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05/01/2017

FDIC releases March enforcement actions

The FDIC has released a list of 34 orders and one adjudicated decision for the month of March 2017. The administrative enforcement actions included five removal and prohibition orders, six Section 19 orders, two civil money penalties, four voluntary terminations of insurance; seven terminations of prior orders, and the adjudicated decision. Of note:

  • A Nebraska bank was ordered to pay a $6,500 civil money penalty for violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act and Part 339 of the FDIC's Rules and Regulations
  • An individual now or formerly an institution-affiliated person of a South Dakota bank was ordered to pay $15,000 in civil money penalties for unspecified transgressions
  • Orders for termination of insurance (without deposits) were approved for:
    • Republic Bank, Bountiful, Utah
    • Builders Bank, Chicago, Illinois
    • Bank of Pine Hill, Pine Hill, Alabama
    • Banamex USA, Century City, California

05/01/2017

NCUA April prohibition orders

The National Credit Union Administration reported that in April it issued five notices of prohibition to individuals who have been convicted of crimes of dishonesty and, as a result, are prohibited from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. Four of those individuals had been ordered to make restitution in amounts ranging from a low of $5,180.63 to a high of $14.1 million.

04/28/2017

Saudi added to SDN list

OFAC has added the name of Mubarak Mohammed A Alotaibi, a Saudi national, to the Specially Designated Nationals List as a global terrorist. For identification information, see our OFAC Update.

04/28/2017

March mortgage rates decrease

The FHFA Index for March 2017 shows that nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from February to March, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

  • The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was 4.12 percent for loans closed in late March, down 15 basis points from 4.27 percent in February.
  • The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.12 percent, down 13 basis points from 4.25 in February.
  • The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $424,100 or less was 4.24 percent, down 17 basis points from 4.41 in February.
  • The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.25 percent in March, down 13 basis points from 4.38 in February. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.
  • The average loan amount for all loans was $312,700 in March, up $11,100 from $301,600 in February.

04/28/2017

OCC to host workshops in Oklahoma City

The OCC has announced it will host two workshops in Oklahoma City at the Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown-Bricktown, June 6-7, 2017, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations.

  • The Risk Governance workshop on June 6 provides practical information for directors to effectively measure and manage risks. The workshop also focuses on the OCC’s approach to risk-based supervision and major risks in the financial industry.
  • The Compliance Risk workshop on June 7 focuses on the critical elements of an effective compliance risk management program. The workshop also focuses on major compliance risks and critical regulations. Topics of discussion include the Bank Secrecy Act, Flood Disaster Protection Act, Fair Lending, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Community Reinvestment Act, and other compliance areas of interest.

04/28/2017

CFPB releases strategies for promoting mortgage industry diversity and inclusion

The CFPB has released a report summarizing strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion used by mortgage industry participants. It highlights the business case for diversity along with current approaches and practices used in the mortgage industry, such as establishing buy-in from top leadership, integrating principles of inclusion in recruiting and hiring, and the importance of data in assessing the impact of diversity on keeping organizations competitive. The report is the result of the CFPB’s collaboration with the financial services industry to raise awareness of the importance of strengthening diversity and inclusion within organizations.

04/28/2017

Bureau sues four online lenders

The CFPB has filed a complaint against four online lenders – Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc. – for deceiving consumers by collecting debt that the consumers did not legally owe. In the complaint, the CFPB alleges that the four lenders could not legally collect on these debts because the loans were void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders. The CFPB also alleges that the lenders made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumer bank accounts for debts that consumers did not legally owe. The CFPB seeks to stop the unlawful practices, recoup relief for harmed consumers, and impose a penalty.

The Bureau's complaint states that the four companies are owned and incorporated by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Indian Tribe, whose Rancheria is located in California.

04/28/2017

DoD MLA website due for maintenance

A message on the Department of Defense's Military Lending Act website states that the MLA service will be unavailable from 2–5 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, April 29, due to scheduled maintenance.

04/27/2017

Bureau penalizes SNAAC for violating 2015 order

The CFPB took another swipe at SNAAC - - Security National Automotive Acceptance Company -- with a consent order that the Ohio-based auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers pay an additional $1.25 million in penalties for noncompliance with an October 28, 2015, CFPB Administrative Order. According to the Bureau's press release the CFPB determined that SNAAC failed to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits due under the earlier order to more than 1,000 consumers. In 2015, SNAAC paid a $1 million civil penalty and was supposed to make approximately $2.28 million in redress payments. Yesterday's CFPB press release reports that SNAAC treated accounts that were settled-in-full as having a positive account balance instead of providing refunds. These "account credits" were worthless to consumers who no longer owed SNAAC money and couldn't use the credits toward another loan with SNAAC, said the Bureau. SNAAC gave consumers whose accounts were discharged in bankruptcy the same worthless-credit treatment.

