Archives: Enforcement

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Federal Agencies Jointly Release Responses to FAQs on SARs and Other AML Considerations

On January 19, 2021, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, OCC, FinCEN, and NCUA (collectively, the “federal agencies”) issued answers to frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) regarding suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) and other anti-money laundering (“AML”) considerations for financial institutions subject to SAR requirements in response to recent recommendations from the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group. The … Continue Reading

FDIC Adopts Revised Guidelines for Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations

On January 19, 2021, the FDIC’s Board of Directors approved revised Guidelines for Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations (the “Guidelines”), which are applicable to insured depository institutions (“IDIs”) the FDIC supervises as well as other IDIs for which the FDIC makes material supervisory determinations. The FDIC stated that the amendments are intended to: (1) improve … Continue Reading

CFTC Update: Leadership and Outlook

On January 21, 2021, CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert stepped down as Chairman of the agency and, for the time being, stepped into a Commissioner role.  The CFTC was very active during Chairman Tarbert’s tenure as it implemented his regulatory and enforcement priorities.  In particular, the Division of Enforcement saw the highest volume of enforcement actions … Continue Reading

BSA/AML Reform in the 2021 NDAA Becomes Law

On January 1, 2021, the Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (the “NDAA” or “Act”), which includes over 200 pages of significant reforms to the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and other anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws that have been working their way through Congress for several years.  The Senate’s … Continue Reading

CFTC’s Civil Monetary Penalty Guidance: A Perspective from a Former CFTC Regulator

On May 20th the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) announced new guidance for Division staff to consider when recommending civil monetary penalties in an enforcement action (the “CMP Guidance” or the “Guidance”).  As a former CFTC regulator who brought dozens of cases over a 13 year career in … Continue Reading

The PPP Economic Necessity Certification: SBA Provides Additional Guidance

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released two FAQs, numbers 46 and 47, regarding two safe harbors from an SBA inquiry into a borrower’s statutorily required certification of economic necessity for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”).  FAQ 46 states that the SBA will deem any borrower that, together with … Continue Reading

CFTC Announces Fourth Wave of No-Action Relief in Response to COVID-19

On March 31, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) announced the release of a targeted, temporary no-action letter aimed at foreign affiliates of futures commission merchants (FCMs).  This relief is meant to ease regulatory burdens in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  In short, the … Continue Reading

CFPB Releases Guidance on FCRA and Regulation V Compliance During COVID-19

On April 1, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released a statement on “Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act.” This statement provides guidance outlining the CFPB’s expectations of furnishers and consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and signals that … Continue Reading

CFTC Warns of Fraudsters Capitalizing on Investors’ COVID-19 Concerns and Promises Aggressive Enforcement Action

On March 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued a Customer Advisory cautioning the public to be on alert for increased fraudulent activity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency’s alert followed a series of similar warnings published by other agencies. The CFTC advised that fraudsters may be attempting to profit by taking advantage of … Continue Reading

CFTC Announces Limited No-Action Relief in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, on March 17, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released two announcements (see here and here) regarding a series of no-action letters in response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.  The CFTC’s announcements come in the wake of high-profile efforts by other financial regulators to quickly address the financial and regulatory effects … Continue Reading

IOSCO Issues Report on Risks Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms

On February 12, 2020, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) released a report titled Issues, Risks and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms.  The report describes the risks associated with crypto-asset trading platforms (“CTPs”) and sets forth key considerations for regulators in addressing such risks.  IOSCO is an association of … Continue Reading

FTC and CFPB Host Workshop on Accuracy in Consumer Reporting

On December 10, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) held a joint workshop on accuracy in consumer reporting. The workshop included remarks from FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips, CFPB Assistant Director for Supervision Policy Peggy Twohig, CFPB Deputy Director Brian Johnson, and FTC Deputy Director for the Bureau of Economics … Continue Reading

Spoofing Enforcement Heats Up with Recent Filing Wave and New Legal Charges

The U.S. Government’s fiscal year-end filing rush has resulted in a wave of new spoofing enforcement.  In August, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division charged four individuals with spoofing in precious metals futures markets.  In September, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) brought overlapping charges against three of those individuals, … Continue Reading

CFTC Settles Wheat Manipulation Case against Kraft and Mondelēz

On August 14, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order (the “Consent Order”)—agreed to by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), Kraft Foods Group Inc. (“Kraft”) and Mondelēz Global LLC (“Mondelēz”)—to resolve long-running market manipulation litigation between the parties.… Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Confidential Supervisory Information and FOIA Procedures

On June 14, 2019, the Federal Reserve Board (“Federal Reserve”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) requesting public comment on updates to its regulations governing the disclosure of confidential supervisory information (“CSI”) and its Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) procedures. Although the Federal Reserve classified many of the proposed revisions as “clarifications” or “technical … Continue Reading

FDIC Releases First Edition of Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights

On June 13, 2019, the FDIC released its first edition of Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights, the purpose of which is to increase transparency regarding the FDIC’s consumer compliance supervisory activities. The publication provides a high-level overview of the consumer compliance issues identified through approximately 1,200 consumer compliance examinations conducted in 2018 for non-member state-chartered banks … Continue Reading

New York DFS Revamps Its Consumer Protection Arm

On April 29, 2019 the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) announced that it has created a new division, called the Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division, which combines the previously separate Enforcement Division and Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division. The new division will be “responsible for protecting and educating consumers and … Continue Reading

FinCEN Penalizes Peer-to-Peer Virtual Currency Exchanger for Violating BSA

On April 18, 2019, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced an enforcement action against Eric Powers, a California-based peer-to-peer (P2P) virtual currency exchanger, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).  This marks the first time FinCEN has taken action against a P2P virtual currency exchanger and the first time it … Continue Reading

CFPB to Provide More Information in Civil Investigative Demands

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced Tuesday that going forward the agency will provide more information in its Civil Investigative Demands (“CIDs”).  The American Bankers Association and others had voiced concerns about the often vague and expansive scope of such demands in response to the Bureau’s 2018 Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking feedback on … Continue Reading

CFPB Director Kraninger Outlines Approach in First Major Speech

On April 17, 2019, CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger outlined her approach in executing the Bureau’s statutory mission in a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center. This was Director Kraninger’s first major speech since taking the helm at the Bureau. Kraninger’s remarks were organized around the tools that the Bureau will utilize to advance its core mission … Continue Reading

CFPB Announces Settlement with Broker of High-Interest Credit Offers to Veterans

On January 23, 2019, the CFPB announced a settlement with Mark Corbett following an investigation by the Bureau, the Arkansas Attorney General, and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs into Mr. Corbett’s brokerage of contracts offering high-interest credit to veterans.  As detailed in the consent order, Mr. Corbett facilitated high-interest contracts between veterans and … Continue Reading

Financial Agencies Release Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

On December 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) (collectively, “agencies”) released a joint statement on innovative efforts to combat money … Continue Reading

OCC Risk Report Trumpets Strong Bank Performance, But Warns of Emerging Risks

On December 3, 2018, the National Risk Committee (“NRC”) of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2018. The report analyzes the condition of the federal banking system using data reported by national banks and federal savings associations as of June 30, 2018. The analysis covers … Continue Reading
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