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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December 2017 | January 2018

January News

  • Bureau to ‘Reconsider’ Small-Dollar Lending Rule (1/17/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would begin a rulemaking under which the Bureau "may reconsider" its rule regarding short-term, small-dollar loans. The rule’s effective date was Jan. 16, although most provisions do not require compliance until Aug. 19, 2019. For questions, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.
  • OIG Work Plan Updated (1/17/18)
    The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Jan. 16 announced its updated Work Plan, publishing initiated, in development, and planned projects the OIG conducted to assist the Bureau and the Board. The report now includes a note that informs the public on what was completed from its last report. The completed projects are noted "Issued" and includes links to the reports. Details on other completed projects are on the Audit Reports page.
  • ABA to CFPB: No Evidence to Support Additional Regulatory Activity Related to Overdraft (1/16/18)
    ABA asserted that it is premature for the Bureau to test the prototype disclosure forms without any evidence that bank customers lack information under the existing Model Form A-9 to make informed choices regarding use of overdraft services. ABA also contended that the survey does not ask essential questions on why customers use overdraft, whether they have ever opted out of overdraft, and what other options they have to address short-term liquidity needs if access to overdraft were restricted. Contact Jonathan Thessin with questions.
  • OCC Publishes CMP Inflation Adjustment (1/12/18)
    The OCC published the maximum amount of civil money penalties (CMPs) assessed as adjusted for inflation. The adjusted maximum amount of CMPs are applicable to penalties assessed on or after Jan. 12, 2018, for conduct occurring on or after Nov. 2, 2015.
  • Bureau Publishes Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustments (1/12/18)
    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is adjusting for inflation the maximum amount of each civil penalty within the Bureau’s jurisdiction. For the 2018 annual adjustment, the multiplier reflecting the "cost-of-living adjustment" is 1.02041. The rule is effective Jan. 15, 2018.
  • 2018 CRA File Specifications (1/12/18)
    The FFIEC released edits and file specifications for the 2018 CRA filings.
  • Bureau Releases Annual Report on College Credit Card Agreements (1/12/18)
    The Bureau published its 2017 annual report to Congress on college credit card agreements. The report lists information submitted to the Bureau concerning agreements between credit card issuers and institutions of higher education or certain affiliated organizations.
  • ABA Staff Analysis: Americans with Disabilities Act: DOJ Withdraws Rulemakings for Accessible Websites, Furniture and Non-Fixed Equipment (1/8/18)
    The Department of Justice has formally withdrawn its pending rulemakings on website accessibility, furniture, and non-fixed equipment. As it relates to the website accessibility regulations, DOJ indicated that the agency is reevaluating whether a rulemaking is “necessary and appropriate.” This leaves state and federal courts to fill in the gaps and establish accessibility standards through judicially-made law. If you have questions, please contact ABA’s Toni Cannady.
  • 2018 CRA Reporting Software Now Available (1/8/18)
    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council on Friday released the latest version of software to be used in reporting Community Reinvestment Act data due on March 1, 2019. For more on CRA, see our CRA page .
  • Justice Department Revokes Obama-Era Guidance on Marijuana Enforcement (1/5/18)
    The Justice Department has revoked prior guidance on enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug has been legalized, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a memo to federal prosecutors. Related guidance on handling marijuana-related transactions, issued in 2014 to financial institutions from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in coordination with the Justice Department, remains in force for the time being. 
  • Bureau Identifies and Corrects Rare Spread Calculator Error (1/4/18)
    The Bureau’s Rate Spread Calculator, which should be used to calculate rate spreads for HMDA reportable loans with a final action date on or after Jan. 1, 2018, was not calculating accurate rate spreads last week. The Bureau now reports that the APOR indexes have been updated and the calculator is ready for use. Bankers that used the Bureau’s Rate Spread Calculator before the APOR indexes were updated may want to rerun them using the updated calculator and make data changes as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact Rod Alba.
  • CFPB Launches New HMDA Tools (1/4/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched new tools to support banks when reporting Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, including a rate spread calculator and a check digit tool.

