We are already a couple months into the new year. If you have not already done so, now is the time to be thinking about your compliance management system and planning for the new year.
Have you completed a compliance risk assessment or updated it recently? If you haven’t, it’s not too late. A compliance risk assessment will help you identify areas of higher risk as well as determine what areas you need to include in your compliance audit plan and what areas need ongoing or increased monitoring. If you have received any regulatory criticism from your internal auditors or regulators, these should be considered in your risk assessment.
Your policies and procedures should also be reviewed and updated as regulations change or internal procedures change. At least annually you should look at your compliance management system policy as well as any other compliance-related policies and procedures. Make sure any regulatory references are still accurate and all procedures are still appropriate.
Now is also the time to finalize your training plan if you haven’t done so already. In addition to general coverage of regulations, training should also include any regulatory changes, as well as your institution’s internal policies and procedures. Make sure your training is job specific. Tellers should not necessarily receive the same training as loan officers or operations staff. Likewise, the Board of Directors and management should receive high-level training. They need to be aware of regulatory requirements but do not necessarily need to know the nitty-gritty details on how to process transactions. If you rely on an online training service, be sure to also do some in-person training.
If you are a HMDA reporter, you should already have your 2017 HMDA LAR scrubbed and filed. And, with the new 2018 HMDA rules, April is the perfect time to scrub the first quarter’s entries to make sure data was collected correctly and accurately.
It’s also time to review your Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) public file and update it as needed. Your CRA file is required to be updated by April 1 each calendar year. Be sure to read the “Common Issues Noted in Community Reinvestment Act Public Files” article in our December 2017 newsletter. Take out old, outdated information and just keep what is required.
Another important area to review is your lobby signage. Early in the year is a great time to make sure your signs are correct and up to date. The following should be displayed:
- CRA – Make sure the signage has the appropriate regulator titles and addresses.
- Fair Housing Act – Whether you need to display the Equal Housing Lender poster or HUD’s Equal Housing Opportunity poster, be sure:
- It is 11x14 inches in size.
- It is conspicuously displayed in a central location where deposits are received or residential real estate-related transactions are conducted.
- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) – If your financial institution is subject to HMDA reporting, the required notice about the availability of the HMDA Disclosure Statement should be displayed in the main office and at each branch located in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA).
- The notice must state HMDA data is available on the Bureau’s website at www.consumerfinance.gov/hmda.
- Advertisement of Membership – The required official FDIC sign should be displayed at each station or window where deposits are received.
- Expedited Funds Availability Act – The sign should be conspicuously posted in locations where employees accept consumer deposits, including proprietary deposit-taking ATMs.
- ATM Signage – A notice should be displayed at each proprietary ATM where deposits are accepted stating the funds deposited in the ATM may not be available for immediate withdrawal.
- Disclosure of Financial and Other Information – This is not required for Federal Reserve or OCC-regulated institutions.
You should also look at your website and make sure the content is up to date and contains current product descriptions, rates, and fees. If your rate sheet is included on the website, be sure it’s accurate and includes the required information. If you have any advertisements, look for triggering terms and ensure additional disclosures are included as required. Also, if consumers are able to open new accounts or apply for loans online, be sure disclosures are correct.
While ideally you should review your compliance program in January of each year, it should definitely be done before the end of the first quarter. Review your compliance plans early and keep on task for the entire year.