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10/28/2020

Interest Rate Risk Statistics report

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2020-91 to announce the publication of the first semiannual "Interest Rate Risk Statistics Report." The report presents interest rate risk data gathered during examinations of OCC-supervised midsize and community financial institutions. The statistics are for informational purposes only and do not represent OCC-suggested limits or exposures. The report provides statistics on interest rate risk exposures and risk limits for different midsize and community bank populations, including:

  • all OCC-supervised midsize and community banks with reported data
  • banks by asset size
  • banks by charter type
  • minority depository institutions

10/28/2020

Hurricane Zeta closings authorized

Yesterday, the OCC issued a proclamation allowing national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks to close offices along the Gulf Coast of the United States and in other areas impacted by Hurricane Zeta at their discretion.

10/27/2020

OFAC targets key actors in Iran's oil sector

On Monday, OFAC designated the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) in accordance with E.O. 13224, a counterterrorism authority, for their financial support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. OFAC also designated multiple entities and individuals associated with the Ministry of Petroleum, NIOC, and NITC, including front companies, subsidiaries, and senior executives; and four persons involved in the recent sale of Iranian gasoline to the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela.

For identification information on the individuals, entities and vessels added to OFAC's SDN List with those designations, related changes to the List, and a new Iran-related General License, see this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

10/27/2020

Cuban Assets Control Regs amended

OFAC has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further implement parts of the president's foreign policy toward Cuba. The changes are meant to deny the Cuban government access to funds in connection with remittances to Cuba. The rule was published in the October 27, 2020, Federal Register, and will be effective 30 days later, on November 26, 2020.

OFAC's announcement also includes links to 10 FAQ updates and one new FAQ related to the CCAR.

10/26/2020

Agencies propose lower recordkeeping and travel rule threshold

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Federal Reserve Board have invited comment on a proposed rule that would amend the recordkeeping and travel rule regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act.

FinCEN and the Board, under their shared authority, are proposing amendments to the recordkeeping rule jointly, while FinCEN is proposing amendments to the travel rule. Under the current recordkeeping and travel rule regulations, financial institutions must collect, retain, and transmit certain information related to funds transfers and transmittals of funds over $3,000. The proposed rule lowers the applicable threshold from $3,000 to $250 for international transactions. The threshold for domestic transactions remains unchanged at $3,000.

The proposed rule further clarifies that those regulations apply to transactions above the applicable threshold involving convertible virtual currencies, as well as transactions involving digital assets with legal tender status, by clarifying the meaning of "money" as used in certain defined terms.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.

PUBLICATION AND COMMENT PERIOD UPDATE: Published at 85 FR 68005 on 10/27/2020, with a comment period ending 11/27/2020.

10/26/2020

FATF strengthens standards against proliferation financing

Treasury reports that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded its 32nd plenary meeting on Friday, October 23, by agreeing to revise its standards to further strengthen the global response to the financing of proliferation related to weapons of mass destruction. The endorsement of the new standard is a result of an initiative that began under the U.S. FATF presidency and was adopted by finance ministers of FATF members in 2019.

The FATF also continued its focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on detecting and countering fraud including attempts to defraud government-backed stimulus programs. The task force also adopted an updated report on trade-based money laundering and recognized progress by a number of jurisdictions in rectifying their AML/CFT deficiencies.

10/26/2020

Russian government research institute sanctioned

On Friday, the Department of the Treasury announced that OFAC had designated, in accordance with Section 224 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a Russian government research institution—State Research Center of the Russian Federation FGUP Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (TsNIIKhM)—that is connected to the destructive Triton malware. The Triton malware—known also as TRISIS and HatMan in open source reporting—was designed specifically to target and manipulate industrial safety systems, which provide for the safe emergency shutdown of industrial processes at critical infrastructure facilities in order to protect lives.

For detailed identification information on TsNIIKhM, see this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

10/23/2020

CFPB ANPR on consumer access to financial records

The CFPB announced yesterday an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) requesting information related to consumer access to financial records.

The CFPB is asking the public how it might most efficiently and effectively develop regulations to implement Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which provides for consumer rights to access financial records. When consumers use financial products and services, the providers of those products and services generally accumulate data about those consumers and their use of those products and services. Consumer access to these data allow consumers to manage their financial accounts and can enhance consumers’ control of their financial matters.

Consumers may realize these benefits by authorizing third parties to access these data on their behalf and allowing those third parties to deliver new or improved financial products and services. Use cases for consumer-authorized data include personal financial management, making and receiving payments, assisting consumers with improving savings outcomes, underwriting credit, and many other services.

While consumer access to financial records can enable the development of innovative and beneficial consumer financial products, it can also present consumer risks. The Bureau’s ANPR seeks comments and information on costs and benefits of consumer data access; competitive incentives; standard-setting; access scope; consumer control and privacy; and data security and accuracy.

Comments on the ANPR will be accepted for 90 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

UPDATE ON PUBLICATION AND COMMENT DUE DATE: Published at 85 FR 71003 on November 6, 2020, in the Federal Register, with comments due by February 4, 2021.

10/23/2020

High ranking Hizballah officials and entities designated

OFAC has announced counter terrorism designations, Iran-related designations and updates, foreign interference in U.S. election designations, and a Syria designation update.

  • Two members of Hizballah’s Central Council—Nabil Qaouk and Hassan al-Baghdadi. The Central Council is responsible for identifying and electing the group’s highest decision-making body, the Shura Council, which formulates policy and asserts control over all aspects of Hizballah’s activities, including its military activities.
  • Iraj Masjedi, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq.
  • Five Iranian entities for attempting to influence elections in the United States

The full SDN listings of each of the individuals and entities designated can be found in this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

10/21/2020

Florida bank closed and purchased

The FDIC has reported that First City Bank of Florida, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was closed Friday by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which appointed the FDIC as receiver. The failed bank experienced longstanding capital and asset quality issues, operating with financial difficulties dating back to 2009, which are not related to the current economic conditions resulting from the pandemic.

To protect depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with United Fidelity Bank, fsb in Evansville, Indiana, to assume all of the deposits of First City Bank of Florida. As of June 30, 2020, First City Bank of Florida had approximately $134.7 million in total assets and $131.4 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits, United Fidelity Bank, fsb agreed to purchase essentially all of the failed bank’s assets.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $10 million

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