June 12, 2019
Community Bank Services

Argent Money


** Flood Disaster Assistance Available Through SBA **
The SBA Arkansas District Office has received notice of availability of Disaster Loans for counties along the Arkansas River that were adversely affected by the recent floods.
SBA Disaster Loans are DIRECT Loans from the SBA to small businesses, home owners and non-profits affected by the recent flood, either with physical damage or that suffered economic injury as result.  These loans DO NOT require bank participation. They are not guaranty loans, they are direct loans to eligible individuals, businesses or non-profit organizations.
Physical disaster loans are available in Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Jefferson, Perry, Pulaski, Sebastian and Yell counties.  Economic Injury ONLY loans are available to contiguous counties: Arkansas, Cleburne, Cleveland, Franklin, Garland, Grant, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Madison, Montgomery, Pope, Saline, Scott, Van Buren, Washington & White counties.  In Oklahoma economic injury are available for the counties of Adair, Le Flore & Sequoyah.  Details are in the attached declaration.
This is a perfect opportunity for your bank to reach out to customers, potential customers and others in your community who are trying to deal with the current flood.  There is no obligation or requirement from the lenders as these are direct loans from the SBA. 
If you have questions please reach out to the SBA Arkansas District Office at  (501) 324-7379.

Cotton, Colleagues Unveil Legislation to Combat Terror Finance, Money Laundering
U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mark R. Warner (D- Virginia), Doug Jones (D-Alabama), and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) unveiled draft bipartisan legislation to improve corporate transparency, strengthen national security, and help law enforcement combat illicit financial activity being carried out by terrorists, drug and human traffickers, and other criminals. 
The ILLICIT CASH Act would create a more transparent corporate ownership system and an updated, effective, and efficient AML-CFT regime designed for the 21st century. Specifically, this legislation would:
Establish federal reporting requirements mandating that all beneficial ownership information be maintained in a comprehensive federal database, accessible by federal and local law enforcement.  
  • Help recruit and retain top talent at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
  • Create a hub of financial expert investigators at FinCEN
  • Create a team of FinCEN technology experts
  • Facilitate communications between Treasury and financial institutions
  • Require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide the Treasury Department with metrics on the usefulness of AML-CFT data
  • Require law enforcement to coordinate with financial regulators
  • Prioritize the protection of personally identifying information
  • Prevent foreign banks from obstructing money laundering or terrorist financing investigations
  • Ensure the inclusion of current and future payment systems in the AML-CFT regime

Consensus on Flood Insurance
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) have reached an agreement on a five-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. Their draft bill would extend the program through Sept. 30, 2024, and would include a series of reforms to the program's operations.
Specifically, the bill would address affordability issues, improve the flood mapping program and improve floodplain management and mitigation. It would also take steps to modernize the NFIP, including the introduction of a "continuous coverage" provision that allows borrowers leaving the program to purchase private flood insurance to return to the NFIP without penalty.
Draft Bill  >> 

CRA Reform to Clarify Qualifying Activities, Lending Assessment
At a meeting of community development bankers, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams highlighted several ongoing initiatives at the agency to strengthen and sustain the nation's community banks, including the highly anticipated reform of the Community Reinvestment Act regulations.
McWilliams stressed that modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act will focus on clarifying exactly what bank activities qualify for CRA credit. The revised regulatory framework will also address the lending offered beyond a bank's brick-and-mortar market area, as well as ways to ensure that CRA investments target those most in need within the community. While she did not put a timeline on the reform process, she noted that she continues to meet regularly with her counterparts at the OCC and Federal Reserve "to see if we can come to a broad agreement on a set of priorities for CRA reform."

'Best Interest' Regulation for Broker-Dealers Approved 
The Securities and Exchange Commission finalized a rule implementing a "best interest" standard of conduct for broker-dealers when making recommendations on securities transactions or investment strategies to retail customers. The rule represents a different approach from the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, which was vacated last year by a federal appeals court.
Under the final rule, a broker-dealer making a recommendation to a retail investor must act in the best interest of that customer at the time the recommendation is made. Broker-dealers must demonstrate their compliance with this duty through three specific obligations: an obligation to disclose key facts about the relationship, including material conflicts of interest; a care obligation that requires broker-dealers to exercise reasonable diligence, care, skill and prudence in understanding products and the customer's best interest; and a conflict-of-interest obligation that requires policies to identify, disclose, and mitigate or eliminate conflicts.
The Rule  >> 

Compliance Conference  -  September 10 & 11
Double Tree Hotel, Little Rock