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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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FTC warns of FEMA impersonators and ID theft

The Federal Trade Commission has posted an article warning of disaster scams that may involve phony FEMA representatives and identity theft in which scammers file bogus disaster claims with FEMA using stolen identities.


OFAC adds four Democratic Republic of the Congo designations

Treasury has announced that its Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned four individuals who have engaged in destabilizing activities responsible for prolonging the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and contributing to widespread poverty, chronic food insecurity, and population displacement. As a result of yesterday's actions, all of the designated persons' assets within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For identifying information on the designated individuals, see our OFAC Update.


Hizballah financial network sanctioned

On Friday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted the business operations of Hizballah by designating six individuals and seven entities pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of Friday’s designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction were blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For the names and identification information of the targeting individuals and entities, see our OFAC Update.


Regulators release 2018 CCAR scenarios and stress test exercises

The Federal Reserve Board and the OCC have released the scenarios banks and supervisors will use for the 2018 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank Act stress test exercises, and issued instructions to firms participating in CCAR.

Stress tests help make sure that banks will be able to lend to households and businesses even in a serious recession by ensuring that they have adequate capital to absorb losses. CCAR evaluates the capital planning practices and capital adequacy of the largest U.S. bank holding companies and large U.S. operations of foreign firms, using the firms' planned capital actions such as dividend payments and share buybacks and issuances. The Dodd-Frank Act stress tests are a forward-looking assessment of capital sufficiency using standard assumptions across all firms.


NCUA prohibition order and notices

The NCUA issued one prohibition order and three notices of prohibition in January, 2018. Four former credit union employees are prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The individuals were employed by credit unions in Huntington, West Virginia; Washington, Pennsylvania; Newberry, Michigan and Columbia, Missouri.


Counterfeit checks alert involving secret shopper scam

The OCC has issued an alert concerning counterfeit cashier's checks appearing to be issued by Hatboro Federal Savings, Hatboro, Pennsylvania. The checks seen by the bank so far have been linked to a "secret shopper" scam. For details, see our Alerts & Counterfeits entry for the OCC warning.


SEC stops alleged initial coin offering scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced it has obtained a court order halting an allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) that targeted retail investors to fund what it claimed to be the world’s first “decentralized bank.” According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in Dallas on January 25, Dallas-based AriseBank used social media, a celebrity endorsement, and other wide dissemination tactics to raise what it claims to be $600 million of its $1 billion goal in just two months.


Chicago CU closed

The NCUA has announced that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued an order of liquidation to St. Elizabeth’s Credit Union of Chicago and subsequently appointed the National Credit Union Administration as liquidating agent. Northstar Credit Union, of Warrenville, Illinois, immediately assumed most of the closed credit union's members, assets and loans. St. Elizabeth’s is the first federally insured credit union liquidation in 2018.


New Ukraine/Russia-related CAATSA FAQ

OFAC has published a Frequently Asked Question on the Treasury Department report on oligarchs and parastatal entities of the Russian Federation as required by section 241 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).


Treasury targets Laos-based criminal network

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated the the Zhao Wei Transnational Criminal Organization (Zhao Wei TCO) under Executive Order 13581, "Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations." Based in Laos within the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ), the Zhao Wei TCO exploits the region by engaging in drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, bribery, and wildlife trafficking, much of which is facilitated through the Kings Romans Casino located within the GTSEZ.

OFAC also designated a network of four individuals and three entities in three countries – Laos, Thailand, and Hong Kong – for their support of the Zhao Wei TCO, or for being owned or controlled by persons designated as part of OFAC's action. As a result of Tuesday's action, all assets of those designated that are under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. The designated individuals and entities are identified in our OFAC Update.


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