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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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OFAC sanctions Venezuelan officials

On Monday, The Treasury Department announced that OFAC has designated four current or former Venezuelan government officials pursuant to Executive Order 13692, as part of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to highlight the economic mismanagement and endemic corruption that have been the defining features of the Maduro regime. The Venezuelan government’s actions have rendered Venezuela’s currency essentially worthless through hyperinflation, made food and medicine rare commodities through price controls, and triggered a humanitarian crisis that the Venezuelan government refuses to alleviate by changing policy or accepting international assistance.

Treasury also announced that the president signed a new Executive Order prohibiting U.S. persons and others subject to U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela after January 9, 2018.

As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the designated current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. For their identity information and a link to the new Executive Order and new FAQs, see our OFAC Update.


MLA search site updated

The Department of Defense's MLA site has a notice that its search capabilities for servicemembers and dependents now include the ability to search single and multiple records using an ITIN, and now uses the latest version of reCAPTCHA 2.0 to help prevent automated searches that can cripple the site. BOL's Andy Zavoina has started a discussion explaining the reasons for the upgrade in BOL's Discussion Forums.


NCUA opens first CDFI qualification round

The NCUA has announced federally insured, low-income credit unions interested in becoming certified community development financial institutions may be eligible to use the regulator’s streamlined application process which runs from March 19 to April 6, 2018. Low-income credit unions can submit data on loan originations to the NCUA's Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion, which will analyze each credit union's products and services and other indicators to determine its likelihood for certification. If the credit union is qualified to use the streamlined process, the NCUA will provide an application form and the data necessary to complete it. The credit union then completes the application and submits it to the CDFI Fund, which makes the final determination on the certification.


Industrial production rises

The Fed has released February G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization data. Industrial production rose 1.1 percent in February following a decline of 0.3 percent in January. Manufacturing production increased 1.2 percent in February, its largest gain since October. Mining output jumped 4.3 percent, mostly reflecting strong gains in oil and gas extraction. The index for utilities fell 4.7 percent, as warmer-than-normal temperatures last month reduced the demand for heating. At 108.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in February was 4.4 percent higher than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.7 percentage point in February to 78.1 percent, its highest reading since January 2015 but still 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.


Treasury adjusts CMPs for inflation

The Department of the Treasury has published a final rule at 83 FR 11876 in today's Federal Register to adjust its civil monetary penalties ("CMPs") for inflation as mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended. This rule adjusts CMPs within the jurisdiction of certain components (Terrorism Risk Program, OFAC, FinCEN) of the Department to the maximum amount required by the Act.


OCC issues list of enforcement actions

The OCC has released a list of new enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations. The list includes one Order to Cease and Desist, one Order for a Civil Money Penalty against an individual, one Notice of Charges for Prohibition and Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty, and several terminations of earlier enforcement orders.

The individual civil money penalty of $20,000 was assessed against a current or former director of Merchants Bank of California, N.A., of Carson, California, who "caused, brought about, or participated in" the bank's violations of consent orders issued in 2010 and 2014 against the bank, and violations of 12 CFR §21.21 (Procedures for monitoring Bank Secrecy Act compliance). The OCC also found that the individual "failed to take necessary actions to ensure that the Bank corrected the deficiencies resulting in those violations. [See 2/28/2017 Top Story, California bank gets BSA/AML penalty.]

The Notice of Charges was issued to the former Chairman, CEO and controlling stockholder of The National Republic Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. The bank failed in 2014, and the FDIC estimated the loss to the Deposit Insurance Fund was more that $111 million. The respondent has 20 days from the date of service of the Notice to agree to the proposed orders of prohibition and $1 million civil money penalty, or request a hearing on the charges before an Administrative Law Judge.


First-lien mortgage performance unchanged in fourth quarter

The performance of first-lien mortgages remained largely unchanged during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier, according to the OCC's Mortgage Metrics Report, Fourth Quarter 2017. The report indicated 94.5 percent of mortgages included in the report were current and performing at the end of the quarter, compared to 94.7 percent a year earlier. It also showed that foreclosure activity has increased from the previous quarter. Reporting servicers initiated 34,519 new foreclosures during the fourth quarter of 2017, a 0.7 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 24.1 percent decrease from a year earlier. Servicers implemented 21,866 mortgage modifications in the fourth quarter of 2017. Seventy-nine percent of the modifications reduced borrowers’ monthly payments.


OCC to hold risk workshops in Florida

The OCC has announced it will host two workshops at the Holiday Inn Fort Walton Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, April 24-25, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC.

  • The Risk Governance workshop on April 24 combines lectures, discussion, and exercises to provide practical information for directors to effectively measure and manage risks.
  • The Credit Risk workshop on April 25 focuses on credit risk within the loan portfolio, such as identifying trends and recognizing problems. The workshop also covers the roles of the board and management, how to stay informed of changes in credit risk, and how to effect change.


Senate passes partial Dodd-Frank rollback bill

The U.S. Senate voted 67 to 31 to pass S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, late on Wednesday evening, March 14, 2018, reports NMP, the National Mortgage Professional Magazine. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration, where the chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, Jeb Hensarling, is reported by The Hill to have said he's not holding talks with key senators on the bill. Hensarling said he does expect a conference committee to be formed, but House conservatives want any final bill to include more input from the House membership.

In the meantime, the House has passed the Tailor Act, which, if enacted, would require regulators to tailor their actions to meet characteristics of the many different banks they supervise.

The Senate bill includes provisions that would, among other things --

  • Provide Qualified Mortgage designations for mortgages held in portfolio by banks with less than $10 billion in assets
  • Increase the threshold for designation as a systemically important financial institution from $50 billion to $250 billion in assets
  • End stress testing for banks under $100 billion in assets
  • Simplify community bank capital calculations
  • Provide appraisal requirement relief for smaller mortgages in rural areas
  • Lengthen the exam cycle for community banks
  • Provide for free security freezes of credit files held at nationwide credit bureaus
  • Make permanent the temporary changes to the SCRA extending the "90 day" period in sections 303(b) and 303(c) to "one year."
  • Provide for expanded relief from HPML escrow requirements for depository institutions

If either of these bills is enacted, it will, of course, include different final wording than that currently reported.


OCC schedules Indianapolis workshops

The OCC will host two workshops in Indianapolis at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport, April 17 and 18, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC.

  • The Compliance Risk workshop on April 17 combines lectures, discussion, and exercises on the critical elements of an effective compliance risk management program. The workshop also focuses on major compliance risks and critical regulations.
  • The Operational Risk workshop on April 18 focuses on the key components of operational risk—people, processes, and systems.


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