July 22, 2020                                                                                                      No copyright infringement intended
 
 
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SBA Planning PPP Loan-Forgiveness Portal             
 
The SBA will soon release a portal to accept Paycheck Protection Program loan-forgiveness applications, Administrator Jovita Carranza told the House Small Business Committee. The SBA is working with the Treasury Department to offer the portal by the beginning of August, she said.
 
Also at the hearing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress should consider automatically forgiving smaller PPP loans. ACB strongly supports bipartisan legislation to forgive PPP loans under $150,000, which is among ICBA's recommendations for the next economic stimulus legislation.


 
Community Bankers Adjusting to a New Reality           
 
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors recently reported that the latest quarterly value for the Community Bank Sentiment Index (CBSI) was 90. This is mostly unchanged from the previous historic low reading of 91 in March 2020, and down considerably from last year's index of 122. The latest survey indicates that community bankers from across the nation remain unsettled and continue to have a mostly negative sentiment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic disruptions.
 
Even though the overall CBSI was relatively unchanged from last quarter, five of the seven components that make up the index fell, and only two improved.
 
 
House Votes to Include AML Provision in Defense Bill     
 
On a bipartisan majority of 336 to 71, the House voted to add anti-money laundering provisions to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA still requires a vote of the House for passage of the final amended bill.
 
Financial trade groups have been urging House Armed Services Committee leaders to include key anti-money laundering provisions in NDAA. The provisions would direct the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to establish and maintain a registry of beneficial ownership information and also modernize Treasury authorities and certain anti-money laundering requirements.
 
The groups noted that these provisions will "assist in preventing money laundering, human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism financing, fraud and other illicit activity." These provisions passed the House with a bipartisan majority in a standalone bill last year.

 
Cyber Fraud Attacks Increasing             
 
FinCEN Issues Advisory on Twitter Scam
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory on a high-profile scam exploiting Twitter accounts to solicit fraudulent virtual currency payments. Cyber threat actors last week compromised the accounts of public figures, organizations, and financial institutions to solicit payments. FinCEN said exchanges and other financial institutions should identify and report suspicious transactions associated with this type of activity.
 
SEC Warns of Ransomware Attacks
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an alert about reports that recent threats are targeting financial institution networks to access internal resources and deploy ransomware.
 
The agency's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations said perpetrators typically demand ransom to maintain the integrity of customer data and return control over internal systems.
 
The alert and other resources are available in the Vulnerabilities & Mitigation section of ICBA's Bank Cyber and Data Security Guide.
 
Secret Service Launches Cyber Task Force
The Secret Service said it is formally merging its Electronic Crimes and Financial Crimes task forces into a unified network known as the Cyber Fraud Task Force. The mission of the CFTF is to prevent, detect, and mitigate complex cyber-enabled financial crimes and to arrest and convict the most harmful perpetrators.


National Group Targets Credit Union Push    
 
Citing problems with credit union industry transparency, oversight, and unfair competition, the National Taxpayers Union told key members of Congress that it opposes expanding the credit union member-business-lending cap unless several conditions are met.
 
In a letter to Senate Banking and House Financial Services committee leaders, the NTU said lawmakers should address field-of-membership concerns, the lack of tax parity with other financial institutions, the Unrelated Business Income Tax, and the Form 990 exemption for federal credit unions.
 
ACB has long opposed credit union industry efforts to raise the 12.25 percent lending cap. In a May letter to the committees, the ICBA said the industry's efforts to exempt COVID-19-related business loans from the member-business-lending cap is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

 
Compliance Event of the Year is On!
 
We know you are tired of staring at a computer. So are we! But, unfortunately, as we evaluate the situation on the ground, and the State of Arkansas expecting Covid-19 cases peaking in September, we have decided to cancel our in-person conference and instead offer the same great training virtually. Nothing is more important to us than your health and safety.

So, lock your calendars in - September 9 and 10

We have a special guest at this year's conference!
 
Stay Tuned!