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Welcome to Banker's Academy

With 30+ years of experience, Banker's Academy is the leading global provider of training solutions to the financial community. We specialize in BSA/AML, Compliance Officer, HR Professional, Teller and Branch Manager Training. We’re proud to have partnered with over 2,500 clients worldwide in various financial services industries, with a focus on banks, credit unions, and money service businesses. Let us help you reach your target audience with an innovative, results-driven educational experience.

Our Offerings

  • Extensive Catalog of required Compliance Courses maintained by Subject Matter Experts
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  • Excellent skills and concept training for Banking Industry personnel - essentials to advanced.
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  • Powerful Human Resource courses to help HR Admins achieve professional, ethical compliance for their organizations.
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  • Business Professional Skills suitable for anyone seeking to be a thought leader in their company
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  • MS Office Suite 2010 - Full beginning to advanced coverage with videos and simulations.
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  • Years of experience helping our clients define, design, develop and implement excellent learning strategies from concept to post assessment.
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  • Modern Instructional design is required for an increasingly mobile workforce. Our experts are always refining and updating our methods to maximize the new micro-learning object approach.
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  • Defining and developing a competency framework is a large undertaking. We will help you create a valid, useful tool that can be effectuated within our Learning Management System and provide excellent ROI.
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  • Employee Onboarding processes can be a challenge to organize, manage and report, but it is essential to get it right. We have automation solutions that are easy and reliable to use.
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  • Advanced, immersive System Simulations Training. We specialize in core banking systems.
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  • Product Launches need to sell and inform. We create interactive, modern launch support materials that can convey everything from simple to complex value propositions.
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  • We can custom create courses to any specification, quick and simple to sophisticated and complex.
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Compliance Alert- January 2017

OCC

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

OCC Assesses Civil Penalty Against Foreign Bank

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently announced its decision to accept applications for special purpose bank status from financial technology companies, also known as ‘fintechs.’ Fintech charter approval will be contingent upon meeting capital liquidity, consumer protection, and risk management requirements.

 

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FBAR Deadline Revised

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires annual filings of the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) by U. S. financial institutions. FinCEN has extended the filing deadline for U. S. financial services professionals who have FBAR signature authority but no financial interest. The new deadline is now April 15, 2018. This extension was granted in anticipation of a new proposed rule, announced in March of 2016, that will amend the BSA FBAR requirements for this group financial service individuals.

 

Federal Reserve Board

Comment Period Extended for Proposed Enhanced Cyber Risk Management Standards

Large and interdependent entities under the supervision of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have agreed to extend the comment period for the five proposed enhanced cyber risk management standards. The new comment period deadline is now February 17, 2017.

 

Others

Other Regulatory Bodies

 

U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

CFTC Levies $900k fine for Supervision Failures

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined a global investment bank $900K for clearinghouse exchange and fee reconciliation deficiencies and supervision failures, which resulted in charging customers higher trading and clearing fees for products transacted on several exchanges. Similarly, the CFTC also issued a ‘cease and desist’ order to the firm.

 

The Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission Assesses Revises Antitrust Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice recently published revised antitrust guidelines, Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation, for businesses involved in international commerce and operations. This document highlights revised policies and priorities while underscoring the growing importance for cooperation between the international business community and global anti-competition authorities, on antitrust policy, investigations, and enforcement, to better protect the US economy and its consumers.

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD Announces Discrimination Charges

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced charges of discrimination against a major American multinational bank. Fairness tests conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) at the bank’s Charleston, South Carolina branch indicated Hispanic prospective homebuyers were treated disparately in terms of home loan products and mortgage terms and conditions. A federal trial date has been scheduled. A win by NFHA will result in the bank’s payment of NFHA’s attorney fees and civil monetary penalties.

 

Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council

Regulatory Notice Issues for Financial Institutions with Assets Less Than $1B

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued a regulatory notice that streamlines the ‘Call Report’ for small domestic financial institutions with assets of less than $1B in response to survey comments from this sector. Data from this report aids regulators in monitoring individual small financial institutions as well as the entire industry group.

 

 

February 2017 - Compliance Alert

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN fines well-known, global money service transmitter for BSA AML violations

Repeated findings of willful non-compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) anti-money laundering (AML) requirements for money service transmitters resulted in FinCEN assessing a civil money penalty of $184 million dollars against a popular, international money service transmitter business. Required AML controls, new agent due diligence, transaction monitoring and delayed suspicious activity reporting (SAR) were cited as deficient and the result of a weak compliance culture. FinCEN was joined in this enforcement action by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 

Other Regulatory Bodies

FINRA Issues Updated Instructions for Broker-Dealer Annual Reports

Broker-Dealer firms are required to file their annual report and supplemental reports with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in accordance with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act, Rule 17a-5. These filings must be electronic.

