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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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Robocall credit card reduction scheme refunds

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is mailing 1,244 checks to consumers who bought deceptively marketed credit card interest rate reduction services after being contacted via illegal robocalls. Affected consumers will receive full refunds, with most receiving $1,100 or more, within the next week. Using illegal robocalls to bait consumers, the operators of the Treasure Your Success (TYS) robocall scheme promised to lower people’s credit card interest rates and to save them thousands of dollars, in exchange for an upfront fee. After collecting the fee, they failed to provide the promised interest rate reductions or the savings. They also unlawfully called numbers listed on the national Do Not Call Registry and failed to identify who was responsible for placing the calls.


OCC revises stress test dataset

The OCC has released a revised dataset for use by covered institutions in the upcoming 2019 stress tests. The previously released dataset contained an incorrect value for the mortgage rate in the fourth quarter 2018. The updated dataset contains the corrected data point of 4.8 percent rather than the previously published 4.6 percent mortgage rate for that quarter. This is the same error that the Federal Reserve corrected earlier this week.


Fannie and Freddie refinance volume down

The FHFA has reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 245,620 refinances in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with 253,135 in the third quarter. FHFA's fourth quarter Refinance Report also shows that 1,390 loans were refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total number of HARP refinances to 3,494,395 since inception of the program in 2009 and completion on December 31, 2018.


SSA amends rules on rep payee approval

The Social Security Administration has published at 84 FR 4323 in today's Federal Register a final rule on conducting background checks to prohibit persons convicted of certain crimes from serving as representative payees under the Social Security Act, as required by the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The rule will be effective March 18, 2019.


FTC to host small business financing forum

The Federal Trade Commission will host Strictly Business: A Forum on Small Business Financing on May 8, 2019, to examine trends and consumer protection issues in this marketplace, including the recent proliferation of online loans and alternative financing products. The event will gather a variety of stakeholders to examine this industry, including the different types of products available to small businesses, the benefits of those products, and possible consumer protection concerns. The forum will also examine how the Federal Trade Commission Act, other laws, and self-regulatory frameworks may apply to companies offering these products.


German company pays $5.5M for OFAC violations

OFAC has announced a $5,512,564 penalty against AppliChem GmbH of Darmstadt, Germany, for 304 violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. Between May 2012 and February 2016, AppliChem violated section 515.201 of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations when it fulfilled Cuba orders of chemical reagents on 304 invoices. OFAC determined that AppliChem’s U.S. parent voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constitute an egregious case.


HUD awards $74M for public housing

HUD Secretary Carson has announced award totaling $74 million to hundreds of public housing authorities across the country to continue helping public housing residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and/or reside in public housing to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies. The grants renew HUD’s support of 688 public housing authorities through the Department’s Family Self-Sufficiency program.


Former Apple attorney charged with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed insider trading charges against a former senior attorney at Apple, Inc., whose duties included executing the company’s insider trading compliance efforts.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Gene Daniel Levoff, an attorney who previously served as Apple’s global head of corporate law and corporate secretary, received confidential information about Apple’s quarterly earnings announcements in his role on a committee of senior executives who reviewed the company’s draft earnings materials prior to their public dissemination. Using this confidential information, Levoff traded Apple securities ahead of three quarterly earnings announcements in 2015 and 2016 and made approximately $382,000 in combined profits and losses avoided.

The complaint seeks a judgment enjoining Levoff from engaging in future violations of the insider trading rules; ordering disgorgement of an amount equal to the profits gained and losses avoided, with prejudgment interest; ordering payment of a civil money penalty, and banning Levoff from serving as an officer or director of a public company.


Fed discovers error in historical stress test data

The Federal Reserve Board identified an error in the historical dataset used in its 2019 stress tests and issued a correction. The mortgage rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 was originally published as 4.6 percent and should have been 4.8 percent. All other variables, both their historical values and projected values in the hypothetical scenarios, are unchanged. The scenarios are not forecasts of the Federal Reserve.


