Federal Banking Agencies Disclose Reported 2015 CRA Lending Data

On August 18, the OCC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve announced the availability of a 2015 data fact sheet on small business, small farm, and community development lending as reported by certain commercial banks and savings associations pursuant to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Less comprehensive than the data reported pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the CRA data includes the number and dollar amount of community development loans and small business and small farm loans originated or purchased. It also indicates whether a small business or farm loan is extended to a borrower with yearly revenues of $1 million or less and combines those loans into three categories based on size, which are reported at a census tract level. CRA data does not cover loan applications that were denied or applicant demographic information, and it is not completed on a loan-by-loan basis. According to the data fact sheet, “caution should be used in drawing conclusions from analyses using only CRA data, as differences in loan volume across areas may reflect differences in local demand for credit.”

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State Attorneys General Settle with London-based Financial Institution over Alleged LIBOR Manipulation

On August 9, Massachusetts AG Healey announced, in coordination with more than 40 state attorneys general, a $100 million settlement with a London-based financial institution and related international investment bank (collectively, defendants) to resolve allegations that the defendants manipulated the U.S. Dollar London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and defrauded government and non-profit entities across the nation. According to AG Healey, from 2007-2009, defendants’ managers instructed its LIBOR submitters to lower their LIBOR rate setting. LIBOR submitters allegedly agreed to these instructions. State attorneys general further allege that, at various times beginning in 2005 and continuing at least into 2009, the defendants’ traders asked LIBOR submitters “to change their LIBOR submissions in order to benefit their trading positions.” LIBOR submitters allegedly often agreed to the traders’ requests. The defendants are the first of “several USD-LIBOR-setting panel banks under investigation by the state attorneys general to resolve the claims against it.”

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Federal Banking Agencies Seek Comment on Call Report Proposal for Small Financial Institutions

On August 5, the FFIEC announced that the OCC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve are seeking public comment on a proposal for a new Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for Eligible Small Institutions (FFIEC 051/Call Report). The proposed Call Report is a streamlined version of the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for a Bank with Domestic Offices Only (FFIEC 041), and would be applicable to financial institutions with domestic offices only and total assets of less than $1 billion. Intended to ease the reporting requirements for smaller institutions, the proposed Call Report would remove approximately 40% of about 2,400 data items in FFIEC 041. FFIEC 041 would remain applicable to institutions with domestic offices only that do not file the proposed Call Report. The banking agencies are also seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the FFIEC 041 and the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income for a Bank with Domestic and Foreign Offices (FFIEC 031). Comments are due 60 days after Federal Register publication, which has not yet occurred.

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OCC to Host Workshop for Bank Directors

From September 19 through September 21, the OCC will host a “Building Blocks for Directors” workshop in St. Louis for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC. OCC supervision staff will lead the workshop, which will focus on directors’ duties and responsibilities, relevant laws and regulations, and increasing understanding of the examination process. The OCC is limiting the workshop’s capacity to the first 35 registrants.

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FDIC Advises Bank Management to Maintain Ongoing Communication with Examination Staff

On July 29, the FDIC issued FIL-51-2016 to remind and encourage bank management to maintain open communications with FDIC personnel regarding supervisory findings. FIL-51-2016 is a re-issuance of and update to the March 1, 2011 FIL-13-2011, and emphasizes that “open dialogue with bank management is critical to ensuring the supervisory process is effective in promoting an institution’s strong financial condition and safe-and-sound operation.” If an institution has concerns about FDIC examination findings, the letter advises the institution to (i) discuss the issues with the FDIC examiner-in-charge, or contact the field or regional office representative; (ii) utilize the FDIC’s formal appeals process for material supervisory determinations; or (iii) contact the FDIC Office of the Ombudsman for “confidential, neutral, and independent” information and assistance if disagreements were not resolved informally at the Division-level. According to the letter, FDIC policy prohibits any retaliation, abuse, or retribution by any FDIC examiner or other personnel against an institution. The letter further emphasizes that “[s]uch behavior against an institution constitutes unprofessional conduct and will subject the examiner or other personnel to appropriate disciplinary or remedial action.”

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