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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.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • We can custom create courses to any specification, quick and simple to sophisticated and complex.
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Compliance Alert - August 2016

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Announces New Rule

According to the CFPB website “the new rule is amending certain mortgage servicing rules that were issued by the bureau in 2013. This new rule will serve to clarify, revise or amend existing legislation regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X. The rule addresses proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a person is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, a debtor in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. “

The new rule is also supposed to make technical corrections to several provisions of Regulations X and Z. The Bureau is issuing along with this final rule, an interpretive rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act concerning servicers’ compliance with certain mortgage servicing rules.

CFPB Uses Testers for the First Time to Deter Discriminatory Bank Practices

Without admitting any wrongdoing, a Memphis-based regional bank agreed to a $10.6MM settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for discriminatory mortgage lending practices. Using testers or mystery shoppers, African and White 'customers' with comparable financial and credit profiles sought home mortgage loans from the institution. The CFPB uncovered discriminatory practices such as illegal redlining (refusing to lend money to locations with African American majorities), higher mortgage interest rates and lower mortgage application acceptance rates for African American prospective and actual homebuyers. This marks the first time the CFPB has used testers for enforcement.

A major bank in Omaha Receives Hefty Fines for Deceptive Credit Card Marketing and Billing Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) determined a major bank in Omaha conned more than 250,000 consumers with deceptive marketing for a  credit card payment protection product add-on and cyclical billing of a non-existent credit card monitoring product. The former practice continued for more than a decade and the latter for several years until both practices were discontinued after a supervisory bank examination. Mandated civil relief for affected consumers in nearly $28MM. The CFPB will also receive $4.5 MM in civil money penalties.

FED

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice anounced that it plans to discontinue with private prisions

August 18th 2016, The Department of Justice announced that it plans to discontinue contracting with private prisons. This decision was made a week after the DOJ inspector general concluded a report on the safety, security, and oversight of these facilities. The research found that private prisons had higher rates of assault and contraband, as well as a number of other safety and security concerns.

Mortgage Bankers Association

The Uniform State Test

This week, Florida announced that it would be adopting the Uniform State Test beginning January 2017. The Uniform State Test is the first major change to the SAFE MLO requirements since the SAFE act was first launched in July of 2009. UST will replace the state-specific questions for the states that adopt it. UST will add 25 new questions to the exam.

FHFA

Adopting New Exemptions

It was announced this month that, effective October 1st 2016, several agencies including the OCC, FDIC, FCA, and the FHFA will be adopting new exemptions from the initial and variation margin requirements published in 2015. These exemptions will agree with sections 731 and 764 of the Dodd-Frank act. The final rule exempts certain non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps with certain financial and nonfinancial end users that qualify.

FTC

Ransomware Event

This week the FTC announced the agenda for its September 7th event focused on Ransomware. Ransomware is one of the most significant cybersecurity threats facing modern consumers and businesses. The event will feature two panel discussions to provide the most current statistics on Ransomware. Also, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research and NYU’s computer science department will present research based on a study of dozens of Ransomware variants.

The event will take place at the FTC’s Constitution Center offices, 400 7th St SW, Washington, DC, and will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. A full schedule and other details on the forum can be found on the event’s webpage. The event is free and open to the public and will be webcast. No pre-registration is necessary.

 

Compliance Alert - June 2017

FDIC

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

FDIC Adopts New Guidance on Model Risk Management 

The FDIC is introducing New Guidance on Model Risk Management featuring information on technical conforming changes. The guidance addresses supervisory expectations for model risk management, including: model development, implementation, and use; model validation; and governance, policies, and controls.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency operate using the same guidance. The FDIC is adopting this guidance to facilitate consistent model risk-management expectations across the banking agencies and industry.

OCC

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

The 2017 distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies has been released

This month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the availability of the 2017 distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies list, where revitalization or stabilization activities and projects are eligible to receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration under the community development definition.

The criteria for designating these areas are available on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) website (http://www.ffiec.gov/cra). The designations are supposed to reflect local economic conditions such as unemployment, poverty, and population changes.

SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Massive Canadian Based oil and gas company faces accounting Fraud Charge

In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Canadian-based oil and gas company and three of its former top finance executives for their roles in an extensive, multi-year accounting fraud.

According to the complaint Penn West Petroleum Ltd., which has since been renamed Obsidian Energy Ltd., fraudulently moved hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses from operating expense accounts to capital expenditure accounts. This alleged fraudulent movement caused Penn West to artificially reduce its operating costs by as much as 20 percent in certain periods. This falsely improved reported metrics for oil extraction efficiency and profitability.

FED

Department of Justice

Former Packaged Seafood Executive Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing

A former senior vice president of sales for a pre-packaged seafood company pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to fix the price of packaged seafood sold in the United States.

According to court documents, Stephen Hodge and his co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 through 2013. He pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information filed on May 30, 2017 Hodge has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation. It is expected that he will be sentenced at a later date.

  

NCUA

Acting Chairman of the NCUA Addresses Congress Regarding Regulatory Concerns

A former senior vice president of sales for a pre-packaged seafood company pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to fix the price of packaged seafood sold in the United States.