Treasury bristles at European Commission AML/CFT deficiencies list

The Treasury Department issued a statement Wednesday taking exception to the European Commission's list of purportedly high-risk jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terror (AML/CFT) regimes. The statement said that Treasury "has significant concerns about the substance of the list and the flawed process by which it was developed."

Treasury compared the "careful review," "extensive fact-gathering" and "robust, iterative dialogues with assessed jurisdictions" in the AML/CFT assessments of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) with the European Commission's process, which, according to Treasury, "did not include a sufficiently in-depth review necessary to conduct an assessment related to such a serious and consequential issue." Treasury stated "the Commission notified affected jurisdictions that they would be included on the list only days before issuance, ...failed to provide affected jurisdictions with any meaningful opportunity to challenge their inclusion or otherwise address issues identified by the Commission, ... [and] produced a list that diverges from the FATF list without reasonable support."

Treasury in particular rejected the inclusion of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on the list, stating that the "commitments and actions of the United States in implementing the FATF standards extend to all U.S. territories. The same AML/CFT legal framework that applies to the continental United States also generally applies to U.S. territories."

Treasury said it "does not expect U.S financial institutions to take the European Commission’s list into account in their AML/CFT policies and procedures."


OFAC sanctions Iranian organizations and individuals

On Wednesday, the Department of the Treasury announced that OFAC has designated an Iran-based entity that organizes international conferences that supported the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force’s (IRGC-QF’s) efforts to recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees, including U.S. persons, and four associated individuals. OFAC also designated a separate Iran-based entity and six associated individuals involved in the targeting of current and former U.S. government and military personnel as part of a malicious cyber campaign to gain access to and implant malware on their computer systems.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to designation.

For identifying information on the targeted individuals and entities, see our OFAC Update.


FTC actions refunded $2.3B to consumers

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its 2018 Annual Report on Refunds to Consumers, which indicates that,between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, the agency’s law enforcement actions yielded more than $2.3 billion in refunds to defrauded consumers, including $122 million mailed directly by the Commission to 2.2 million people.


FTC reschedules hearings on competition and consumer protection

The FTC has posted a new hearings schedule for the two previously scheduled sessions regarding broadband and consumer privacy canceled due to the recent lapse in government funding. The hearings will also include sessions on international issues in competition, consumer protection and privacy, and the analysis of merger retrospectives, as well as a State Attorneys General roundtable.


Fed to survey consumer finances

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it will begin its Survey of Consumer Finances in March. The survey is a statistical study of household finances that will provide policymakers with important insight into the economic condition of a broad cross section of American families. The survey has been undertaken every three years since 1983. It is being conducted for the Board by NORC, a social science research organization at the University of Chicago, through December of this year.

The data collected will provide a representative picture of what Americans own (from houses and cars to stocks and bonds), how and how much they borrow, and how they bank. Summary results for the 2019 study will be published in late 2020 after all data from the survey have been assessed and analyzed.


2019 list of rural and underserved counties

The Bureau has published on its website the 2019 list of rural and underserved counties and a separate 2019 list that includes only rural counties. The Bureau has also updated the rural and underserved areas website tool for 2019. The lists and the tool help creditors determine whether a property is located in a rural or underserved area for purposes of applying certain regulatory provisions related to mortgage loans. A creditor that makes a first-lien mortgage loan secured by a property located in a rural or underserved area during 2019 meets the requirements to be a creditor that operates in rural or underserved areas during 2020 and for loan applications received before April 1, 2021.


NMLS Ombudsman meeting agenda posted

The agenda for the February 20, 2019, NMLS Ombudsman meeting to be held in Orlando has been posted.


Agencies issue final rule on private flood insurance

A joint agency press release announced Tuesday that five federal regulatory agencies (the Fed, Farm Credit Administration, FDIC, NCUA and OCC) have issued a joint final rule to implement provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 requiring regulated institutions to accept certain private flood insurance policies in addition to National Flood Insurance Program policies.

The rule, which takes effect July 1, 2019:

  • Implements the Biggert-Waters Act requirement that regulated lending institutions accept private flood insurance policies that satisfy criteria specified in the Act;
  • Allows institutions to rely on an insurer's written assurances in a private flood insurance policy stating the criteria are met;
  • Clarifies that institutions may, under certain conditions, accept private flood insurance policies that do not meet the Biggert-Waters Act criteria; and
  • Allows institutions to accept certain flood coverage plans provided by mutual aid societies, subject to agency approval.

