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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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Beta HMDA platform for 2018 data available

The CFPB has announced the beta launch of the HMDA Platform for data collected in 2018. The beta release provides financial institutions an opportunity to become familiar with the HMDA Platform and, in particular, determine whether their sample LAR data complies with the reporting requirements outlined in the Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA data collected in 2018. During the beta period, financial institutions may test and retest 2018 HMDA data files as often as desired. All test data uploaded during the beta period will be removed from the system when the filing period opens in January 2019.

You'll need a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) that uniquely identifies the institution, and that LEI must be recognized by the HMDA Platform in order to create a new account or test data with an existing account. If your institution has an LEI, and that LEI is not currently recognized by the HMDA Platform, fill out and submit this form to have the information added to the HMDA Platform. If your institution has not registered for an LEI and intends to file HMDA data collected in 2018, visit the Global LEI Foundation for information on obtaining an LEI.


FinCEN again extends FBAR deadline

FinCEN has announced a further extension of time for certain Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filings in light of the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) FinCEN issued on March 10, 2016, which proposes to revise the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding FBARs. Specifically, one of the proposed amendments would expand and clarify the exemptions for certain U.S. persons with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts. This proposed amendment seeks to address questions raised regarding the filing requirement and its application to the individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, certain types of accounts as outlined in its previous extension notice.


OFAC targets N. Korean official and entities

Treasury announced Monday that OFAC had designated three individuals in response to the North Korean regime’s ongoing and serious human rights abuses and censorship. Individuals designated today are senior officials of previously sanctioned government bodies, including the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the Ministry of Public Security, WPK Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), and the WPK Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD). For identity information, see our OFAC Update.


Ukraine- related general licenses extended

OFAC has announced the extension of the expiration date of certain general licenses related to EN+ Group PLC, United Company RUSAL PLC, and GAZ Group, and issued four general licenses.


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.


Student loan debt relief operators banned

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the operators of two Florida-based student loan debt relief schemes are banned from the debt relief business as part of agreements settling Commission allegations that they collected illegal upfront fees and falsely promised to help some consumers enroll in government programs that would reduce or forgive their student loan debt. The settlements with Student Debt Doctor and American Student Loan Consolidators are part of Operation Game of Loans, a coordinated federal-state law enforcement initiative targeting deceptive student loan debt relief schemes first announced by the Commission in October 2017.


FATF report on UK AML actions

The FATF has issued its mutual evaluation report on the United Kingdom’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. An executive summary was also made available.


CFPB 2018 Financial Literacy Report

The CFPB has issued a report summarizing its 2018 activities and achievements in financial education.


Agencies publish proposed appraisal rule amendments

The OCC, Federal Reserve and FDIC have finally published their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking inviting comment on proposed amendments to the agencies’ regulations requiring appraisals for certain real estate-related transactions. The proposed rule, announced on November 20, would increase the threshold level at or below which appraisals would not be required for residential real estate-related transactions from $250,000 to $400,000. Comments will be accepted through February 5, 2019.


2019 Deemed-Issuance Ratio announced

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the deemed-issuance ratio for calendar year 2019 in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines on the trading of the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS).


FDIC announces deposit insurance app process resources and RFI

The FDIC has announced multiple initiatives and resources related to applications for deposit insurance for organizers of new, or de novo, banks, and to promote a more transparent, streamlined and accountable process for all applications submitted to the agency. As part of the initiatives, the FDIC is seeking comment from interested parties on all aspects of the deposit insurance application process. Through a Request for Information (RFI), the FDIC is soliciting feedback on a number of topics, including ways in which the FDIC could or should support the continuing evolution of emerging technology and Fintech companies; aspects of the application process that may discourage potential applications; possible changes to the application process for traditional community bank proposals; and other suggestions for improving the effectiveness, efficiency, or transparency of the application process. The RFI also solicits comments to address any other matters of interest or concern to affected stakeholders. Comments on the RFI will be due sixty days from publication in the Federal Register. The resources listed in the press release were:


Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide info updated

The FDIC has issued FIL-84-2018 to announce the update of the Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide Part I: Federal Agencies and Government Sponsored Enterprises, to reflect the most up-to-date information available about the mortgage products offered through federal housing programs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Third quarter 2018 credit union performance

The NCUA has released data on the financial performance of federally insured credit unions for the quarter ending September 30, 2018. The reports include an overview of the quarterly Call Report data as well as tables showing the recent history of major credit union performance indicators.


FTC: The check's in the mail

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is mailing 43,456 checks totaling more than $3.5 million to consumers subjected to deceptive and unfair sales and financing tactics by the Sage Auto Group and its owners between 2014 and 2016. Affected consumers will receive their checks soon. The average refund amount is $81.76.


Kraninger confirmed as director of Bureau

The Hill reports that the Senate has confirmed Kathy Kraninger to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), granting her a five-year term to lead the agency.


