http://www.bankersonline.com/topstory/topstory.html - 08/04/15 22:08:39 - 11/30/04 17:07:27
August 4, 2015
- OFAC changes announced OFAC has designated multiple international networks and individuals responsible for providing energy products used by the Assad regime to continue fueling the ongoing conflict in Syria. Seven entities and four individuals were designated by an Executive Order and seven vessels were identified as blocked property. Many of the entities are front companies that the Government of Syria and its supporters have used in an attempt to evade U.S. and E.U. sanctions. In addition, six Government of Syria entities and three vessels that are property in which the Government of Syria has an interest were also designated. Details on the designations are provided in OFAC's August 3, 2015, Recent Actions Update.
- FRB term deposit testing to continue The Federal Reserve has plans to continue in August 2015 the periodic testing of its Term Deposit Facility operations. Two operations will be conducted—one on August 6 for 14-day term deposits and one on August 13 for 7-day term deposits. Additional information, including the steps that institutions must complete to be eligible to participate in term deposit operations, are available at the FRB Services Term Deposit Facility Resource Center.
- July foreign exchange rates July 2015 G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates data have been posted by the Federal Reserve.
- SLOOS released The results of the July 2015 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on bank lending practices have been released. The current report was compiled from the responses received from 71 domestic banks and 23 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks.
- Internal controls webinar for CUs The NCUA will host a free 90 minute webinar, "Internal Controls and Accounting Tips for Small Credit Unions," beginning at 2 p.m. ET on August 19. A panel will discuss topics including:
- The purpose of internal controls,
- Segregation of duties,
- Supervisory Committee audits,
- Appropriate use of the prepaid account, and
- Proper accounting for Other Real Estate Owned transactions.
August 3, 2015
- FEMA to suspend communities from NFIP The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a final rule [80 FR 45894] in this morning's Federal Register, to identify 34 communities that are scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on September 2, 2015, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The communities are located in:
- Delaware County, Pennsylvania
- Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
- Wyandotte and Douglas Counties, Kansas
- McKenzie County, North Dakota
- NCUA publishes Ownership of Fixed Assets rule The National Credit Union Administration has published a final rule [80 FR 45844] in today's Federal Register to amend its regulation at 12 CFR Part 701 governing federal credit union (FCU) ownership of fixed assets. To provide regulatory relief to FCUs, the final rule eliminates a provision in the current fixed assets rule that established a five percent aggregate limit on investments in fixed assets for FCUs with $1 million or more in assets. Under the final rule, the NCUA will oversee FCU ownership of fixed assets through the supervisory process and guidance. The rule will become effective October 2, 2015.
- FDIC enforcement actions including flood CMPs The FDIC has released a list of 42 enforcement actions and one notice of charges. The administrative enforcement orders consisted of one consent order, one prompt corrective action; 10 removal and prohibition orders, one Section 19 order, nine civil money penalties, and 20 orders terminating earlier action. Included in the civil money penalties were two for flood violations, one for $10,600 and the other for $4,400. Information regarding the flood CMPs has been posted on the BOL Flood Penalties Watch page.
- OFAC 2015 Fall Symposium - save the date A Save the Date invitation has been posted by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) inviting attendance at its free 2015 Fall Symposium on September 22 in Washington, D.C.
- FSOC meeting report A report of the actions taken at the July 31, 2015, meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has been posted by Treasury.
- NCUA prohibition orders The NCUA has the issuance of four orders prohibiting individuals from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The targeted individuals had earlier been found guilty of elder theft, forgery, or grand larceny.
- FTC seeks comments on verifiable parental consent methodPublic comments are sought by the Federal Trade Commission on a proposed verifiable parental consent method that has been submitted for Commission approval under the agency's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA). The rule lays out a number of acceptable methods for gaining parental consent, but also includes a provision allowing interested parties to submit new verifiable parental consent methods to the Commission for approval.