Related: FDIC FIL-8-2019

The Federal Reserve Board's amendments to section 208.25(b) and (c) have been posted to the BankersOnline Regulations pages for Federal Reserve Regulation H.


Powell encourages economic development in rural communities

In a presentation yesterday at a policy forum at Mississippi Valley State University, Fed Board Chairman Powell discussed the challenges and opportunities in poor rural communities, education and workshop development, entrepreneurship and small business development, and access to financial services. He concluded, “To summarize my main points today, people in rural communities who are struggling with persistent poverty need access to high-quality education from preschool through college. They need support for their aspirations to own their own businesses. And they need access to safe and affordable credit.”


OCC schedules Milwaukee workshops

The OCC will host two workshops in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown, March 26 and 27, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC.

  • The Compliance Risk workshop on March 26 addresses the critical elements of an effective compliance risk management program. The workshop also focuses on major compliance risks and critical regulations. Topics of discussion include the Bank Secrecy Act, Flood Disaster Protection Act, Fair Lending, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Community Reinvestment Act, and other compliance hot topics.
  • The Operational Risk workshop on March 27 focuses on the key components of operational risk—people, processes, and systems. The workshop also covers governance, third-party risk, vendor management, internal fraud, and cybersecurity.

The workshop fee for each session is $99. Participants receive course materials, assorted supervisory publications, and lunch. Each workshop is limited to the first 35 registrants.


FDIC extends RFI on Deposit Insurance App process


FEMA suspending communities from flood insurance program

The Fedreal Emergency Management Agency has published a notice at 84 FR 3338 in today's Federal Register listing communities in Illinois and Mississippi that are scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on February 15, 2019, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

  • IL: Beecher, Bolingbrook, Braidwood, Coal City, Crest Hill, Crete, Homer Glen, Joliet, Lemont, Manhattan, Minooka, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Plainfield, Rockdale, Romeoville, Sauk Village, Shorewood, Steger, Tinley Park, University Park and Wilmington.
  • MS: Aberdeen, Amory, Fulton, Mantachie, Smithville, and unincorporated areas of Itawamba and Monroe Counties.


FTC sending checks to defrauded consumers

The FTC has announced it is mailing checks to consumers who were victims of two scams.

  • There will be 104,612 checks totaling nearly $3.5 million to people who bought weight-loss supplements marketed by Maine-based sellers Direct Alternatives and Original Organics, LLC. Affected consumers will receive their refund checks, which average $33.12, within the next week. The FTC and the Maine Attorney General’s Office obtained the money in the settlement of two related cases against those sellers and a marketing company that created and disseminated advertisements for Direct Alternative’s weight-loss products.
  • Also being sent are refund checks to people deceived by the operators of an alleged tech support scheme by Troth Solutions. The FTC is mailing checks averaging $380 and totaling more than $26,000 to 70 consumers who were tricked into believing their computers were infected with viruses and malware, and then charged hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs.


Paying for College - how to prepare

The CFPB has posted an article suggesting three options students could utilize in exploring how to pay for their college education.


Amended Venezuela General Licenses issued


OCC publishes proposed changes to stress test rules

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has published at 84 FR 3345 a proposal to amend the OCC's company-run stress testing requirements for national banks and Federal savings associations, consistent with section 401 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA). Specifically, the proposed rule would revise the minimum threshold for national banks and Federal savings associations to conduct stress tests from $10 billion to $250 billion, revise the frequency by which certain national banks and Federal savings associations would be required to conduct stress tests, and reduce the number of required stress testing scenarios from three to two. The proposed rule would also make certain facilitating and conforming changes to the stress testing requirements.

This proposal was announced by the OCC in mid-December, but publication was delayed by the December-January partial government shutdown. Comments are due March 14, 2019.


Otting supports CFPB Payday Lending Rule proposal

Comptroller Otting has issued a statement supporting Director Kraninger and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule that would rescind requirements that lenders make certain underwriting determinations before issuing short-term small-dollar loans.


