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10/13/2020

OFAC sanctions Nicaraguan bank and officials

On Friday, Treasury announced that OFAC had designated Nicaraguan financial institution Cooperativa De Ahorro Y Credito Caja Rural Nacional RL, as well as Attorney General Ana Julia Guido De Romero and Secretary of the Presidency Paul Herbert Oquist Kelley, in an effort to target key financial operations and government officials that continue to undermine Nicaragua’s democracy. The action, taken pursuant to Executive Order 13851, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua,” targets corrupt financial operations and Ortega regime supporters.

Identifying information can be found in this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

10/09/2020

FCC proposes amendments to TCPA regulations

The Federal Communications Commission has published [85 FR 64091] in today's Federal Register a proposed rule to implement section 8 of the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) and seeks comment on how to best implement it. As directed by the TRACED Act, the Commission seeks to ensure that any exemption the Commission has granted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for calls to residential lines or for calls to wireless numbers includes requirements with respect to the classes of parties that may make such calls; the classes of parties that may be called; and the number of such calls that may be made to a particular called party.

The Commission, to comply with the TRACED Act, seeks comment on the need to amend exemptions the Commission has previously carved out. Those exemptions are: (1) Non-commercial calls to a residence; (2) commercial calls to a residence that do not constitute telemarketing; (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization calls to a residence; (4) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-related calls to a residence; (5) package delivery-related calls to a wireless number; (6) financial institution calls to a wireless number; (7) healthcare-related calls to a wireless number; (8) inmate calling service calls to a wireless number; and (9) cellular carrier calls to their own subscribers.

Comments are due on or before October 26, 2020, and reply comments are due on or before November 3, 2020.

10/09/2020

Morgan Stanley fined $60M

The OCC has announced it assessed a $60 million civil money penalty against Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A., and Morgan Stanley Private Bank, N.A. ("the banks").

The OCC took these actions based on the banks’ failure to exercise proper oversight of the 2016 decommissioning of two Wealth Management business data centers located in the U.S.
Among other things, the OCC found that the banks—

  • failed to effectively assess or address risks associated with decommissioning its hardware;
  • failed to adequately assess the risk of subcontracting the decommissioning work, including exercising adequate due diligence in selecting a vendor and monitoring its performance; and
  • failed to maintain appropriate inventory of customer data stored on the decommissioned hardware devices.

In 2019, the banks experienced similar vendor management control deficiencies in connection with decommissioning other network devices that also stored customer data.

The OCC found the noted deficiencies constitute unsafe or unsound practices and resulted in noncompliance with 12 CFR Part 30, Appendix B, “Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards."

10/09/2020

OCC authorizes Hurricane Delta closings

The OCC has issued a proclamation allowing national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks to close offices affected by Hurricane Delta at their discretion.

10/09/2020

U.S. sanctions 18 major Iranian banks

Yesterday, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, identified the financial sector of the Iranian economy pursuant to section 1(a)(I) of Executive Order 13902, which authorizes Treasury to sanction any Iranian financial institution. Subsequently, OFAC sanctioned eighteen major Iranian banks. Sixteen Iranian banks were sanctioned for operating in Iran’s financial sector and one bank for being owned or controlled by a sanctioned Iranian bank. Additionally, this action includes the designation of an Iranian military-affiliated bank under Treasury’s counter-proliferation authority.

See BankersOnline's OFAC Update for identification of the banks sanctioned by these actions, information on a new Iran-related General License, and links to new Iran-related FAQs.

10/08/2020

Citibank fined $400M for risk management deficiencies

The OCC announced yesterday it has issued Citibank, N.A., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a $400 million civil money penalty order related to deficiencies in enterprise-wide risk management, compliance risk management, data governance, and internal controls. The OCC took that action based on the bank’s unsafe or unsound banking practices for its long-standing failure to establish effective risk management and data governance programs and internal controls. This failure also resulted in a violation of 12 CFR Part 30, Appendix D, “OCC Guidelines Establishing Heightened Standards for Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches.”

The agency also issued a cease and desist order requiring the bank to take broad and comprehensive corrective actions to improve risk management, data governance, and internal controls. The order requires the bank to seek the OCC’s non-objection before making significant new acquisitions and reserves the OCC’s authority to implement additional business restrictions or require changes in senior management and the bank’s board should the bank not make timely, sufficient progress in complying with the order.

Further information on the OCC's actions, with links to the consent orders, can be found HERE, in BankersOnline's Penalty pages.

The Federal Reserve Board announced a separate but related action against Citigroup, the bank’s holding company. In a cease and desist order, the Board requires Citigroup to enhance its firm-wide risk management and internal controls. Among other things, the firm has not taken prompt and effective actions to correct practices previously identified by the Board in the areas of compliance risk management, data quality management, and internal controls.

10/08/2020

Regulators finalize TLAC and capital rule revision

The OCC, Federal Reserve Board, and FDIC have published a final rule [85 FR 63423] adopting as final the revisions to the definition of eligible retained income made under the interim final rule published [85 FR 15909] in the Federal Register on March 20, 2020, for all depository institutions, bank holding companies, and savings and loan holding companies subject to the agencies' capital rule. The final rule revises the definition of eligible retained income to make more gradual any automatic limitations on capital distributions that could apply under the agencies' capital rule.

Separately, in this final rule, the Board also is adopting as final the definition of eligible retained income made under the interim final rule published [85 FR 17003] in the Federal Register on March 26, 2020, for purposes of the Board's total loss-absorbing capacity (TLAC) rule. The final rule, which will become effective January 1, 2021, adopts these interim final rules with no changes.

10/08/2020

FBAR filing relief for disaster victims

FinCEN has posted a notice that victims of the California wildfires, the Iowa derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon wildfires, and Hurricane Sally have until December&nbsp31, 2020, to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) for the 2019 calendar year.

The FBAR for calendar year 2019 otherwise would be due on or before October 15, 2020.

FinCEN is offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance as a result of the disasters listed above (the “affected areas”). Should FEMA designate FBAR filers in other localities affected by these natural disasters as eligible for individual assistance at a later date, they will receive the same filing relief automatically.

10/07/2020

Nacha ACH Contact Registry deadline

October 30 is the deadline for financial institutions to enter required information in the ACH Contact Directory to be in compliance with the Nacha Operating Rules. In a September 30 Nacha Blog Post, blogger Michael Kahn says, "Do it because it’s a Rule, but also do it for that counterpart at another financial institution who may need your help one day. After all, you may need their help some day—and that’s when you’ll be glad they entered their information."

10/06/2020

NCUA webinar on minority depository institutions

The NCUA will host a one-hour webinar, “Pathways to Consumer Financial Well-Being: The Importance of Financial Inclusion and Minority Depository Institutions,” on October 21, 2020, at 2 p.m. EDT. Participants will be able to log into the webinar and view it on their computers or mobile devices using the registration link. The webinar is open to consumers, credit unions, and parties interested in working with credit unions to expand access to safe and affordable financial services in underserved communities. Registration is now open.

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