Banking News

House Passes TRID Grace Period Through Feb. 1 October 8, 2015

By a bipartisan 303-121 vote, the House last night passed Congressman French Hill’s (R_AR)H.R. 3192, which would provide a safe harbor from enforcement actions and private civil actions for lenders making good-faith efforts to implement the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures. The safe harbor would extend to Feb. 1.

“Borrowers in all parts of the nation will benefit from this legislation, ensuring that the transition to new rules proceeds without concerns over technical difficulties constraining credit or slowing the settlement process,” said AmBA EVP James Ballentine.

Although the bill passed on a bipartisan basis, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill in part because it would “remov[e] the private right of action for violations.” In a memo to House members, AmBA rebutted this claim, noting that “to gain the safe harbor for either regulatory or private rights of action, there must be a showing of good faith efforts at compliance.”

House Passes Bill Expanding 18-Month Exam Cycle Eligibility October 7, 2015

In unanimous votes, the House last night passed two bills consistent with AmBA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks. H.R. 1553, introduced by Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.), would raise the asset threshold for qualifying for the 18-month exam cycle from $500 million to $1 billion.

Meanwhile, H.R. 1839 -- introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) -- would permit conditional sales of privately held or restricted stock, a longstanding goal that will help community banks raise capital by making their shares more liquid. Click here to read AmBA’s memo on the bills.

AmBA Offers Resources for Cybersecurity Awareness Month October 7, 2015

To mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, the American Bankers Association has developed a number of resources to help bankers promote consumer awareness about cybercrime. The campaign materials focus on how consumers can protect themselves, their small businesses, their identities, and their mobile devices online.

The resources -- available at -- include a social media toolkit to help banks communicate with their customers about cybersecurity, customizable tip sheets and news releases.

Also this month, AmBA’s Get Smart About Credit Day will include a “protecting your identity” component that will coincide with AmBA’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts. Click here to view the resources.

Bipartisan AmBA-Backed Bills Coming to Vote This Week October 5, 2015

The full House is expected to vote this week on two bipartisan bills that are part of AmBA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks. H.R. 1553, introduced by Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.), would raise the asset threshold for qualifying for the 18-month exam cycle from $500 million to $1 billion.

Meanwhile, H.R. 3192 -- introduced by Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) -- would institute until Feb. 1, 2016, a safe harbor from enforcement and litigation for institutions making good-faith efforts to comply with the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures.

AmBA Advocacy Yields TRID Compliance Clarifications October 1, 2015

Responding to multiple letters and aggressive advocacy by AmBA, top regulators have clarified their approach to assessing compliance with the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures. Identical letters from Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray to ABA said the agencies recognize the daunting challenges posed by TRID implementation and will “recognize the scope and scale of changes necessary” in their early examinations for TRID compliance.

“The member agencies of the [Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council] recognize that the mortgage industry has needed to make significant systems and operational changes to adjust to the requirements of the rule, and that implementation requires extensive coordination with third parties,” the letters said. “We recognize that ... additional technical and other questions are likely to be identified once the new forms are used in practice after the effective date.”

In light of widely reported delays in the delivery and testing of TRID systems from vendors, the agencies said they would consider institutions’ “overall efforts” to comply, as well as the institutions’ implementation plans, updated policies and procedures, staff training and “handling of early technical problems.”

The agencies said they would employ a “similar” approach to the one they used after the CFPB’s mortgage rules took effect in January 2014. In congressional testimony earlier this week, Cordray characterized this approach as “diagnostic, not punitive.” The approach reflects the one AmBA said it expected in a memo to members sent on Tuesday. Click here to read the letter.

New malware infects ATMs, dispenses cash on command September 24, IDG News Service

Security researchers from Proofpoint detected a new malware ATM malware program dubbed GreenDispenser that allows attackers to withdraw cash on demand by hooking into the eXtensions for Financial Services (XFS) middleware on Microsoft Windows-based ATMs. The malware was first spotted in Mexico, and researchers warned it will likely spread quickly to the U.S.

Click here to read more.

AmBA-Supported Bills Clear House Committee October 1, 2015

The House Financial Services Committee yesterday passed three AmBA-supported bills addressing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and proposed limitations on retirement advice. “The legislative proposals before the committee seek to provide the proper balance of protections to help the financial industry serve our customers,” AmBA said in a memo to the committee on Tuesday.

H.R. 1090, which would delay the Labor Department's controversial rule redefining who counts as a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act until after the SEC takes similar action, passed by 34 to 22. H.R. 1266, which would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's sole director with a bipartisan, five-member commission, passed by 35 to 24, while a measure to create an independent, Senate-confirmed inspector general for the CFPB (H.R. 957) passed by 56 to 3.

Yellen: Banks Need ‘Tailored’ Regulation October 1, 2015

In her opening remarks for the St. Louis Fed’s third annual Community Banking Research and Policy Conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen emphasized the importance of tailored regulation of banks with different asset bases and business models.

“When it comes to bank regulation and supervision, one size does not fit all,” she said. “To effectively promote safety and soundness and ensure consumer compliance without creating undue regulatory burden, rules and supervisory approaches should be tailored to different types of institutions.” Yellen’s comments echo those of other top regulators in calling for tailored supervision and pointing out areas in which Congress could make it easier for supervisors to tailor rules.

Read more Bank Industry News

FS-ISAC Security Update

FS-ISAC Security Information Available to ABA Members

Weekly security risk updates are now available to ABA member institutions through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS‐ISAC).

ABA members can now access FS‐ISAC security threat information via the FS-ISAC Weekly Risk Summary Report, designed for community institutions to deliver timely and actionable information on significant security threats.

The report provides a high-level summary of threats, identifies the risk to community institutions and suggests actions that these organizations can take to remediate the risks.

Click here to access the most recent Weekly Risk Summary Report.

Check out photos from these recent ABA events!

The Arkansas Banker

The Arkansas Banker is now available in digital format, accessible on all of your electronic devices. To view the current issue and the archives click here.