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Banker's Toolbox solidifies its position as the premier solution for fast-growing financial institutions with the release of BAM+ 4.0 upgrade.
Banker's Toolbox continues to lead the BSA/AML and Fraud prevention marketplace with the release of BAM+ 4.0. This solution provides increased detection with more versatility, transparency and control. BAM+ 4.0 also boasts a new customer due diligence platform, Due Diligence Manager, which will keep institutions compliant with the impending beneficial ownership mandates. (Read full press release here.)

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02/09/2018

FinCEN finalizes new SAR

FinCEN has issued a notice to e-filers that announces an update to the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filing format, to be live in June 2018. The announcement says that the revisions adhere to the changes listed in FinCEN's February 2, 2017, Federal Register notice. Beginning with the new SAR filings, batch submissions will have to be made in an XML-based file, rather than the current ASCII fixed-length delimited file format. Other notable changes:

  • A new text field to alert FinCEN that a SAR is being filed in response to a current GTO, advisory or other activity
  • A new "Cyber Event" suspicious activity type category
  • New or modified subtype selections associate with Structuring, Fraud, Gaming activities, Money laundering, Identification/Documentation, Other suspicious activities, Securities/Futures/Options, and Mortgage fraud.
  • New text fields with the IP Address field to record the date and/or timestamp of the first instance of the reported IP address
  • New category of fields to record up to 99 cyber events associated with the suspicious activity
  • New product type selections
  • New subtype selections for securities and futures institutions

Discrete filers will start using the new online e-filing form in June 2018. Batch filers may start sending XML-format files with the revised fields beginning in June, but must complete their changeover to XML within 6 months of the yet-to-be-announced June "go-live" date. ASCII batch files will be accepted until January 1, 2019.

02/09/2018

Fed issues notice of intent to prohibit

The Federal Reserve Board has issued a Notice of Intent to Prohibit Jacob H. Goldstein, former president and CEO of NBRS Financial, Rising Sun, Maryland (a former state member bank merged with assistance into Howard Bank, Ellicott City, Maryland). The Notice of Intent alleges that Goldstein, who also served as chief lending officer for the bank, received the benefit of loans to third parties without disclosing to the bank's board that he benefited from those loans, which violated Regulation O, breached his fiduciary responsibilities to the bank, and caused the bank to operate in an unsafe and unsound manner.

The Notice of Intent gives Goldstein 20 days to file an answer and notifies him of his right to an administrative hearing to issue recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning its intent to prohibit Goldstein from further involvement with any financial institution.

02/08/2018

FTC warns of FEMA impersonators and ID theft

The Federal Trade Commission has posted an article warning of disaster scams that may involve phony FEMA representatives and identity theft in which scammers file bogus disaster claims with FEMA using stolen identities.

02/08/2018

CFPB issues info request on its enforcement processes

The CFPB has released the third in its series of "calls for evidence" to ensure that the Bureau is fulfilling its proper functions to best protect consumers. The latest Request for Information (RFI), expected to be published on Monday, asks for feedback on the CFPB's enforcement processes. If the RFI is published as scheduled, the 60-day comment period will expire on Friday, April 13, 2018.

02/08/2018

South Asian terrorist facilitators sanctioned by OFAC

OFAC has announced it has acted to disrupt South Asian terrorist support networks by designating three individuals, Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan, and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. See our BOL OFAC Update for identifying information.

02/08/2018

Consumer credit increases in Q4

The Federal Reserbe Board has released its G.19 Consumer Credit data for the fourth quarter 2017. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7-3/4 percent during the fourth quarter. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 9-3/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7 percent. In December, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 5-3/4 percent.

02/08/2018

Payment fraud losses continue nationwide

FRB Services reports a new survey of nearly 300 financial institutions across the country reveals that payment fraud losses remain an issue for a majority of respondents. The survey also found that customer diligence, such as reviewing transaction activity and statements online and reporting suspicious activity to their financial institutions, is very effective across all payments types, including cards, checks, and automated clearinghouse and wire transfers. The survey, released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, aimed to identify ways to reduce payments fraud.

