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Top Story Lending Related

10/02/2020

OCC 2021 bank supervision operating plan

The OCC yesterday released its bank supervision operating plan for fiscal year 2021. The plan provides the foundation for policy initiatives and for supervisory strategies as applied to individual national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches, federal agencies, and technology service providers. OCC staff members use this plan to guide their supervisory priorities, planning, and resource allocations.

Supervisory strategies for FY 2021 will focus on:

  • credit risk management, commercial and residential real estate concentration risk management, allowances for loan and lease losses, and allowances for credit losses
  • cybersecurity and operational resilience
  • BSA/AML compliance management
  • compliance risk management associated with 2020 pandemic-related bank activities
  • Community Reinvestment Act performance
  • fair lending examinations and risk assessments
  • the impact of a low-rate environment and preparation for the phaseout of LIBOR
  • proper oversight of significant third-party relationships
  • change management over significant operational changes
  • payment systems products and services

    10/02/2020

    Fed extends expansion of intraday credit

    The Federal Reserve Board yesterday extended to March 31, 2021, temporary actions aimed at increasing the availability of intraday credit extended by Federal Reserve Banks on both a collateralized and uncollateralized basis. These temporary actions: (1) suspend uncollateralized intraday credit limits (net debit caps) and waive overdraft fees for institutions that are eligible for the primary credit program; (2) permit a streamlined procedure for secondary credit institutions to request collateralized intraday credit (max caps); and (3) suspend two collections of information that are used to calculate net debit caps.

    The Fed's temporary actions were due to expire on September 30, 2020.

    10/02/2020

    NMLS reminder on renewals

    The NMLS has posted a reminder that the NMLS 2021 annual renewal period for federal registrations begins November 1. According to federal regulations, all mortgage loan originators registered prior to July 1, 2020, must renew their registrations for 2021. The renewal period ends December 31.

    10/01/2020

    OCC updates TILA exam procedures booklet

    The OCC has issued Bulletin 2020-84 announcing its issuance of a revised "Truth in Lending Act" booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook to reflect revised interagency examination procedures adopted by the Task Force on Consumer Compliance of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). The Bulletin rescinds OCC Bulletin 2018-31, “Truth in Lending Act: Revised Comptroller's Handbook Booklet and Rescissions.”

    09/30/2020

    Operation Corrupt Collector announced

    The Federal Trade Commission, along with more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners, has announced a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative to protect consumers from phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices. This crackdown encompasses more than 50 enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 states. The initiative, called Operation Corrupt Collector, includes five FTC law enforcement actions, including two newly announced cases and settlements in three prior actions. The two new FTC cases allege that companies were trying to collect debts they cannot legally collect or that a consumer does not owe—a practice known as phantom debt collection.

    09/30/2020

    Blanco encourages specificity in COVID-19-related SARs

    In remarks delivered yesterday during a virtual AML conference, FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco encouraged attendees to read FinCEN's advisories related to COVID-10 medical fraud, imposter scams, and cyber-related crime. He said that the most common trend FinCEN is seeing in COVID-19 related SARs involves fraudsters targeting multiple COVID-19 related government stimulus programs, employing money mules and cyber techniques. The largest share of COVID-19 SARs addresses fraud against federal or state COVID-19 stimulus programs. Stimulus programs intended to benefit both individual taxpayers and small businesses have been targeted for fraud, with multiple Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) payments disbursed to a single account representing the most common financial pattern reported in SARs.

    Blanco recommended that SARs be specific in describing the activity being reported, to make them as useful as possible for law enforcement. Detailed information can help get SARs routed to the correct investigative team. For example, reports of medical scams like fake test kits, non-delivery of goods, and price gouging go to a specialized team of attorneys and investigators across the government. Specificity in the SAR about the fraudulent or suspicious medical aspects, both in the narrative and by checking box 34z, will get a SAR to this team more quickly.

