• On December 13, Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) Introduced the Protecting Against Paperless and Electronic Requirements (PAPER) Act to prohibit banks from forcing consumers to use electronic statements instead of paper statements. According to Congressman Turner, “For America’s senior citizens or those living in rural or underserved communities across the United States, online banking is not a viable alternative to paper billing, and the ultimatum of losing one’s account runs counter to the principles of economic freedom that we hold dear. The PAPER Act would bar institutions from restricting their services and make certain that all Americans can participate in our banking system, regardless of their ability to connect to the internet.”
  • On December 14, the OCC released a list of enforcement actions that included a formal Agreement against B2 Bank, N.A. of Mountain Iron Minnesota for unsafe or unsound practices including those relating to internal controls and less than satisfactory management. The agreement requires B2 bank to take significant actions to bolster its controls and management oversight, including the development of:
    • A compliance committee.
    • An updated written strategic plan for review and approval that must include detailed financial projections, include off-balance sheet activities into risk assessments and plans.
    • An evaluation of personnel and resource needs.
    • A detailed MIS and Board reporting to monitor project plans,
    • An updated succession plan,
    • A process to quantify all risks and incorporate those risks into capital adequacy assessments, capital plans.
    • A robust capital planning process,
    • A comprehensive affiliate risk management program,
    • A new products and services risk assessment program,
    • A comprehensive Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering risk assessment program,
    • A concentrated risk management program, and
    • A corrected Current Expected Credit Losses governance and analysis document,
    • A Cease and Desist Order against Upstate National Bank of Ogdensburg, New York for unsafe and unsound practices relating to board oversight and corporate governance; strategic and capital planning; interest rate risk management; liquidity risk management; books and records; third party risk management; and for engaging in violations of law, rule, or regulation relating to reports of condition.