To ensure that the yet-to-be-completed redress payments will be properly delivered, the Bureau has now ordered SNAAC to pay the funds to the Bureau for redistribution to the consumers involved, along with a fee of $75,000 to the Bureau to cover the Bureau's costs involved. In addition, SNAAC must pay an additional civil money penalty of $1.25 million to the Bureau's Civil Penalty Fund. For additional information, see "CFPB hits SNAAC with another $1.25M CMP," in our Penalty Pages.

A SNAAC statement released yesterday reports that the settlement with the Bureau "resolves a disagreement between SNAAC and the CFPB over the interpretation of part of a Consent Order issued by the Bureau in October 2015," and that SNAAC agreed to the settlement "to close the matter and move forward in serving customers in the respectful, honorable manner that has been the company's tradition."

04/27/2017

Gruenberg addresses economic inclusion summit

In remarks delivered yesterday at the FDIC Economic Inclusion Summit in Arlington, VA, Chairman Gruenberg focused on FDIC efforts to enhance economic inclusion and the lessons learned along the way. He noted that, since 2009, the FDIC has monitored consumer engagement with the banking industry through the biennial National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. The survey, conducted in cooperation with the Census Bureau, provides reliable measurements on access to and use of mainstream and alternative financial services at the national and state level and for 68 large metropolitan areas. In addition, the FDIC has undertaken a number of initiatives to expand economic inclusion. A key area of focus has been creating access to low-cost, safe transaction accounts.

04/27/2017

Bureau releases Supervisory Highlights

The Bureau has released the Spring 2017 issue of Supervisory Highlights, announcing that its recent supervisory work has found that some student loan and mortgage servicers are violating the law by failing to provide struggling borrowers with legal protections. CFPB examiners found that some student loan servicers failed to refund charges imposed on borrowers who had been wrongly denied the right to defer payments while enrolled in school. The report also found that some mortgage servicers did not deliver the required foreclosure protections to borrowers seeking to save their homes, mishandled escrow accounts, and sent incomplete bills. The report also announced that non-public supervisory activities have led to the recovery of about $6.1 million for 16,000 consumers harmed by auto loan originators.

04/27/2017

CFPB sets field hearing on small business lending

The CFPB Events page includes an announcement of a May 10, 2017, field hearing in Los Angeles about small business lending. The hearing, scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. in Los Angeles), will be open to members of the public who register for the event no later than 10 a.m. EDT on May 10, and will be webcast live. Additional information can be found on the registration page for the hearing.

Because Bureau field hearings are often held in conjunction with related announcements from the agency, there is a possibility that Director Cordray will announce progress toward a rulemaking under Dodd-Frank Act section 1071 to require financial institutions to collect and maintain data related to credit applications from women- or minority-owned businesses and small businesses.

04/27/2017

IRS seeking comments on 1098 filings

The Internal Revenue Service has published [82 FR 19455] in today's Federal Register a notice and request for comments concerning the Mortgage Interest Statement -- Form 1098. In the notice, the IRS noted that the form has been altered to add information on the mortgage's outstanding principal balance and origination date, and information on the mortgaged property.

04/26/2017

FEMA suspends communities from NFIP

The Federal Emergency Management Agency continued a series of after-the-fact publications of community suspensions from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. In today's Federal Register, FEMA announced April 19, 2017, suspensions of communities in Louisiana (portions of St. Mary Parish), and Minnesota (portions of Fillmore, Goodhue, Lake of the Woods, Olmsted and Roseau Counties). [82 FR 19190]

04/26/2017

Residential prices increase

U.S. house prices rose in February, up 0.8 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally adjusted monthly House Price Index (HPI). In addition, HUD and the Census Bureau have jointly announced new residential sales statistics for March 2017:

  • Sales of new single-family houses in March 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000, 5.8 percent above the revised February rate of 587,000 and 15.6 percent above the March 2016 estimate of 537,000.
  • The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2017 was $315,100. The average sales price was $388,200.
  • The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 268,000. This represents a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.

