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FFIEC BSA/AML Exam Manual updates

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has released updates to four sections of the FFIEC Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual:

The updates should not be interpreted as new instructions or as a new or increased focus on certain areas; instead, they offer further transparency into the examination process and support risk-focused examination work.

The Manual provides instructions to examiners for assessing the adequacy of a bank’s or credit union’s BSA/AML compliance program and its compliance with BSA regulatory requirements. The Manual itself does not establish requirements for banks; such requirements are found in statutes and regulations.


FATF Plenary Meeting report

The Treasury Department has announced that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded its second plenary meeting during the German FATF presidency, its third virtual plenary since the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The FATF advanced its work on several important issues, including finalizing a non-public report on terrorist financing and agreeing to seek public comment on updated guidance documents on virtual assets and proliferation finance.


FCC final TRACED Act rules

The Federal Communications Commission has published at 86 FR 11443 in today's Federal Register a final rule to implement the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). The rule:

  • codifies the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) exemptions for calls to wireless numbers into the rules to make those exemptions more clear and understandable for both callers and consumers
  • amends the TCPA exemptions for artificial or prerecorded voice calls made to residential telephone lines so each satisfies the TRACED Act's requirements to identify who can call, who can be called, and any call limits
  • adopts limits on the number of calls that can be made under the exemptions for—
    • non-commercial calls to a residence
    • commercial calls to a residence that do not include an advertisement or constitute telemarketing
    • tax-exempt nonprofit organization calls to a residence
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)-related calls to a residence

    In addition, callers must have mechanisms in place to allow consumers to opt out of any future calls.

The amendments will be effective March 29, 2021, except for the changes to 47 CFR Part 64, section 64.1200 (Delivery restrictions), which are delayed until further notice from the FCC.


FinCEN issues advisory on crimes targeting EIPs

FinCEN has issued Advisory FIN-2021-A002, on Financial Crimes Targeting COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments [a/k/a "Stimulus Payments"]. The Advisory contains descriptions of EIP fraud, associated red flag indicators, and information on reporting suspicious activity. It is part of a series published by FinCEN on COVID-19-related frauds and criminal activity. Additional COVID-19-related information is located on FinCEN’s website at


FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile posted

The Fourth Quarter 2020 Quarterly Banking Profile has been posted by the FDIC. It is a quarterly publication that provides the earliest comprehensive summary of financial results for all FDIC-insured institutions.


Regulators' supervisory practices following Texas storms

The OCC, FRB, FDIC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued a statement Monday that they recognize the serious impact of Texas winter storms on the customers and operations of many financial institutions and will provide appropriate regulatory assistance to affected institutions subject to their supervision. The agencies encourage institutions operating in the affected areas to meet the financial services needs of their communities. A complete list of the affected disaster areas can be found HERE.


U,S. targets members of Burma's administration

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has sanctioned two individuals connected to the military apparatus responsible for the coup in Burma. OFAC took these actions in response to the Burmese security forces’ killing of peaceful protestors, imposing the sanctions under Executive Order 14014, the new Burma-focused sanctions authority President Biden issued on February 11. For identification details, see this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

OFAC also posted updates to CAATSA–Russia-related SDN listings, which can be seen in this BankersOnline OFAC Update.


Call Report changes published

The FDIC, in FIL-8-2021, has announced that the FDIC, OCC and Federal Reserve Board published at 86 FR 10157 in the Federal Register a joint notice and request for comment with final regulatory reporting changes related to asset threshold relief that would apply to the three versions of the Call Report (pending approval by the Office of Management and Budget.

These changes to the Call Report, as described more fully in the Federal Register notice attached to FIL-111-2020, pertain to the interim final rule by the banking agencies published on December 2, 2020, which provides relief to financial institutions with under $10 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2019, by allowing them to calculate their asset size for applicable thresholds in certain rules during calendar years 2020 and 2021 based on the lower of total assets as of December 31, 2019, or as of the normal measurement date.

In addition, the December 2, 2020, interim final rule allows institutions that temporarily exceed the $10 billion total asset threshold to use the community bank leverage ratio framework in Call Report Schedule RC R from December 31, 2020, through December 31, 2021, provided they meet the other qualifying criteria for this framework. For each of these report dates, an institution would use the lesser of its total assets as of December 31, 2019, or as of the current quarter-end report date to determine whether it has met the $10 billion total asset threshold.

The agencies ask that this information be shared with individuals responsible for Call Report preparation in each organization. Comments are due by March 22, 2021.


Report on large commercial banks

The Federal Reserve Board has released its report of insured U.S. chartered commercial banks that have consolidate assets of $300 million or more, ranked by consolidated assets as of December 31, 2020.


Joint-ownership share account coverage rule

The NCUA Board has approved a final rule amending the NCUA’s regulation governing the requirements for a share account to be separately insured as a joint account. The final rule provides federally insured credit unions with an alternative method to satisfy the membership card or account signature card requirement. For example, under the final rule, the signature card requirement can be satisfied by the credit union having issued a mechanism for accessing the account, such as a debit card, to each co-owner or evidence of usage of the joint share account by each co-owner. The rule, which will be effective 30 days after Federal Register publication, mirrors the similar change made by the FDIC in July 2019.

In addition, the Board was briefed on the Share Insurance Fund’s performance during the fourth quarter of 2020. The fund's equity ratio was at 1.26 percent, lower than the Board-approved normal operating level of 1.38 percent. Chairman Harper noted that the primary factors contributing most significantly to the continuing decline in the equity ratio—strong growth in insured shares and reduced investment returns—remain and will likely continue in the future. He said. “Any future decision by the Board to assess premiums must be data-driven. History has also shown the importance of building up the resiliency of the Share Insurance Fund, so it can handle the potential issues related to the pandemic’s economic fallout that we know are coming.”

PUBLICATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE UPDATE: The final rule amending the NCUA's regulation on share insurance coverage is scheduled for publication on 2/24/2021, It will become effective 3/26/2021.


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