Compliance News

The latest compliance news items. Past months’ news items are found under the specific Compliance Topic page related to the news item.

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October 2017 | November 2017

November News

  • FCC Releases Draft Order Permitting Blocking of Calls from Invalid or Unassigned Phone Numbers (11/10/17)
    The Federal Communications Commission released the text of a draft Report and Order that would authorize companies that provide telephone service (Voice Service Providers) to block certain categories of calls that are “highly likely” to be unlawful “spoofed” calls. The FCC is expected to adopt the Order at its Nov. 16 Open Meeting. Contact Jonathan Thessin with questions.
  • OCC Policy to Make It Easier for Banks to Fix CRA Problems (11/10/17)
    The OCC issued a revised policies and procedures manual spelling out its approach to licensing applications from banks that have non-satisfactory Community Reinvestment Act ratings, either overall or in a particular geographic region. While low CRA ratings have historically blocked banks from branching, merging or converting charters, the revisions allow applicants to document for the OCC how a transaction — such as an acquisition or a branch relocation — would “help the bank to achieve its CRA objectives.”
  • Bureau Seeks Comments on Free Access to Credit Scores (11/9/17)
    The Bureau is requesting comments on consumers’ experience with access to free credit scores, and the companies that offer access to the credit scores. Comments are due by Feb. 12, 2018. Contact Nessa Feddis for questions or to provide input.
  • Dollar Thresholds for Exempt Transactions Increase (11/9/17)
    Financial regulators announced that the dollar threshold at which higher-priced mortgages become subject to appraisal requirements will increase from $25,500 to $26,000 in 2018. The Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also said that the threshold under which consumer credit and lease transactions under Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing Act) are exempt will increase from $54,600 to $55,800 in 2018.
  • ABA Updates Enforcement Action Database (11/8/17)
    ABA recently updated the enforcement database to reflect three new enforcement actions issued in October by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In addition to the new enforcement actions issued in October, ABA also added a new category of violations to the database—Bank Secrecy Act cease and desist orders. For more information, contact ABA’s Toni Cannady.
  • Third-Party Tactics: Tips for Managing the Equifax Breach (11/7/17)
    The Equifax breach will have significant impacts on third-party management, cybersecurity, anti-fraud efforts and the United States credit reporting system. Staff from the American Bankers Association recently met with representatives from the federal banking agencies to better understand how regulators expect banks to handle the Equifax breach from a third-party risk management perspective.
  • New Survey Highlights Banks’ Efforts to Protect Older Americans (11/7/17)
    With Americans over age 50 accounting for 70 percent of all bank deposits, and with an estimated one in five seniors targeted by financial fraud, the ABA Foundation released its inaugural Older Americans Benchmarking Report highlighting how banks are working to combat elder abuse.
  • Bureau Launches Beta Version of HMDA Platform (11/3/17)
    The Bureau launched its new HMDA Platform in beta. The beta release will provide financial institutions an opportunity to become familiar with the HMDA Platform and determine whether their sample LAR data complies with the reporting requirements outlined in the Filing Instructions Guide for HMDA data collected in 2017. Financial institutions are encouraged to test and retest as often as needed.
  • OIG Evaluates Bureau's Information Security Program (11/3/17)
    A report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's information security program is operating at level 3, with the agency performing several activities indicative of a higher maturity level. The OIG says that the Bureau can improve its information security program to ensure that it is effective, or operating at what the OIG calls level 4 (managed and measurable).
  • OIG Issues Report on Open Recommendations Made to the Bureau (11/2/17)
    The Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on the status of its recommendations to improve the “economy, efficiency, and effectiveness” of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau programs and operations. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the OIG has made 58 recommendations to the Bureau, and 50 of those recommendations remain open more than 12 months after the OIG made the recommendation.