04/26/2017

U.S. Bank assessed $15M CMP for bankruptcy filing violations

The OCC has issued a consent order for the assessment of a $15 million civil money penalty against U.S. Bank National Association for bankruptcy filing violations. The OCC found that, between 2009 and 2014, the bank engaged in filing practices in bankruptcy courts with respect to proofs of claim, payment change notices, and post-petition fees, among others, that did not comply with bankruptcy rules and constituted unsafe or unsound banking practices. In addition to the civil money penalty, U.S. Bank has made or will make about $29 million in remediation payments to approximately 22,000 account holders.

04/26/2017

FATF evaluation of Sweden's AML/CFT system

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has conducted an assessment of Sweden’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system, based on the 2012 FATF Recommendations. The FATF indicates all the elements of Sweden’s AML/CFT supervisory system are in place, but there are weaknesses in applying risk-based supervision. Compliance by financial institutions and by designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) of their obligations is generally adequate: large banks have made significant efforts to enhance AML/CFT compliance, but there is a need to improve smaller financial institutions’ and DNFBPs’ understanding of the risks they are exposed to. There are also several remaining areas where Sweden’s AML/CFT regulations should be updated to reflect the 2012 FATF standards, reports the FATF. The full report and an executive summary were made available

04/26/2017

Student loan complaints focus of CFPB monthly summary

The CFPB complaint snapshot for April 2017 highlights consumer complaints about student loans. The April summary shows that both private and federal student loan borrowers nationwide report persistent servicing breakdowns that may sideline their path to repayment. The report's geographic focus for April was on complaints coming from Nevada.

04/25/2017

271 indivIduals added to Syrian sanctions list

In one of the largest sanctions actions in its history, OFAC yesterday designated 271 employees of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them. The action was taken in response to the April 4, 2017 sarin attack on innocent civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This action was taken pursuant to E.O. 13582, which targets the Government of Syria and its supporters. As a result of this action, any property or interest in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. For further information, see our OFAC Update.

04/25/2017

Wells Fargo remediates resolution plan

The FDIC and the Federal Reserve have announced that Wells Fargo & Company has adequately remediated the deficiencies in its 2015 resolution plan. As a result, the firm will no longer be subject to growth restrictions imposed last year.

04/25/2017

OCC to host MSAAC meeting

The OCC has issued a notice that it will host a public meeting of the Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC) on May 9, 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT at 400 7th Street SW, Washington, D.C.

04/25/2017

ComE-IN meeting this week

The FDIC has announced its advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN) will meet on April 27 to discuss measures banks may consider to reach underserved populations, such as collaborations with community-based organizations, resources for affordable mortgage lending, and new research that may be used to more effectively target resources to promote broader access to bank branches in underserved neighborhoods. The meeting will be open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the FDIC's Board Room, 6th Floor, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Meeting agenda

04/25/2017

Debt collector pays $2M to settle FTC charges

A federal court, at the request of the FTC, has ordered Timothy Ford, the president of Commercial Recovery Systems Inc. (CRS), to pay a $2 million civil penalty for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by falsely threatening debtors. The lawsuit filed in 2015 by the FTC alleged that CRS's collectors falsely claimed the company would sue debtors, garnish their wages, levy their bank accounts, or seize their property unless their debts were paid.

04/25/2017

Investment banker charged with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint against a vice president in the risk management department of a New York-based investment bank charging him with insider trading on confidential information he learned in advance of a private equity firm’s acquisition of a publicly-traded technology company. The SEC alleges that Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy learned that Golden Gate Capital planned to acquire Neustar Inc., and he then began trading in Neustar securities. The trading took place in two brokerage accounts that Krishnamoorthy allegedly kept hidden from his employer, which had been approached by Golden Gate Capital to finance the transaction. According to the SEC’s complaint, Krishnamoorthy made approximately $48,000 in illicit profits.

04/25/2017

HMDA proposal published

The CFPB has published [82 FR 19142] its proposal to make technical corrections and to clarify certain requirements in the Bureau's HMDA (Regulation C) final rule published on October 28, 2015. Comments on the proposal are due by May 25, 2017.

04/24/2017

How to get an OFAC listing removed

Have you ever wondered when and how OFAC determines that an SDN listing should be removed? As you might imagine, the agency has a procedure for removals, and it has now released an FAQ on "Filing a Petition for Removal from an OFAC List."

