http://www.bankersonline.com/topstory/topstory.html - 02/28/15 16:53:51 - 11/30/04 17:07:27
February 27, 2015
- OFAC adds and removes SDNs Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has posted a Specially Designated Nationals List Update adding three individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) linked to Hizballah. Three related entities were also added. OFAC's notice also announced several deletions from the SDN List.
- Mortgage rates dipped in January The FHFA has announced its January 2015 Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS), which indicates interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from December 2014 to January 2015.
- The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.88 percent for loans closed in late January, down 10 basis points.
- The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.89 percent, down 11 basis points.
- The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.06 percent, a decrease of 13 basis points.
- The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.04 percent in January, down 11 basis points.
- The average loan amount for all loans was $291,300 in January, down $7,000.
- Comment period extended for proposed Capital Surcharge rule The Federal Reserve Board has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to implement capital surcharges for the largest, most systemically important U.S. bank holding companies from March 2, 2015, to April 3, 2015. The proposed rule would establish a methodology to identify whether a firm is a global systemically important banking organization and would also establish the size of a firm's risk-based capital surcharge. The proposal is designed to further strengthen the capital positions of these institutions.
- Second quarter CRA exam schedule The FDIC has issued the public list of institutions that it has scheduled for a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination during the second quarter of 2015.
- Complaints filed against NY abusive debt collectors
The Federal Trade Commission and the New York State Office of the Attorney General have announced the filing of complaints aimed at shutting down 4 Star Resolution LLC and Vantage Point Services, LLC, two debt collection operations centered in Buffalo, New York, that target consumers nationwide. According to the complaints, the separate enterprises used threats and abusive language, including false threats that consumers would be arrested, to collect more than $45 million in supposed debts.
- FDIC updates lawsuits data
The FDIC has updated its Professional Liability Lawsuits webpage to indicate that 14 additional suits were brought in January 2015. From January 1, 2009, through February 25, 2015, the FDIC has authorized suits in connection with 149 failed institutions against 1,195 individuals for D&O liability. This includes 105 filed D&O lawsuits (37 of which have fully settled and one of which resulted in a favorable jury verdict) naming 800 former directors and officers. The FDIC also has authorized 61 other lawsuits for residential mortgage-backed securities, LIBOR suppression, fidelity bond, insurance, accounting malpractice, appraiser malpractice, and attorney malpractice claims. In addition, 72 residential mortgage malpractice and fraud lawsuits are pending, consisting of lawsuits filed and inherited.
February 26, 2015
- FATF meeting to focus on terrorist financing The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has commenced a three-day plenary meeting which brings together representatives from the organization's global network of over 190 countries. This meeting will have a particular focus on the issue of terrorist financing, and the financing of the terrorist organization ISIL.
- FEMA to suspend communities in 11 states The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a final rule [80 FR 10359] in today's identifying communities in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on March 16, 2015, because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.
- January residential sales report mixed HUD and the Census Bureau have released the January 2015 new residential sales report. Sales of new single-family houses in January 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, which was 0.2% below the revised December 2014 rate, but 5.3% above the January 2014 estimate.
- to temporarily suspend for one year the obligations of credit card companies to submit consumer credit card agreements to the Bureau. The intent of the proposal is to improve the submission process and enable the data to be provided to consumers and users in a faster and more useable form. During the temporary suspension period, the CFPB will collect consumer credit card agreements from the largest card issuers' public websites and post the agreements to its online consumer credit card agreements database. The proposal is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register tomorrow, February 26, 2015. Comments on the proposal are due March 13, 2015.