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December News

  • Congress Extends NFIP Authorization to Jan. 19 (12/27/17)
    As part of the short-term deal to fund the government until mid-January, Congress has extended authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program until Jan. 19, 2018. ABA will continue to work with Congress to advance a long-term NFIP reauthorization to be included with an expected omnibus budget bill in January or passed as standalone legislation. As part of a long term reauthorization, ABA will continue to advocate for important program reforms to increase the availability and affordability of coverage for all at-risk properties. For more information, contact ABA’s Joe Pigg.
  • FDIC Issues Guidance to Financial Institutions on Collaborative Relationships with Minority Depository Institutions (12/22/17)
    The FDIC issued guidance to financial institutions on collaborative relationships with minority depository institutions (MDIs). The Financial Institution Letter, FIL-64-2017, describes some of the ways that financial institutions, including community banks, can benefit from partnerships and collaborative relationships with MDIs. Collaboration among MDIs, or between MDIs and non- MDIs, can result in sound and profitable lending and investments that meet the needs of underserved communities. In addition, institutions engaging in such collaboration and partnerships may receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for such activities.
  • Bureau Will Not Assess Penalties for 2018 HMDA Data Submissions (12/21/17)
    In a major win for the industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Dec. 21 that it will not assess penalties with respect to errors in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019, and will not require banks to resubmit data for that period unless errors are found to be material. Banks must begin submitting HMDA data collected in 2017 and beyond using the Bureau’s new online platform on Jan. 1.
  • Bureau: Cost, Availability of Credit Cards Remain Stable (Dec. 2017)
    The cost of credit in the credit card market has held steady since 2015, though interest rates have risen as market rates have increased, according to a new, 350-page study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The study also found that cardholders today are averaging fewer credit cards than they were in the pre-crisis years and that non-prime consumers are relying more on private label cards and secured cards, which require a cash deposit. The issuance of secured cards ticked up 7 percent in 2016.
  • FFIEC Announces New Metropolitan Statistical Area (12/21/17)
    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in December announced a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) following an update announced by the Office of Management and Budget on Aug. 15, 2017. The new MSA, Twin Falls, Idaho, consisting of Jerome County and Twin Falls County will be included in the 2018 FFIEC Census File.
  • ABA Files Amicus Brief on ADA Website Compliance (12/21/17)
    ABA, and thirteen business trade groups, filed an amicus brief urging the Eleventh Circuit to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Outback Steakhouse’s website is inaccessible and violates Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a separate case, Outback Steakhouse entered into a settlement agreement in New York federal district court to bring its website into compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The brief argues that allowing "copy-cat" plaintiffs to levy identical lawsuits against businesses that have previously committed to improving website accessibility runs counter to Title III's purpose and provides no meaningful benefit or protection to disabled individuals.
  • ABA Staff Analysis: OMB Issues Semiannual Rulemaking Agenda (12/18/17)
    The White House’s Office of Management and Budget issued its fall 2017 Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Unified Agenda provides a report by each department and agency of its near-term plans to issue or rescind regulations. Contact Jonathan Thessin with questions.
  • Joint Trades Letter to IRS on Recent Implementation of the New Tax Transcript Authentication Process (12/18/17)
    In joint comments to the IRS, ABA and nine other trade associations urged IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter to take immediate action to rectify the recent IRS change to avoid disruptions and delays in millions of home sale transactions. Recent IRS changes to the Tax Transcript process—which implements a new multifactor authentication process—have delayed vendors from receiving tax transcripts from the IRS to support home finance transactions, the letter said. Contact Rod Alba with questions.
  • Bureau Withdraws PRA Request on Debt Collection Survey (12/18/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau informed ABA last week that it has withdrawn its request for OMB approval of a planned survey on consumer understanding of debt collection disclosures. The action comes after ABA had urged the CFPB to withdraw its request, noting that CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney announced last month a "freeze" of all pending regulatory action. The Bureau’s planned survey was a precursor to its rulemaking on debt collection.
  • Rep. Emmer Introduces Bill to Delay Elements of New HMDA Rules (12/18/17)
    Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) last week introduced an ABA-supported bill that would delay certain aspects of the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rules set to take effect next month. The new rules are causing concerns in the industry due to their complexity and overly broad scope.
  • Banking Agencies Issue Guidance on Supervision after Disasters (12/18/17)
    In the wake of record-setting hurricane and wildfire seasons, the federal banking agencies on Friday issued new guidance on how examiners will approach financial institutions affected by major natural disasters. The agencies noted that when evaluating composite ratings for institutions, examiners should review management’s overall response and recovery planning. The agencies also said they would work with institutions to determine needs, reschedule exams and extend deadlines as needed.