July 31, 2015
- Bureau orders servicer to pay restitution and CMP The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has it has issued a Consent Order against Residential Credit Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Ft. Worth, Texas, for blocking consumers' attempts to save their homes from foreclosure. The Bureau found the mortgage servicer:
The Consent Order requires Residential Credit Solutions, Inc, to:
- Failed to honor in-process modifications
- Provided incorrect information
- Misrepresented to consumers that they had extra money in escrow and were due a refund
- Forced consumers to waive certain rights to get a payment plan
- Pay $1.5 million in redress to victims
- Engage in efforts to help affected borrowers preserve their homes
- Honor prior loss mitigation agreements
- End all mortgage servicing violations
- Adhere to rigorous servicing transfer requirements
- Make loss mitigation applications readily available
- Pay a $100,000 civil money penalty
- New designations for evasion of Russian and Ukrainian sanctions OFAC has announced the designation of a number of individuals and entities under four executive orders related to Russia and Ukraine. The designations are designed to counter attempts to circumvent U.S. sanctions, to further align U.S. measures with those of international partners, and to provide additional information to assist the private sector with sanctions compliance. Those designated include thirteen individuals and entities that have supported serious and sustained evasion of existing sanctions; two entities that operate in the arms or related materiel sector of the Russian Federation; four former Ukrainian government officials or close associates for complicity in the misappropriation of public assets and/or undermining of democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine as well as an entity owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, one of the designated individuals; five Crimean port operators; and one Crimean ferry operator. OFAC also removed the names of five previously designated individuals from the SDN List. Details on the designations and updates are provided in OFAC's July 30, 2015, Recent Actions Update.
- OFAC Crimea Sanctions advisory added OFAC has also issued a Crimea Sanctions Advisory, "Obfuscation of Critical Information in Financial and Trade Transactions Involving the Crimea Region of Ukraine," to highlight some of the practices that have been used to circumvent or evade U.S. sanctions involving Crimea. The evasive practices identified by OFAC include the omission or obfuscation of references to Crimea and locations within Crimea in documentation underlying transactions involving U.S. persons or the United States. These practices apply to a range of activities involving both the financial services and international trade sectors.
- Mortgage rates up The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Index for June 2015 has been released. The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.85 percent for loans closed in late June, up 10 basis points from May. The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.85 percent, up 10 basis points from May. The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.04 percent, an increase of 14 basis points May. The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.99 percent in June, up 9 basis points from the previous month. The average loan amount for all loans was $325,600, up $14,700 from $310,900 in May.
- Board appoints Faster Payments Strategy leader The appointment of Reserve Bank of Chicago Senior Vice President Sean Rodriguez as Faster Payments Strategy Leader has been by the Federal Reserve Board. Rodrigez will lead activities to identify effective approaches for implementing a safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capability in the U.S. and chair the Federal Reserve's Faster Payments Task Force, comprising more than 300 payment system stakeholders.
- FTC pays scammed consumers
The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is mailing 10,387 checks totaling more than $969,000 to consumers who lost money to a credit card interest rate reduction scam. The refunds are the result of a lawsuit filed by the Commission against Innovative Wealth Builders, a telemarketing operation that falsely promised consumers it could reduce their credit card interest rates and save them thousands of dollars on their debts. The FTC alleged that the defendants made false claims to consumers about their reduction services and refund policies, and billed consumers without their consent.
- CFPB Save the Date for Springfield
The Bureau has posted a Save the Date notice for a financial management seminar for seniors to be held in Springfield, Virginia, on August 17. The event is open to the public and will be held in Greenspring, a senior living community.
July 30, 2015
- Web services importer pays OFAC penalty OFAC has that Blue Robin, Inc. has been issued an $82,260 penalty for violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). Blue Robin violated the ITSR when it conducted 33 transactions in which it imported Web development services from an Iranian company called PersiaBME. OFAC determined that Blue Robin voluntarily self-disclosed the violations and that the violations constituted a non-egregious case. The statutory maximum civil monetary penalty for the alleged violations was $8,250,000 and the base penalty amount for the violations was $102,825. OFAC considered six aggravating factors and three mitigating factors in setting the adjusted penalty amount.
- FOMC statement the July 29, 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement.
- HMDA data to include principal city information The FFIEC has that, resuming with calendar year 2014 HMDA data, the Census Bureau Data will be updated to include principal city information.