02/08/2018

OCC releases 16 CRA ratings

The OCC has released a list of Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations of OCC-supervised institutions that became public in January. Of the 16 institutions listed, 15 were rated satisfactory and one was rated outstanding.

02/08/2018

Dutch bank sub pays $369M for BSA/AML violations and obstruction

The OCC has announced a $50 million civil money penalty against Rabobank, N.A., of Roseville, California, for deficiencies in the bank’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program and the termination of a consent order. The bank’s deficiencies were the subject of a cease and desist order which the bank consented to on December 5, 2013. The bank is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.

The civil money penalty partially satisfied a $369 million criminal forfeiture order imposed by the Justice Department in exchange for the bank's guilty plea to a felony conspiracy charge for "impairing, impeding and obstructing its primary regulator..., by concealing deficiencies in its anti-money laundering (AML) program and for obstructing the OCC’s examination of Rabobank."

For more information on the Rabobank case and links to the OCC and Justice Department announcement and orders, see "Rabobank pays $369M for BSA/AML violations and obstruction", in our Penalties pages.

02/08/2018

FTC charges student loan debt relief company

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it has charged a student loan debt relief operation with bilking more than $28 million from thousands of consumers across the country by falsely promising that consumers’ monthly payments would go towards paying off their student loans. According to the federal court complaint filed by the FTC, the defendants sent personalized mailers to consumers falsely claiming they were eligible for federal programs that would permanently reduce their monthly debt payments to a fixed low amount or result in total loan forgiveness.

02/08/2018

SEC exam priorities include AML programs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced its 2018 examination priorities, which include compliance and risks in critical market infrastructure, matters of importance to retail investors (including seniors and those saving for retirement), FINRA and MSRB, cybersecurity, and anti-money laundering programs.

02/08/2018

CFPB on tax law change benefiting disabled student borrowers

The CFPB has posted an article, "Help is here for people with severe disabilities struggling with student laons," reporting that, due to a recent change in federal law, borrowers whose student loans are forgiven on or after January 1, 2018, due to “death or total and permanent disability” no longer have to pay federal income taxes on those forgiven loans.

02/07/2018

Mulvaney names Bureau chief of staff

The CFPB announced Tuesday that Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has named Kirsten Sutton Mork chief of staff for the agency. Ms. Sutton Mork has been serving as staff director of the House Financial Services Committee under Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

02/07/2018

Fanny and Freddie housing goals for 2018-2020

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced a final rule that establishes new single-family and multifamily housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2018 through 2020 in accordance with the provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The rule will be effective 30 days after Federal Register publication.

02/07/2018

Otting comments on meeting with Mulvaney

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting issued a statement yesterday after meeting with Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget Director and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Editor's note: The OCC news release (NR 2018-14) reports that Comptroller Otting said that "Acting Director Mulvaney has helped reduce the burden on the banking system by delaying implementation of his agency's Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, committing to reconsider its payday lending rule, and deferring action on additional regulations until completing a more thorough review of those matters." There is no record of a delay in implementation of the HMDA rule. We believe Otting (or his staff) meant to refer to the delay of the Prepaid Accounts rule.

02/07/2018

FDIC releases stress testing scenarios

The FDIC has released the economic scenarios that will be used by certain financial institutions with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion for stress tests required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios include key variables that reflect economic activity, including unemployment, exchange rates, prices, income, interest rates, and other salient aspects of the economy and financial markets.

02/06/2018

FinCEN clarifies 2017 FBAR due date

FinCEN has posted a clarification of the due date for filing the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account forms (FBARs) for calendar year 2017 is April 17, 2018, rather than the normal April 15 deadline.

02/06/2018

FDIC releases list of 43 CRA evaluations

The FDIC has released a list of 43 state non-member banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. Thirty-eight of those banks were rated "satisfactory"; one received an "outstanding" rating and four were rated "needs to improve."

02/06/2018

OFAC adds four Democratic Republic of the Congo designations

Treasury has announced that its Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned four individuals who have engaged in destabilizing activities responsible for prolonging the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and contributing to widespread poverty, chronic food insecurity, and population displacement. As a result of yesterday's actions, all of the designated persons' assets within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For identifying information on the designated individuals, see our OFAC Update.

