January 9, 2019
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House, Senate Members Push for Stronger Call Report Relief

Key House Financial Services Committee members push for banking regulators to revisit their proposed rule implementing call report relief for community banks. In a letter to agency heads from the panel's subcommittee chairmen following a previous bipartisan Senate letter , the House members said the proposal does not meet congressional intent.
The provision in the S. 2155 regulatory relief law establishes a short-form call report in the first and third quarters for banks with less than $5 billion in assets. However, the agency proposal barely moves the needle in reducing unnecessary reporting burdens
ICBA is calling on community bankers to weigh in by contacting federal regulators and expressing concerns with the proposed rule. ICBA offers separate alerts on its Be Heard grassroots action center for community banks with less than $1 billion in assets and those between $1 billion and $5 billion.

DOL Issues New Directives on Opinion Letters, Compliance Evaluations

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs has issued three new directives regarding its enforcement of the nondiscrimination provisions of Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Among other things, the directives will establish a process for issuing opinion letters, which provide authoritative guidance in response to institution-specific or industry-wide questions.
The directives also provide additional compliance assistance and guidance through publicly available and searchable "help desk" questions and answers; establish early resolution procedures to resolve violations through conciliation without issuing adverse agency action; and rescind a 2011 directive that had established active case enforcement procedures.
Although its conclusion is disputed by many, OFCCP has long asserted that deposit insurance is a federal contract and that all FDIC-insured banks are therefore federal contractors subject to OFCCP's authority.

Flood Program Reauthorized Through May

The Federal Emergency Management Agency resumed the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies under the National Flood Insurance Program. Congress passed legislation reauthorizing the NFIP until May 31 before breaking for the holiday recess.
FEMA's announcement rescinded previous guidance from Dec. 26 directing industry partners to suspend flood insurance sales operations due to the lapse in annual appropriations under the partial government shutdown.
Meanwhile, financial services groups reiterated their calls for banking regulators to revise a 2016 proposed rule on private flood insurance. In a joint letter ahead of the expected release of a final rule next month, the organizations provided six recommendations on mandatory coverage terms, contractual provisions, state law compliance, and more.
Joint Letter  >> 

18-Month Exam Cycle Finalized

The federal banking agencies issued final rules that adopt without change the interim final rules issued in August that expanded the number of insured depository institutions eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle, rather than a 12-month cycle.
As authorized by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the final rules generally allow qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $3 billion in total assets to benefit from an extended 18-month on-site examination cycle.

TCM Bank, N.A. Supports Community Banks and Their Customers Affected by Government Shutdown

TCM Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of ICBA Bancard®, announced t hat it is supporting its community bank partners and helping their card holder customers who may be experiencing financial hardship during the  government shutdown.
TCM Bank is offering assistance to cardholders who have been furloughed as a result of the federal government shutdown by providing financial relief options based on individual circumstances. Customers are encouraged to call TCM Bank customer service at 800-883-0131 to evaluate their options.
"We are committed to helping our cardholders in times of hardship and will work closely with our agent bank partners to make sure our mutual customer needs are being met during this time," said Damon Moorer, president and CEO of TCM Bank, N.A.
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