principals, Dion Barron and Charles R. Montgomery III, will be banned from the debt collection business under settlements resolving FTC charges that they used false threats to get people to pay for debts they did not owe. A court order imposed a $2,722,452 judgment, which represents the amount of consumer harm. According to the FTC, the scheme used a variety of trade names that sounded like law firms to attempt to collect fake debts from consumers. The defendants claimed that consumers were delinquent on payday loans or other debts, and threatened them with arrest or other formal legal action if they did not pay.


FDIC CRA evaluations released

The FDIC has announced its release of a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that received their evaluation ratings in March 2018. Seventy-six of the banks received ratings of Satisfactory. Two banks -- one in Tustin, California, and one in Laredo, Texas -- received Outstanding ratings, and two banks, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Salem, Oregon, were rated Needs to Improve.


NCUA publishes PAL II proposal

The NCUA has published [83 FR 25583] its previously announced proposal to expand credit unions' ability to offer payday alternative loans. Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 60 days, through August 3, 2018.


May foreign exchange rates

The Federal Reserve has posted G.5 foreign exchange rate data for May 2018.


Agencies formalize shorter settlement cycle

In an insignificant non-event on Friday, the OCC and FDIC issued a joint press release announcing their adoption of a final rule to shorten the standard settlement cycle for securities purchased or sold by the institutions they supervise. The final rule will require banks to settle most securities transactions within the number of business days in the standard settlement cycle followed by registered broker dealers in the United States unless otherwise agreed to by the parties at the time of the transaction. The effective date of the amendments is October 1, 2018.

The OCC and FDIC understand that, consistent with the industry's transition to T+2, OCC Bulletin 2017-22, and FDIC FIL 32-2017, banks are already complying with a two-business-day settlement standard.

UPDATE: The amendments to OCC regulations at 12 CFR Parts 12 and 151 and the FDIC regulations at 12 CFR Part 344 are scheduled for publication on June 7, 2018.


G.17 technical Q&A update

The Federal Reserve has posted an update to the technical Q&As issued concerning G.17 industrial production and capacity utilization data.


OCC releases CRA ratings

The OCC has published the CRA ratings received by 32 national banks and federal savings associations recently evaluated for CRA compliance. Of the evaluations made public this month, 28 were rated satisfactory and four were rated outstanding.


FDIC State Profiles

The FDIC has released State Profiles for the first quarter of 2018. The Profiles are a quarterly summary of banking and economic conditions in each state.


NCUA tweaks Member Business Lending rule

In one of the first regulatory changes implementing the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (P. Law 115-174), the NCUA Board has approved a change to its Member Business Lending rule that removes the member’s occupancy requirement for loans secured by liens on 1-to-4-unit family dwellings. The member business lending rule previously required those dwellings to be the primary residence of a member in order to be excluded from limitations on member business loans. The amendment will be effective upon publication.

UPDATE: Published at 83 FR 25881 and effective on June 5, 2018.


FDIC CRA exam schedules released

The FDIC has released its CRA examination schedules for the third and fourth quarters of 2018.


NCUA May prohibition notices

The NCUA has announced that it issued two notices of prohibition in May:

  • A former employee of STOFFE Federal Credit Union in Solon, Ohio, who had pleaded guilty to the charge of theft, was prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.
  • The chief executive officer of Municipal Credit Union in New York, New York, who had been charged with the crimes of embezzlement, defrauding a financial institution, and wire fraud, was barred from participating in the affairs of any credit union.


FTC settles with operators of student loan debt relief schemes

The defendants in two student loan debt relief cases have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission claims that they charged consumers illegal upfront fees and falsely promised to help reduce or forgive student loan debt burdens. The settlements with Strategic Student Solutions and Bloom Law Group are part of a coordinated federal-state law enforcement initiative targeting deceptive student loan debt relief scam announced by the FTC in October 2017, called "Operation Game of Loans."


Investment banker charged in insider trading scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged an employee of a prominent investment bank with repeatedly using his access to highly confidential information in order to place illicit and profitable trades in advance of deals on which the bank was providing investment banking advisory services. According to the SEC's complaint, Woojae “Steve” Jung, a vice president of investment banking who worked in the bank’s San Francisco and New York offices, used sensitive client information in order to trade in the securities of 12 different companies prior to the announcement of market-moving events. The Commission alleges that between 2015 and 2017, Jung used an account held in the name of a friend living in South Korea to place these illegal trades and generate profits of approximately $140,000. As alleged in the complaint, by using his friend’s brokerage account, Jung attempted to evade detection by skirting his employer’s requirements that he pre-clear his trades and that he use an approved brokerage firm that would have reported the trading to his employer.


Removals from CFATF reviews

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Plenary reports it has agreed to remove Haiti from its special monitoring process given the forthcoming 4th Round Mutual Evaluation of Haiti. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines made significant progress in addressing the deficiencies identified in the 3rd round Mutual Evaluation and have successfully exited the follow-up process.


OFAC updates listing of SDN

OFAC has made changes to an existing listing regarding the Al-Nusrah Front for the Peoples of Levant. Details of the change are in our OFAC Update.


CFPB Complaint Snapshot report

The Bureau has posted its latest Complaint Snapshot, which examines complaint trends, with a focused look at complaints about debt collection.


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