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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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CFPB symposium on abusive acts or practices

The CFPB has announced it will hold a symposium on the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition on abusive acts or practices on June 25 at its headquarters in Washington. The symposium will feature two panels of UDAAP experts. The first panel will include a discussion with leading academic experts in the area of Consumer Protection. The discussion will touch on various policy issues relating to the abusive standard under Dodd-Frank. The second panel will examine how the abusive standard has been used in practice and will include leading legal experts in the field. Members of the public who plan to attend in person or to view the event via livestream must register in advance.


OFAC targets Assad regime supporters

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 16 individuals and entities associated with an international network benefiting the Assad regime. The designations were designed to cut off critical supplies and financiers for the regime’s luxury reconstruction and investment efforts. This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to imposing a financial toll on those supporting Assad’s authoritarian rule, including Syrian oligarch Samer Foz.

According to Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker, "Samer Foz, his relatives, and his business empire have leveraged the atrocities of the Syrian conflict into a profit-generating enterprise. This Syrian oligarch is directly supporting the murderous Assad regime and building luxury developments on land stolen from those fleeing his brutality."

As a result of OFAC’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals and entities that are 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 or designated persons.

For a list and identifying information for the individuals and entities designated, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


Oklahoma severe weather guidance

The FDIC has issued FIL-30-2019 with steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Oklahoma affected by severe winter storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes.


Consumer credit increases

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


SSA proposes SSN verification service

The Social Security Administration has published a notice [84 FR 26712] announcing the initial enrollment period for a new electronic Consent Based Social Security Number (SSN) Verification (eCBSV) service. SSA will roll out the service to a limited number of users in June 2020, and plans on expanding the number of users within six months of the initial rollout. All interested permitted entities must apply during this initial enrollment period to be eligible to use the new eCBSV service during either the initial rollout or subsequent planned expansion. Permitted entities that do not apply during the initial enrollment period must wait until the next designated period after the planned expansion to apply for enrollment. The initial enrollment period for permitted entities will begin on July 17, 2019, and remain open until the period closes on July 31, 2019. In accord with statutory requirements, permitted entities will be required to provide payment to build the new eCBSV system.

The eCBSV is created under a mandate in Section 215 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA).


Underwriting provisions of Payday Lender Rule delayed

The CFPB has posted a notice on its Payday Lending Rule implementation page that the Bureau yesterday issued a final rule delaying for 15 months the August 19, 2019, compliance date of the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 Payday Lending Rule. The new compliance date of those provisions will be November 19, 2020. The rest of the Payday Lending Rule's substantive provisions will become effective on August 19, 2019.

The 15-month delay of the underwriting provisions is designed to give the Bureau the time to evaluate a separate proposal that those provisions be eliminated from the Payday Lending Rule.


FTC sends enforcement report to CFPB

The Federal Trade Commission has provided its 2018 Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to the CFPB. The report describes the Commission's enforcement and activities regarding Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act), Regulation M (Consumer Leasing Act), and Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfer Act). A copy was also provided to the Federal Reserve Board.


OCC CRA evaluations released

The OCC has released a list of thirty-three CRA performance evaluations that became public in May. Twenty-seven evaluations were rated "Satisfactory" and these six were rated "Outstanding:"


Bureau levies $1.75M HMDA penalty

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has settled with Freedom Mortgage Corporation for a civil money penalty of $1.75 million, to settle Freedom's potential liability for violations of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and its implementing regulation, Regulation C (12 CFR part 1003) as alleged by the Bureau. Freedom, headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, is one of the ten largest HMDA reporters in the country. From 2013 through 2016 it originated more than 50,000 mortgage loans a year.

The Bureau found that Freedom violated HMDA and Regulation C by submitting mortgage-loan data for 2014 to 2017 that contained errors; Freedom reported inaccurate race, ethnicity, and sex information and much of Freedom’s loan officers’ recording of this incorrect information was intentional. For example, certain loan officers were told by managers or other loan officers that, when applicants did not provide their race or ethnicity, they should select "non-Hispanic white" regardless of whether that was accurate.

Under the terms of the consent order, Freedom must pay a civil money penalty of $1.75 million and take steps to improve its compliance management to prevent future violations. For more information on the Bureau's finding and the steps Freedom must take, see "Freedom Mortgage hit with HMDA penalty."


Federal Reserve CRA evaluations

The Federal Reserve Board's historical listing of CRA evaluation ratings lists 25 evaluations made public in May, with 23 of those evaluations rated Satisfactory. Two institutions earned Outstanding ratings in their evaluations:

[Right click a bank name to save a PDF of its Public Evaluation before opening it.]


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