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07/13/2020

FATF Business Bulletin issued

The latest edition of the FATF Business Bulletin provides a summary of the decisions taken during the June 2020 Virtual Plenary and presents the objectives of the new FATF President, Marcus Pleyer, for the first two-year Plenary period.

07/13/2020

OCC launches Project REACh

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced the launch of Project REACh to promote financial inclusion through greater access to credit and capital. REACh stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change and brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business, and technology to identify and reduce barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation’s economy.

07/10/2020

Chinese entity and officials sanctioned

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has sanctioned one Chinese government entity and four current or former government officials in connection with serious rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The entity and officials are being designated for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region. These designations are the latest U.S. government actions in an ongoing effort to deter human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

For identification of the designated entity and individuals, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

07/10/2020

Some outstanding EIP checks cancelled by IRS

FRB Services has posted a notice that, effective July 6, 2020, the Treasury Department’s Internal Revenue Service has announced the cancellation of outstanding Economic Impact Payment (EIP) checks issued to recipients who may not be eligible for such program payments, including those that may be deceased.

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service encourages financial institutions to determine the status of EIP checks by using either the Treasury Check Verification Application (TCVA) for single queries, or the Treasury Check Verification Service (TCVS) for bulk queries using an automated programming interface (API).

If a financial institution inadvertently negotiates a cancelled EIP check, Treasury will not request or demand recovery from financial institutions, unless there is an additional reason to do so, for example the check was not properly endorsed. Similarly, Treasury will not reclaim from financial institutions ACH payments made to recipients who may not be eligible for such payments under program specifications.

07/10/2020

FDIC proposes changes to branch applications rules

The FDIC has published [85 FR 41442] a proposal to amend its rules at 12 CFR Parts 303 and 347 to eliminated the requirements for statements regarding the compliance of applications for establishment and relocation of offices and branches with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposal would also rescind the FDIC's statements of policy regarding the NHPA and NEPA .

Comments are due by August 10, 2020.

07/09/2020

Amazon settles with OFAC

OFAC has announced a $134,523 settlement with Amazon.co​m, Inc. to settle Amazon's potential civil liability for apparent violations of multiple OFAC sanctions programs.

As a result of deficiencies related to Amazon’s sanctions screening processes, Amazon provided goods and services to persons sanctioned by OFAC; to persons located in the sanctioned region or countries of Crimea, Iran, and Syria; and to individuals located in or employed by the foreign missions of countries sanctioned by OFAC. Amazon also failed to timely report several hundred transactions conducted pursuant to a general license issued by OFAC that included a mandatory reporting requirement, thereby nullifying that authorization with respect to those transactions. The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that Amazon’s apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed, and further reflects the significant remedial measures implemented by Amazon upon discovery of the apparent violations.​​

07/08/2020

Bureau updates guide to COVID-19 relief

The CFPB has added additional information to its Guide to Covid-19 economic stimulus relief information originally posted on April 10, 2020.

07/08/2020

FATF report on stablecoins

At the request of the G20, the FATF has issued a "Report on So-Called Stablecoins" that sets out the FATF’s views on stablecoins and addresses:

  • the characteristics of stablecoins
  • the money laundering and terrorist financing risks of stablecoins
  • how the FATF Standards apply to stablecoins and the different businesses involved in the stablecoin; and
  • how the FATF plans to enhance the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework for virtual assets and stablecoins.

07/08/2020

FinCEN COVID-19 scams advisory

FinCEN has issued Advisory FIN-2020-A003 to alert financial institutions to potential indicators of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two forms of consumer fraud observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory contains descriptions of these scams and schemes, financial red flag indicators for both, and information on reporting suspicious activity.

07/07/2020

Consumer Financial Protection Week announced

The Bureau has announced the launch of Consumer Financial Protection Week, which will take place from July 14–17, 2020. During the week, activities will focus on how the CFPB is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace, the issues consumers are confronting, and how consumers can communicate to the Bureau any issues they may have with a financial services provider.

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