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How to add predictive analytics into your risk program. Risk reports are often limited to historical insights and issues and do not provide guidance and insights into the future of the organization. Adding predictive analytics can allow your organization to detect emerging risks and create mitigation plans. This can be achieved by combining internal and external key risk indicators (KRIs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) with regulatory intelligence. This ensures that risk reports can detect more issues and highlight areas of concern. Click here to learn more.


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10/17/2019

October Beige Book published

The October 16, 2019, edition of the Beige Book has been published by the Federal Reserve Board. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector eight times each year. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis. This month's summary was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, based on information gathered before October 7, 2019.

10/17/2019

Kraninger submits report to House committee

The CFPB has released written testimony of CFPB Director Kathlees Kraninger before the House Committee on Financial Services, presented with the Bureau's Spring 2019 Semi-Annual Report to Congress.

10/17/2019

100s charged worldwide in takedown of child porn network

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reported that Jong Woo Son, 23, a South Korean national, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for his operation of Welcome To Video, the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content. The nine-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday along with a parallel civil forfeiture action. Son has also been charged and convicted in South Korea and is currently in custody serving his sentence in South Korea. An additional 337 site users residing in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State and Washington, D.C. as well as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia have been arrested and charged. Two of those charged were Homeland Security employees—a Homeland Security Investigations special agent and a U.S. Border Patrol agent..

This Darknet website is among the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos using bitcoin. In fact, the site itself boasted over one million downloads of child exploitation videos by users. Each user received a unique bitcoin address when the user created an account on the website. An analysis of the server revealed that the website had more than one million bitcoin addresses, signifying that the website had capacity for at least one million users. Notably, the operation is responsible for the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.

10/17/2019

Proposed policy statement on allowances for credit losses

The OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and NCUA have published in today's Federal Register a proposed interagency policy statement and request for comment on Allowances for Credit Losses. The proposed policy statement statement describes the measurement of expected credit losses under the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology and the accounting for impairment on available-for-sale (AFS) debt securities in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 326; supervisory expectations for designing, documenting, and validating expected credit loss estimation processes, including the internal controls over these processes; maintaining appropriate ACLs; the responsibilities of boards of directors and management; and examiner reviews of ACLs.

Comments on the proposed interagency policy statement must be received by December 16, 2019.

10/16/2019

Nine new members of IRS ETAAC

The IRS has announced its selection of nine new members of its Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), a public form for the discussion of issues in electronic tax administration. The new members are:

  • Latryna Carlton, Waverly, FL
  • Daniel Eubanks, Alexandria, VA
  • Larry Gray, Rolla, MO
  • John Kreger, Minneapolis, MN
  • Laura Macca, Fairfield, CT
  • Julie Magee, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
  • Ada Navarro, Wolcott, CT
  • Cynthia Rowley, Maplewood, MN
  • Matthew Vickers, Brooklyn, NY

10/16/2019

Federal Reserve Section 19 letters

The Federal Reserve Board indicates it issued four “Section 19" letters during the third quarter of 2019. The letters notified individuals who have pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of a crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust that they are legally prohibited under section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and section 205 of the National Credit Union Act from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party with respect to any federally-insured financial organization (and certain other organizations) without permission.

The letters were issued to former institution-affiliated parties of:

  • American State Bank and Trust Company, Great Bend, Kansas (conviction for theft of property worth at least worth $1,500, but less than $24,999)
  • Regions Bank, Boca Raton, Florida (entered into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with the resolution of an indictment that charged her in connection with an “organized scheme to defraud”)
  • Alamerica Bancorp. Inc, Birmingham, Alabama (father and son who were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and of wire fraud)

10/16/2019

CFPB 2019 Annual Report on Student Loans

The CFPB has announced that its Private Education Loan Ombudsman has issued the 2019 Annual Report showing that from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2019 the Bureau handled approximately 20,600 complaints related to private or federal student loans. Of these, there were approximately 6,700 private student loan complaints and 13,900 federal student loan complaints. The report also provides policymakers with a series of recommendations.