 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Prepaid Card Company and Its Payment Processor Found Liable for Technical Glitches

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) determined prepaid card company and its payment processor, were at fault for a series of avoidable computer disruptions, which harmed tens of thousands of prepaid customers. Complaints to the CFPB about the October 2015 prepaid card breakdown included blocked fund access, faulty deposit and payment transactions, unavailable customer support, and incorrect account information. As result, the prepaid card company and its payment processor must pay $10 million in restitution to its customers and $3 million in civil money penalties.

 

Executive Order Focuses on Financial Services Regulation

On February 3, 2017, the President issued an executive order enumerating seven guiding principles for regulating the financial services industry: Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System. The executive order aims to better protect consumers, mitigate risk, and spur economic growth. Adhering to these seven principles provides a policy framework for evaluating existing regulations, assessing the impact of current and proposed regulation, and ensure a more cost-effective and efficient system of financial regulations.

 

Ballard Spahr Partners Launch New Money Laundering Blog

Two partners of Ballard Spahr law firm announced a publication joint venture: the launch of a new weekly money laundering blog, Money Laundering Watch. This dedicated blog aims to inform its readers about domestic and international money laundering policy, compliance, regulations, cases, and enforcement actions. Federal and state money laundering developments will also be addressed. The founders’ collective expertise in government, industry, and private practice, will provide readers with the context for analyzing, interpreting and applying this information toward their anti-money laundering efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

Compliance Alert - November 2016

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Issues Cyber-Crime Alert

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) disseminated an advisory to financial institutions on the significant threat cyber-enabled crimes and events pose to the U.S. financial system and its customers. Similarly, FinCEN emphasized the important role all financial institutions play in the fight against cyber criminals and cyber-related events and crime.


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Issues Final Recordkeeping Rule to Deposit Institutions

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a final recordkeeping rule for deposit institutions in the event of a large bank failure. Deposit institutions with at least 2 million depositors, approximately 38 institutions, are now required to maintain thorough and accurate records on individual depositors and provide this data within 24 hours of a bank failure. Deposit institutions have three years to comply.

 

OCC

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Sixty Day Comment Period in Progress for Proposed OCC Flood Insurance Rule

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve Board), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have jointly proposed a rule implementing the Biggers-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (BWFIRA) of 2012. A comment period is in progress. The BWFIRA requires regulated lending institutions to accept private flood insurance policies whether or not they meet the act’s stipulations However, in the latter instance, some restrictions apply.

SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The Security Exchange Commission Issues Third Highest Whistleblower Award

The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) recently distributed a 20 million dollar whistleblower award for information leading to the virtual complete recovery of investor funds. Whistleblower awards are distributed from a Congressional fund that is financed by securities violators. Moreover, the identity of award recipients remains confidential. This important privacy protection serves as an incentive for individuals with material information leading to enforcement action to come forward. This latest whistleblower payment is the third highest since the program was instituted in 2012; the current award total is now 130 million dollars. Whistleblower awards represent 10 to 30 percent of the total recovered amount.

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Isses Servicemember Complaint Report

A new CFPB report “A snapshot of servicemember complaints,” highlights servicemember dissatisfaction with Veterans Administration mortgage refinancing. As of November 1, 2016, 12, 500 complaints were logged by servicemembers, veterans and their dependents. Among the myriad complaints are poor communication, aggressive sales tactics, misleading advertisements and processing delays that result in unfavorable rates and terms.

 

FED

Department of Justice

Four Californians Plead Guilty to Using Debit Relief Firms to Defraud Consumers

Four debt relief firm employees offered credit card debt settlement programs to consumers and collected the first six months of customer payments as up-front fees. Additionally, to avoid detection, these employees continued this scheme, over a two-year period, by changing company names. Each employee admitted guilt and will face mandatory restitution and imprisonment. The U. S. Department of Justice and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service collaborated on the investigation and applauded the successful outcome.

 

Others

Other Regulatory Bodies

U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

The U.K Financial Authority and The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Fine Six Banks

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other bank regulators fined six major, well-known banks for lacking sufficient trader oversight, which led to a manipulation of the foreign exchange markets. A total of 4.3 billion dollars was assessed.

 

The Federal Trade Commission

Spanish-Speaking Consumers to Receive FTC Settlement Checks

Centro Natural Corp and Sumore, LLC orchestrated a profitable, fraudulent telemarketing scheme aimed at Spanish-speaking consumers. International collections operators were hired to collect payments for bogus debts. Impersonating government officials, collectors threatened Spanish-speaking consumers with arrest or deportation if payment was not made. Similarly, aggressive sales tactics for unwanted sales products also occurred. Under a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement, Centro Natural Corp and Sumore, LLC international operators were banned from future debt collection and telemarketing businesses. Additionally, about 3,400 defrauded consumers received FTC settlement checks averaging $241.00.

