Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg testified about the state of the U.S. banking industry and agency regulatory relief efforts on June 22 before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C.
Gruenberg began with an overview of the banking industry’s recovery since the financial crisis and its current condition. He also discussed the FDIC’s efforts to streamline and simplify banking regulations and supervisory efforts to reduce regulatory burden, particularly for community banks, while preserving financial stability and the soundness of the U.S. banking industry.
To read Gruenberg’s full remarks, click here.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on June 27 issued policy guidance on its supervisory and enforcement priorities regarding its 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.
In August 2016, the CFPB issued the mortgage servicing final rule, which amends, revises or clarifies certain of the bureau’s mortgage servicing rules. The bureau has heard industry concerns about mid-week effective dates of the rule, since both the Oct. 19, 2017, and April 19, 2018, effective dates of the 2016 amendments fall on Thursday. The CFPB’s guidance indicates the agency does not intend to take supervisory or enforcement action for violations of existing Regulation X or Regulation Z, resulting from a servicer’s adherence to the amendments up to three days early. This will allow servicers to update their systems over the weekend prior to the effective dates, rather than mid-week.
To view the Federal Register notice on the policy guidance, click here.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the first 2017 issue of its Consumer Compliance Outlook.
Featured articles in the issue include Combating Elder Financial Abuse, Understanding Finance Charges for Closed-End Credit, and Implementing the New Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System.
To read the full issue, click here.
The National Credit Union Administration Board met on June 22 and unanimously approved five items.
Among those items included a request for comment in the Federal Register on proposed changes to the way it calculates the overhead transfer rate. The NCUA is proposing the changes to reduce both the complexity of the methodology and the resources necessary to administrator the overhead transfer rate.
Other agenda items that were approved included:
• A notice of proposed rulemaking proposing amendments to agency regulations to create more transparency and simplicity in agency regulations governing corporate credit unions.
• A final rule updating agency regulations regarding treatment by the NCUA Board, as liquidating agent or conservator of a federally insured credit union, of financial assets transferred by a credit union in connection with a securitization or loan participation.
• A final rule revising agency procedures for disclosing records under the Freedom of Information Act.
• A final rule adjusting civil monetary penalties for inflation.
To learn more, click here.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on June 29 announced it is requesting comment on potential amendments to several aspects of the rules concerning prepaid accounts. Specifically, the bureau is proposing to amend Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act.
The proposed amendments would include error resolution and limitations on liability for prepaid accounts where the financial institution has not completed its consumer identification and verification process; apply the rule’s credit-related provisions to digital wallets that are capable of storing funds; make certain other clarifications and minor adjustments; and address two issues relating to the effective date of the rule.
Comments on the proposed amendments must be received by Aug. 14.
To view the Federal Register notice on the proposed amendments, click here.
On June 29, the U.S. Department of Treasury took multiple actions in response to North Korea’s recent military testing actions and evasion of international sanctions.
The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced a finding that the Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank, acts as a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity and is a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern. FinCEN has proposed to sever the bank from the U.S. financial system. The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also issued sanction designations against two Chinese individuals and one Chinese company for their involvement in North Korea’s ongoing weapons of mass destruction development and continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
To read the Treasury’s news release, click here.
Eleven individuals were charged June 22 with laundering more than $40 million in drug proceeds back to Mexico through Atlanta-area money remitters.
The indictments followed a three-year criminal investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS. HSI Atlanta special agents investigated individuals across the Atlanta area that were suspected of using money-broker businesses to launder drug proceeds by breaking up large amounts of cash into smaller transactions, and using false names and addresses in an attempt to disguise the electronic transfers as remittances in exchange for a kickback.
More information about the charges is available by clicking here.
The Financial Action Task Force recently released the outcome of its June 21-23, 2017 Plenary meeting, which addressed combating terrorist financing, anti-money laundering and other issues.
Major topics of the meeting included work on combating terrorist financing; improving transparency and beneficial ownership; the impact of recent FATF work on de-risking; identifying jurisdictions with anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism deficiencies that may pose a risk to the international financial system; and other issues.
To learn more about the FATF meeting, click here.