10/16/2019

Paulson named Senior Deputy Comptroller

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced that Blake Paulson will become the next Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision in December 2019 and will oversee the team of more than 1,500 employees responsible for supervising approximately 1,100 community and midsize national banks and federal savings associations that provide banking services to consumers, business, and communities.

Paulson currently serves as Deputy Comptroller for the Central District. In that role, he oversees approximately 330 community banks and savings associations and manages a staff of 450 bank examiners and other professional and support personnel in the Central District that includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota and Missouri.

10/16/2019

Treasury proposes changes to agency disbursements reg

Treasury's Fiscal Service Bureau has published [84 FR 55267] in this morning's Federal Register a notice and request for comments on proposed amendments to its regulation that requires electronic delivery of all Federal payments aside from tax payments. The proposed rule would eliminate obsolete references in the regulation, including references to the Electronic Transfer Account (program ended in 2017). In addition, the proposed rule would provide for the disbursement of non-benefit payments, including tax payments, through Treasury-sponsored accounts, such as the U.S. Debit Card. The proposed rule would not mandate the electronic delivery of tax payments or affect the Direct Express program, which will continue to be available to recipients of benefit payments.

The proposal would reflect the evolution of the Fiscal Service's payment technologies and eliminate outdated references and EFT waiver categories. Payments made by the IRS would be added to the definition of "federal payment" to support the delivery of tax refunds via Treasury-sponsored accounts, but tax refund payments would continue to be excluded from the EFT mandate that applies to other federal payments.

Comments on the proposal are due by December 16, 2019.

10/16/2019

Brokerage firm supervisor charged for mishandling of ADRs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that Domenick Migliorato, a former supervisor of the securities lending desk at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC (ICBCFS), has agreed to settle charges for his supervisory failures involving the improper handling of transactions involving American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Earlier this year, ICBCFS agreed to pay more than $42 million to settle SEC charges. Migliorato has agreed to settle without admitting or denying the charges and to pay a $150,000 penalty. He also is prohibited from acting in a supervisory capacity for at least three years.

10/15/2019

Turkish ministries and officials sanctioned

The Treasury Department announced yesterday that OFAC has taken action against two Turkish ministries and three senior Turkish government officials in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria. The Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of National Defence, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of the Interior have been blocked. Persons that engage in certain transactions with the designated persons may themselves be exposed to designation. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates any significant financial transactions for or on behalf of the persons designated today could be subject to U.S. correspondent or payable through account sanctions.

For identifying information on the designated ministries and officials, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

10/15/2019

FOMC statement on monetary policy implementation

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has reaffirmed its intention to implement monetary policy in a regime in which an ample supply of reserves ensures that control over the level of the federal funds rate and other short-term interest rates is exercised primarily through the setting of the Federal Reserve's administered rates, and in which active management of the supply of reserves is not required. The FOMC reports it has taken the following steps:

  • In light of recent and expected increases in the Federal Reserve's non-reserve liabilities, the Federal Reserve will purchase Treasury bills at least into the second quarter of next year in order to maintain over time ample reserve balances at or above the level that prevailed in early September 2019.
  • In addition, the Federal Reserve will conduct term and overnight repurchase agreement operations at least through January of next year to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample even during periods of sharp increases in non-reserve liabilities, and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation.

The Committee said these actions are purely technical measures to support the effective implementation of the FOMC's monetary policy, and do not represent a change in the stance of monetary policy. The FOMC statement concluded with its most recent domestic policy directive to the Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with regard to open market operations.

10/15/2019

CFPB financial law task force announced

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it will establish a task force to examine ways to harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws. The Task Force on Federal Consumer Financial Law will examine the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and financial services providers and report to Director Kraninger its recommendations for ways to improve and strengthen consumer financial laws and regulations.

