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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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2017 debit card transaction data released

The Federal Reserve Board has issued a report on debit card transactions in 2017, including information on volume and value, interchange fee revenue, certain issuer costs, and fraud losses. During 2017, payment card networks processed 68.5 billion debit and general-use prepaid card transactions valued at $2.62 trillion in the United States. Dual-message networks, which have traditionally processed mainly signature-authenticated transactions, accounted for 64.9 and 65.1 percent of the total by volume and value, respectively. Single-message networks, which typically process PIN-authenticated transactions, accounted for the rest. Total transaction volume grew 5.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, slower than the 7.0 percent growth recorded from 2015 to 2016.

The report is the fifth in a series published every two years pursuant requirements of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA).


OFAC designates two shipping companies

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated two shipping companies that have helped North Korea evade sanctions. Both companies are based in China. In a related action, OFAC, along with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard, is updating the North Korea shipping advisory and adding dozens of vessels that are believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers with North Korean tankers or exported North Korean coal.

For identifying information on the shipping companies and a link to the updated shipping advisory, see our OFAC Update


Congolese officials sanctioned for election violations

OFAC has announced it has sanctioned three senior Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officials pursuant to Executive Order 13413, as amended by E.O. 13671, which authorizes sanctions in light of actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC. For identification information, see our OFAC Update.


Notice for users of OFAC’s Sanction List data files

OFAC has posted an important technical notice for users of its Sanctions List data files. It involves the methods used to access those files. We suggest you share this information with anyone in your institution or service provider whose responsibilities include access the OFAC data files.


CFPB highlights servicemember complaints

The Bureau has released its 2018 Complaint Snapshot, with a national overview of servicemember complaints and complaint information by state. There were 33,984 complaints received in 2018, an increase of 12% over those received in 2017.

At the national level, the top five financial product complaints of servicemembers in 2018 matched those of non-servicemembers, with credit or consumer reporting at the top of the list (38% of all complaints), followed in order by debt collection, mortgage-related problems, credit cards, and checking or savings accounts. Within those products or services, the top issues reported were:

  • Credit or consumer reporting: Incorrect information on reports (54%)
  • Debt collection: Attempts to collect debts not owed (40%)
  • Mortgages: Trouble during payment process (45%)
  • Credit card: Problem with a purchase shown on statement (26%)
  • Checking or savings: Managing an account (58%)


OCC permits closings in flood-affected areas

The OCC has issued a proclamation allowing national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks affected by severe flooding in the Central Plains and Midwest to close. OCC Bulletin 2012-28, “Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions” (September 21, 2012), provides guidance on actions bankers could consider implementing when their bank or savings association operates or has customers in areas affected by a natural disaster or other emergency.


FCC rescinds fax ads opt-out notice requirement

The Federal Communications Commission has published [84 FR 10266, 3/20/2019] a final rule eliminating the requirement in 47 CFR 64 for an opt-out notice on fax advertisements sent with the recipient's prior express permission or consent. This rule was declared unlawful by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The change is effective immediately.


OCC proposes assessments refunds for departing institutions

The OCC published this morning [84 FR 10270] a proposal to revise its assessment rules in 12 CFR part 8 to provide partial assessment refunds to banks under OCC jurisdiction that exit OCC jurisdiction within the three months following June 30 and December 31 of each year. The proposed rule would not change the current dates of collection for assessments nor would it change the way in which assessments are calculated for banks that remain under the OCC's supervision. Comments on the proposed rule, which would also make technical changes to the assessments rules, are due by April 19, 2019.


OFAC targets Venezuela's gold mining company

On Tuesday, OFAC designated CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA, or Minerven, the Venezuelan state-run ferrous metals mining company, and its President, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, targeting the illicit gold operations that have continued to prop up the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro. Tuesday’s action, taken under Executive Order 13850, targets an entity and an individual that operate in the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy.

As a result of Tuesday’s action, all property and interests in property of this entity and individual, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by this entity and individual, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be 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.

Identification information on Minerven and Perdomo Mata is available in our OFAC Update, which also includes OFAC's updates to, and several deletions from, the SDN List, all related to OFAC's Venezuela-related sanctions.


Members of new payment systems fraud group named

The Federal Reserve Board has announced the 22 members of its Fraud Definitions Work Group, part of an initiative to advance the Federal Reserve's strategy for improving the U.S. payment system. The group members will work collaboratively with Federal Reserve leaders to formulate recommendations for improving the quality and consistency of ACH, wire, and check fraud data.


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