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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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OCC releases workshops schedule

The OCC has announced its 2019 schedule of workshops for board directors and bank management of national community banks and federal savings associations. The OCC offers five workshops at a cost of $99 each:

  • Building Blocks: Keys to Success for Directors and Senior Management
  • Risk Governance: Improving Director Effectiveness
  • Compliance Risk: What Directors Need to Know
  • Credit Risk: Directors Can Make a Difference
  • Operational Risk: Navigating Rapid Changes

The OCC offers the workshops nationwide to directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. Senior management and other key executives of institutions supervised by the OCC are also eligible to attend the Building Blocks workshop.

Workshops are limited to 35 participants. Attendees will receive course materials, supervisory publications, and lunch.


FCC to create database of reassigned numbers

The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to create a reassigned numbers database to help reduce unwanted calls to consumers. Callers using the database will be able to find out if telephone numbers assigned to consumers who want their calls have been disconnected and made eligible for reassignment. Any such numbers can then be purged from their call lists, thereby decreasing the number of unwanted calls to consumers. To further encourage callers to use the database, the Commission is providing callers a safe harbor from liability for any calls to reassigned numbers caused by database error.


Fed updates US model package

The Federal Reserve Board has announced an update and overview of the FRB/US model package and dataset. The FRB/US model was launched almost 25 years ago as a large macroeconomic model of the US economy. References and documentation about the FRB/US model and some of its history can be found on the public website. While the model has been modestly updated and changed over the years, the FEDS Note summarizes a more comprehensive set of modifications introduced with the November 2018 public release of the model and provides some motivation for why they were made.


OCC Fall 2018 Semiannual Risk Perspective

The OCC has issued its Fall 2018 Semiannual Risk Perspective. The report highlights include:

  • Credit quality remains strong, but the OCC is monitoring the origination quality of new loans, the potential for increased lender complacency within credit risk identification and management, and the potential embedded risks from successive years of eased underwriting.
  • Operational risk is elevated as banks respond to an evolving and increasingly complex operating environment.
  • Compliance risk is elevated as banks manage money laundering risks and comply with amended consumer protection requirements.
  • Rising interest rates and increased competition for deposits may result in changes in funding mix or costs.

The report presents information in five main areas: the operating environment, bank performance, special topics in emerging risk, trends in key risks, and supervisory actions. It focuses on issues that pose threats to those financial institutions regulated by the OCC and is intended as a resource to the industry, examiners, and the public.


Regulators encourage innovation for BSA/AML compliance

The Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, FinCEN, NCUA, and OCC have issued a joint statement to encourage banks and credit unions to consider, evaluate, and, where appropriate, responsibly implement innovative approaches to meet their Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance obligations. The joint statement does not alter existing BSA/AML legal or regulatory requirements, nor does it establish new supervisory expectations. The Agencies will not advocate a particular method or technology for banks to comply with BSA/AML requirements. Banks that maintain BSA/AML compliance programs commensurate with their risk profiles, but choose not to pursue innovative approaches will not be penalized or criticized by the Agencies issuing the statement.


FCC close to establishing database of reassigned numbers

The Federal Communications Commission has released a draft order and fact sheet that would create a database of reassigned telephone numbers -- those that have been relinquished by one party and reassigned to another -- and is expected to approve the order at its December 12 meeting. The database would allow any called to verify whether a number has been reassigned before calling that number.


McWilliams discusses financial services trends

In remarks delivered at the Office of Financial Research and the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy Fourth Annual Financial Stability Conference in Washington, D.C., FDIC Chairman McWilliams discussed the following trends affecting financial services and how regulators should respond to those trends:

  • The evolving role of banks in the financial system
  • Migration in mortgage activity from banks to nonbanks
  • Implications of migration for banks and regulators


U.S. Faster Payments Council formed

A group of payments industry leaders has announced the formation of a newly incorporated organization, the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), to work toward the goal of a ubiquitous, world-class payment system that allows Americans to safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, at any time and with near-immediate funds availability. The FPC will be focused on private-sector approaches to solving problems and addressing issues that inhibit adoption of faster payments. Through dialogue, collaboration and education, the FPC will channel its resources toward the most pressing challenges and opportunities.


FFIEC statement on OFAC cyber sanctions

The members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) have issued a joint statement alerting financial institutions to recent actions taken by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) under their Cyber-Related Sanctions Program and to the potential impact it may have on financial institutions’ risk-management programs. The statement describes the issues a financial institution should consider regarding the effect of sanctions on the operations of the financial institution and the implications of the continued use of products or services provided by a sanctioned entity, some of which claim they are U.S. based and offer services to U.S. financial institutions.


FDIC cybersecurity preparedness resource posted

FIL-63-2018, issued Friday, announced additions to the FDIC's cybersecurity awareness resources for financial institutions. There are two new vignettes for the Cyber Challenge.

Cyber Challenge facilitates discussion between financial institution management and staff about operational risk issues. Its exercises are designed to provide valuable information about an institution's current state of preparedness and identify opportunities to strengthen resilience to operational risk. Cyber Challenge is not a regulatory requirement; rather, it is an optional resource that may assist financial institutions in strengthening their resilience to operational risk.


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