Points to Ponder – March 2016

January CFPB Complaint Snapshot Released

On March 1, 2016 the CFPB released its January consumer complaint snapshot, highlighting consumer complaints about prepaid products. The report shows that consumer complaints about prepaid products spiked in recent months as an increased number of customers complained of being frozen out of their accounts. This month’s snapshot also highlights trends seen in complaints coming from Texas and the Houston metro area. Read the press release.

Debt Collection, ID Theft, And Imposter Scams Top FTC Complaints

The FTC announced on March 1, 2016 the release of the 2015 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, the annual summary of consumer complaints received by the FTC. Debt collection, identity theft, and imposter scams were the most common categories of consumer complaints. Read the press release.

Regulators Clarify Expectations For Use Of Property Evaluations

The Federal Reserve Board, FDIC and OCC issued guidance on March 4, 2016 to clarify their expectations for the use of property evaluations by banking institutions. It also addresses the use of alternative valuation approaches, methods, and other information that financial institutions may use to develop an evaluation in areas with few, if any, recent comparable property sales in reasonable proximity to the subject property. Read the advisory.

CFPB Accepting Complaints About Online Lenders

On March 7, 2016 the CFPB announced it is accepting complaints from consumers encountering problems with loans from online marketplace lenders. The agency also release a consumer bulletin that provides an overview of online marketplace lending and outlines tips for consumers who are considering taking out loans from these types of lenders. Read the press release.

FDIC Consumer News Special Cybersecurity Edition

On March 8, 2016 the FDIC posted the winter 2016 edition of its quarterly FDIC Consumer News. The special edition, “A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity,” features tips for preventing online fraud and theft. Read FDIC Consumer News.

CFPB Publishes 10th Edition Of Supervisory Highlights

The CFPB announced on March 9, 2016 its release of the 10th edition of Supervisory Highlights, which generally covers CFPB activities between September and December 2015, when the exams of banks and nonbanks resulted in remediation payments of $14.3 million to approximately 228,000 consumers. Read Supervisory Highlights.

FDIC Updates Flood Insurance Videos

The FDIC announced on March 10, 2016 via FIL-18-2016 the update of the agency’s technical assistance videos on flood insurance. The new videos provide financial institution management, compliance officers, and staff with resources for a better understanding of federal flood insurance laws, regulations, and compliance responsibilities. Learn more.

FinCEN Updates Guidance For MSB Principals On Agent Monitoring

On March 11, 2016 FinCEN issued updated guidance, FIN-2016-G001, on existing AML program rule compliance obligations for MSB principals with regard to agent monitoring. FinCEN is reiterating its guidance on this issue to complement recent guidance from states addressing MSB principal-agent relationships, and consistent with the purposes of the Money Remittances Improvement Act to encourage coordination between Federal and state regulators on such issues. Read the guidance.

FDIC Video On Tech Outsourcing

The FDIC issued on March 14, 2016 FIL-19-2016 to announce the release of a new video on outsourcing technology services designed to assist community bank directors and senior management in developing a comprehensive risk-assessment program for vendor management. Learn more.

FinCEN Advisory Issued On Jurisdictions With AML/CFT Deficiencies

FinCEN issued an advisory on March 21, 2016 to financial institutions regarding the FATF’s updated list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) deficiencies. FinCEN’s advisory (FIN-2016-A002) emphasizes that the updates may impact financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches regarding relevant jurisdictions. Read the advisory.

Agencies Issue Guidance On CIP For Prepaid Cards

On March 21, 2016 the FDIC, FRB, FinCEN, NCUA, and OCC issued guidance clarifying the applicability of the Customer Identification Program (CIP) rule to prepaid cards issued by banks. The guidance applies to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks. Read the guidance.

CFPB Releases 2015 Servicemembers Report

The CFPB announced on March 22, 2016 the release of the CFPB’s fourth Annual Servicemembers Report, which analyzes over 19,000 complaints received in 2015 from servicemembers, veterans, and their families, and details related enforcement and outreach efforts. The number of complaints increased 13 percent over those in 2014. For the second year in a row, debt collection, mortgages, and credit reporting were the top three complaint categories for the military community. Debt collection was the top complaint category, comprising nearly half of the military complaints. Read the blog post.

CFPB Issues Advisory On Preventing Elder Abuse

The CFPB issued on March 23, 2016 an advisory and a report with recommendations for banks and credit unions on how to prevent, recognize, report, and respond to financial exploitation of older Americans. Financial exploitation, the illegal or improper use of a person’s funds, property or assets, is the most common form of elder abuse and costs seniors billions of dollars per year. Read the advisory.

FinCEN Issues New Prepaid Access FAQs

FinCEN posted on March 24, 2016 FIN-2016-G002, “Frequently Asked Questions regarding Prepaid Access,” to supplement its November 2, 2011, FAQs on the subject. Read the guidance.

CFPB Posts Archived TRID Construction Loans Webinar

On March 24, 2016 the CFPB posted a recording of its recent webinar on TRID compliance for construction lending, and updated the Question Index covering the questions addressed during the ongoing series of webinars on TRID implementation. Listen to the webinar.

FinCEN Fined Kentucky For AML Failures

FinCEN announced on March 24, 2016 that it assessed a $10,000 civil money penalty against Kustandy Rayyan d/b/a Thriftway Food Mart, Lexington, Kentucky (Thriftway). A FinCEN investigation determined Thriftway was a money services business (MSB) performing check cashing services and selling money orders. During the relevant time, Thriftway would cash approximately $1 million worth of checks monthly. From 2009 through the present, Thriftway willfully violated BSA reporting requirements and failed to implement an effective written AML program. Read the press release.

CFPB Complaint Snapshot Focuses On Debt Collection

The CFPB announced on March 29, 2016 the release of its March consumer complaint snapshot, which focuses on complaints related to debt collection. The report shows that the most common debt collection complaint involves attempts to collect on a debt the consumer reported was not owed. This month’s snapshot also highlights trends seen in complaints from consumers in Florida. The CFPB’s fifth annual Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) report was also posted. Read the press release.

Mobile Banking Study Released By FRB

On March 30, 2016 the Federal Reserve Board released a Board report, Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016, which documents consumers’ use of mobile phones–Internet-enabled smartphones as well as more basic phones with limited features–as they bank and carry out financial activities. It is the Board’s fifth annual look at how consumers use mobile phones to access banking services (“mobile banking”), make payments, transfer money, or pay for goods and services (“mobile payments”), and inform financial decisions, as well as their reasons for using these services. Read the press release.

CFPB Updates Compliance Guides

On March 31, 2016 the CFPB posted updates to three of its Small Entity Compliance Guides and three charts for implementation of Dodd-Frank Act Title XIV mortgage lending rules, to reflect the CFPB’s recent amendments to expand eligibility for the special provisions allowing certain small creditors to issue balloon-payment qualified mortgages and balloon-payment high cost mortgages, and exempting them from the escrow requirement for higher-priced mortgage loans. The updates can be found on the CFPB’s Title XIV Implementation Page of its website. Read the updates.

CFPB Issues Guidance On Resuming Submission Of Credit Card Agreements

In April 2015, the CFPB suspended for one year (see Regulation Z § 1026.58(g)) the § 1026.58(c) requirement for submissions of credit card agreements to the CFPB for posting on its website. The next submission is due by May 2, 2016. The CFPB issued guidance on March 31, 2016 for credit card issuers with simplified instructions for making the required submissions. Learn more.


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