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October News

  • FinCEN Advisory on Disaster Relief-Related Fraud (10/31/17)
    FinCEN is warning financial institutions of fraudulent transactions in the wake of disasters, including recent hurricanes and wild fires. Financial institutions should pay particular attention to benefits fraud, charities fraud, and cyber-related fraud, FinCEN's advisory said.
  • Bureau Launches New Mortgage Performance Trends Tool (10/30/17)
    The Bureau launched a new Mortgage Performance Trends tool that tracks delinquency rates nationwide.  In addition to national data, the online tool features interactive charts and graphs with data on mortgage delinquency rates for 50 states and the District of Columbia at the county and metro-area level.
  • ABA Staff Analysis: Final Rule on Small Dollar Lending (10/25/17)
    ABA released a Staff Analysis on the Bureau's final rule that regulates small dollar lending, and the OCC's rescission of guidance on  Direct Deposit Advance (DDA) services. ABA members must login to view the document.
  • Treasury: CFPB Arbitration Rule Will Impose Major Costs on Consumers (10/24/17)
    The Bureau’s rule virtually prohibiting mandatory arbitration for financial products will impose significant costs on consumers and businesses and enrich plaintiffs’ lawyers while delivering little tangible relief to consumers, the Treasury Department said in a new report. The report — which examines data from the CFPB’s own study on arbitration — concluded that “the bureau’s arbitration study and rule do not show that the bureau’s prohibition on arbitration will efficiently improve compliance with the federal consumer financial laws or serve public and consumer interest as the Dodd-Frank Act commands.”
  • Universal Residential Loan Application to Include Language Preference Question (10/24/17)
    FHFA announced that it will include a language preference question on its updated Universal Residential Loan Application. The new URLA form — which FHFA plans to issue this year — will go into effect beginning in July 2019 and will be mandatory for loans made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beginning in February 2020.
  • CFPB Outlines Principles for Third-Party Data Access (10/19/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued nine guiding principles for protecting consumers that choose to share their financial data with third parties and data aggregators. The principles were released after the CFPB last year conducted a formal investigation into “screen scraping,” a process in which consumers provide their online banking credentials to a third-party app or tool. The principles do not reflect new or alter any existing guidance.
  • Regulators Issue Key HMDA Data Fields (10/18/17)
    The federal regulatory agencies identified designated key data fields that examiners will use to test and validate the accuracy of data collected under the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requirements, which take effect in 2018. In response to ABA and industry concerns about the burden imposed by HMDA data reporting, the agencies designated 37 of 110 data fields as key fields that examiners will use to evaluate bank compliance. See also CFPB's HMDA Resources, including an update on the new HMDA Platform.
  • New ABA Video Showcases Bank Response to Hurricanes (10/18/17)
    ABA unveiled a new video spotlighting how bankers pitched in and responded to the wave of devastating hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico this fall. ABA continues to urge bankers to join the association and its employees in supporting the ongoing recovery from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
  • ABA to FDIC: Rescind Guidance on Deposit Advance Services (10/13/17)
    In a letter to FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, ABA called on the agency to rescind its 2013 guidance on Direct Deposit Advance services – a popular short-term, small dollar credit option that several banks offered until regulatory overreach drove banks to discontinue the service. ABA’s request comes on the heels of the announcement by the OCC on October 5 that it is rescinding its similar guidance to avoid subjecting OCC-regulated banks to underwriting requirements and cooling-off periods that are “inconsistent” with the requirements in the CFPB’s final rule governing payday, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans released that same day.
  • Bureau Updates HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide (10/13/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday updated the Small Entity Compliance Guide to support implementation of the recently issued 2017 HMDA Final Rule.
  • ABA Supports CFPB’s Proposed Fix to TRID’s ‘Black Hole’ Problem (10/13/17)
    ABA commented on proposed changes to the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures that would allow creditors to use either initial or corrected closing disclosures to reflect changes in costs for purposes of determining if an estimated closing cost was disclosed in good faith, regardless of when the closing disclosure was provided relative to consummation. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba.
  • Revised OCC Exam Policy Aligns Ratings with CRA Purposes (10/13/17)
    The OCC has changed its Community Reinvestment Act supervision policies to ensure a “logical nexus” between banks’ CRA-related activities and CRA performance evaluation ratings and to give “full consideration” to banks’ efforts to take corrective action, the agency said yesterday. The OCC issued a revised section of its policies and procedures manual that outlines how examiners will approach CRA ratings.
  • CFPB Revises Small Entity Compliance Guide on TRID (10/12/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued the fifth version of its small entity compliance guide for the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures. The latest revision incorporates amendments and clarifications made in a July final rule.
  • OIG Announces Oversight.Gov (10/9/17)
    The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Friday announced, a new searchable website containing the latest public reports from federal Inspectors General, providing access to more than 5,500 reports. For FY 2017 alone, identified over $26 billion in potential savings and made 7,500 recommendations to improve programs across the federal government.
  • Bureau Finalizes Small-Dollar Lending Rule (10/5/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on October 5 finalized its small-dollar lending rule. "With today’s rule, the bureau has reiterated its earlier view that banks can play an important role in meeting the needs of small-dollar borrowers," ABA's Virginia O'Neill said in a statement. "As we continue to analyze the final rule’s 1,690 pages, we hope that it will allow banks to expand programs to effectively meet the small-dollar credit needs of their customers." Read ABA's Initial Summary of the Final Rule .
  • Trade Groups Applaud Bipartisan Action to Codify ‘Valid-When-Made’ Doctrine (10/5/17)
    The American Bankers Association and 10 other banking, business and online lending trade associations wrote to members of the House and Senate commending lawmakers’ efforts to codify “valid-when-made” doctrine, which states that legally made bank loans may be resold and collected by nonbank entities at the same interest rate.
  • Pentagon: No Delay for Credit Card Provisions of MLA Rules (10/3/17)
    The Department of Defense denied a request by ABA and several financial trade groups to postpone the effective date of the amended Military Lending Act rules for credit card accounts. The compliance date for those accounts is today.
  • Bureau Announces Technical Changes to Servicing Rule Amendments (10/3/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an interim final rule to address certain challenges related to the 2016 servicing amendments. The rule—which takes effect on Oct. 19—gives mortgage servicers a 10-day window to notify borrowers that have requested that communication cease under federal debt collection law about their foreclosure options. The Bureau also issued a proposal related to the timing for servicers sending periodic statements to borrowers in bankruptcy.
  • ABA Supports Proposal to Increase CRE Appraisal Threshold (10/2/17)
    ABA on Sept. 29 wrote to the regulatory agencies in support of a proposal that would raise the appraisal threshold for commercial real estate transactions from $200,000 to $400,000. The association noted that the proposal reflects “a simple and clear-cut change that can be implemented with ease,” and that it would provide immediate relief to banks that are currently struggling with a shortage of certified appraisers—particularly in rural areas—and long appraisal turnaround times.
  • ABA Updates Enforcement Action Database (10/2/17)
    ABA recently updated the enforcement database to reflect six new enforcement actions issued in September. As reported in the Database, banks and non-banks were cited for violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices totaling $19,292,500 in civil money penalties and over $78,705,169 in consumer restitutions.

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