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    Last Week... Today! Bankers Are Outraged - CFPB Wants Business Lending Data & Small Banks are Disappearing

    Why are small banks disappearing? L.A. Times

    In 1994, nearly 500 banks were headquartered in California. Today, there are fewer than 180. By the end of the year, if current trends hold, Californians will have only one-third the number of banks to choose from for their mortgage, small business and personal savings needs than they did just a couple of decades ago.

    There are a few reasons for this disturbing trend, which is happening across the country. But the most important one — the reason I hear more than any other from bankers who decide to merge, sell or close their institution — is the increasing federal regulatory burden.

    That doesn’t mean I oppose all regulation. In the wake of the financial crisis, regulatory changes were necessary, and provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 helped improve financial stability. But nearly a decade after the crisis, we’ve ended up with too many duplicative and sometimes contradictory rules that don’t always promote safety and soundness, and may actually hinder banks from serving their customers and growing local economies.

    For example, I recently heard from a bank in Southern California that, to its great regret, had to end its mortgage loan program. Dodd-Frank’s mortgage regulations and disclosures meant the bank would have to purchase expensive software to manage the new layers of red tape — so expensive, in fact, that the bank was going to lose money on every single loan. Read More

    The CFPB Wants Data On Small Business Loans. Bankers Are Outraged, Forbes

    They're heeeere!

    In its first seven-plus years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set its sights on — what else? — consumer finance. It made rules to rein in mortgage lendingpayday loansdebt collection, and the like. But it was inevitable that the bureau would eventually turn its attention to business lending, and that day finally came earlier this month, when it asked the public to comment on how it should seek data on small-business loans from banks and other lenders.

    The CFPB is acting on a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that requires lenders to collect and report data on credit sought by small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and women-owned businesses. With the aim of helping the government enforce fair lending laws, as well to help communities figure out how to better serve these businesses, the law specifically directs financial institutions to compile 13 separate data points, including the amount of funding sought and approved, the type and purpose of the financing, as well as the location and most recent annual revenue of the applicant. And the law allows the agency to specify "any additional data that the Bureau determines would aid in fulfilling the purposes" of the law.

    Historically, there's been very little data on small-business loans and who's making them or getting them, apart from information gathered about loans backed by the Small Business Administration (which comprise a very small part of the market). It wasn't until 2010, for example, that banks had to report the size of their small-business loan portfolio on a regular basis, and even then the definition manages to simultaneously include a lot of loans that you wouldn't think of as small business loans, and exclude many others you would. And now it appears the government will scale back collecting that information as part of the Trump administration's agenda to reduce regulatory burden. Read More

    Guitar teacher robbed banks because he owed money to criminals, trial hears, Montreal Gazette

    A talented guitarist who robbed a dozen Montreal-area banks in six months says he committed the crimes to pay off loan sharks. 

    Quebec Court Judge Nathalie Fafard was provided with plenty of details on the motive behind Mark Steven Vandendool’s crime spree — from September 2015 to March 2016 — during his sentence hearing on Friday. The judge was also presented with two very different sentence recommendations as Vandendool’s lawyer, Pierre Poupart, asked that his client be sentenced to no more than five years, while prosecutor Marie-France Drolet asked for an overall 12-year sentence. Fafard is expected to deliver her decision in July. 

    In April, Vandendool, 35, pleaded guilty to 25 charges related to the 12 holdups he carried out using a fake gun and a series of disguises. He was arrested by Montreal police on March 1, 2016 while leaving a Bank of Montreal branch on Côte-des-Neiges Rd., where he had just carried out his last robbery. 

    Near the end of his sentence hearing on Friday, Vandendool told the court he was “lucky to be alive” and thanked the police officer who arrested him for having “spared my life at that crucial moment” when he exited the bank holding a fake firearm. Read More

    FBI asks for help finding suspect in 2 Anchorage credit union robberies in 2 days,

    Two separate Alaska USA Federal Credit Union branches were robbed in two days in Anchorage, and the FBI is asking for the public's help finding the suspect. Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, a woman walked into Alaska USA Federal Credit Union on 125 E. Dimond Blvd., the FBI wrote in a release. Anchorage police indentified a person of interest in the robberies as 41-year-old Jennifer Trengrove. She was described as a white woman, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing around 220 pounds. Read More

    International cyber criminals sentenced in Mississippi, Hattiesburg American

    Three Nigerian nationals have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a large-scale international fraud network.

    Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain in a news release Friday said 31-year-old Rasaq Aderoju Raheem was sentenced to 115 years in prison; 30-year-old Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan was sentenced to 95 years and 45-year-old Femi Alexander Mewase was sentenced to 25 years.

    After a three-week trial earlier this year, a federal jury found each defendant guilty of offenses involving mail and wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property. Raheem and Ayelotan were also found guilty of conspiracies to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

    A total of 21 defendants were charged in the case, 12 of whom have pleaded guilty to charges related to the conspiracy, and 11 of whom have been sentenced to date. Read More

    PATCH Act introduced to improve federal cybersecurity and transparency, SC Media

    In the wake of the high-profile WanaCryptor ransomware attack, a bipartisan group of elected officials from both Congressional Houses have introduced the Protecting our Ability To Counter Hacking (PATCH) Act to improve cybersecurity and transparency at the federal level.

    The legislation was offered by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). The bill is intended to boost cybersecurity and increase transparency for retaining or disclosing vulnerabilities in technology products, services, applications and systems, according to a joint statement from the legislators.

    The Patch Act creates an intra-agency review board, which will be chaired by the Department of Homeland Security, with one of its guiding principles being to ensure consistent policies are followed when the government evaluates vulnerabilities for disclosure and retention. 