February 25, 2015
- OFAC Kingpin Act changes The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has the addition of five Slovenian nationals and 14 entities to its SDN List. The additions were all made under the Kingpin Act, with the SDNTK designation. OFAC also updated its SDNTK designations by deleting listings of an individual and an entity, and changing the listing of another individual. Details can be found in OFAC's Recent Actions Update.Since June 2000, more than 1,700 entities and individuals have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
- CFPB proposes one-year suspension of agreement submissions The CFPB has announced a proposal to temporarily suspend for one year the obligations of credit card companies to submit consumer credit card agreements to the Bureau. The intent of the proposal is to improve the submission process and enable the data to be provided to consumers and users in a faster and more useable form. During the temporary suspension period, the CFPB will collect consumer credit card agreements from the largest card issuers' public websites and post the agreements to its online consumer credit card agreements database. Comments on the proposal are due March 13, 2015.
- FTC complaint against payday debt relief operation A Federal Trade Commission press release has announced the filing of a complaint in federal district court against Payday Support Center, LLC, (now known as PSC Administrative, LLC), a deceptive debt relief operation, that has targeted consumers with outstanding payday loans. The defendants claimed they could help resolve those debts but then providied little or none of the financial relief they promised. As a result, many consumers stopped making payments to the original lenders and found themselves in even deeper financial trouble, having paid hundreds of dollars in fees for no benefit.
- Yellen delivers Monetary Policy Report Federal Reserve Board Chair Yellen appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to present the Federal Reserve's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress and discuss the current economic situation and outlook.
- Discount rate meeting minutes released The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes of its January 26, 2015, discount rate meeting.
- G.20 Finance Companies report The Federal Reserve has also released the December 2014 G.20 Finance Companies Owned and Managed Receivables Outstanding and Auto Loans: Terms of Credit Report.
- Regulators issue youth savings program guidance and Q&A
The FRB, FDIC, FinCEN, NCUA and OCC have announced the availability of guidance to encourage federally insured depository institutions to offer youth savings programs to expand the financial capability of young people. The guidance also provides answers to frequently asked questions related to the establishment of these programs.
- Insured institutions earnings ups and downs
The FDIC has released the Quarterly Banking Profile for the Fourth Quarter 2014, a press conference video, and the remarks of Chairman Gruenberg on the report. The profile indicates commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the FDIC reported aggregate net income of $36.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, down $2.9 billion from earnings reported a year earlier. The decline in earnings was mainly attributable to a $4.4 billion increase in litigation expenses at a few large banks. More than half of the 6,509 insured institutions reporting had year-over-year growth in quarterly earnings. Community banks earned $4.8 billion during the quarter, up $1.0 billion (27.7 percent) from a year earlier. The number of problem banks fell for the 18th consecutive quarter.
February 24, 2015
- HUD guidance on lending to LGBT Americans HUD has issued guidance to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans seeking to obtain a home loan. The guidance will help clarify the Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule (Equal Access Rule). HUD's guidance on program eligibility for HUD assisted and insured housing programs includes an equal access provision making clear that housing that is financed or insured by HUD must be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. In addition, the guidance also makes clear that sexual orientation and gender identity should not and cannot be part of any lending decision when it comes to getting an FHA-insured mortgage.
- New webpage for FBAR filers FinCEN has announced the launch of a new informational web page for those filing a Report of Foreign Bank Account (FBAR). Individuals and institutions can determine if they are required to file a FBAR and also find numerous resources for assistance if a filing is necessary. The FBAR filing deadline is June 30, 2015.
- Update on check debit transaction changes Federal Reserve Financial Services has issued information on the upcoming changes to Part II of the FRB Payment System Risk policy. The changes, which were on December 1, 2014, are designed to enhance the efficiency of the payment system, to align posting times with current operations and processing times, and to strategically position the rules for future advancements in the speed of clearing and settlement. These changes will become effective July 23, 2015, in coordination with amendments to Regulation J (12 CFR Part 210) that will become effective the same day.
- FDIC on regulatory capital reporting changesFIL-10-2015 has been issued concerning the approval of revisions to the reporting of risk-weighted assets in Part II of Schedule RC-R, Regulatory Capital, of the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report). These changes to Schedule RC-R, Part II, incorporate the standardized approach for calculating risk weighted assets under the banking agencies' revised regulatory capital rules. A limited change to Schedule RC-L, Derivatives and Off-Balance Sheet Items, revises the reporting of securities borrowed. Subject to approval by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, these Call Report changes will take effect March 31, 2015. Yesterday's BOL reported the scheduling of a teleconference to explain the revisions to Parts I and II of Schedule RC-R and Schedule RC-L tomorrow, February 25, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.