Bureau settles FCRA claims with State Farm Bank

Yesterday, the CFPB announced a settlement with State Farm Bank, FSB, a federal savings association headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois. As described in the consent order, the Bureau found that State Farm Bank violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Regulation V, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by obtaining consumer reports without a permissible purpose; furnishing to credit-reporting agencies (CRAs) information about consumers’ credit that the bank knew or had reasonable cause to believe was inaccurate; failing to promptly update or correct information furnished to CRAs; furnishing information to CRAs without providing notice that the information was disputed by the consumer; and failing to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of information provided to CRAs. Under the order, State Farm Bank must revise its practices to comply with the FCRA, Regulation V and the CFPA.


Mortgage company to settle Bureau UDAAP claims

The CFPB has announced it has filed a complaint in federal court alleging a claim of deception against Village Capital & Investment LLC, a non-bank mortgage company headquartered in Henderson, Nevada. The Bureau and Village Capital also filed a proposed stipulated final judgment and order to resolve the claim.

The Bureau alleges that Village Capital violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by misleading veterans regarding its Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans—loans that allow veterans to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates with a loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Specifically, the Bureau alleges that Village Capital misled veterans by overstating the benefits of refinancing.

If entered by the court, the proposed order would require Village Capital to pay $268,869 in redress to consumers and a civil penalty of $260,000. The order would also prohibit Village Capital from misrepresenting the terms or benefits of mortgage refinancing.


Quarles on banks in rural communities of the West

Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Randal K. Quarles offered a presentation on Banks as Vital Infrastructure for Rural Communities of the West yesterday at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He spoke about the economy of the Western United States and linked the recent and future performance of the western economy to the central and supportive role banks play as vital infrastructure in their communities.


December Beige Book available

The Federal Reserve Board has posted the December 5, 2018, issue of the Beige Book, which summarizes comments received from contacts outside the Federal Reserve System and is not a commentary on the views of the Federal Reserve officials. A summary and the full report are available.


CFPB 2017 Fair Lending Report

The Bureau has submitted its annual Fair Lending Report to Congress.


FDIC State Profiles

The third quarter 2018 issue of the FDIC State Profiles has been published containing a quarterly summary of banking and economic conditions in each state.


FDIC lists CRA evaluation ratings

The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The list covers 87 evaluation ratings assigned to banks in September 2018. Eighty of the banks received ratings of "satisfactory." These seven banks were rated "outstanding":


OCC releases CRA ratings for 28 banks

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has released a list of 28 national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks whose Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations were made public during the month of November. Twenty-five of the institutions received satisfactory ratings. These three institutions received ratings of outstanding:


Fair housing organizations get $23M

HUD has announced it has awarded more than $23 million to nearly 80 fair housing organizations through HUD’s Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI). These grants offer a range of assistance to the nationwide network of fair housing organizations so they can carry out testing and enforcement activities.


Recommendations to overhaul U.S. Postal System released

Treasury has released the Task Force report on the United States Postal System which provides a series of recommendations to overhaul the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) business model in order to return it to sustainability without shifting additional costs to taxpayers. Between fiscal year (FY) 2007 and FY 2018, the USPS experienced net losses totaling $69 billion. The USPS is forecast to lose tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.


Report on non-performing loan sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its semiannual report providing information about the sale of non-performing loans (NPLs) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). The Enterprise Non-Performing Loan Sales Report includes information about NPLs sold from August 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018, and reflects borrower outcomes as of June 30. The sale of NPLs reduces the number of delinquent loans in the Enterprises' portfolios and transfers credit risk to the private sector. FHFA and the Enterprises impose requirements on NPL buyers designed to achieve more favorable outcomes for borrowers than foreclosure.


Discount rate meeting minutes

The Federal Reserve Board has posted the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate meeting held on November 8, 2018. The FOMC decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2.25 percent. Consistent with the FOMC's decision to leave the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged, the Board approved maintaining the existing interest rate (2.20 percent) paid on required and excess reserve balances. The Board also approved the establishment of the interest rate on discounts and advances made under the primary credit program (the primary credit rate) at the existing level (2.75 percent).


Assessments reduced by OCC

The OCC has announced it will reduce assessments on national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks for 2019. The reduction will take effect with the March 31, 2019, assessment and reduce the marginal rates in its General Assessment Fee Schedule by 10 percent. The agency anticipates the change will reduce total assessments collected by the agency by more than $90 million in 2019. The reduction in marginal rates reflects cost savings in the OCC’s operations and projections of the OCC’s costs and revenue.

OCC Bulletin 2018-43 was also issued to inform all national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks of fees and assessments to be charged by the OCC for calendar year 2019. The bulletin, which becomes effective January 1, 2019, also announced a change in the OCC's refund policy for institutions that leave the federal banking system after the December 31 and June 30 Call Report dates. Under the new policy, if a bank leaves the federal banking system during the first half of a semiannual assessment period, the OCC will issue a refund to the bank for the second half of the bank’s semiannual assessment. If a bank leaves the federal banking system in the second half of the assessment period, no refund will be issued.


