Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
CFPB Announces Actions Against Fraudulent Debt Relief Companies
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed charges against several companies and individuals associated with illegal student debt relief practices. These companies and individuals were illegally obtaining consumer reports, charging illegal advance fees, and engaging in fraudulent conduct. These actions were filed against Chou Team Realty, LLC, which does business as Monster Loans, Land Tech Loans, and Docu Prep Center Inc.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
OCC and Other Agencies Announce Annual CRA Asset-Size Threshold Adjustments for Small and Intermediate Small Institutions
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the other federal banking regulatory agencies announced the annual adjustments to the thresholds that are used to define which institutions are a small bank, small savings association, intermediate small bank, and intermediate small savings association. These definitions are based on asset-size thresholds set in the CRA, which requires they be adjusted each year.
Securities and Exchange Commission
SEC Proposes Improved Market Data Plan Governance
The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a plan to modernize the governance of National Market System (NMS). The proposed order would require equities exchanges and FINRA to file a new NMS plan with the SEC to increase transparency and reduce conflicts of interest. The SEC is seeking public comment on this proposal.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The FDIC Updates Money Smart for Small Business Curriculum
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the US Small Business Association announced updates to the Money Smart for Small Business curriculum, which focuses on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their relationship with their bank and how it can help them reach their goals. The updates focus on banking and credit and are now available.
Federal Reserve Board (FRB)
FRB Releases Preliminary Treasury Data for 2019
The Federal Reserve Board announced preliminary data showing that in 2019, Reserve Banks made approximately $54.9 Billion in payments to the US Treasury. The final financial statements for the 2019 audit of Reserve Banks will be published in March. The data released in March may adjust these preliminary figures.
What is HMDA?
There are a lot of banking regulations and each one is incredibly important. This is true in both their purpose keeping the banking industry safe and secure and their ability to keep lending, trading, and other activities fair. Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized rules that clarified exemptions and extended the current threshold for collecting and reporting data about open-end lines of credit under HMDA. But what is HMDA?
The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act or HMDA is a federal law in the US. It was enacted by the 94th congress of the United States and went into effect on December 31, 1975, signed into law by President Gerald Ford.
HMDA rose from the noticeable shortage of credit offered by banks and financial institutions in certain urban areas. As many of these urban areas declined, Congress came to believe that the decline was caused by institutions not providing home finance loans with good terms to qualified borrowers.
HMDA doesn’t necessarily prohibit financial institutions from certain actions, though. It is essentially a law that requires financial institutions to disclose important data, not only to regulatory authorities but to the public.
HMDA requires institutions to provide information to the public, allowing the people who live in a community to assess whether the institution is actually serving that community. A 1989 amendment to the law requires institutions to also provide information about the characteristics of borrowers and applicants. This information is used to ensure that lenders are not discriminating against certain individuals in their lending practices and is also used to enforce anti-discrimination laws.
HMDA and other banking regulations are an important part of the banking industry. And that’s why the understanding of regulations is important to compliance training. If you’re looking for compliance training for your financial institution, Contact us today for more information.
What Kind of Training is Out There and Who Needs It?
It’s easy to assume that only certain industries need to train their employees. It’s definitely a necessity for certain lines of work, especially government-regulated industries with specific compliance training needs. Other businesses may be mandated to use training courses, though. But what kind of training is out there?
Financial Industry Compliance Training
One of the major reasons that certain businesses need compliance training is because the government requires it for that industry. A good example of this would be banks and other financial institutions. These financial institutions have to train employees and executives alike. The government requires these institutions to train their employees in specific and general areas. Some of the training required can be about in-depth financial regulations and other training may be simpler but just as vital. For example, training a bank teller to spot potential warning signs of fraud is just as important as a bank’s officers knowing about the latest regulations regarding loans.
HR Compliance Training
Another type of training often required or, at least, recommended by government bodies is HR compliance training. This type of training often focuses on teaching employees and executive about diversity, sexual harassment, discrimination, and similar issues in the workplace. There’s no single industry that uses this type of training. Many businesses, even federal and local governments require their employees to take this type of training. Even if it’s not required by law, many businesses make it part of their own initiatives to use this kind of training. There are very few industries that couldn’t benefit from a better understanding of ethical issues in the workplace.
Professional Skills Training
Outside of required training, many businesses use courses to teach their staff important professional skills. Professional skills training is often an important part of the onboarding process for many businesses. This type of training isn’t usually mandated by government bodies but can definitely help a business hone their employee’s skills and teach them valuable lessons about everything from anger management to answering calls.
If you’re interested in financial compliance training, HR compliance training, or professional skills training for your business, Banker’s Academy can help. With a focus on the financial industry, we stay abreast of the latest in banking regulations and compliance requirements and can provide you with relevant and thorough training for your institution. Contact us today for more information.
Changes to the Volcker Rule
On August 20th, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that they, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), had approved amendments to the Volcker Rule, an important regulation that prevents certain financial institutions from participating in proprietary, or “prop”, trading and limits their involvement with covered funds. The new amendment, which is expected to be approved by other federal regulators soon, would ease some of these exclusions and eliminate a “rebuttal presumption” that labels financial instruments being held for less than sixty days “prop” trading.
The Volcker Rule came about as a response to the financial crises that the US has endured. Following the Great Depression and the Great Recession, regulators tried to find ways to prevent federally insured banks from making certain types of potentially risky investments. The Volcker Rule came on the heels of the Great Recession as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, creating rules for implementing section 13 of Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, which is an act of congress that restricts bank holding companies from certain actions.
The Volcker Rule came into effect in April of 2014 with full compliance required before July 21, 2015. However, things quickly became complicated as discerning the difference between regular trading and “prop” trading became difficult. The Volcker Rule has subsequently proven to be one of the harder regulations to implement and in 2018, the Federal Reserve Board unanimously decided to push forward the proposal loosening some of the Volcker Rule’s restrictions. The goal was to streamline the requirements of the rule, making compliance much easier, specifically for banks that do very little trading.
These changes to the Volcker Rule would not remove the restrictions placed but relax them to allow certain institutions to more easily comply with The Rule. With another potential recession looming on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how the Volcker Rule may or may not change over the coming months and years.
The ever-changing landscape of financial regulation makes it difficult for banks to keep to relevant compliance training. As rules change, your compliance training should be changing too. Our team at Banker’s Academy are experts in compliance training and do our best to stay ahead of the curve as banking regulations change. That’s why you need to be sure you’re trusting your compliance training to us. If you’re interested in effective, relevant compliance training for your financial institution, contact our team today!