  • FEMA Publishes Guidance on Potential Lapse in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Authority (12/18/17)
    Last week, FEMA published guidance for Write Your Own companies on how to how to handle a lapse in NFIP authority. The guidance includes information on new policies and renewals during a lapse period. In the event of an actual lapse in NFIP authority, ABA will continue to engage membership on handling continuation of business operations. For more information, contact ABA's Diana Banks.
  • Treasury Launches New Website (12/15/17)
    The Department of the Treasury on Friday afternoon launched the first phase of its new website, Treasury.gov. The new site features added content and enhanced visual effects, and it will be optimized for use on a wide variety of devices including desktop computers as well as tablets and hand-held devices.
  • FinCEN Updates Answers to Frequently Asked BSA Questions (12/15/17)
    FinCEN published answers to FAQs to provide financial institutions with guidance that will help them comply with their BSA compliance efforts. This is part of the transparency announced by the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, at the ABA/ABA FCEC on December 4. It is not the guidance for compliance with the Beneficial Ownership rule which ABA expects to be released very soon. According to FinCEN, they will periodically update this information on their website.
  • Initial ABA Staff Analysis: Department of Defense December 2017 Amendments to its Interpretive Rule of its Military Lending Act Rule (12/13/17)
    ABA released an initial analysis of the DOD's recent amendments to its interpretive rule of the Military Lending Act. The revised interpretive rule responds to ABA’s and other trade associations’ request for amendments to the MLA regulation in their June 21, 2017 letter. ABA members must login to view it. Contact Nessa Feddis with questions.
  • Extension of Foreclosure Protections under SCRA (12/13/17)
    President Trump signed into law H.R.2810 - National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018, which extends period of protections for members of uniformed services relating to mortgages, mortgage foreclosure, and eviction. Read more from our SCRA topics page .
  • ABA Supports TCPA Safe Harbor for Technical Errors (12/11/17)
    In a joint comment letter with the Financial Services Roundtable and the Consumer Bankers Association, ABA supported a petition from ContextMedia, Inc. d/b/a Outcome Health that a caller is not subject to liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when an undetected technical error prevents a consumer’s opt-out request from being processed. Under the TCPA, a caller must honor a consumer’s request not to receive autodialed calls or text messages. Outcome Health faces a $192 million lawsuit because an alleged technical error in processing consumers’ opt-out requests led text messages to be sent in error.
  • CFPB Ombudsman Releases Annual Report (12/8/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ombudsman's Office was selected as a model for other ombudsmen in federal agencies, according to the 2017 Ombudsman's Office 2017 Annual Report. The Ombudsman's Office was selected for being identified by peers as a positive model for ombudsmen in the federal sector and by researchers as "utilizing innovative or effective practices."
  • ABA Supports TCPA Exemption for Mortgage Servicing Calls During Disaster (12/8/17)
    In a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission, ABA expressed support for easing rules for mortgage servicers to contact borrowers during a disaster or other emergency. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has petitioned the FCC for a ruling that servicing calls made during a disaster situation are exempted from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s consent requirement. Contact Jonathan Thessin with questions.
  • CFPB Updates Guide to TRID Forms (12/8/17)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a revised guide to the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure forms that reflects recent regulatory changes.
  • ABA Urges Modernization of CRA Regulatory Practices (12/6/17)
    As part of the American Bankers Association’s long-term engagement with the Treasury Department and financial regulators on the Community Reinvestment Act, the association today sent a white paper to Treasury with several recommendations for modernizing the regulatory approach to CRA. The recommendations come as Treasury staff are preparing their own report on CRA reform at the request of Secretary Steven Mnuchin; ABA staff have met with Treasury officials to provide input as part of this process.
  • FinCEN Launches New Public-Private Information-Sharing Forum (12/5/17)
    The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will formalize FinCEN Exchange, a new forum to facilitate public- and private-sector information sharing on financial crimes data. Through the program, FinCEN will coordinate with law enforcement to convene regular briefings for financial institutions to exchange information on illicit finance threats — including specific information and broader “financial typologies,” a term that refers to money laundering methods.
  • Joint Comment Letter on the Bureau's Proposed Changes to Publicly Reported HMDA Data (12/1/17)
    ABA, along with four other trade associations, filed joint comments on the Bureau's proposed changes to publicly reported HMDA data. Contact Rod Alba or Rob Rowe with questions.
  • Mulvaney Imposes 30-Day Freeze on New Regs, Guidance at CFPB (12/1/17)
    In his first day as acting director of the CFPB, Mick Mulvaney — who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget — imposed a 30-day freeze on new regulations, guidance, hiring and civil money penalties at the consumer finance regulator. Mulvaney was appointed by President Trump following Richard Cordray’s abrupt resignation as director.
  • ABA Updates Enforcement Action Database (12/1/17)
    ABA recently updated the enforcement database to include four new enforcement actions issued in November and two in October.

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