- CFPB announces field hearing on arbitration A field hearing on arbitration has been scheduled by the CFPB for Newark, New Jersey, on March 10 at 11 a.m. ET. The location of the hearing is to be announced. The event is open to the public but requires an emailed reservation.
- Bureau blogs on America Saves Week "You've got goals for your life—and some of them take money to achieve" is a new article on the CFPB Blog encouraging consumers to plan for their future and include financial goals in their planning.
February 23, 2015
- OCC January enforcement actions The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has published a list of new enforcement actions recently taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations has been released. The actions included a $5,005 Civil Money Penalty (CMP) imposed on an Ohio bank for violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act (Flood Act). See the BOL Flood Penalties Watch page for more information.
- Agencies continue regulatory review The OCC, FRB, and FDIC have jointly issued a reminder of their continuing review of the regulations they have issued to identify outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations for insured depository institutions. The review is required by section 2222 of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 ("EGRPRA"). The agencies have divided their regulations into 12 categories and requested comments in June 2014 for three categories (Applications and Reporting, Powers and Activities, and International Operations). This notice seeks comment on regulations in three additional categories: Banking Operations, Capital, and the Community Reinvestment Act. Comments will be accepted until May 14, 2015.
- Teleconference on Call Report changes FDIC FIL-6-2015 has been issued to announce that the banking regulatory agencies, under the auspices of the FFIEC, will hold on February 25, 2015, a teleconference for depository institutions that file the Call Report. The program will run from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., EST. The agencies will discuss the revisions to Call Report schedules RC-R part II and RC-L and respond to questions about the regulatory capital reporting changes. Presentation materials for the teleconference will be available on the FFIEC's website the day before the presentation. Participants also are encouraged to have copies of the revised reporting forms and the related instructions available for reference during the teleconference.
- NCUA Small Business Lending Resource Center launched The NCUA has the launch of a new webpage from which credit unions can obtain information regarding member business lending. The site provides detailed information about NCUA's member business lending rules and regulations, supervisory guidance, links to the Small Business Administration's loan programs and related articles from The NCUA Report.
- GAO report on FEMA implementation of Biggert-Waters Act The Government Accountability Office has published a report, "Flood Insurance: Status of FEMA's Implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, as Amended." The report describes (1) FEMA's management of the acts' [Biggert-Waters and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act] implementation and associated challenges and (2) the status of FEMA's implementation of selected requirements from the acts. GAO analyzed the Biggert-Waters Act and HFIAA; reviewed FEMA information on the prioritization and tracking of implementation efforts in relation to relevant internal control standards; and reviewed data and documentation on FEMA's status in implementing the Biggert-Waters Act, as amended by HFIAA, in relation to established time frames.
February 20, 2015
- IRS warns preparers of phishing scams The Internal Revenue Service has issued a press release alerting tax preparers to illicit emails purporting to come from the IRS seeking personal or professional information. As with other phony emails claiming to emanate from the agency, the latest illicit emails are attempts to steal personal information. The bogus message asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture usernames and passwords, perhaps with an ultimate goal of being able to file, undetected, multiple phony tax returns. The release also includes a link to the agency's "Dirty Dozen" list of IRS tax scams.
- Branches preferred over mobile The FDIC has released the results of a study showing that, despite the increased use of online and mobile banking, brick-and-mortar banking offices continue to be the primary means through which FDIC-insured institutions deliver financial services to their customers. FDIC-insured institutions operated 94,725 banking offices as of June 2014, a decline of just 4.8 percent from the all-time high of 99,550 offices in 2009.
- NCUA Board Action Bulletin A Board Action Bulletin has been issued by the NCUA reporting the actions taken at the February 19, 2015, meeting of its Board.