04/24/2017

Georgia CU in conservatorship

The NCUA has placed Community United Federal Credit Union, Waycross, Georgia, into conservatorship to allow the credit union to continue regular operations with experienced management in place and to correct operational weaknesses. While continuing normal member services, the NCUA will work to resolve issues affecting the credit union’s safety and soundness. Chartered in 1966, Community United Federal Credit Union serves members and businesses in Ware County, Georgia. It has 4,844 members and $23,161,861 in assets, according to the credit union’s most recent Call Report.

04/24/2017

Texas woman gets 15 years for financial crimes

U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement has announced that an El Paso woman was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison following her conviction for theft of government property and conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Dalia Valencia, who pleaded guilty in May 2016, was also ordered to pay over $80,000 in restitution to the families of her victims, and $49,897 to the Social Security Administration. A money judgment for $12,480,000 is to be paid jointly with her brothers Emmanuel Velasco Gurrola and Samuel Velasco Gurrola. Valencia is also to forfeit to the government real estate properties she owned in El Paso. Dalia Valencia's sister, Monica Velasco, remains a fugitive in this case.

04/24/2017

CFPB Money Smart Week activities

The CFPB has posted a listing of online classes and seminars in support of Money Smart Week (April 22-29). They include: Ask CFPB, an online tool to find hundreds of clear, unbiased answers to common money questions; Owning a Home, a tool that guides one through the process; and Money as You Grow, which helps children build money skills, habits, and attitudes that can serve them well as adults.

04/24/2017

CDIAC minutes released

The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes of the April 14, 2017, meeting of the Community Depository institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).

04/24/2017

SEC extends comment period on BHC disclosure rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission is extending the comment period for its request for comment seeking public input as to the disclosures called for by Industry Guide 3, Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies. The original comment period is scheduled to end on May 8, 2017. The Commission is extending the time period in which to provide the Commission with comments until July 7, 2017.

04/21/2017

OCC enforcement actions include $58K flood penalty and $1.6M in personal restitution

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced new enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations.

  • A California bank was ordered to pay a $58,000 civil money penalty for a pattern or practice of violating the Flood Disaster Protection Act and its implementing regulations.
  • A former Wisconsin banker was issued an order to pay $1.6 in restitution to his former bank and a $100,000 civil money penalty, and was banned from the industry for having "recklessly engaged in unsafe or unsound practices in conducting the affairs of the Bank and/or breached his fiduciary duties to the Bank. Respondent also acted with personal dishonesty and a willful and continuing disregard for the safety or soundness of the Bank that constituted a pattern of misconduct, during an extended period of time, that caused the Bank loss and from which he received a benefit."
  • A former Citibank, N.A. foreign exchange trader found by the Comptroller to have engaged in a conspiracy with other ForEx traders to suppress or eliminate competition by fixing prices for foreign currencies traded in the U.S. and elsewhere, was issued an order of prohibition banning him from banking.
  • A Massachusetts bank was issued a Cease and Desist order requiring improvements in corporate governance, management and staffing, and the adoption of strategic and capital plans.
  • The New York, New York, licensed branch of USB, AG, signed a written agreement to address identified deficiencies in the branch's compliance with BSA/AML laws and regulations.

04/21/2017

OFAC adds two businesses to SDN list

OFAC has announced the addition to its SDN Lists of two Mexican property management companies linked to Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, the leader of the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (Los Cuinis DTO). OFAC designated these two Mexican companies today as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). As a result of that action, any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. For additional information, see our OFAC Update.

04/21/2017

Deutsche Bank AG to pay $156.6M in CMPs

The Federal Reserve Board has announced two enforcement actions against Deutsche Bank AG that will require the bank to pay a combined $156.6 million in civil money penalties. The bank will pay a $136.9 million fine for unsafe and unsound practices in the foreign exchange (FX) markets, as well as a $19.7 million fine for failure to maintain an adequate Volcker rule compliance program prior to March 30, 2016.

