By: Bill Elliott, CRCM, Director of Compliance Education
Last fall, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) updated their Regulatory Agenda for the next few months. As has been the reality for a while, there does not seem to be any particular rush to accomplish many final rules. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCP Act) was signed into law in May 2018. In that law, there are a number of required changes that should be fairly easy to implement – if the CFPB would just do so. But in the short term, there appears little likelihood that the changes dictated by the law (or many other changes) will be placed into regulation. But change is still in our future – it is just a question of the timing.
Part of the problem is the regulatory process. Although all banks are not subject to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, it is an excellent example. The “new version” of Regulation C was published as a final rule, effective January 2018. Before the 2018 date, the CFPB changed the regulation. With the passage of the EFRRCP Act, many of the new required fields were eliminated for smaller reporters. Although a fairly simple series of changes were necessary, many months passed before the regulation was updated (October 2019). And when those changes were made final, there were still some outstanding issues in HMDA that needed to be addressed, and remain open at this writing. So even with all the changes, it is not “final” yet. The latest Small Entity Guide for HMDA (which will have to be modified again) is Version 4.
This complicates the life of any bank, regardless of size. When the regulatory process is poor and disjointed, it makes training and implementation more difficult. But the reality is that regardless of how confusing the regulatory process is, banks still have to comply.
Training is a necessary expense, as a failure to train, especially when things are in flux, opens the bank to regulatory scrutiny and/or fines for non-compliance. And keeping your policies and procedures current with the latest changes is always a challenge.
Banks should assess how information is disseminated throughout the bank as these changes occur to assure that training dollars are spent effectively. And the time to assess is now, while things are relatively “calm.” Many banks have delegated training to electronic or web-based systems, and there are many good choices available. But, because of the nature of this type of training, they focus on the facts and requirements, but usually do not include information on what to expect of your employees, or the implementation strategies of your bank. Be wary of buying a training system and then assuming all your training needs are met.
We do not market electronic or web-based systems. But Young & Associates, Inc. offers a wide variety of personalized training opportunities, including:
- Live seminars with some of our state association partners
- Live in-bank training
- Conference calls
- Private webinars
- Virtual Compliance Consultant program, which includes a monthly telephone call that can be used for compliance support and/or training sessions as well as policy support, and any other personalized training that you may need
In this period of relative quiet, take this time to assess your training methods and your training needs for the future. Eventually the regulators will begin to issue more regulation, and Young & Associates, Inc. stands ready to assist. To discuss how we can help, please contact Karen Clower at 330.422.3444 or [email protected].