- Payday loans video for consumers The NCUA has posted an educational consumer video, "Understanding Payday Loans," on its YouTube channel. The video, which is part of the NCUA's Consumer Report series, explains how payday loans work and highlights important features of these loans that consumers should understand.
- CFPB issues Spanish version of Home Loan Tool Kit The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued Su conjunto de herramientas para préstamos hipotecarios, the Spanish-language version of its Home Loan Tool Kit, the replacement for the "Shopping for Your Home Loan: Settlement Cost Booklet" that will be provided by lenders in connection with purchase-money mortgage loans beginning October 3, 2015.
July 29, 2015
- Deceived consumers to receive $33.4M The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has that action has been taken against Paymap Inc. and LoanCare, LLC for deceiving consumers with advertisements for "Equity Accelerator Program," a mortgage payment program that promised tens of thousands of dollars in interest savings from more frequent mortgage payments. The Bureau found consumers were lured with deceptive promises of savings and misled about when their payments would be applied. Under the terms of consent orders, Paymap will return $33.4 million in fees to approximately 125,000 consumers and pay a $5 million civil penalty to the CFPB, and LoanCare will pay a $100,000 civil penalty.
- Counterfeit cashier's checks alert The OCC has issued an Alert regarding counterfeit cashier's checks using the routing number of First National Bank of Bastrop, Bastrop, Texas. Information regarding the counterfeit cashier's checks has been posted on the BOL Alerts & Counterfeits page.
- FDIC professional liability lawsuits update The latest data available on the number of professional liability lawsuits authorized by the FDIC Board of Directors and the total monetary value of these claims have been updated.
- Agencies issue guidance for certain resolution plans
The Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC have announced they have issued guidance to 119 firms that in December 2015 will be filing updated resolution plans. Based on a review of their plans submitted late last year, the agencies are tailoring the requirements for the submissions. Some firms will receive individual feedback on areas for improvement. An updated tailored resolution plan template was also released. A tailored resolution plan focuses on the nonbanking operations of the firm and on the interconnections and interdependencies between the nonbanking and banking operations.
- Nonbank resolution plan feedback
The Federal Reserve and FDIC have issued feedback to three nonbank financial companies (American International Group, Inc., Prudential Financial, Inc., and General Electric Capital Corporation) on their initial resolution plans and guidance to the firms for their upcoming filings. The companies will submit the second version of their annual resolution plans on or before December 31, 2015.
- OFAC posts Ukraine licenses
OFAC has published [80 FR 45276] in this morning's Federal Register General Licenses 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, issued under the Ukraine-related sanctions program.
- FinCEN Special Measure rule published
FinCEN has published its final rule [80 FR 45057] imposing "special measure five" — a prohibition on correspondent accounts and special due diligence requirements — against FBME Bank, Ltd. The rule, which will be effective August 28, 2015, adds section 1010.658 to FinCEN's Chapter X rules. BOL's Read A Regs pages have been updated with the new rule.
July 28, 2015
- FTC stops scheme targeting seniors' accounts The Federal Trade Commission has settlement orders with two individuals and their companies who falsely promised senior consumers new Medicare cards in order to obtain their bank account numbers and debit their accounts. The orders will ban Benjamin Todd Workman and Glenn Erickson and their companies from selling healthcare-related products and services. The settlements resolve charges filed by the Commission in 2014. They impose a judgment of more than $1.4 million, which will be suspended upon payment of $35,000 by Workman and the surrender of certain bank accounts. The defendants also are banned from selling identity theft protection-related products and creating or depositing remotely created checks or remotely created payment orders, which are used to make bank account debits. They also are prohibited from billing or charging consumers without their consent, misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and selling or otherwise benefiting from customers' personal information.
- Receivables and auto loans report The Federal Reserve Board has released the May 2015 G.20 Owned and Managed Receivables Outstanding and Auto Loans: Terms of Credit Report.
- Treasury Retail Services contact information update FRB Financial Services has posted an update of mailing addresses and phone numbers for Treasury Retail Securities. Some addresses have been consolidated. Savings bonds materials must now be sent to one site, creating a common customer experience and improving customer service. The changes were effective yesterday, July 27, 2015.