02/06/2018

Comments sought on proposed Swap Margin Rule amendments

Five federal agencies (Federal Reserve, Farm Credit Administration, FDIC, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and OCC) have issued a proposal to amend swap margin requirements to conform with recent rule changes that impose new restrictions on certain qualified financial contracts (QFCs) of systemically important banking organizations. Under the proposed amendments, legacy swaps entered into before the applicable compliance date would not become subject to the margin requirements if they are amended solely to comply with the requirements of the QFC Rules. The proposed amendments would also harmonize the definition of “Eligible Master Netting Agreement” in the Swap Margin Rule with recent changes to the definition of “Qualifying Master Netting Agreement” in the respective capital and liquidity regulations of the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) by recognizing the restrictions that were adopted by these agencies with respect to the QFC Rules.

02/06/2018

OCC to host innovation office hours and listening session

The OCC has announced the date and location for its upcoming Innovation Office Hours and Inaugural Listening Session. Office Hours are scheduled for March 21 and 22, and the Listening Session is set for March 20, both in Chicago. Office Hours are one-on-one meetings with OCC officials to discuss financial technology, new products or services, partnering with a bank or fintech company, or other matters related to financial innovation. OCC staff will provide feedback and respond to questions.

02/06/2018

Fed releases January SLOOS

The Federal Reserve has posted the results of its January 2018 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS). This quarterly survey of up to 80 large domestic banks and 24 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks cover changes in the standards and terms of the banks' lending and the state of business and household demand for loans. The survey often includes questions on one or two other topics of current interest.

02/05/2018

Hizballah financial network sanctioned

On Friday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted the business operations of Hizballah by designating six individuals and seven entities pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of Friday’s designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction were blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For the names and identification information of the targeting individuals and entities, see our OFAC Update.

02/05/2018

FHFA extends comment period on Fannie and Freddie credit score changes

The FHFA has announced that it has extended, from February 20, 2018, to March 30, 2018, the deadline for interested parties to provide input on potential changes to the credit score requirements of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA is seeking input on all aspects of a potential change from the current Classic FICO requirement, including feedback on the operational and competition considerations of continuing to use a single credit score model or allowing the use of more than one credit score model.

02/05/2018

Fed hobbles Wells Fargo growth for controls failures

Responding to recent and widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns by Wells Fargo & Company (WFC), the Federal Reserve Board on Friday announced that it has restricted the growth of the firm until it sufficiently improves its governance and controls. Concurrently with the Board's action, Wells Fargo will replace three current board members by April and a fourth board member by the end of the year. In addition to the growth restriction, the Board's consent cease and desist order with Wells Fargo requires the firm to improve its governance and risk management processes, including strengthening the effectiveness of oversight by its board of directors. Until the firm makes sufficient improvements, it will be restricted from growing any larger than its total asset size as of the end of 2017. The Board required each current director to sign the cease and desist order.

02/05/2018

Regulators to host CECL webinar

FIL-8-2018, issued Friday, announced that the FDIC will host in conjunction with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a webinar to discuss how smaller, less complex community institutions can implement Current Expected Credit Losses Methodology (CECL). The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 1:00 pm EST.

02/05/2018

FTC releases paper on financial issues of military consumers

The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection has published a Staff Perspective, A Closer Look At The Military Consumer Financial Workshop, which examines takeaways from a July 2017 workshop on financial issues that can affect military consumers, including servicemembers, veterans, and their families, when they are purchasing and financing a car, dealing with debt collectors, or making credit decisions, as well as their legal rights and remedies, and strategies to promote financial literacy and capability.

02/05/2018

Powell assumes chairmanship of Board of Governors

Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome H. Powell was sworn in today as Chairman of the Board by Vice Chairman Randal Quarles. Powell succeeds outgoing chair Janet L. Yellen. Powell's term as chairman is four years; his 14-year term as a member of the Board of Governors ends January 31, 2028.