    For consumer related fraud, especially targeting the elderly or other vulnerable individuals with a COVID-19 related scam, such as a fake COVID relief charity or bogus person-in-need scam, specificity in SARs is also encouraged. Using the SAR check box 38d for elder financial exploitation will expedite getting the SAR to the right team.

    Regarding SARs reporting suspected fraud in government programs, Blanco said vague references to “stimulus” or “CARES Act” or “benefit” in SARs hinder FinCEN's ability to get the information into the hands of the right team. The more specific filers are in their SAR narratives, the faster their reports will get to the right investigators. For example:

    • If the suspicious activity is related to an ACH payment from a state unemployment insurance program, filers should clearly mention COVID19 UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD in field 2 of the SAR (Filing Institution Note to FinCEN) as well as in the narrative. This will make it much easier for the SAR to get to law enforcement teams working with the states on unemployment fraud.
    • If the activity involves a counterfeit check or ACH payment for the EIDL program, filers should clearly mention COVID19 EIDL FUNDS FRAUD in field 2 of the SAR and state this in the narrative, because there are specific prosecutorial teams working on EIDL fraud.

    Blanco said that, from February 1 to September 12, banks and credit unions filed over 64,000, or about 71 percent, of all COVID-19-related SARs.

    09/30/2020

    Supplemental September 2020 SLOOS

    The Federal Reserve has released the results of a supplementary Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS) that was conducted to understand the experiences of domestically chartered banks with the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP). The survey consisted of a set of questions that focused on four areas:

    • commercial and industrial (C&I) loan inquiries and banks’ participation in the MSLP since mid-June, when lender registration started
    • banks’ outlook regarding their participation in the program
    • factors that may have shaped banks’ willingness to participate
    • characteristics of borrowers inquiring and receiving MSLP loans

    09/30/2020

    Agencies finalize CECL phase-in rule

    The Federal Reserve, OCC, and FDIC have published [85 FR 61577] a final rule that delays the estimated impact on regulatory capital stemming from the implementation of Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses, Topic 326, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL). This final rule is consistent with the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2020, with certain clarifications and minor adjustments in response to public comments related to the mechanics of the transition and the eligibility criteria for applying the transition.

    09/30/2020

    Regulators issue two final temporary rules

    The Federal Reserve, OCC, and FDIC have announced they have finalized two rules, which are either identical or substantially similar to interim final rules currently in effect and issued earlier this year.

    The final rule temporarily deferring appraisal and evaluation requirements is substantially similar to the interim final rule issued in April. It will allow individuals and businesses to more quickly access real estate equity to help address needs for liquidity as a result of the coronavirus. In response to comments, the final rule clarifies which loans are subject to the deferral. The final rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register and will expire on December 31, 2020. PUBLICATION UPDATE: Published October 16, 2020, at 85 FR 65666.

    The final rule pertaining to Federal Reserve liquidity facilities adopts without change three interim final rules issued in March, April, and May, 2020. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve launched several lending facilities to support the economy in light of the coronavirus response. The final rule neutralizes the regulatory capital and liquidity coverage ratio effects of participating in the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility because there is no credit or market risk in association with exposures pledged to these facilities. It will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. PUBLICATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE UPDATE: Published on 10/28/2020, with effective date of 12/28/2020.

    09/29/2020

    Phony SBA lender settles FTC charges

    The Federal Trade Commission has announced that a Rhode Island company and its owner will be permanently prohibited from misrepresenting they are affiliated with the SBA as part of a settlement resolving Commission charges they misled consumers in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ponte Investments, LLC, and its owner John C. Ponte were charged by the FTC in April with misleading small businesses to think they had an affiliation with the SBA and could offer companies access to the coronavirus relief programs administered by the agency.

    The settlement prohibits defendants from misrepresenting that they are authorized to accept or process applications for SBA loans and misrepresenting that they are the SBA or are otherwise affiliated or associated with the SBA or the U.S. Government. The defendants will also no longer be able to use the trade name or domain name "SBA Loan Program."

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