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FDIC and OCC post CRA exam schedules

The FDIC and OCC have announced their second and third quarter 2020 schedules for CRA evaluations.


FDIC releases January enforcement orders

The FDIC has released a list of enforcement actions the agency took in January. A civil money penalty of $16,750 was assessed on a Montana Bank for a pattern or practice of flood insurance-related violations. Cease and desist orders were issued by consent to banks in Glendale, California, and Holmen, Wisconsin.

Removal/Prohibition orders were issued to:

  • a former banking center manager at Yosemite Bank, a division of Premier Valley Bank, Fresno, California, after a finding that he took funds payable to the bank and converted them for his personal benefit
  • the former CEO and Chairman of Citizens State Bank, Woodville, Texas, after a finding that he sought and obtained reimbursement from the bank for personal and family expenses and obtaining reimbursement for other expenses without proper documentation
  • a former teller at FNBC Bank & Trust, LaGrange, Illinois, after a finding that she misappropriated over $138,000 from a bank customer's deposits for personal gain or other benefit without reimbursing the customer or the bank


OCC schedules workshops in Charleston WV

The OCC has announced it will host two workshops at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Charleston, West Virginia, April 14 and 15, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC.

  • The Risk Governance workshop on April 14 provides practical information for directors to effectively measure and manage risks. The workshop also focuses on the OCC’s approach to risk-based supervision and major risks in the financial industry.
  • The Credit Risk workshop on April 15 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.

There is a fee of $99 for each workshop and each session is limited to the first 35 registrants.


Defense revises Military Lending Act interpretive rule

The Department of Defense has published [85 FR 11842] in this morning's Federal Register an amendment to its interpretive rule for the Military Lending Act (the MLA). The Department is withdrawing the amended question and answer number 2, published in its December 14, 2017, Interpretive Rule, which discussed when credit is extended for the purpose of purchasing a motor vehicle or personal property and the creditor simultaneously extends credit in an amount greater than the purchase price of the motor vehicle or personal property. In withdrawing this amended question and answer, the Department is reverting back to the original Q&A #2 published in the August 26, 2016 Interpretive Rule. This will allow the Department to conduct additional analysis on this matter. The Department is also adding a new question and answer to address questions about the use of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to identify covered borrowers in the Department's database.

The amendments are effective February 28, 2020. They have been posted to the BankersOnline Regulations page for the Interpretive Rule.


FEMA to suspend Alabama communities from NFIP

FEMA has published a notice in today's Federal Register that it has scheduled the City of Atmore and unincorporated areas of Escambia County, Alabama, for suspension on March 6, 2020, from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.


Recap of FTC Small Business Financing Forum

The Federal Trade Commission has posted a new paper that provides a look at the information covered in the FTC’s Strictly Business forum on small business financing. The paper outlines a number of topics discussed by participants in the forum. It provides an overview of small business lending and the emergence of new online options available to businesses seeking financing. The paper covers both potential benefits and consumer protection concerns around these online lending options for businesses, and explores in detail consumer protection issues associated with merchant cash advances.

The Commission has also created a direct complaint link for small businesses to submit lending- or financing-related complaints. The agency encourages small business owners to submit complaints if they have experienced potentially unlawful conduct.


NMLS temporarily extends hours of operation

On Saturday, February 29, NMLS will operate until 12:00 a.m. ET (midnight) instead of closing at 8:00 p.m. These extended hours are being provided to accommodate the end of the 2020 renewal reactivation period. NMLS will return to normal operating hours starting Sunday, March 1.


CFPB adds ten TRID FAQs on lender credits

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has added ten new questions and answers to its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure FAQs page. The questions addressed include—

  1. What is a lender credit for purposes of the TRID Rule?
  2. What is the difference between a specific lender credit and a general lender credit?
  3. Is a creditor required to disclose a closing cost and a related lender credit on the Loan Estimate if the creditor will absorb the cost?
  4. Is a creditor required to disclose a closing cost and a related lender credit on the Closing Disclosure if the creditor will absorb the cost?
  5. How are lender credits disclosed on the Loan Estimate?
  6. How are lender credits disclosed on the Closing Disclosure?
  7. How does a creditor disclose lender credits for a loan the the creditor refers to as a "no-cost loan"?
  8. How does a creditor disclose lender credits if the creditor provides a credit, rebate, or reimbursement to offset specific closing costs charged to the consumer?
  9. How does a creditor disclose lender credits when it is offsetting a certain dollar amount of closing costs charge to the consumer without specifying which costs it is offsetting?
  10. Can lender credits change?


Debt collection scheme operator banned

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the operator of a debt collection scheme has settled claims by the Commission and the New York Attorney General that he and the companies he controlled lied to consumers about how much debt they owed and used illegal scare tactics to collect it.

Under the settlement, Robert Heidenreich, who ran the scheme from the Buffalo, N.Y. area, is permanently banned from the debt collection business and prohibited from misleading consumers about any financial products. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $1.7 million, which is partially suspended due to Heidenreich’s inability to pay. He will be required to surrender $30,000 to the FTC, and if he were later found to have misrepresented his financial condition, the full judgment would be due.


U.S. house prices continue to rise

U.S. house prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 1.3 percent according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.1percent from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019. FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.6 percent from November 2019.

U.S. house prices have risen for 34 consecutive quarters, since September 2011.


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