According to court documents, Stephen Hodge and his co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 through 2013. He pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information filed on May 30, 2017 Hodge has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation. It is expected that he will be sentenced at a later date.

  

Compliance Alert - July 2017

SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Insider Trading Charges Brought Against Scientist 

This month, The Securities and Exchange Commission announced insider trading charges against a research scientist who searched the internet for “how sec detect unusual trade” before making a trade that was flagged as suspicious.

The charges suggest that Fei Yan bought stocks and options in advance of two corporate acquisitions late last year based on confidential information that he received through his wife, an associate at a law firm that worked on the deals. 

Apparently, Yan made approximately $120,000 in illicit profits by selling his holdings in Mattress Firm Holding Corp. and Stillwater Mining Company following public announcements that they would be acquired by other companies.

FED

Department of Justice

Postal Workers Charged in Marijuana Scheme

A post office manager and two letter carriers with the U.S postal service were convicted this month after a week-long trial by jury for one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The men were involved in a scheme to use their positions at the USPS to deliver hundreds of pounds of marijuana to people in the District of Columbia in exchange for cash.

These convictions are a win for the DOJ, which has recently been urging harsher sentences for marijuana related offenses.

  

NCUA

Denver Credit Union to Reapply for A Master Account to Serve Marijuana Related Businesses 

The CEO of a Denver credit union who was denied permission to provide banking services to marijuana related businesses is going back to the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to re-apply for a master account.

Originally, the Reserve bank did not want to get involved with marijuana related businesses and denied the credit union an account even though the credit union had received its charter from the state of Colorado in 2014 where recreational marijuana is legal.

A U.S. Court of Appeals said Four Corners could re-apply for a master account in spite of an earlier district court ruling.

 

  

Compliance Alert - March 2016

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

FinCEN proposes revisions to Currency Transaction Report (CTR).

On February 2nd, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed amendments to the CTR to remedy some of the limitations of the current BCTR. The proposed notice does not propose any new regulatory requirements or changes to the requirements related to actual reporting, but rather seeks input on technical matters designed to improve the layout and reporting of the BCTR.

FinCEN withdraws findings and proposed rulemakings.

On February 19th, FinCEN announced that it was withdrawing three findings and related proposed rulemakings under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. FinCEN had determined that the subjects of the rulemakings no longer posed a money laundering threat to the U.S. financial system.

Private bank to pay $6.5 million for willful AML violations.

Fincen announced the assessment of a $4 million civil money penalty (CMP) against a bank in Florida for willful violations of the federal anti-money laundering law, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Although first warned of its BSA/AML deficiencies in 2010, the bank’s compliance failures persisted until its primary regulatory, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), placed the bank under a Consent Order in 2014. The OCC is also assessing a $2.5 million CMP against the bank.

FDIC

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) designated.

On February 10th, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Nayf Salam Muhammad Ujaym al-Hababi to OFAC’s SDN Lists pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

More OFAC designations for ISIL.

The Department of the Treasury announced the designations of senior ISIL oil official Faysal al-Zahrani, foreign fighter facilitator Husayn Juaythini, and senior ISIL official Turki al-Binali pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which supports President Obama’s strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL.

OFAC settles with Barclays for $2 million.

In February, OFAC announced a $2,485,890 settlement with Barclays Bank over potential civil liabilities regarding 159 apparent violations of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations. 

FDIC

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

December enforcement actions published.

At the end of January, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a list of orders of administrative enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in December, a total of one notice and 41 orders, including consent orders, removal and prohibition orders, restitution orders, and more.

FDIC settles for $62.95 million.

On February 2nd, the FDIC, as a receiver for three failed banks, announced a $62.95 million settlement for residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) claims against Morgan Stanely & Company LLC, bringing the total RMBS claim settlements by the FDIC with Morgan Stanley to $86.95 million. 

FDIC proposes large bank deposit recordkeeping rule.

The FDIC announced a proposal for recordkeeping requirements for FDIC-insured institutions with a large number of deposit accounts to facilitate rapid payment of insured deposits to customers if the institutions were to fail. The FDIC is currently accepting comments on the proposal.

OCC

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

CRA evaluations for January issued.

On February 3rd, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a list of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations that became public during the period of January 1, 2016 through January 31, 2016.  The list contains only national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks that have received ratings. 

$13.4 million in civil money penalties assessed.

The OCC terminated mortgage servicing-related consent orders against two banks and assessed civil money penalties for previous violations of the orders. The OCC found that the two financial institutions failed to correct deficiencies identified in 2011 consent orders in a timely fashion. 

OCC publishes supplemental BSA/AML guidance.

On February 29th, the OCC issued a bulletin supplementing the 2007 “Interagency Statement on Enforcement of Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Requirements.” The bulleting provides guidance on the process the OCC uses to provide institutions with an opportunity to respond to potential noncompliance issues. 

SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Lending company and brokerage firm charged with fraud.

On February 2nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against a Manhattan-based lending company and its owner. Allegedly the firm repeatedly lied to investors purchasing high-yield securities. 

Firm given $1 million civil money penalty for violations.

