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Top Story Lending Related

10/13/2020

FDIC issues FIL on Hurricane Sally relief

The FDIC has issued FIL-96-2020 announcing steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Sally.

10/13/2020

CIP exemption for premium finance loans

The OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, NCUA, and FinCEN have issued an order granting an exemption from the requirements of the customer identification program rules implementing section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act for certain loans. The affected loans are those extended by banks. credit unions and their subsidiaries under the jurisdiction of the agencies to all customers (entities and individuals) to facilitate purchases of property and casualty insurance policies referred to as insurance premium finance lending or premium finance loans.

This order, which is dated October 5, 2020, supersedes an order issued September 27, 2018.

10/09/2020

School-affiliated credit card decline continues

The CFPB yesterday issued its annual College Credit Card Agreements report to Congress, which covers agreements between credit card issuers and institutions of higher education, as well as certain organizations affiliated with such institutions. The report indicates that in 2019 the number of total agreements in effect, as well as the number of accounts open under the agreements, continues a general downward trend. Overall, between 2009 and 2019, the number of agreements in effect, year-end open accounts, and payments by issuers all declined by more than two-thirds. Agreements with alumni associations continue to represent the large majority of agreements, accounts, and payments by issuers.

10/09/2020

Simpler forgiveness application for small PPP loans

Treasury has announced that the SBA has released a simpler loan forgiveness application and application instructions for Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less, and issued an interim final rule on its simpler forgiveness process.

The SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP lenders for PPP borrowers on October 2, 2020.

10/08/2020

Bureau issues RESPA Section 8 FAQs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published guidance in the form of FAQs on Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Section 8 topics. The FAQs, which the CFPB has issued as a Compliance Aid, provide an overview of the provisions of RESPA Section 8 and respective Regulation X sections, and address the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in Bureau inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs).

The Bureau also said it has determined that Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, "RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements," does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X and therefore is rescinding it. The Bureau’s rescission of the Bulletin does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal. Whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including the details of how the MSA is structured and implemented. MSAs remain subject to scrutiny.

10/08/2020

Consumer credit decreases

The Federal Reserve has released its G.19 Consumer Credit Report for August 2020, which reports consumer credit decreased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 11-1/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 3/4 percent.

10/08/2020

Citibank fined $400M for risk management deficiencies

The OCC announced yesterday it has issued Citibank, N.A., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a $400 million civil money penalty order related to deficiencies in enterprise-wide risk management, compliance risk management, data governance, and internal controls. The OCC took that action based on the bank’s unsafe or unsound banking practices for its long-standing failure to establish effective risk management and data governance programs and internal controls. This failure also resulted in a violation of 12 CFR Part 30, Appendix D, “OCC Guidelines Establishing Heightened Standards for Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches.”

The agency also issued a cease and desist order requiring the bank to take broad and comprehensive corrective actions to improve risk management, data governance, and internal controls. The order requires the bank to seek the OCC’s non-objection before making significant new acquisitions and reserves the OCC’s authority to implement additional business restrictions or require changes in senior management and the bank’s board should the bank not make timely, sufficient progress in complying with the order.

Further information on the OCC's actions, with links to the consent orders, can be found HERE, in BankersOnline's Penalty pages.

The Federal Reserve Board announced a separate but related action against Citigroup, the bank’s holding company. In a cease and desist order, the Board requires Citigroup to enhance its firm-wide risk management and internal controls. Among other things, the firm has not taken prompt and effective actions to correct practices previously identified by the Board in the areas of compliance risk management, data quality management, and internal controls.

10/07/2020

Powell comments on pandemic and challenges

In a presentation at the National Association for Business Economics Virtual Annual Meeting, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell reviewed recent economic developments and the challenges ahead.

Powell noted the recovery has progressed more quickly than generally expected. He also recommended we should continue do what we can to manage downside risks to the outlook. One such risk is that COVID-19 cases might again rise to levels that more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being. Managing this risk as the expansion continues will require following medical experts' guidance, including using masks and social-distancing measures.

Powell stated “Today, I will just note that the underlying structure of the economy changes over time, and that the FOMC's framework for conducting monetary policy must keep pace. The forward rate guidance adopted at our September meeting reflects our new consensus statement. The new guidance says that, with inflation running persistently below our longer-run 2 percent goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee also left the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 0 to 1/4 percent, and it expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels that are consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.”

10/07/2020

2020 census of finance companies

The Federal Reserve System has announced that it will begin the 2020 Census of Finance Companies and Other Lenders. The census is a key part of the Federal Reserve's effort to paint a complete picture of this important sector of the U.S. economy. A letter from Fed Chair Powell was sent to approximately 26,000 companies urging their participation in the census.

10/07/2020

New funding for disabled veterans housing

HUD has announced $3.9 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) to help make homes more accessible for disabled veterans. Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening doors, reconfiguring bathrooms, and modifying homes to accommodate a veteran’s caregiver. The purpose of this program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence.

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