Wednesday: National Day of Mourning

The president has declared tomorrow, December 5, 2018, a National Day of Mourning as a mark of respect for former President George H. W. Bush. All federal executive departments and agencies will be closed, with the exception of those determined to be necessary for reasons of national security, defense or other public need.

  • Federal Reserve Financial Services has announced that the Federal Reserve Bank payment and securities settlement systems will operate normally. Reserve Bank cash offices will fulfill financial institution orders for currency and coin according to normal operating procedures.
  • Federal Reserve Board offices in Washington will be closed
  • The OCC has issued a proclamation announcing that, under federal law, national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks may close their offices on Wednesday at their discretion in any state in which the governor or other authorized official has declared a legal holiday
  • U.S. Postal Service offices will be closed, and most deliveries will be suspended for the day
  • The major U.S. stock exchanges will be closed


FEMA to suspend communities in seven states

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a rule [83 FR 62494] in this morning's Federal Register identifying communities in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and South Carolina that are to be suspended on December 7, 2018 from the National Flood Insurance Program due to noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The identified communities are:

  • CO: Colorado Springs, Fountain, Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs, Monument, Palmer Lake, and unincorporated areas of El Paso County
  • FL: Fort Myers
  • GA: Allenhurst, Flemington, Hinesville, Midway, Riceboro, Walthourville, and unincorporated areas of Liberty County
  • IA: Adel, Dallas Center, Dawson, De Soto, Granger, Perry, Redfield, Van Meter, Waukee, and unincorporated areas of Dallas County
  • MN: Caledonia, Hokah, Houston, La Crescent, and unincorporated areas of Houston County
  • OR: Bandon, Coos Bay, Coquille, Lakeside, Myrtle Point, North Bend, Powers, and unincorporated areas of Coos County
  • SC: Goose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner, and unincorporated areas of Berkeley County


G.5 Foreign exchange rates posted

The Federal Reserve has posted the November 2018 G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates table, which shows the average rates of exchange together with comparable figures for earlier months. Averages are based on daily noon buying rates for cable transfers in New York City certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


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.


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.


FTC Consumer Protection Data Spotlight

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its second Consumer Protection Data Spotlight, which reports on the agency's examination of complaints about family and friend imposter scams. These scammers often call seniors claiming to be a grandchild. The Commission is seeing an increase in the number of people ages 70 and over who say they sent cash in response to this particular scam – one in four said they mailed cash in 2018, compared to one in fourteen the prior year. In about half of these types of complaints, the scammer said they were in jail or some other legal trouble and in need of money to get out of trouble. The FTC urges those who might get such a call to not act right away. Instead, the FTC recommends calling the family member or friend using a known number, or checking out the request with someone else in their family or a mutual friend.


FATF report to G20 leaders’ summit

The FATF has published its report to the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The report sets out FATF’s ongoing work to fight money laundering and terrorist financing in:

  • Strengthening the institutional basis, governance and capacity of FATF
  • FATF's work program on virtual assets
  • Countering the financing of terrorism
  • Countering the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • Improving transparency and availability of beneficial ownership information
  • Improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system: FATF engagement with judges and prosecutors
  • Financial technologies, regulatory technologies : digital identity
  • De-risking
  • 12/03/2018

    NFIP extended one week

    FEMA has posted a notice that, on December 1, 2018, the president signed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program's authorization for seven days. Congress now has until 11:59 p.m. on December 7, 2018, to reauthorize the NFIP.


    NCUA prohibition actions

    The NCUA has announced it issued one prohibition notice and one prohibition order in November 2018 to individuals who are now prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution.

    • A prohibition notice was issued to a former employee of Business and Industrial Federal Credit Union in Columbus, Indiana, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of theft and been sentenced to one year in prison, two years’ supervised release, and ordered to pay $466,122.27 in restitution.
    • A prohibition order was issued to a former employee of Melrose Credit Union in Briarwood, New York, who agreed and consented to the issuance of the order and agreed to comply with all of its terms to settle and resolve the NCUA Board’s claims against him.

    Prohibition and administrative orders are searchable by name, institution, city, state, and year at the NCUA’s Administrative Orders webpage.


    FDIC CRA exam schedules issued

    The FDIC has issued the lists of institutions scheduled for a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination during the first and second quarters of 2019.


    September G.20

    The FRB has released September 2018 G.20 finance companies data, which covers owned and managed receivables outstanding plus auto loans: terms of credit.


    International agreements signed

    The Department of Finance Canada, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have jointly announced the establishment of the Canada-Mexico-United States Financial Regulatory Forum. The Forum will provide an annual venue for Canada, Mexico, and the United States to share information and exchange views on cross-border issues, emerging financial sector developments, financial stability risks, and regulatory practices with the ultimate goal of advancing regulatory cooperation. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also issued a statement on the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Treasury has also announced the execution of an energy cooperation agreement with Jamaica and a the signing of a framework to strengthen infrastructure investment and energy cooperation with Argentina.

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