- Agencies to host Small Business Lending webinar A joint webinar, "Balancing Member Business Loan Portfolios with SBA Guarantees," will be hosted by the NCUA and the SBA on March 4, 2015, at 2 p.m. ET. The 90-minute webinar is the first initiative of the new NCUA-SBA partnership offering a series of educational initiatives during the next three years that include webinars, examiner training on SBA programs, data resources and media outreach.
- Free credit scores for over 50 million consumers The CFPB has that more than 50 million consumers now have free and regular access to their credit scores through their monthly credit card statements or online. The agency also released a report, "Consumer voices on credit reports and scores," with results from focus groups of consumers who were checking their credit scores and reports, how they were doing it, and what motivated them to check them. Links were provided to a list of the consumer reporting agencies and a document for consumers, "Check Your Own Credit Report."
- Term deposit auction resultsresults of the Federal Reserve's February 19, 2015, floating-rate offering of term deposits have been released.
February 19, 2015
- 2015 CRA/HMDA newsletter The FFIEC has posted the 2015 CRA/HMDA Newsletter, which includes articles on:
- HOEPA changes and new edit changes
- Calendar year 2014 initial submission deadline
- Submission errors: invalid file format and invalid timestamp
- Secured e-mails notice
- Missing and overdue edit reports
- Checks from Independent Foreclosure Review to be reissued The Federal Reserve Board and OCC have issued a joint press release to announce that checks related to the Independent Foreclosure Review Payments Agreements that have not yet been negotiated are to be reissued. Beginning in April 2013, nearly 4.2 million checks totaling $3.6 billion were issued to borrowers as part of the settlement. As of last month, more than 3.4 million of those checks (over $3.1 billion) had been cashed. The remaining checks have expired. The agencies have directed the paying agent for the settlement to search again for updated addresses, and reissue the expired checks.
- E-payments directory move rescheduled
Federal Reserve Financial Services has that February 22, 2015, is the revised date for the move of the E-Payments Routing Directory to a new web address. The directory's appearance will also be updated to better match that of FRBservices.org
- Mortgage rule published
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published [80 FR 8767] its final rule, announced on January 20, 2015, that delays the deadline to the third business day for revised Loan Estimates resulting from rate locks; adds a Loan Estimate disclosure about revised estimates for some construction loans; makes some technical corrections to the final Integrated Disclosures rule; and adds the Integrated Disclosures to documents requiring loan originators' names and, if issued, NMLSR IDs.
- Extension of resolution plans deadline
The Federal Reserve Board and FDIC have an extension of the resolution plan submission deadline for American International Group, Inc., General Electric Capital Corporation, Inc., and Prudential Financial, Inc. The three organizations will be required to submit their second annual plans by December 31, 2015, instead of July 1, 2015.
- FOMC minutes
The minutes of the January 27–28, 2015, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee have been released.
- January 2015 residential construction report
HUD and the Census Bureau have released the residential construction statistics for January 2015. Building permits and housing starts were down and housing completions were mixed.
- Indian housing block grants
HUD has announced Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations of more than $651 million to 586 Native American tribes in 34 states. The allocations are distributed each year to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a range of affordable housing activities.
- Term Deposit Facility (TDF) auction
The Federal Reserve will conduct today a floating-rate offering of term deposits with an early withdrawal feature through its Term Deposit Facility (TDF). Twenty-one-day term deposits will be offered with a rate set equal to the sum of the interest rate paid on excess reserves (currently 25 basis points) plus a fixed spread of 3 basis points. The maximum tender amount per institution will be $20 billion.
- Charge-off and delinquency rates reports
The Federal Reserve has released Fourth Quarter 2014 Charge-Off and Delinquency Rates on Loans and Leases at Commercial Banks reports.
- February 2015 NCUA Report
The February 2015 issue of The NCUA Report has been posted.
- ECOA Report to CFPB
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a letter with its annual report to the CFPB on the Commission's activities related to the enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).