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The U.S. Department of the Treasury 's Office of Foreign Assets Control (``OFAC'') published the names of four individuals whose property and interests in property have been blocked pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (``Kingpin Act'') (21 U.S.C. 1901-1908, 8 U.S.C. 1182).  Read more.

In a notice dated February 24, 2012, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced, that in an effort to improve efficiency; reduce government and industry costs; and enhance the ability of investigators, analysts, and examiners to gain better and more timely access to information; that it is adopting a requirement that all financial institutions subject to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting use electronic filing (E-Filing) for certain FinCEN reports beginning no later than July 1, 2012.
 
BSA E-Filing, which is provided free of charge, offers streamlined BSA information submission; faster routing of information to law enforcement; greater data security and privacy compared with paper forms; long-term cost savings to institutions, individuals, and the government; and ensures compatibility with future versions of FinCEN reports. Effective July 1, 2012, institutions must submit FinCEN reports electronically unless they are eligible to request a temporary exemption as identified in the final rule.
 
For more information about the benefits of using BSA E-Filing, please review the E-Filing Section on FinCEN's Web site. FinCEN is committed to working with financial institutions to increase their understanding of the value of E-Filing and has issued a brochure that highlights its benefits. For other technology-related questions specific to E-Filing, please call the BSA E-Filing Help desk at 1-866-346-9478.

FinCEN today issued an extension for the public comment period pertaining to its March 5th advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) which solicited comment on a wide range of questions pertaining to the possible application of an explicit customer due diligence (CDD) obligation on financial institutions, including a requirement for financial institutions to identify beneficial ownership of their accountholders.
 
The comment period has been extended until 30 days after the Federal Register publishes the notice linked below. Publication is expected early next week. More

Credit unions and others that use consumer reports must have a "permissible purpose" to obtain them according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and CUNA Director of Compliance Information Valerie Moss has outlined the circumstances under which the FCRA allows a credit bureau to release a credit report to a credit union in the May issue of CUNA's Credit Union MagazineMore

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should consider meaningful exemptions for credit unions and other small financial institutions as it develops new mortgage servicing rules, American Southwest CU CEO Brian Barkdull said at a CFPB Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel discussion held this week in Washington.  More

On February 28, 2012, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) published a notice and request for information regarding the impacts of overdraft programs on consumers (the Overdraft Notice). The Overdraft Notice allowed a 60-day comment period, closing on April 30, 2012.  To allow parties more time to consider and craft their responses, the CFPB has extended the comment period until June 29, 2012.  Read the Federal Register notice here.  To help credit unions respond to this important request, CUNA has developed an on-line survey for gathering information.  We encourage you to complete the short survey to help ensure that credit unions’ interests are well represented with the CFPB and any future rulemaking that might be undertaken.  Go to the CUNA Survey.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this year distributed questionnaires to financial institutions to help evaluate how those institutions' overdraft policies affect consumers, and CUNA has responded, developing its own short 12-question survey designed to obtain information from credit unions regarding their overdraft protection, overdraft transfer, and overdraft marketing practices.  More

The U.S. Department of the Treasury 's Office of Foreign Assets Control (``OFAC'') published the names of 2 individuals and 16 entities whose property and interests in property have been blocked pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (``Kingpin Act'') (21 U.S.C. 1901-1908, 8 U.S.C. 1182).  Read more.

Small credit unions should be just as concerned as large ones about violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, said CUNA Mutual Director of Regulatory Compliance Bill Klewin.  More

Lawsuits brought against credit unions and banks alleging violations of the ATM-fee disclosure provisions in the Electronics Funds Transfer Act are on the increase again, this time on the West Coast with the latest filed Thursday against a credit union in Washington state.  More