December 18, 2019
Community Bank Services

BKD 2010
Bankers Bank

' Wake Up' Campaign Gaining Traction        
ICBA's "Wake Up" campaign targeting credit unions is gaining traction on Capitol Hill, the Credit Union Times reported.
The publication noted that members of Congress are starting to repeat the key themes of ICBA's campaign, which calls on policymakers and the public to "Wake Up" to the risky practices, costly tax subsidies, and irresponsibly lax oversight of the nation's credit unions.
The article cites recent congressional hearings at which committee members, including Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), raised concerns with credit union acquisitions of community banks.

OCC, FDIC Propose CRA Reforms  
The OCC and FDIC issued a long-awaited proposed rule to modernize Community Reinvestment Act regulations. The agencies said the proposal is designed to address digital banking changes, expand the scope of what qualifies for CRA credit, and improve clarity by establishing more objective performance standards.
While ICBA continues to review the proposal, the plan includes ICBA-supported provisions to modernize the definition of small-business loans, promote lending to family farms, and provide a list of pre-approved CRA activities. The proposal also includes an ICBA-advocated provision allowing community banks $500 million and under to opt into the revised framework.
"ICBA will fully review the proposal with our member community banks to assess how it will affect their ability to meet the needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income individuals," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said.
Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

FDIC Proposes Reforms to Brokered Deposit Rules    
The FDIC issued a proposed rule to update its regulations on brokered deposits to improve bank flexibility. Among its provisions, the proposal would establish a new framework for deposit placement arrangements and clarify that deposits are not considered brokered when the customer has a direct relationship with the bank.
On December 11, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams previewed the proposal and called on Congress to streamline legal restrictions on the use of brokered deposits by troubled banks.
ICBA supports reforming guidelines on brokered deposits and successfully advocated provisions in the S. 2155 law that allow community banks to exclude from their call reports a significant amount of reciprocal deposits as brokered deposits.  
Proposed Rule  >> 

Basel Committee Eyeing Crypto-Assets, Virtual Currency         
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is requesting public feedback on how regulators should incorporate "crypto-assets," including virtual currencies like bitcoin, into bank supervision. Specifically, on the features and risk characteristics of crypto-assets-which it did not describe as cryptocurrencies, since they "do not reliably provide the standard functions of money and can be unsafe to rely on as a medium of exchange or store of value"-as well as broad principles to guide how bank regulators should treat bank exposures to these assets.
"While the crypto-asset market remains small relative to the size of the global financial system, and banks' exposures to crypto-assets are currently limited, its absolute size is meaningful and there continues to be rapid developments, with increased attention from a broad range of stakeholders," the committee said.  
This request for public comment does not address digital currency initiatives by central banks. Comments are due by March 13, 2020.
The Request   >>   

Faster Payments Overview  
A new ICBA Payment Executive Brief covers the various faster payments options available to community banks.
The brief compares the distinct differences and subtleties among faster payments products and platforms, including FedNow, Just-in-Time Funding, Real-Time Payments, and Same Day ACH.

The Brief   >> 

Answer of the Week        

Question:   Should the bank aggregate multiple currency transactions for separate business entities?
Answer:   T ransactions should be aggregated only if the financial institution, based on information obtained in the ordinary course of business, determines that the entities are not operating separately or independently of one another or their common owner. Examples include, businesses that are staffed by the same employees and are located at the same address, the bank accounts of one business are repeatedly used to pay the expenses of another business, or the business bank accounts are repeatedly used to pay the personal expenses of the owner. There are no universal rules applicable to any situation.  
Reference: FIN-2012-G001

!  Wishing You.....  !         




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