02/02/2018

Bureau adds HMDA LAR tool and updates resources

The CFPB has updated its Resources for HMDA filers page, adding a 2018 LAR Formatting Tool, and making minor updates to the 2018 Filing Instructions. The 2018 LAR Formatting Tool is designed to assist financial institutions create an electronic file that can be submitted to the HMDA platform. It can be used for data collected in 2018 and reported next year.

The Bureau also updated its Reportable HMDA Data: A regulatory and reporting overview reference chart. If you previously downloaded the 2018 Filing Instructions and/or the reference chart, we recommend you replace them with the newer versions.

02/02/2018

HUD to provide $1.5B to aid Puerto Rico hurricane recovery

HUD has announced the award of more than $1.5 billion to help Puerto Rico recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria. The recovery funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery Program and will support long-term recovery of seriously damaged housing and local businesses in Puerto Rico. HUD relied upon data from FEMA and the SBA to determine the extent of unmet housing and small business needs in the areas most affected by the disasters. HUD's analysis found thousands of middle- and lower-income homeowners and renters who experienced serious damage to their residences and who were not adequately insured (or uninsured) for their losses. Similarly, businesses suffered serious damage that is not adequately covered by insurance or other resources. The grant is designed to help meet needs not being met by private insurance or other sources of federal assistance.

02/02/2018

Regulators release 2018 CCAR scenarios and stress test exercises

The Federal Reserve Board and the OCC have released the scenarios banks and supervisors will use for the 2018 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act stress test exercises, and issued instructions to firms participating in CCAR.

Stress tests help make sure that banks will be able to lend to households and businesses even in a serious recession by ensuring that they have adequate capital to absorb losses. CCAR evaluates the capital planning practices and capital adequacy of the largest U.S. bank holding companies and large U.S. operations of foreign firms, using the firms' planned capital actions such as dividend payments and share buybacks and issuances. The Dodd-Frank Act stress tests are a forward-looking assessment of capital sufficiency using standard assumptions across all firms.

02/02/2018

Mulvaney cuts enforcement power of CFPB office

In a memo to staff released this week, Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, transferred members of the Bureau's Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity into his office and ended the Office's separate enforcement authority, according to Consumer Reports. A Bureau spokesman said the move was made to "gain efficiency and consistency without sacrificing effectiveness." Critics of the move have suggested that the reorganization will reduce the effectiveness of the CFPB's fair lending enforcement efforts.

02/01/2018

NCUA prohibition order and notices

The NCUA issued one prohibition order and three notices of prohibition in January, 2018. Four former credit union employees are prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The individuals were employed by credit unions in Huntington, West Virginia; Washington, Pennsylvania; Newberry, Michigan and Columbia, Missouri.

02/01/2018

Counterfeit checks alert involving secret shopper scam

The OCC has issued an alert concerning counterfeit cashier's checks appearing to be issued by Hatboro Federal Savings, Hatboro, Pennsylvania. The checks seen by the bank so far have been linked to a "secret shopper" scam. For details, see our Alerts & Counterfeits entry for the OCC warning.

02/01/2018

Comptroller’s Handbook MSRB update

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2018-3 to announce an update of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. The booklet incorporates updated guidance and examination procedures following changes to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) rules on best execution, transactions with sophisticated municipal market professionals (SMMP), and regular-way settlement for municipal securities transactions. In addition, technical revisions were made to this booklet to incorporate changes to 12 CFR 10 regulatory filing requirements, which now apply to federal savings associations engaged in municipal securities dealer activities.

02/01/2018

CFPB request for feedback on administrative adjudications

The CFPB has announced the second in its promised series of requests for information (RFIs) seeking input on the Bureau's activities. This RFI is on administrative adjudications, and seeks input to better inform the CFPB on the benefits and impacts of its use of administrative adjudications, and to help the Bureau improve its existing process. Publication is scheduled for February 5, with a 60-day comment period ending Friday, April 6, 2018.

The Bureau said the next RFI in the series, on the CFPB's enforcement processes, will be issued next week.

02/01/2018

OFAC adds counter terrorism designations

OFAC has added one individual and three entities to its list of specially designated global terrorists. Their names and identification details can be found in our OFAC Update.

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