January 12, 2022
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Vaccine mandate in effect unless high court intervenes

The Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for employers with 100 or more employees became effective on Monday, unless the U.S. Supreme Court halts enforcement.
 
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday in a legal challenge against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard implementing the mandate, which says covered employers must require their employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly.
 
The court’s conservative majority expressed skepticism that OSHA has the legal authority to issue the broad mandate for larger employers, distinguishing it from a separate vaccine requirement for health-care employees.
 
After a federal appeals court last month reversed a separate court’s stay of enforcement, OSHA has said on its website that it will not issue:
  • Citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the emergency temporary standard before Jan. 10. This means covered employers should determine the vaccination status of their employees, require unvaccinated employees to wear face coverings in the workplace, and institute the written policy required by the ETS by that date.
  • Citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before Feb. 9, so long as employers exercise reasonable, good-faith efforts to comply.
Source: ICBA
Cannabis banking proponent leaving

House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Chairman Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) announced that he will not seek reelection this fall, renewing the urgency to pass legislation that creates a safe harbor for banks serving cannabis-related businesses this Congress.
 
Perlmutter introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would create a safe harbor from federal sanctions for financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses. Similar legislation from Rep. Perlmutter passed the House in 2019 but did not advance in the Senate.
 
As the first national banking trade group to support the SAFE Banking Act and to testify before Congress on its behalf, ICBA urges community banks to write to Congress to get this critical legislation passed in the Senate and signed into law.
Source: ICBA
Vice Chair exiting Fed board

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard H. Clarida said he plans to resign, effective Jan 14. "Rich's contributions to our monetary policy deliberations, and his leadership of the Fed's first-ever public review of our monetary policy framework, will leave a lasting impact in the field of central banking," Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell said in a statement.
 
Clarida has been a member of the Board and Vice Chair since Sept. 17, 2018. During his service Clarida served as chair of the Board's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. He also served as chair of the Federal Open Market Committee's communication subcommittee.
 
The resignation comes two weeks before Clarida’s term was set to expire. Clarida has faced criticism for failing to fully disclose financial trades he made in February 2020 in the run-up to the pandemic.

Source: FED
Call report materials released

The FDIC released materials pertaining to call reports for the Dec. 31, 2021, report date, which are generally due by Sunday, Jan. 30.
 
Institutions that file the FFIEC 051 Call Report form will report five new data items related to sweep deposits on Schedule RC-E, Deposit Liabilities. These data items are reported semiannually on the June and December FFIEC 051 Call Report form.
 
For institutions that file the FFIEC 031 and FFIEC 041 Call Report forms, these data items became effective as of Sept. 30, 2021, and are reported quarterly.
Source: FDIC
IRS warns of tax return delays

The IRS signaled potential challenges ahead of tax filing season due to delays caused by the pandemic, annual budget cuts, and federal stimulus measures that have increased the agency’s workload, according to a Washington post article. The IRS had a backlog of at least “6 million unprocessed individual returns” and “more than 2 million unprocessed amended tax returns” as of Dec. 23, 2021, according to its website. The delay could disrupt payment operations and may require community banks to adjust staffing to cope with shifting volumes of refund payments. There are no current plans to extend the deadline this year, according to Treasury officials.
Source: IRS
Treasury urged to track crypto ATMs

A new Government Accountability Office report calls for increased oversight of cryptocurrency ATMs to crack down on human trafficking and illegal drug sales.
 
As part of its recommendations the GAO urged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to work with the IRS to identify crypto ATM locations and mandate the submission and upkeep of ATM physical addresses as part of registration requirements.
 
A recent report from the crypto data firm Chainalysis found that cryptocurrencies were used to facilitate roughly $14 billion worth of illegal activity worldwide in 2021. An ICBA blog post discusses the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating criminal activity and the implications for community banks.
Source: ICBA

"Let's Talk - Innovation"
 
Please join Charles Potts, ICBA Chief Innovation Officer to learn how your bank can participate in a one of kind collaboration with early stage fintech companies while learning some best practices on how to advance innovation within your community bank. Learn how you can easily gain access to cutting-edge emerging financial technology solutions and discuss the implications for your community bank.
 
This 45-to-60-minute discussion on Innovation will be hosted on:

Friday, January 14th
at 9 a.m. CST or 11 a.m. CST 
 
If you can join us, please RSVP by email to Kathy Gauger at ICBA and let her know if you wish to attend the 9 a.m. CST or 11 a.m. CST session. 

Zoom login instructions will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

2022 ACB
Bank Secrecy Act Conference
March 17, 2022