04/21/2017

CFPB finalizes extension of Prepaid Accounts rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced a final rule delaying by six months the general effective date of the CFPB rule governing prepaid accounts. The rule will now take effect on April 1, 2018. The Bureau also reported it would revisit at least two substantive issues in the prepaid accounts rule through a separate notice and comment rulemaking process:

  • The linking of credit cards to digital wallets that are capable of storing funds
  • Error resolution and limitations on liability for prepaid accounts that cannot be registered, have not yet been registered, or for which consumers have attempted but have not successfully completed the registration process

04/21/2017

Ocwen sued by CFPB

The CFPB has announced the filing of a lawsuit against Ocwen Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries for failing borrowers at every stage of the mortgage servicing process. The Bureau's complaint alleges that Ocwen, one of the country’s largest non-bank mortgage loan servicers, allegedly mishandled basic functions like sending accurate monthly statements, properly crediting payments, and handling taxes and insurance. In addition, Ocwen also allegedly illegally foreclosed on struggling borrowers, ignored customer complaints, and sold off the servicing rights to loans without fully disclosing the mistakes it made in borrowers' records. The Bureau's announcement reported that the Florida Attorney General took a similar action against Ocwen in a separate lawsuit, and that many state financial regulators are also independently issuing cease-and-desist and license revocation orders against Ocwen for escrow management and licensing issues.

04/20/2017

Same Day ACH testing scheduled

Federal Reserve Financial Services has issued a notice announcing that FedACH customer testing will be conducted in a series of waves beginning in early summer, 2017. The testing will verify readiness for receipt and processing of Same Day ACH debits, which are scheduled to be processed live via the ACH beginning September 15.

04/20/2017

California lenders resolve HUD discrimination charges

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a conciliation agreement with a group of California mortgage lenders to resolve allegations they discriminated against a mortgage applicant based on his national origin. A complaint filed by HUD alleged that American Financial Network of Brea, Benchmark Communities of Fresno, Brigantino Enterprise of Hollister, and an employee of Benchmark Communities failed to prequalify the applicant to purchase a home in Hollister because he is Hispanic. The case came to HUD's attention when the applicant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that he was unfairly denied an opportunity to prequalify for a mortgage loan, precluding him from purchasing a home because he is Hispanic. American Financial Network will pay the man $5,000; Benchmark Communities will provide annual fair housing training for its employees who interact with prospective homebuyers; and American Financial Network will provide annual fair housing training to current and new employees as they are hired.

04/20/2017

Beige Book posted

The Federal Reserve Board has posted the April 19, 2017, issue of the Beige Book.

04/20/2017

FTC proposes changes to COPPA Safe Harbor program

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is seeking comment on proposed changes to TRUSTe's safe harbor program under the agency’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA). A notice will be published shortly in the Federal Register of proposed changes to the existing safe harbor program, including the addition of a new requirement that participants conduct an annual internal assessment of third-parties' collection of personal information from children on their websites or online services. Among the questions on which the Commission is seeking comment is whether the mechanisms used to assess compliance with the proposed modified program requirements are effective. The comment period will last for 30 days, until May 24.

04/19/2017

Fed posts March G.17 Industrial Production stats

The Federal Reserve Board has posted its G.17 statistical release on Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for March 2017. Industrial production increased 0.5 percent in March after moving up 0.1 percent in February. The increase in March was more than accounted for by a jump of 8.6 percent in the output of utilities—the largest in the history of the index—as the demand for heating returned to seasonal norms after being suppressed by unusually warm weather in February. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent. At 104.1 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in March was 1.5 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.4 percentage point in March to 76.1 percent, a rate that is 3.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2016) average.

04/19/2017

CFPB updates ex parte policy on rulemaking

The Bureau has announced it is updating its 2011 policy governing ex parte presentations. The policy generally requires public disclosure of ex parte communications made to the Bureau's decision-making staff about pending rules. Based on public feedback and CFPB’s own implementation experiences, some updates have been made to ensure the policy continues to foster fairness and transparency in rulemaking proceedings while also encouraging candid input from state entities. Key updates include a new state entity exemption and procedural improvements.

UPDATE: The revised policy is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on April 21, 2017, with an effective date of May 22, 2017.

04/19/2017

Residential construction continues mixed

The new residential construction statistics for March 2017 have been jointly announced by HUD and the Census Bureau.

  • BUILDING PERMITS: Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,260,000, 3.6 percent above the revised February rate of 1,216,000 and 17.0 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,077,000. Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 823,000, 1.1 percent below the revised February figure of 832,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 in March.
  • HOUSING STARTS: Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000, which is 6.8 percent below the revised February estimate of 1,303,000, but 9.2 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,113,000. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 821,000, 6.2 percent below the revised February figure of 875,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 385,000.
  • HOUSING COMPLETIONS: Privately-owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,205,000, 3.2 percent above the revised February estimate of 1,168,000 and 13.4 percent above the March 2016 rate of 1,063,000. Single-family housing completions in March were at a rate of 819,000, 7.9 percent above the revised February rate of 759,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 374,000.