10/15/2019

FATF Week

Starting Sunday October 13, representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world, the IMF, UN, World Bank and other organizations, are meeting for FATF Week in Paris, France. Six days of meetings will focus on disrupting financial flows linked to crime and terrorism and discuss ways to contribute to global safety and security.

The FATF has announced the release of a consolidated table of assessment ratings received by the 205 FATF-member jurisdictions in their peer reviews of the effectiveness of their technical compliance with the FATF recommendations for effective AML/CFT systems.

10/15/2019

Treasury targets corruption in South Sudan

On Friday, Treasury announced that OFAC had sanctioned Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal and Kur Ajing Ater for their involvement in bribery, kickbacks and procurement fraud with senior government officials in South Sudan. OFAC is also designating five companies determined to be owned or controlled by Al-Cardinal, and one company owned or controlled by Ajing.

As a result of Friday’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals and entities, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.

For identification information on Al-Cardinal, Aijing, and the six entities, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

10/15/2019

Citibank fined $30 million for OREO violations

The OCC announced on Friday a $30 million civil money penalty against Citibank, N.A., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for violations related to the holding period for other real estate owned (OREO). Although the bank has repeatedly committed to implementing corrective actions, it has failed to do so, and violations have continued to occur.

For additional information, see "Citibank pays $30 million for OREO violations," in BankersOnline's Penalty pages.

10/15/2019

SEC videos explain how investor fraud works

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and Retail Strategy Task Force have released new videos and Investor Alerts to help show investors what fraud looks like.

10/15/2019

Regulators issue joint statement on digital assets

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the SEC have issued a joint statement to remind persons engaged in activities involving digital assets of their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA):

  • AML/CFT obligations apply to entities that the BSA defines as “financial institutions,” such as futures commission merchants and introducing brokers obligated to register with the CFTC, money services businesses (MSBs) as defined by FinCEN, and broker-dealers and mutual funds obligated to register with the SEC. Among those AML/CFT obligations are the requirement to establish and implement an effective anti-money laundering program (AML Program) and recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including suspicious activity reporting (SAR) requirements.

10/15/2019

$1.7B digital token scam stopped by SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission reports it has filed an emergency complaint and obtained a temporary restraining order against two offshore entities conducting an alleged unregistered, ongoing digital token offering in the U.S. and overseas that has raised more than $1.7 billion of investor funds.

10/11/2019

ITIN expiration alert

The IRS has issued a reminder that taxpayers with expiring Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) can get their them renewed more quickly and avoid refund delays next year by submitting their renewal application now. An ITIN is a tax ID number used by taxpayers who don't qualify to get a Social Security number. Any ITIN with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 will expire at the end of this year. In addition, any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years will expire. As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits 70 through 82 that expired in 2016, 2017 or 2018 can also be renewed.

10/11/2019

CFPB issues final HMDA rule for relief to smaller institutions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced its approval of a rule that finalizes certain aspects of its May 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). It extends for two years the current temporary threshold for collecting and reporting data about open-end lines of credit under HMDA. The rule also clarifies partial exemptions from certain HMDA requirements that Congress added in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA).

The rule will be effective in two stages, on January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022.

The CFPB intends to issue a separate final rule next year addressing changes to the permanent thresholds for closed-end and open-end transactions.

10/11/2019

Federal Reserve to match regs to bank risk profiles

The Federal Reserve Board has finalized rules that tailor its regulations for domestic and foreign banks to more closely match their risk profiles. The rules reduce compliance requirements for firms with less risk while maintaining the most stringent requirements for the largest and most complex banks. The rules also establish a framework that sorts banks with $100 billion or more in total assets into four different categories based on several factors, including asset size, cross-jurisdictional activity, reliance on short-term wholesale funding, nonbank assets, and off-balance sheet exposure. Significant levels of these factors result in risk and complexity to a bank and can in turn bring risk to the financial system and broader economy.

These rules will become effective 60 days after Federal Register publication.