Debt collection scheme assets frozen

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that, at the Commission's request, a federal court order has been issued temporarily halting and freezing the assets of a debt collection scheme that allegedly bilked consumers out of millions of dollars, using deceptive and threatening tactics to collect phantom debts that they did not owe. A complaint filed by the Commission stated Global Asset Financial Services Group, LLC, doing business in North Carolina and New York, falsely claimed to be attorneys or affiliated with attorneys to pressure consumers into making payments on debts they did not owe, and threatened to take legal action against consumers if they did not pay. The complaint names 10 companies and six individuals as proposed defendants including: GAFS Group, LLC; Regional Asset Maintenance, LLC; 10D Holdings, Inc.; Trans America Consumer Solutions, LLC; Midwestern Alliance, LLC; LLI Business Innovations, LLC; TACS I, LLC; TACS II, LLC; TACS III, LLC; Cedar Rose Holdings & Development, Inc.; and their principals Ankh Ali, Aziza Ali, Kenneth Moody, David Carr, Jeremy Scinta, and Omar Hussain.


Agencies propose simplified Community Bank Leverage rule

The OCC, Fed, and FDIC published at 84 FR 3062 in Friday's Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking that would provide a simplified measure of capital adequacy for qualifying community banking organizations consistent with section 201 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Qualifying community banking organizations that comply with and elect to use the community bank leverage ratio (CBLR) framework and that maintain a CBLR greater than 9 percent would be considered to have met the capital requirements for the “well-capitalized” capital category under the agencies’ prompt corrective action (PCA) frameworks and would no longer be subject to the generally applicable capital rule. The proposed CBLR framework is a simple alternative methodology to measure capital adequacy for qualifying community banks. The proposal would provide material regulatory relief while maintaining safety and soundness in the banking system.

Also see OCC Bulletin 2019-6.


$2B+ in HUD CoC grants awarded YTD

HUD announced on Friday $202M in FY18 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program grants to support new homeless programs across the country, including nearly $50 million to projects dedicated to assisting survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. In January 2019, HUD announced nearly $2B in CoC grants to renew funding to thousands of local homeless assistance programs nationwide. Combined, this funding represents a record investment to support state and local efforts to reduce and end homelessness.


Defendants added to FTC student debt relief case

The Federal Trade Commission has reported it has filed a motion to add two new defendants to an ongoing case against a California-based student debt relief operation shuttered pursuant to a court order obtained by the Commission in November 2018. The scheme allegedly bilked consumers out of millions of dollars using false promises that they could reduce their monthly payments, or eliminate or reduce their student loan debt. The proposed new defendants, Capital Sun Investments, LLC, a Wyoming firm based in California, and its manager, Jimmy Calderon, are alleged to have been part of the deceptive operation, which targeted tens of thousands of consumers trying to obtain lower monthly payments or forgiveness of their student loan debts.


Fed bans former Virginia bank manager

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it has issued a Consent Order of Prohibition to Alison Keefe, former employee of SunTrust Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, for violating bank overdraft policies for her own benefit. While manager of a SunTrust Branch in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Keefe repeatedly overdrew her personal checking account at the bank and instructed Bank staff to honor the overdrafts, in conflict with bank policy.


Virginia firm pays $13,381 OFAC settlement

OFAC has announced a $13,381 settlement with Kollmorgen Corporation (“Kollmorgen”) of Radford, Virginia. Kollmorgen has agreed to settle potential civil liability on behalf of its Turkish affiliate, Elsim Elektroteknik Sistemler Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (“Elsim”), for six apparent violations of Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. The apparent violations involved Elsim dispatching employees to Iran to service machines and providing other services to Iran. OFAC determined that Kollmorgen voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations on behalf of Elsim and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case. In addition, OFAC added the name of an individual to its Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) list.


CFPB lists new protections for servicemembers and veterans

The CFPB has posted an article discussing free credit monitoring, medical debt credit reporting restrictions, and mortgage protections for servicemembers. A provision of EGRRCPA that went into effect on September 21, 2018 requires free security freezes and one year fraud alerts at the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.

