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On March 31, the FDIC released the spring 2022 edition of the Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights to provide information and observations related to the FDIC’s consumer compliance supervision of state non-member banks and thrifts in 2021. Topics include:
- A summary of the FDIC’s supervisory approach in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including efforts made by banks to meet the needs of consumers and communities.
- An overview of the most frequently cited violations (approximately 78 percent of total violations involved TILA, the Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA), EFTA, Truth in Savings Act, and RESPA). During 2021, the FDIC initiated 20 formal enforcement actions and 24 informal enforcement actions addressing consumer compliance examination observations, and issued civil money penalties totaling $2.7 million against institutions to address violations of the FDPA and Section 5 of the FTC Act.
- Information on the charging of multiple non-sufficient funds fees (NSF) for re-presented items, and risk-mitigating activities taken by banks to avoid potential violations. According to the FDIC, “failure to disclose material information to customers about re-presentment practices and fees” may be deceptive. The failure to disclose material information to customers “may also be unfair if there is the likelihood of substantial injury for customers, if the injury is not reasonably avoidable, and if there is no countervailing benefit to customers or competition. For example, there is risk of unfairness if multiple fees are assessed for the same transaction in a short period of time without sufficient notice or opportunity for consumers to bring their account to a positive balance.” Recommendations on addressing overdraft issues are discussed in the report.
- An overview of fair lending concerns highlighting ways to mitigate risk, including “[m]aintaining written policies and procedures that include information for lending staff to reference when applying credit decision criteria and determining whether borrowers are creditworthy” and reviewing requirements used to screen potential applicants to make sure there is no “discriminatory impact.”
- Information on regulatory developments, such as (i) rulemaking related to the Community Reinvestment Act, flood insurance, false advertising/misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo rulemaking, deposit insurance, and LIBOR; and (ii) guidance on fintech due diligence, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and third-party risk management.
- A summary of consumer compliance resources available to financial institutions.
- An overview of consumer complaint trends.
On October 29, the FDIC released a list of administrative enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in September. During the month, the FDIC made public six orders consisting of “one Consent Order, two terminations of Consent Orders, one Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty, one Order Terminating Decision and Order to Cease and Desist, and one Order of Termination of Insurance.” Among the orders is an order to pay a civil money penalty imposed against a Nebraska-based bank related to alleged violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act. Among other things, the FDIC claimed that the bank “[m]ade, increased, extended, or renewed loans secured by a building or mobile home located or to be located in a special flood hazard area without requiring that the collateral be covered by flood insurance,” and also allegedly “[f]ailed to comply with proper procedures for force-placing flood insurance in instances where the collateral was not covered by flood insurance at some time during the term of the loan.” The order requires the payment of a $24,000 civil money penalty.
The FDIC also issued a consent order to a Utah-based bank, which requires the bank to take measures to correct current alleged violations (and prevent future violations) of TILA, RESPA, E-Sign Act, ECOA, CRA, and TISA, as well as the statutes’ implementing regulations. The bank neither admitted nor denied the alleged violations but agreed to, among other things, develop a sound risk-based compliance program and implement an effective training program to ensure compliance.
On April 16, the FFIEC, on behalf of its member agencies, announced the release of two computational tools for annual percentage rates (APR) and annual percentage yields (APY). These web-based tools are intended to assist financial institutions when complying with consumer protection laws and regulations.
The APR Computational Tool is intended to help examiners and financial institutions verify finance charges and APRs included on consumer loan disclosures subject to TILA and Regulation Z, including calculations “related to unsecured and secured installment and construction loans, including real estate-secured loans.” The tool can also be used to verify military annual percentage rates for loans subject to the Military Lending Act. The APY Computational Tool is designed to support the verification of APYs on consumer deposit account disclosures, including advertisements and periodic statements, subject to the Truth in Savings Act and Regulation DD. See FDIC FIL-45-2020 and OCC Bulletin 2020-40 regarding the release of these tools.
- Jedd R. Bellman to provide an “Attorney exemption/medical debt update” at the North American Collection Agency Regulatory Association annual conference
- Kathryn L. Ryan to discuss “What should crypto regulation look like: Legislation, regulation and consumer issues” at WCL's First Annual Virtual Currency Law Institute
- Elizabeth E. McGinn to discuss “How to mitigate and manage third-party risks: Leveraging tools and best practices” at The Knowledge Group’s webcast
- Elizabeth E. McGinn, Benjamin W. Hutten, and James C. Chou to discuss “The evolving regulatory landscape: Third-party and cyber risk management” at the 2022 mWISE Conference
- Sherry-Maria Safchuk to discuss “For your eyes only: Privacy updates for 2022-2023” at CCFL’s Annual Consumer Financial Services Conference
- James T. Parkinson to present a “Global anti-corruption update” at IBA’s annual conference