    “The Board will ensure a consistent policy for how the government evaluates vulnerability for disclosure and retention. The bill will also create new oversight mechanisms to improve transparency and accountability, while enhancing public trust in the process,” the statement said.

    “It is essential that government agencies make zero-day vulnerabilities known to vendors whenever possible, and the PATCH Act requires the government to swiftly balance the need to disclose vulnerabilities with other national security interests while increasing transparency and accountability to maintain public trust in the process,” Johnson said. Read More

    Discover's Debt Collector Disclosed Credit Scores: Suit, Law360

    Discover Bank and a debt collector it employs publicly filed confidential credit scores of consumers who owed debt without prior permission, a violation of federal consumer protection laws, according to a putative class action filed in Wisconsin federal court on Friday.

    Named plaintiff Sasha Rizzo says that Discover Bank, one of the country’s largest credit card lenders, and Wisconsin-based Kohn Law Firm SC attached her credit score in documents filed in debt collection actions with that state’s local courts, according to the complaint. Read More

    Sixth Bank to Close This Year,

    Fayette County Bank, Saint Elmo, Illinois, was closed today by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation - Division of Banking, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with United Fidelity Bank, fsb, Evansville, Indiana, to assume all of the deposits of Fayette County Bank.

    The sole office of Fayette County Bank will reopen as a branch of United Fidelity Bank during its normal business hours. Depositors of Fayette County Bank will automatically become depositors of United Fidelity Bank. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits. Customers of Fayette County Bank should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from United Fidelity Bank that it has completed systems changes to allow other United Fidelity Bank branches to process their accounts, as well.

    This evening and over the weekend, depositors of Fayette County Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

    As of March 31, 2017, Fayette County Bank had approximately $34.4 million in total assets and $34.0 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, United Fidelity Bank agreed to purchase approximately $28.9 million of the failed bank's assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition. Read More

    Car title loaner barred from doing business in Massachusetts, The Washington Times

    An online auto title lender based on a remote South Pacific island that charges triple-digit interest rates has been ordered to stop doing business in Massachusetts.

    Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday that a judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring Liquidation LLC from making and collecting on loans.

    Healey says the company, which uses several names, preys on financially-desperate consumers by providing vehicle title loans, often seizing and selling vehicles when owners default.

    She says the company is not licensed to do business in the state and has victimized more than 200 Massachusetts consumers with interest rates as high as 619 percent. Read More

    Breach at Equifax subsidiary illustrates risks consumers face, SC Media 

    The number of those affected by a breach into an Equifax subsidiary remains unclear, but what is known is that intruders were able to access customers' W-2 tax data, according to a report from security investigator Brian Krebs.

    The Equifax subsidiary, TALX, which provides online payroll, HR and tax services, was penetrated between April 17, 2016 and March 29, 2017, Krebs reported, after bad actors reset the four-digit PIN provided as a password to customer employees. Once armed with that key, along with responding correctly to several personal questions, the miscreants were able to siphon out the accounts' W-2 tax data. 

    While Equifax alerted potentially affected clients, the extent of the damage has not been revealed as yet. However, owing to state data breach notification laws, Krebs was able to discover that at this point at least five enterprises received notices from Equifax, including Northrop Grumman and the University of Louisville. 

    “TALX believes that the unauthorized third-party(ies) gained access to the accounts primarily by successfully answering personal questions about the affected employees in order to reset the employees' PINs (the password to the online account portal),” Nicholas A. Oldham, an attorney representing TALX, wrote in a statement filed with the New Hampshire attorney general. Read More

    Investors To Appeal Dismissal Of Fannie, Freddie Suit, Law360

    Investors seeking to challenge the sweep of profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instituted by the Obama administration on Thursday said they intend to appeal a Texas federal judge’s decision that dismissed their complaint against the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    The investors in the case want the Fifth Circuit to take a second look at U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Atlas’ May 22 decision dismissing their claims. Read More

    Ten States With the Most Identity Theft, 24/7 Wall Street

    Identity theft — when a criminal steals personal information such as a social security or credit card number — remains one of the most popular scams in the United States. Just as the importance of digital identities and online transactions has risen during the age of the Internet, so too has the incidence of fraud-related activity — especially identity theft.

    The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network received more than 3 million consumer complaints in 2015, 16% of which were identity theft complaints. Scams involving government documents, such as when a social security is stolen to file a fraudulent tax return, were the most common method of identity theft, followed by credit card fraud. Credit card fraud involves criminals using another person’s credit card to make purchases or using another person’s information to open credit card accounts.

    The Ten States With the Most Identity Theft Are:

    10. California
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 55,305 (the highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 750 (2nd highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $1,468 (3rd highest)

    9. New Hampshire
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 1,890 (13th lowest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 572 (10th lowest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $1,163 (12th highest)

    8. Texas
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 39,630 (3rd highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 941 (3rd highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $1,157 (14th highest)

     7. Georgia
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 15,230 (9th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 1,208 (4th highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $873 (13th lowest)

    6. Michigan
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 15,684 (7th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 1,144 (5th highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $820 (7th lowest)

    5. Illinois
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 20,414 (6th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 517 (9th highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $907 (15th lowest)

    4. Maryland
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 11,006 (12th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 749 (13th highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $973 (24th lowest)

    3. Florida
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 44,063 (2nd highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 1,510 (the highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $1,050 (22nd highest)

    2. Connecticut
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 8,078 (18th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 554 (22nd lowest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $1,182 (11th highest)

    1. Missouri
    > Identity theft complaints per 100,000:
    > Total identity theft complaints: 22,164 (5th highest)
    > Fraud and other complaints per 100,000: 609 (17th highest)
    > Avg. amount stolen: $931 (18th lowest)

    See Full Article Here