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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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New HIDTAs added by Office of National Drug Control Policy

The Office of National Drug Control Policy has announced the designation of ten new areas across Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs). This designation enables the 10 areas to receive Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement officers, and allows local agencies to benefit from ongoing HIDTA initiatives that are working to reduce drug trafficking across the United States. Financial institutions also take HIDTAs into account in their periodic assessments of money laundering risk. The added areas include:

  • Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania as part of the Ohio HIDTA
  • Atlantic County in New Jersey as part of the Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA
  • Butler County in Ohio as part of the Ohio HIDTA
  • Charleston County in South Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina as part of the Atlanta/Carolinas HIDTA
  • Mineral County in West Virginia as part of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA
  • Montgomery and Powell Counties in Kentucky as part of the Appalachia HIDTA


OFAC targets Maduro's inner circle and corruption proceeds

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated four members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s inner circle, including First Lady and former Attorney General and President of the National Assembly Cilia Adela Flores de Maduro. OFAC also targeted a network supporting a key front man for designated President of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello Rondon, and identified as blocked property a $20 million U.S.-based private jet as belonging to Cabello’s front man. Identity information on the designated individuals, entities and the plane can be found in our OFAC Update.


Saudi Arabia record in fighting terrorist financing

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) jointly conducted an assessment of Saudi Arabia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. The assessment is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of a country’s AML/CFT system and its level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is achieving good results in fighting terrorist financing, but needs to focus more on pursuing larger scale money launderers and confiscating their assets.


Florence urgent needs grants available to CUs

The NCUA has announced that low-income credit unions sustaining damage from Hurricane Florence are eligible for urgent needs grants up to $7,500 to help restore operations.


FinCEN advisory on FATF update

FinCEN Advisory FIN-2018-A004 responds to FATF's updated list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) deficiencies. Iraq and Vanuatu have been removed from the list and are no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under their ongoing global AML/CFT compliance processes. Pakistan has been added to the list and will undergo monitoring by FATF’s International Co-operation Review Group based on the specific AML/CFT deficiencies highlighted by the FATF.

FATF also issued a "public statement" on North Korea and Iran, indicating that those countries have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes and calling upon FATF members and urging all jurisdictions to (1) impose countermeasures and/or (2) apply enhanced due diligence proportionate to the risks arising from North Korea and Iran.


Swap Margin Rule amendments approved

Five federal agencies (the Fed, FDIC, FHFA, OCC, and the Farm Credit Administration) have approved final amendments to swap margin requirements to conform with recent rule changes that impose new restrictions on certain qualified financial contracts of systemically important banking organizations (QFC Rules). Under the amendments, which will become effective 30 days after Federal Register publication, legacy swaps entered into before the applicable compliance date will not become subject to the margin requirements if they are amended solely to comply with the requirements of the QFC Rules.


More ISIS financial facilitators designated

OFAC has announced the designation of two Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) financiers in accordance with Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Both individuals are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. For identification information, see our OFAC Update.


U.S.-UK working group meeting

U.S. and UK participants held the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group on September 12 in London. The Working Group was formed to deepen bilateral regulatory cooperation with a view to the further promotion of financial stability; investor protection; fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and capital formation in both jurisdictions.

Participants discussed the outlook for financial regulatory reforms and future priorities, including possible areas for deeper regulatory cooperation to facilitate further financial services activity between U.S. and UK markets. They also discussed the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU on financial stability and cross-border financial regulation, including a particular concern about contract continuity including servicing existing financial contracts after exit, noting the importance of reducing potential cliff-edge risks for business and consumers. Participants also discussed the U.S.-UK financial regulatory issues resulting from the UK’s exit from the EU, and recognized the importance of maintaining bilateral activity of U.S. and UK financial services firms.


OCC proposes to amend recovery planning guidelines

The OCC has published [83 FR 47313] a notice of proposed rulemaking in today's Federal Register that would amend its enforceable guidelines relating to recovery planning standards for insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches (Guidelines) to increase the average total consolidated assets threshold for applying the Guidelines from $50 billion to $250 billion. The proposed changes would also decrease from 18 months to 12 months the time within which a bank should comply with the Guidelines after the bank becomes subject to them. Finally, the proposal would make technical amendments to remove outdated compliance dates. Comments on the proposal are due by November 5, 2018.


FTC mails $10M+ to debit card customers

The Federal Trade Commission reported yesterday it is mailing more than 430,000 checks totaling more than $10 million to individuals who could not access money deposited to their NetSpend reloadable prepaid debit cards. According to an FTC complaint, many NetSpend customers were unable to access their funds, either because NetSpend denied or delayed activation of their card or because NetSpend blocked them from using it.


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