The Federal Reserve Board announced Jan. 18 it has finalized a rule adjusting the board’s maximum civil money penalties, as required by law. In November 2015, a law was passed requiring all federal agencies to adjust their maximum civil money penalty limits annually for inflation, rather than every four years as previously required. The maximum civil money penalty limits depend on several factors, including the severity and type of violation. The law also dictates the annual adjustment formula for federal agencies.
The new penalty amounts went into effect Jan. 15.
To learn more, read the Federal Reserve news release.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register adjusting the maximum amount of each civil money penalty for which the OCC is responsible. The adjusted maximum amounts apply only to penalties assessed after Jan. 15 for violations that occurred on or after Nov. 2, 2015.
The effective date of this final rule was Jan. 27.
To read the OCC bulletin on the final rule, click here.
NCUA raises civil money penalties
The National Credit Union Administration published an interim final rule amending its regulations to adjust the maximum amount of each civil money penalty within its jurisdiction to account for inflation. The action is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
The adjusted maximums reflect the application of a multiplier of 1.01636 to the maximum amounts in effect since mid-2016, when the first adjustments under the act were made. The multiplier is used to increase annually the maximums by the percentage by which the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers for the year immediately preceding the year the adjustment is made exceeds the CPI-U for October of the prior year.
Comments are due by Feb. 22.
To learn more, see the Federal Register notice by clicking here.
January NCUA Report addresses new CDFI application process
In the latest issue of The NCUA Report, an article by NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives discusses the new, streamlined application process the NCUA and the Community Development Financial Institution Fund have created for qualifying low-income credit unions, and how this process can help more credit unions become CDFI certified.
To read more about the January NCUA Report, click here.
On Jan. 27, the National Credit Union Administration released a new YouTube video module to help credit union board members learn more about key ratios and how they directly affect a credit union’s bottom line. The series of five videos, Understanding Key Ratios, examines four key ratios, what they measure and what trends signal improving or declining financial health. The module is a follow-up to NCUA’s Understanding Financial Statements video module, which explores key line items of a financial statement. The video series explains how those line items, when combined into ratios, provide quick snapshots into a credit union’s financial health.
To learn more about the video series, click here.
More compliance news
CFPB seeks members for consumer advisory groups
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced in a Jan. 16 blog post it is accepting applications to its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council. These advisory groups provide the CFPB with information on emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial marketplace, and also allow the bureau to hear directly from small financial institutions.
The CFPB is accepting applications for membership in all of its advisory groups and is specifically looking for:
• Experts in consumer protection, community development, consumer finance, fair lending and civil rights;
• Experts in consumer financial products or services;
• Representatives of banks that primarily serve underserved communities;
• Representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher priced mortgage loans;
• Current employees of credit unions and community banks; and
• Academics (experts in consumer finance markets and underserved populations).
Seven seats on the Consumer Advisory Board will become vacant in the fall of 2017. Two seats on the Community Bank Advisory Council will become vacant in the fall, and six seats on the Credit Union Advisory Council will become vacant.
To learn more about the groups and how to apply, click here.
Treasury sanctions supporters of Iran’s ballistic missile program
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on half of or providing support to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. The action reflects the U.S. commitment to enforcing sanctions on Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities in the region and is consistent with U.S. commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to a news release.
To read more about the sanctions, click here.