In addition, other EGRRCPA provisions address a number of key financial issues for the military, including:

  • Holding lenders to more stringent requirements when they participate in VA’s refinance programs
  • Ensuring continued foreclosure protections for servicemembers up to one year after they leave active duty
  • Prohibiting medical debt that should have been paid by the VA to be reported as part of a veteran’s credit history
  • Providing free credit monitoring for active duty military, including the National Guard


December 2018 G.19 consumer credit data

The Federal Reserve has posted G.19 Consumer Credit data for December 2018 . Consumer credit increased 5 percent, with revolving and nonrevolving credit increasing 2-3/4 percent and 5-1/2 percent, respectively. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6-1/2 percent in the fourth quarter and at a rate of 5 percent in December.


Proposals to rescind and delay portion of payday loan rule

A press release from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that the Bureau is proposing to rescind certain provisions of its 2017 final rule governing “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans.”

Specifically, the Bureau is proposing to rescind the rule’s requirements that lenders make certain underwriting determinations before issuing payday, single-payment vehicle title, and longer-term balloon payment loans. The CFPB is preliminarily finding that rescinding this requirement would increase consumer access to credit. The Bureau is also proposing to delay the August 19, 2019, compliance date for the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 final rule to November 19, 2020.

Neither of the proposals would reconsider or delay the provisions of the 2017 final rule governing payments, including reconsidering the scope of their coverage. These provisions are intended to increase consumer protections from harm associated with lenders’ payment collection practices.

The proposals:


NMLS Annual Conference registration

The 2019 NMLS Annual Conference & Training will be held in Orlando on February 18-21 and registration is open.


Fed issues suspension and prohibition order

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it has issued a Consent Notice of Suspension and Prohibition against Fred Daibes, former Chairman of Mariner's Bancorp, Edgewater, New Jersey, for perpetuating a fraudulent loan scheme.

A federal grand jury indicted Daibes and an accomplice on October 30, 2018, charging them with one count of conspiracy to misapply bank funds and to make false entries to deceive a financial institution and the FDIC, five counts of misapplying bank funds, six counts of making false entries to decide a financial institution and the FDIC, and one count of causing reliance on a false document to influence the FDIC. The indictment alleges that from 2008 to 2013 Daibes and others used a nominee loan scheme to circumvent limits on loans to a single individual.

The suspension and prohibition will remain effective until the indictment or any related complaint, information or indictment is finally disposed of, or until modified, suspended or terminated by the Board of Governors.


FHFA adjusts assets cap on community financial institutions

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has published at 84 FR 2225 a Notice that the agency has adjusted the cap on average total assets that is used in determining whether a Federal Home Loan Bank (Bank) member qualifies as a “community financial institution” (CFI) to $1,199,000,000, effective on January 1, 2019.


SEC adopts rule on disclosing hedging by insiders

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published at 84 FR 2402 a rule to implement a provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to require a company to describe any practices or policies it has adopted regarding the ability of its employees (including officers) or directors to purchase financial instruments, or otherwise engage in transactions, that hedge or offset, or are designed to hedge or offset, any decrease in the market value of equity securities granted as compensation, or held directly or indirectly by the employee or director. The new disclosure is required in a proxy statement or information statement relating to an election of directors.

The new rule is effective March 8, 2019.


OCC releases stress test scenarios

The OCC has released economic and financial market scenarios for use in the upcoming stress tests for covered institutions. The supervisory scenarios include baseline, adverse, and severely adverse scenarios, as described in the OCC’s final rule that implements stress test requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Covered institutions are required to use the scenarios to conduct annual stress tests. A policy statement on the principles for the development and distribution of the scenarios was also issued.


FDIC releases CRA eval ratings

The FDIC has released a list of ratings received by state nonmember banks recently evaluated by the FDIC for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to 79 institutions in November 2018. Seventy-three were rated satisfactory, and three received needs to improve ratings.

Three institutions were rated outstanding:


Bureau advice on fixing common credit report errors

The CFPB has posted the results of an FTC study reporting one in five people has an error on his or her credit report and suggesting ways to discover and correct them, including how to dispute errors.