10/11/2019

FDIC guidance for institutions affected by Tropical Storm Imelda

The FDIC has posted FIL-56-2019, which provides guidance on steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Texas affected by Tropical Storm Imelda.

10/11/2019

Members of South African corruption network sanctioned

Treasury announced yesterday that OFAC has sanctioned members of a significant corruption network in South Africa that leveraged overpayments on government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to fund political contributions and influence government actions. For identification information on the four individuals sanctioned and on two updates of existing listings, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

10/11/2019

Fed announces intent to ban California banker

The Federal Reserve Board announced yesterday it has filed a Notice of Intent to prohibit and to issue a cease and desist order requiring restitution or reimbursement against Mai Ly-Vu, a former branch manager and vice president of Pacific Premier Bank, Irvine, California. If finalized, the Fed would ban her from the banking industry and require her to pay $18,700 in restitution to the bank. Ly-Vu is alleged to have engaged in unsafe or unsound banking practices and breach of fiduciary duty by failing to disclose her personal financial interests in extensions of credit by the bank to companies owned by her husband and other members of her immediate family.

10/10/2019

Executive order on agency guidance documents

On October 9, 2019, the president issued an Executive Order on "Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents." The Order declares that "it is the policy of the executive branch, to the extent consistent with applicable law, to require that agencies treat guidance documents as non-binding both in law and in practice, except as incorporated into a contract, take public input into account when appropriate in formulating guidance documents, and make guidance documents readily available to the public. Agencies may impose legally binding requirements on the public only through regulations and on parties on a case-by-case basis through adjudications, and only after appropriate process, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract."

The Order also provides that each affected agency or agency component "shall establish or maintain on its website a single, searchable, indexed database that contains or links to all guidance documents in effect from such agency or component."

10/10/2019

SEC forms Asset Management Advisory Committee

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday it has formed an Asset Management Advisory Committee to provide the Commission with diverse perspectives on asset management and related advice and recommendations. Topics the committee may address include trends and developments affecting investors and market participants, the effects of globalization, and changes in the role of technology and service providers. The committee is comprised of a group of outside experts, including individuals representing the views of retail and institutional investors, small and large funds, intermediaries, and other market participants.

10/10/2019

September FOMC minutes released

The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held on September 17-18, 2019. A summary of economic projections made by Federal Reserve Board members and Reserve Bank presidents for the meeting was included. The Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-3/4 to 2 percent.

10/10/2019

$112M available for housing for disabled

HUD has announced that $112 million is available to expand the supply of permanent affordable housing for very low-income persons with disabilities through its Section 811 Program - traditional Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities and Section 811 Project Rental Assistance. The available funding includes $75 million in capital advances for the development of new supportive housing for this vulnerable population.

10/10/2019

IRS guidance on tax treatment of virtual currency

The Internal Revenue Service has released new guidance for taxpayers who engage in transactions involving virtual currency.

10/10/2019

FEMA to suspend communities from flood program

FEMA has published a notice [84 FR 54520] in this morning's Federal Register identifying communities in four states that are scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on October 18, 2019, due to their noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If FEMA receives documentation that a listed community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to October 18, the suspension will not occur.

  • Mississippi: Columbia, Tylertown, and unincorporated areas of Lamar, Marion, and Walthall counties
  • Oregon: Depoe Bay, Newport, Salem, Siletz, Toledo, Turner, Waldport, Yachats, and unincorporated areas of Lincoln and Marion counties
  • South Carolina: Hardeeville and unincorporated areas of Jasper County
  • Texas: San Felipe, Sealy, and unincorporated areas of Austin County

10/10/2019

FinCEN adjusts penalty caps

FinCEN has published a final rule [84 FR 54495] in the October 10, 2019, Federal Register making inflation adjustments of civil money penalties, as mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended. The rule adjusts certain penalties within the jurisdiction of FinCEN to the maximum amount required by the Act. The amendments are effective on publication, and have been posted to 31 CFR 1010.821 (Penalty adjustment and table) in BankersOnline's Regulations pages.

