FINRA's BrokerCheck

Financial Institutions

Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Phishing and spoofing scams cost billions in losses

Written by The Rehmann Team

Each and every employee must serve as a first line of defense when it comes to protecting a bank from cybercrime, specifically phishing attempts and spoofing scams. According to the FBI, phishers range from computer geeks looking for internet fame to businesses trying to gain an upper hand by hacking competitor websites. They also include criminals who want to steal and sell personal information, and spies and terrorists looking to rob our nation of vital information or launch cyber strikes. In 2018, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) received 351,936 complaints with losses exceeding $2...

Wednesday, 08 May 2019

How is your efficiency ratio?

Written by The Rehmann Team

In banking, this is one instance where lower is better. Banks strive for a lower efficiency ratio since it indicates that the bank is earning more than it is spending. It’s not only an important measure for internal strategic planning, it’s also a key metric looked at by potential investors and current stakeholders. Noninterest expense: Employee salaries and benefits, equipment and property leases, taxes, loan loss provisions and professional service fees...

Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Is the cannabis market opening up for banks?

Written by The Rehmann Team

At a time when more banks are carefully evaluating the benefits of serving marijuana-related businesses, the House Financial Services Committee recently approved – with bipartisan support – the Safe and Fair Enforcement Banking (SAFE) Act. SAFE would make it illegal for a federal regulator to penalize financial institutions that accept insured deposits from marijuana businesses in states where the substance is legal. Supporters noted the SAFE Act would help legitimate marijuana businesses access banking services so they do not need to operate on an all-cash basis. This also alleviates money-laundering concerns, as well as increased risk of crime by thieves attracted to large stashes of cash...

Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Update: Payday Lending Rule on hold

Written by The Rehmann Team

 On October 5, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule, known as the Payday Lending Rule, to create consumer protections for certain personal loans. Rule highlights include: Short-term and longer-term loans with balloon payments were identified as unfair, deceptive and abusive practices (UDAAP) if a lender makes such loans without reasonably determining that the consumer has the ability to repay the loan according to its terms, the “underwriting conditions.” The same set of loans and longer-term loans with an APR greater than 36 percent that are repaid directly from the consumer’s account were identified as UDAAP if after two failed consecutive payment withdrawal attempts, the lender does not obtain the consumer’s new and specific authorization to make further payment withdrawals. A lender making a covered loan must develop, follow and retain for 36 months evidence of compliance with its written policies and procedures ensuring compliance with the Payday Lending Rule...

Monday, 25 February 2019

CECL proposal gets tepid response at recent roundtable

Written by The Rehmann Team

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s current expected credit loss (CECL) standard presents significant operational challenges for banks whose resources are already taxed to meet regulatory and reporting requirements. It’s an on-going issue that has received considerable attention and commentary. A recent roundtable, attended by financial industry institution organizations, regulators, users of financial statements, and representatives from banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations, focused on developing an alternative proposal submitted by a group of banks. The proposed alternative addressed the income statement impact of CECL due to concerns about the reliability of long-term CECL estimates, and would recognize certain expected charge-offs as part of comprehensive income rather than earnings...

Monday, 25 February 2019

How does a government shutdown impact financial institutions?

Written by The Rehmann Team

The recent partial government shutdown prompted the Fed, FDIC, OCC, NCUA and CFPB to issue a short press release on January 11 stating, “While the effects of the federal government shutdown on individuals should be temporary, affected borrowers may face a temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans or credit cards.” This message from regulators encouraged financial institutions across the country to consider ways they might modify terms on existing loans, extend new credit to help those not receiving a paycheck and take other measures to assist affected customers. Regulators made the same request in 2013 using the exact same language. Banks of all sizes, especially those serving federal workers, answered the call by offering low or no interest payroll advances and loans, waiving overdraft fees, and reversing direct deposit and credit card fees –among other actions – depending on customers’ individual circumstances...

In today’s digital economy, business success depends largely on the ability to deliver customer experiences and services in a rapidly evolving, high-tech environment. 2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions (published by the Digital Banking Report) noted that improving the customer experience with digital delivery channels that are easy, friendly and personalized, was a top priority. Priorities seem to have evolved over the past year. While emerging technologies still provide opportunities to enhance the customer experience, the 2019 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions reported “for the first time, ever, the use of data, AI, and advanced analytics was ranked first, replacing improving the customer experience as the number one trend...

Monday, 25 February 2019

Michigan changes state tax base law for banks

Written by The Rehmann Team

On December 26, 2018, Governor Snyder signed Public Act No. 460 which amends sections 651 and 655 of 1967 PA 281 concerning the franchise tax base calculation for financial institutions. For tax years beginning on or before December 31, 2020, the tax base is the bank’s average equity capital for the most recent five-year tax period. If a bank has not been in existence for five tax years, equity capital is the average equity capital for the number of tax years the bank has been in existence...

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Legalizing Marijuana and the Continuing Impact on Banks

Written by The Rehmann Team

The emerging legalized marijuana industry has an estimated $9 billion in annual sales. Yet, only 30 percent of participating businesses have a bank account, forcing them to conduct most of their business on a cash-only basis. This raises serious security concerns for companies that handle or store large amounts of cash – making them a prime target for armed robbery – and increases the potential for money laundering activities. It’s also a missed opportunity for banks that could service these organizations...

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

TRID Rules For Partial Payment Policies Effective October 1, 2018

Written by The Rehmann Team

Among the Reg Z changes that went into effect on October 1 is a new requirement for disclosing partial payment policies in mortgage transfer notices. If a bank has to provide a mortgage transfer notice under current Reg Z requirements, it must now include information about the partial payment policy when issuing the notice. The rule applies if the transfer is for a closed-end consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling or real property, including but not limited to a mobile home or co-op unit. The rule does not apply to a transfer of a reverse mortgage...

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