Payday lender pays $100,000 fine

The Bureau has announced a settlement with Cash Tyme, a payday retail lender with outlets in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Cash Tyme is the operating name for CMM, LLC, and its wholly owned subsidiaries in those states. The CFPB found that Cash Tyme:

  • Failed to take adequate steps to prevent unauthorized charges;
  • Failed to promptly monitor, identify, correct, and refund overpayments by consumers;
  • Made collection calls to third parties named as references on borrowers’ loan applications that disclosed or risked disclosing the debts to those third parties, including to borrowers’ places of employment as well as to third parties who were themselves harassed by such calls;
  • Misrepresented that it collected third-party references from borrowers on loan applications for verification purposes, when in fact it was using that information to make marketing calls to the references; and
  • Advertised unavailable services, including check cashing, phone reconnections, and home telephone connections, on the storefronts’ outdoor signage

Under the terms of the consent order, Cash Tyme must, among other provisions, pay a civil money penalty of $100,000.


NCUA adjusts CMP caps for inflation

The NCUA Board (Board) has published a final rule at 84 FR 2052 amending its regulations at 12 CFR part 747 to adjust the maximum amount of each civil monetary penalty (CMP) within its jurisdiction to account for inflation. The rule is effective February 6, 2019.


Fed's large institution stress test changes and scenarios

The Federal Reserve Board has finalized a set of changes that will increase the transparency of its stress testing program for the nation's largest and most complex banks. The changes are intended to improve public understanding of the program while maintaining its ability to independently test large banks' resilience. The first change, which will begin for the 2019 stress test cycle and expand in subsequent years, will provide significantly more information about the stress testing models used in the Board's annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). In addition, the Board finalized a stress testing policy statement and modified its framework for the design of the annual hypothetical economic scenarios.


NCUA regs update

The NCUA has published a final rule at 84 FR 1601 in today's Federal Register to make technical amendments to various provisions of the NCUA's regulations to correct minor drafting errors and inaccurate legal citations and remove unnecessary regulatory provisions no longer applicable to federally insured credit unions (FICUs). Affected are 12 CFR parts 700 through 705 and 708. The amendments are effective immediately.


Rehabs of private ed loan defaults

The FDIC has issued FIL-5-2019 with a joint advisory issued with the Federal Reserve on Voluntary Private Education Loan Rehabilitation Programs to make financial institutions aware of an amendment to section 623 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It gives consumers the opportunity to rehabilitate a private education loan with a previously reported default under certain conditions. Financial institutions that choose to establish a private education loan rehabilitation program under Section 602 of EGRRCPA that satisfies the statutory requirements, including written approval of the terms and conditions from their federal regulatory agency, are entitled to a safe harbor from potential claims under the FCRA related to removal of the reported default.


FDIC proposes further cleanup of regs

The FDIC has published a proposal at 84 FR 1653 in today's Federal Register to:

  • rescind and remove from the Code of Federal Regulations rules entitled “Lending and Investment” (part 390, subpart P) that were transferred to the FDIC from the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) on July 21, 2011;
  • amend certain sections of existing FDIC regulations governing real estate lending standards to make it clear that such rules apply to all insured depository institutions for which the FDIC is the appropriate Federal banking agency; and
  • amend part 365 by rescinding the subpart concerning registration requirements for residential mortgage loan originators because supervision and rulemaking authority in this area was transferred to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted through April 8, 2019.


January SLOOS predicts slight tightening of standards

The Federal Reserve Board has posted the January 2019 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS). The survey included a set of special questions inquiring about banks’ expectations for lending policies and loan performance over 2019. Banks reported expecting to tighten standards for all categories of business loans as well as credit card loans and jumbo mortgages. Demand for most loan types is expected to weaken, on net, with the one exception being credit card loans, for which demand is expected to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, banks anticipate that loan performance will deteriorate for all surveyed categories.


CFPB email course for consumers

The Bureau has posted an invitation for consumers to sign up for its “Get a Handle on Debt Camp.” The email course will address how to create a budget, tracking one's spending, and strategies for paying down one's debt.


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