 

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA)

FINRA Imposes Sanctions on Eight Firms for Annuities Supervisory Failures

Eight firms must pay customers 6 million dollars for failing to exercise due diligence in the training, guidance and supervision of L-shaped annuity sales. L-shaped annuities are sold at a premium in exchange for an early surrender period. As such, they appeal to a limited number of investors. Identifying suitable investors and understanding the value proposition for L-shaped annuities requires guidance and training. FINRA determined registered representatives lacked the training needed to effectively sell L-shaped annuities to qualified investors. Additionally, commission sales were higher for these investment products. Purchasers of L-shaped annuities unknowingly incurred additional costs because complex riders were included with the sale. These riders guaranteed income and surrender privileges but over a longer time period. The net effect was the elimination of the product’s appeal.

 

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Updates Its Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) amended its Consumer Compliance Rating System (CCRS) to ensure alignment with a more risk-based, customized examination approach used by FFIEC agencies. Similarly, the revised CCRS integrates changes noted in the market, regulatory landscape, technology, and supervisory examinations. The revised system applies to financial institutions and non-banks with assets totaling more than 10 billion dollars and is used by the CFPB, in accordance with Dodd-Frank. The CCRS is a holistic rating and uses a 1 to 5 rating scale, from highest to lowest. These changes come more than 35 years after the CCRS was introduced. Implementation will occur on or after March 31, 2017. The rating encompasses three areas: board and management oversight, the compliance program, and violations of law and consumer harm. Additionally, material financial institution examination findings are shared among the CFPB and other prudential regulators, who also conduct separate reviews. As such, an institution would receive two ratings.

Compliance Alert - September 2016

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Several banking trade groups petition for more time to comply with Military Lending Act (MLA) final rule

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Military Lending Act (MLA) final rule took effect October 1, 2015. Testing of banks’ compliance with this rule was scheduled for early next month. However, several banking trade groups including the American Banker Association are seeking a six-month extension, until March 3, 2017, before federal bank regulators begin testing compliance with this new rule. Late issuance of DoD interpretive guidance is cited as the primary reason for this request. Consequently, the industry contends more time is needed to establish the necessary controls to ensure effective compliance. The MLA final rule addresses how banks manage active service duty members’ accounts across a host of products including select closed end loans, payday loans, credit cards, and some private and federal student loans.

One of the largest U. S. banks receives record CFPB fine for widespread consumer sales fraud practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) assessed record fines against a well-known U. S. bank for violations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. According to the bank’s own analysis, aggressive sales targets and attractive incentives prompted sales employees to open new accounts (deposit, credit and debit card) by using funds and personal data associated with existing customer accounts. Specifically, employees transferred monies from existing accounts to new ones in order to meet sales goals. This practice was covert and unauthorized. Moreover, it resulted in fraudulent customer account billing and fees. The scope and breadth of these employee behaviors was widespread. Consequently, the CFPB levied its highest civil money penalty to date against the bank. Additionally, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has also assessed a financial penalty against the bank. Restitution to harmed account holders is also required by the consent order. Collectively, the record assessment is $185 M.

 

Proposed OCC rule prohibits banks and thrifts from investments and transactions in industrial or commercial metals

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (section 620) requires federal bank regulators to review the permitted federal and state banking activities and investments for associated risks and identify risk reduction options. To that end, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is proposing that national banks and savings and loans cease dealings and investments in industrial and commercial metals including copper cathodes, previously allowed, and aluminum T-bars. The 60-day comment period is underway.   

 

The Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC)

OFAC increases sanctions pressures on Russia and eases Myanmar sanctions

The Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) has increased its sanctions against Russia by adding three additional executive orders and adding 37 more specially designated nationals (SDNs) to its list of sanctioned individuals. These actions indicate the US Department of Treasury’s commitment to its sanctions against Russia for its interventions in the Ukraine and its annexation attempts in Crimea. Ultimately, it is hoped that these recent sanctions, coupled with those of the European Union (EU) sectoral sections, will result in compliance with the Minsk agreements--namely, a broad ceasefire, arms and militia withdrawal, a restoration of Ukrainian control over its international borders, as well as earnest efforts toward a diplomatic solution development. Additionally, trade sanctions have been lifted against Myanmar.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC settles with two investment advisory firms regarding Investment Advisers Act of 1940 violations

Two investment advisory firms settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over Investment Advisers Act of 1940 violations. Two investment advisory firms, located in Florida and Milwaukee respectively, failed to provide written procedures explaining how to calculate commission costs associated with sub advisors and wrap fee programs. Lacking this critical information, clients were unaware of additional charges beyond the single wrap program fee. While neither admitting nor disputing these SEC charges, each investment advisory firm agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000 and $250,000 respectively.