In February the SEC announced that a Miami-based brokerage firm will pay a $1 million penalty to settle charges that it violated anti-money laundering rules by allowing foreign entities to buy and sell securities without verifying the identities of the non-U.S. citizens who beneficially owned them.

$795 million settlement reached for FCPA violations.

On February 18th, the SEC announced a global settlement along with the U.S. Department and Dutch regulators that requires a telecommunications provider to pay more than $795 million to resolve its violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Allegedly, the provider offered and paid bribes to an Uzbek government official related to the Uzbeki President. 

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB takes action to improve checking account access.

In February the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it was taking steps to improve checking account access amidst Bureau concerns that consumers are being sidelined by the lack of account options and by inaccurate information used to screen potential customers. The CFPB took several steps, including providing consumers with guidance to help navigate the deposit account system.

Company required to pay up to $21.9 million in restitution.

The CFPB and the Department of Justice (DOJ) resolved an action with Toyota Motor Credit Corporation, who is required to pay up to $21.9 million in restitution to thousands of African-American and Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers who paid higher interest rates than white borrowers for their auto loans, without regard to their creditworthiness, as a result of its past practices.

Bank to pay $8 million in penalties and relief.

On February 23rd, the CFPB took two separate actions against a bank for illegal debt sales and debt collection practices. The bank was ordered to provide nearly $5 million in consumer relief as well as pay a $3 million penalty for selling credit card debt with inflated interest rates and for failing to forward consumer payments promptly to debt buyers.

NCUA

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

NCUA announces January and February prohibition orders.

In February, the National Credit Union Administration announced that six prohibition orders had been issued in January prohibiting individuals from participating in the affairs of any federally insured financial institution. The NCUA also issued four notices of prohibition in February to individuals who had been convicted of crimes of dishonesty. 

Credit union conserved.

The NCUA announced that one credit union had entered into conservatorship in February. The institution is a federally insured, state-chartered credit union with a low-income designation that has 710 members and assets of $1.6 million.

Business lending rule approved.

The NCUA approved a final rule giving federally insured credit unions greater flexibility and autonomy to offer member-business loans in a safe and sound manner. The rule becomes effective January 1, 2017. 

FED

Federal Reserve Bank

Federal Reserve Banks end support for IE 9/10.

In February, the Federal Reserve Banks announced the discontinuation of support for Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 9 and Internet Explorer 10 for use with the FedLine Web® and FedLine Advantage® access solutions.

FRB repeals Reg AA.

On February 11th, the Federal Reserve Board announced the repeal of Regulation AA in order to comply with statutory provisions that transferred certain consumer protection rule-writing authority to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Board repealed its Regulation AA (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices) as proposed in August 2014 and is inviting public comment on the proposed repeal of Regulation C (Home Mortgage Disclosure).

Interim final rule issued regarding Regulation I.

The Federal Reserve Board issued an interim final rule amending Regulation I to implement provisions of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act reduced the dividend rate applicable to Reserve Bank depository institution stockholders with total assets of more than $10 billion.

FED

Department of Justice

Bank to pay $470 million for mortgage abuses.

In February the Department of Justice (DOJ), along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced that it had reached a $470 million agreement with HSBC Bank and its affiliates regarding mortgage origination, servicing, and foreclosure abuses. Under the agreement, HSBC will pay more than $470 million in relief to consumers and payments to federal and state parties, as well as be bound to mortgage servicing standards and subject to independent monitoring of its compliance.

Lockheed Martin to pay $5 million for False Claims Act violations.

The DOJ announced that Lockheed Martin agreed to pay $5 million to solve allegations that they violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and, in misrepresenting their compliance with RCRA to the Department of Energy (DOE), knowingly submitted false claims for payment under their contracts with DOE.

Subsidiaries to pay over $14 million for foreign bribary charges.

The DOJ announced that two subsidiaries of a large software company had entered into a non-prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $14.54 million penalty to resolve the government’s investigation into whether the companies improperly provided recreational travel to Chinese government officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Others

Other Regulatory Bodies

Regional bank settles with federal government for $1.9 million.

In June 2015, First Tennessee Bank agreed to pay $212.5 million to resolve alleged False Claims Act violations, but the bank is bank on the Departing of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) radar, as HUD announced a $1.9 million settlement to resolve allegations that the bank discriminated against African-American and Hispanic applicants by denying them mortgage loans and by allegedly failing to place bank branches in minority-concentrated areas.

Bill passed to protect banks from "choke point" abuses.

On February 4th, the House of Representatives passed legislation H.R. 766, which would prohibit a federal banking regulator from ordering a bank to terminate customer accounts unless the regulator has a material reason to do so and the reason is not based solely on reputation risk.

Cybersecurity Commission established.

On February 9th, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order establishing within the Department of Commerce the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, as part of a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) to help government and businesses better protect Americans from cyber attacks. 

Firm pays $750,000 to settle FTC charges.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced charges against an Independent Sales Organization (ISO), alleging that it had enabled a telemarketing scheme called the Tax Club to use merchant accounts to process credit card payments of consumers. The order imposes a $2.6 million judgement, in partial satisfaction of which the company will pay $750,000.