10/09/2019

$31M in LifeLock refund checks to be sent by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has reported it will begin sending refund checks totaling more than $31 million as part of a previously announced settlement with LifeLock, Inc. related to allegations that the identity theft protection provider violated a 2010 Commission data security order. The FTC is mailing more than one million checks averaging about $29. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days.

10/09/2019

FTC stops bogus job placement and resume repair scheme

The operator of a job placement company that deceived consumers with false promises of access to high-paying finance jobs and resume repair services for non-existent jobs will be permanently banned from providing employment services under the terms of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The complaint alleged that the defendants charged recruiting fees of up to $2,500 to set up bogus interviews. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants will be permanently banned from selling employment-related services to consumers, including job placement, resume repair, or arranging interviews. The defendants will also be prohibited from making material misrepresentations about any product or service, from actions that limit a consumer’s ability to submit reviews of a company online in violation of the Consumer Review Fairness Act, and further violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The settlement also imposes a judgment of $1,744,422, of which all but $18,000 is suspended due to the defendants’ inability to pay. Should the defendants fail to pay the $18,000 judgment or be found to have misrepresented their financial status, the judgment would become payable in full.

10/09/2019

Volcker Rule simplified

The FRB, FDIC, OCC, SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a joint press release yesterday announcing that they have finalized revisions to simplify compliance requirements relating to the "Volcker Rule." By statute, the Volcker Rule generally prohibits banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading or investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. Under the revised rule, firms that do not have significant trading activities will have simplified and streamlined compliance requirements, while firms with significant trading activity will have more stringent compliance requirements. Community banks generally are exempt from the Volcker rule by statute. The rules will be effective on January 1, 2020, with a compliance date of January 1, 2021.

10/09/2019

IRS announces new payment option

The IRS has announced that a new payment option has been added to the IRS's private debt collection program to make it easier for those who owe to pay their tax debts. Taxpayers now can choose the convenient option of a preauthorized direct debit to make one payment or a series of payments toward their federal tax debt. With direct debit, the taxpayer will give their written permission to the private collection agency (PCA) to authorize a payment on the taxpayer's behalf to the Treasury Department.

10/09/2019

IRS proposes tax relief for shifts from IBORs

Treasury has announced that the IRS is publishing proposed regulations [84 FR 54068] allowing taxpayers to avoid adverse tax consequences from changing the terms of debt, derivatives, and other financial contracts to replace reference rates based on interbank offered rates (IBORs) with certain alternative reference rates. The proposed rules respond to a request for guidance from the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a broad-based committee of private sector and ex-officio government stakeholders convened by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in advance of the expected market transition from IBORs to alternative reference rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

10/09/2019

New members of FDIC Community Banking advisory group

The FDIC has announced the names of new members of its Advisory Committee on Community Banking:

  • Shaza Andersen, CEO, Trustar Bank, Great Falls, Virginia
  • Sarah Getzlaff, CEO, Security First Bank of North Dakota, New Salem, North Dakota
  • Gilbert Narvaez, Jr., President & CEO, Falcon International Bank, Laredo, Texas
  • Mark Pitkin, President & CEO, Sugar River Bank, Newport, New Hampshire

10/08/2019

NCUA extends application deadline

The NCUA has extended the deadline to November 30 for federally insured, low-income credit unions that want to become certified Community Development Financial Institutions to apply for qualification to use the agency’s streamlined CDFI certification process. This will be the final opportunity to take advantage of the streamlined certification process in 2019.

10/08/2019

Consumer credit expands

According to G.19 Consumer Credit data posted by the Federal Reserve yesterday, consumer credit increased in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5-1/4 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 2-1/4 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7-3/4 percent.

10/08/2019

OCC Innovation Office Hours in Las Vegas

The OCC has announced it will hold Innovation Office Hours on October 28 in Las Vegas to promote responsible innovation in the federal banking system.

