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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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Consumer credit increases

The Federal Reserve's G.19 Consumer Credit report for April 2018 shows that consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3 percent. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 2-1/2 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 3 percent.


Mortgage debt report

The Federal Reserve has released data on First Quarter 2018 mortgage debt outstanding.


OCC to host innovations office hours in Denver

The OCC has announced it will hold Innovation Office Hours, August 7 and August 9, in Denver. The 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 responsible innovation in the federal banking system. OCC staff will provide feedback and respond to questions. Interested parties should request an Office Hours session by June 18, 2018, and are asked to provide information on why they are interested in a meeting. Specific meeting times and arrangements will be determined after the OCC receives and accepts the request.


FDIC forms Money Smart Advance Team

FDIC FIL-32-2018 announces the formation of the new Money Smart Advance Team (MSAT). Banks that engage in financial education activities, or plan to do so, and who join the MSAT will get an early look at the updated instructor-led Money Smart for Adults curriculum, scheduled for release in September, and other benefits.


FTC bans debt scheme operator from debt relief business

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it has Banned Benjamin R. Horton from the debt relief business under a settlement for his role in a mortgage relief scheme that falsely promised financially distressed homeowners foreclosure prevention and more affordable mortgage payments.


CFPB consumer credit trends report

The CFPB has released its quarterly consumer trends report. The report focuses on end-of-year credit card borrowing and repayment of credit card balances in the new year. It also explores how credit card borrowing patterns evolve during and after the annual peak in consumer spending in November and December each year and how this period of borrowing may correlate with financial distress.


Bureau altering Board and Councils in outreach shift

The Bureau has announced in a blog post that is acting to transition "from former modes of outreach to a new strategy to increase high quality feedback." After public comment on its request for information on external engagements, the Bureau is shifting to to expand external engagements in the form of regional town halls focusing on consumers in underserved communities, roundtable discussions regionally and at Bureau headquarters, and regular national calls. As part of the shift, the Bureau will reconstitute its current Consumer Advisory Board and its Community Bank and Credit Union Councils with new and smaller memberships.

The first of the town hall meetings under the new external engagements regime is scheduled for June 8, in Topeka, Kansas. The topic will be "Fighting Elder Financial Exploitation in your Community." The session will be co-hosted with the Kansas Attorney General.


OFAC settles apparent violation of Sudanese Sanctions

OFAC has announced a $145,893 settlement agreement with Ericsson, Inc. of Plano, Texas and Ericsson, AB of Stockholm, Sweden. The companies agreed to settle their potential civil liability for an apparent violation of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations. The apparent violation involved employees of the companies conspiring together and with employees of a third company to export and reexport a satellite hub from the United States to Sudan and to export and reexport satellite-related services from the United States to Sudan in violation of the regulations. OFAC determined that the companies voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violation, and that the apparent violation constitutes an egregious case.


Annual Fed report to Congress

The Federal Reserve Board has delivered its 2017 Annual Report to Congress on operations of the Board during the year. The 104th Annual Report includes minutes of Federal Open Market Committee meetings, financial statements of the Board and combined financial statements of the Reserve Banks, financial statements for Federal Reserve priced services, information on other services provided by the Reserve Banks, directories of Federal Reserve officials and advisory committees, statistical tables, and maps showing the System's District and Branch boundaries.


OCC CRA evaluation schedule released

The OCC has released its schedule of CRA evaluations to be conducted in the third and fourth quarters of 2018.


2018 Q1 CU performance data released

Data on the financial performance of federally insured credit unions in the quarter ending March 31, 2018, is available. The NCUA makes detailed credit union system performance data available on its Credit Union and Call Report Data webpage, including Call Report quarterly summaries and financial performance reports. The Agency’s Industry Data page includes a Financial Trends in Federally Insured Credit Unions package illustrating industry trends.


OFAC targets Colombian cocaine traffickers

Treasury has announced that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has identified on Tuesday the Rincon Castillo drug trafficking organization (Rincon Castillo DTO), Colombian drug trafficker Pedro Rincon Castillo (a.k.a. “Pedro Orejas”), and a key Colombian criminal associate, Horacio de Jesus Triana Romero, as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Seven additional Colombian individuals were designated for providing material support to or acting on behalf of the Rincon Castillo DTO. OFAC also designated seven Colombian companies that are owned or controlled by the designated individuals or the Rincon Castillo DTO.

As a result of yesterday’s action, any assets in which these persons have an interest in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked persons. For identification of the targeted individuals and entities, see our OFAC Update.

Treasury's press release reports that penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,466,485 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.


Treasury to update HTTPS certificate

The Treasury Department has posted a notice that it will be updating the HTTPS certificate it uses for the domain on Thursday, June 7, during an evening maintenance window. Users may have to reinstall the root certificate for the site if they experience connection problems. Users can download this certificate by visiting any secure download path on the Treasury website and using their browser's certificate management controls to install this new certificate. General instructions on downloading the new certificate using Chrome (multiple versions), Internet Explorer, and Firefox were also posted. Contact OFAC technical support at 1-800-540-6322 Option #8 or O_F_A_C @ with any questions that you may have about this change.


Strengthening the financial future for young workers

The Bureau has posted an article listing ways to aid young workers build their financial futures by obtaining and using a bank or credit union deposit account or a prepaid account to help manage their funds.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


May foreign exchange rates

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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