04/18/2017

Fed Board amends Regs A and D

The Federal Reserve Board published in today's Federal Register a final rule amending paragraphs (a) and (b) of § 201.5 of Federal Reserve Regulation A (Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks) to increase the interest rates charged for primary and secondary credit provided to depository institutions by the Federal Reserve Banks.

The Board also published a final rule amending Federal Reserve Regulation D (Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions) to increase by 25 basis points the rate of interest paid on balances maintained to satisfy reserve balance requirements (“IORR”) and the rate of interest paid on excess balances (“IOER”) maintained at Federal Reserve Banks by or on behalf of eligible institutions. This amendment to § 204.10(b)(5) is intended to enhance the role of such rates of interest in moving the Federal funds rate into the target range established by the Federal Open Market Committee.

Both sets of amendments are effective upon publication today, and have been posted to BankersOnline's Regulations pages.

04/18/2017

CFBP sues law firm for deceiving consumers

The CFPB has filed a complaint in a federal district court against the debt collection law firm, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, Cleveland, Ohio, for falsely representing in millions of collection letters to consumers that attorneys were involved in collecting the debt. The law firm made statements on collection calls and sent collection letters creating the false impression that attorneys had meaningfully reviewed the consumer’s file, when no such review had occurred. The CFPB is seeking to stop the unlawful practices and recoup compensation for consumers who have been harmed.

04/18/2017

OCC to host workshops in San Antonio

The OCC has announced it will host two workshops at the Crowne Plaza San Antonio Airport in San Antonio, Texas, May 23-24, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations. The Credit Risk workshop on May 23 focuses on credit risk within the loan portfolio, such as identifying trends and recognizing problems. The workshop also covers the roles of the board and management, how to stay informed of changes in credit risk, and how to effect change. The Operational Risk workshop on May 24 focuses on the key components of operational risk—people, processes and systems. The workshop also covers governance, third-party risk, vendor management, and cybersecurity.

The OCC also reported that space is still available at its community bank workshops in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 25-26. The agency has expanded the invitation to the Charlotte workshops to include executive management and other key management officials of OCC-supervised institutions.

04/18/2017

February TIC data released

Treasury has released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for February 2017. The sum total in February of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a monthly net TIC inflow of $19.3 billion. Of this, net foreign private inflows were $30.9 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $11.6 billion. Foreign residents increased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in February; net purchases were $35.9 billion. Net purchases by private foreign investors were $41.1 billion, while net sales by foreign official institutions were $5.2 billion.

04/17/2017

FEMA corrects NFIP suspension info

The Federal Emergency Management Agency published in today's Federal Register a corrected list of communities in the State of Washington that were suspended on March 7, 2017, from the National Flood Insurance Program for non-compliance with the flood plain management requirements of the program. The list corrects the list published in FEMA's final rule published on March 13, 2017. The communities in the updated list are the cities of Lakewood and Ruston, both in Pierce County.

04/17/2017

Foreign exchange policies of U.S. partners released

The Treasury Department has issued a report on developments in international economic and exchange rate policies and submitted it to Congress pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin stated, “An essential component of this Administration’s strategy is to ensure that American workers and companies face a level playing field when competing internationally. When our trading partners engage in currency manipulation, they impose significant, and often long-lasting hardship on American workers and businesses. Expanding trade in a way that is freer and fairer for all Americans requires that other economies avoid unfair currency practices, and we will continue to monitor this carefully.” Based on the analysis in the report, Treasury concludes that no major trading partner of the United States met the standards identified in Section 3004 of the Act for currency manipulation in the second half of 2016.

04/17/2017

FedFlash for April

The April 2017 issue of FedFlash has been posted. It features an article on the new currency education resources now available from FedCash Services. Other articles regard the availability of revised Check Adjustment forms with instructions and examples, changes to Check Adjustment case requirements and edits, same day ACH stale-dated debit entries, a summary of monthly ACH volume, and automatic notice of returns and NOCs to ACH originators.

Pages

Training View All

UDAAP Reality Check

We will explore what makes a practice unfair or deceptive by digging into what regulators and the courts have had to say.

Stop That Payment!

Bankers must understand the differences between the use of their systems' stop payment functionality and the actual right to stop payment

Penalties View All

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