Office Hours are one-on-one meetings with Office of Innovation staff to discuss financial technology (fintech), new products or services, partnering with a bank or fintech company, or other matters related to responsible innovation in the federal banking system. OCC staff will provide feedback and respond to questions. Each meeting will last no longer than one hour. Requests for Office Hours sessions must be submitted by October 18.

10/08/2019

Otting discusses community reinvestment and service

The OCC reported yesterday that Comptroller Joseph Otting discussed reinvestment and service in remarks at the National Asian American Coalition's 16th Annual Economic Development Conference. Otting highlighted the importance of modernizing the regulatory framework implementing the Community Reinvestment Act.

10/08/2019

$400,000 residential appraisal threshold effective October 9

The OCC, FDIC and Federal Reserve have published [84 FR 53579] in today's Federal Register the previously announced final rule increasing to $400,000 the threshold for requiring an appraisal by a state certified or licensed appraiser for residential real estate transactions. The portions of the rule increasing the appraisal threshold become effective on October 9, 2019.

10/07/2019

NCUA posts final rule on audits and verifications

The NCUA has published [84 FR 53303] a final rule amending its regulations governing the responsibilities of a federally insured credit union to obtain an annual supervisory committee audit of the credit union. The final rule implements recommendations outlined in the agency's Regulatory Reform Task Force's Regulatory Reform Agenda and will provide additional flexibility to FICUs. Specifically, the Board is: replacing the Supervisory Committee Guide with a simplified appendix to the part (12 CFR part 715); eliminating two audit types that FICUs seldom use; and eliminating a specific deadline for outside, compensated persons to deliver written audit reports to FICUs. The amendments to 12 CFR 715 will be effective January 6, 2020.

10/07/2019

OCC stress testing rule amended

The OCC has announced a final rule amending its stress testing rule consistent with section 401 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

The final rule, which has not yet been published in the Federal Register, revises the minimum threshold for national banks and federal savings associations to conduct stress tests from $10 billion to $250 billion; revises the frequency with which certain national banks and federal savings associations are required to conduct stress tests; reduces the number of required stress testing scenarios from three to two; and makes certain additional technical changes to the stress testing requirements. The final rule, which affects 12 CFR part 46, will become effective November 24, 2019.

10/07/2019

FDIC issues 5 outstanding CRA ratings

The FDIC has released a list of banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. Of the 77 banks listed, 71 received Satisfactory ratings, and one bank was rated Needs to Improve. We congratulate five banks that received Outstanding ratings (links are to their evaluations):

10/07/2019

Billings housing providers charged with FHA violations

HUD has announced it has charged housing providers in Billings, Montana, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to, and making discriminatory statements about, a family with children. This case came to HUD’s attention when a Montana mother filed a complaint alleging that Alice S. Klundt, Alice S. Klundt Living Trust, and Terry Pollert, who collectively own and manage a single-family rental home in Billings, refused to rent the home to her because she had two daughters under the age of eighteen.

10/07/2019

Unemployment rate at 50 year low

The White House has announced that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly Employment Situation Report for September 2019. The household survey finds that the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, marking the 19th consecutive month at or below 4 percent unemployment. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since May 1969—over 50 years ago.

10/07/2019

FTC order halts bogus real estate seminars

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that a federal temporary restraining order has been issued against Utah-based Zurixx, LLC and affiliated companies, which the Commission and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection allege have used deceptive promises of big profits to lure consumers into real estate seminars costing thousands of dollars. The order prohibits Zurixx from making unsupported marketing claims and from interfering with consumers’ ability to review Zurixx and its products. The court has appointed a temporary monitor over Zurixx and instructed the companies to preserve their assets.

10/04/2019

FDIC terminates receiverships

The FDIC has published [84 FR 53149] a notice that it has terminated the receiverships of Freedom Bank of Georgia (Commerce, GA) and Valley Bank (Fort Lauderdale, FL) as of October 1, 2019.

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