Product Update Blog

Product Updates for April 2022

The Product Updates for April 2022 from BankPolicies.com feature the following new and revised policy template products:

Cryptocurrency Policy TemplateNEW!

This new product was developed in response to client requests who submitted their suggestions to our “Client Wish List.”  Your comments and ideas are always greatly appreciated and will be taken into consideration whenever we revise our current products or create new ones.  In summary, we want to ensure your success and earn your business!

In addition, this new product contains guidance issued by the FDIC in FIL-16-2022 entitled “Notification of Engaging in Crypto-Related Activities” dated 04/07/22 that informs all FDIC-supervised institutions that intend to engage in, or that are currently engaged in, any activities involving or related to crypto assets (also referred to as “digital assets”) should notify the FDIC.  FDIC-supervised institutions are requested to provide information described in this letter, and the FDIC will review the information and provide relevant supervisory feedback.

NOTE:  We highly recommend purchasing a Product Update Protection Plan when placing an order for the Cryptocurrency Policy Template since we anticipate the federal regulators will be issuing additional guidance later this year with regards to the oversight of cryptocurrency/virtual currency.

Acquisition, Development, and Construction Loan Policy

Commercial Real Estate Loan Policy Template

The update to these products is in response to OCC Bulletin 2022-7 entitled “Commercial Real Estate Lending: Revised Comptroller’s Handbook Booklet and Rescissions” dated 03/29/22 that announced version 2.0 of the “Commercial Real Estate Lending” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook.  This booklet discusses risks and risk management practices associated with commercial real estate and provides examiners with a framework for evaluating commercial real estate lending activities.  The updated booklet replaces version 1.1 of the booklet of the same title issued in January 2017.  In addition, the OCC rescinded OCC Bulletin 2013-19, “Commercial Real Estate Lending: Comptroller’s Handbook Revisions and Rescissions,” which transmitted version 1.0 of the booklet of the same title issued in August 2013.

BSA Suspicious Activity Report Notices TemplateNEW!

Bank Secrecy Act Policy Template – Comprehensive Version

At the request of several clients, we created a new form template entitled “BSA Suspicious Activity Report Notices Template” that is now included in the purchase price of the Bank Secrecy Act Policy Template – Comprehensive Version.  This new form template is comprised of various suspicious activity notices issued by FinCEN that were formerly located in the “Suspicious Activity Reporting” topic of the policy template product.

In addition, the update to this product is in response to FinCEN Alert FIN-2022-Alert002 entitled “FinCEN Alert on Real Estate, Luxury Goods, and Other High-Value Assets Involving Russian Elites, Oligarchs, and their Family Members” dated 03/16/22 that alerts all financial institutions on the importance of identifying and quickly reporting suspicious transactions involving real estate, luxury goods, and other high-value assets of sanctioned Russian elites and their family members and those through which they act (collectively, “sanctioned Russian elites and their proxies”).  This alert provides select red flags to assist financial institutions in identifying suspicious transactions, and reminds financial institutions of their Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting obligations.  In addition, this alert complements other recent coordinated U.S. Government actions related to luxury goods, and highlights the establishment of U.S. and international task forces and programs designed to freeze and seize the assets of sanctioned Russian actors.

Bank Secrecy Act Policy Template – Basic Version

Bank Secrecy Act Policy Template – Comprehensive Version

The update to these products is in response to OCC News Release 2022-23 entitled “OCC Issues Final Rule Addressing Authority for Exemptions to Suspicious Activity Report Requirements” dated 03/16/22 that announced a final rule amending the OCC’s suspicious activity report (SAR) regulations.  The rule clarifies the OCC’s authority to issue exemptions from the requirements of those regulations based on a request from a national bank or federal savings association, including federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.  The rule provides that, for any SAR regulation exemption request, the OCC will consider criteria specified in the final rule, including consistency with the purposes of the Bank Secrecy Act and safe and sound banking.  The final rule is effective May 1, 2022.

For exemption requests from the OCC’s SAR regulation that also would require an exemption from the SAR requirements established by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a national bank or federal savings association would need to seek an exemption from both the OCC and FinCEN.  The OCC intends to coordinate with FinCEN on any such request.

Commercial Loan Policy Template

Small Business Administration Loan Policy Template

The update to these products is in response to the SBA Announcement entitled “Existing COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Borrowers to Receive an Additional Deferment” dated 03/15/22 that announced additional deferment of principal and interest payments for existing COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program borrowers for a total of 30 months deferment from inception on all approved COVID EIDL loans.  The extended deferment period is designed to provide additional flexibility to small business owners impacted by the pandemic, especially those in hard-hit sectors managing disruption with recent variants, as well as recent supply chain and inflation challenges amid a growing economic recovery.

Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices Policy Template

The update to this product is in response to the following releases issued by the CFPB:

  • CFPB Targets Unfair Discrimination in Consumer Finance” dated 03/16/22 that announced changes to its supervisory operations to better protect families and communities from illegal discrimination, including in situations where fair lending laws may not apply.  In the course of examining banks’ and other companies’ compliance with consumer protection rules, the CFPB will scrutinize discriminatory conduct that violates the federal prohibition against unfair practices.  The CFPB will closely examine financial institutions’ decision-making in advertising, pricing, and other areas to ensure that companies are appropriately testing for and eliminating illegal discrimination.
  • CFPB Issues Policy on Contractual ‘Gag’ Clauses and Fake Review Fraud” dated 03/22/22 that issued policy guidance regarding potentially illegal practices related to consumer reviews.  The CFPB seeks to ensure that customers can write reviews, particularly ones posted online, about financial products and services that accurately reflect their opinions and experiences.  The guidance also highlights that practices such as posting fake reviews or inserting clauses that forbid a customer from publishing an honest review may violate the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Keeping You Informed

We provide this Product Update Blog as a courtesy to all clients regarding new and revised products released by BankPolicies.com.  We feel that it is important to keep our clients well informed of changes to the financial institution industry, including keeping on top of federal regulatory changes, and industry recommended best practices.  In this regard, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter in which these types of announcements are made including any special offers that can save you time and money.  Just contact us to be added to our distribution list.

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