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20+ Often-Overlooked Compliance Resources, Organized by Regulation

9 min read
Jan 3, 2018

In this post, you'll find at least 20 regulatory compliance resources designed to reduce the burden of compliance risk management. It is by no means comprehensive, but we're confident that you'll find it valuable and learn at least one new tool to make your life a little easier.

Even in the best of years, compliance professionals are faced with long to-do lists and weighty responsibilities. In a year like 2018, with HMDA Plus implementation and changes to CRA, the emergence of Bitcoin and the threat of cyber-attacks, the pressure is even greater. 

Given these heightened challenges, we realized it might be a good idea to create a list of some good resources that might help you.

HMDA changes mean huge changes for financial institutions nationwide.

Download this free guidebook to prepare!

Below are at least 20 often-overlooked regulatory compliance resources, organized (loosely) by topic.

If we missed one that you really like, please leave a comment. We will expand this list over time, so it will include more than 20!

Fair Lending Resources

As a company that provides Fair Lending, HMDA, and CRA compliance software, you won't be surprised to know that we have a long list of great resources, and have already shared a lot of them on this blog. Hopefully, this section will help you explore some you haven't yet seen, or view older tools in a new way.

  1. HUD's "Fair Lending: Learn the Facts" eBrief: You might think this is a surprising inclusion, but we find that HUD's consumer-facing introduction to Fair Lending is not only a good introduction to the topic. It's also full of interesting insights into the way HUD speaks to potential consumers, and the information they think is most relevant to the public. You may also find that this kind of resource is a helpful training tool for non-compliance colleagues.
    • Link to view HUD's Fair Lending presentation
  2. Overview of the Department of Justice's Fair Lending actions: The Housing and Civil Rights Division of the DOJ maintains a page that shows some of their "recent accomplishments." This list is a great way to get a sense for some of the DOJ's priorities over the recent months, and may also help you get a better sense, generally, and anticipate future areas of scrutiny.
  3. Partnership for Progress' Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guide: If you work for or lead a minority-owned financial institution, the Partnership for Progress could be a great resource for you. The Consumer Compliance Risk Management page outlines some of the key concerns and considerations a minority-owned financial institution might have. In addition, the Partnership for Progress also has resources for other aspects of banking, like growing your financial institution.

HMDA Resources (with a focus on the 2018 Final HMDA Rule)

2018-hmda-changes-implementation.jpegWith this year's HMDA changes, there are a lot of resources out there that can help. Here are a few that we have found valuable, and we're sure you will, too.

  1. FFIEC's HMDA Glossary: The FFIEC's HMDA Glossary is a simple webpage that includes definitions of key HMDA-related terms. If you need a good definition for a training deck, or are simply looking to enhance your own understanding, this is a valuable resource.
  2. Guide to 2018 HMDA Changes: Late last year, Ncontracts released this relatively in-depth guide to the HMDA changes. We have continued updating it in the intervening months. If you haven't yet looked it over, we think you'll really appreciate it.
  3. HMDA Rate Spread Calculator: This online calculator provides a quick and relatively easy way to calculate rate spread. Please note that there are two different calculators, depending on when the final action on the loan was taken.
    • If the final action was taken between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2017, use this calculator
    • If the final action was taken after January 1, 2018, use this calculator
  4. HMDA Loan Scenarios: In an effort to help financial institutions understand which transactions are covered by HMDA, the CFPB developed a set of HMDA loan scenarios back in August 2017. These hypothetical transactions should help provide a more detailed understanding of the HMDA reporting rules.

CRA and Community Development Resources

The new year also brings changes to CRA compliance, as the regulators attempt to make CRA requirements match HMDA requirements. This may bring additional scrutinty to CRA and Community Development. As you navigate these changes, here are a few resources that can help.

  1. CRA Ratings Search: This great little tool lets you quickly find CRA ratings, sorted by institution name, year of the examination, rating, asset size, and other metrics. All the CRA Performance Evaluations are already public, but this handy online resource helps sort through that information and make it easy to view.
  2. CRA-Community-Development-eBrief.pngCommunity Development eBrief: Community development is an important aspect of CRA compliance, but due to examiner discretion, it can be confusing. This free eBrief outlines the basics of Community Development.
  3. Guide to CRA Compliance Exams: This free deck, built by Ncontracts, provides an outline of the different types of CRA exams, basic tips for success, and much more. Use it as a training document or a reference book - it can work as both!

BSA/AML Resources

If BSA/AML is a priority for you, here are a few resources that we think might help you more easily manage your compliance.

  1. Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering InfoBase: This online database of resources for BSA/AML examiners is a great resource for bankers, too. Developed by the FFIEC, it was originally designed to help field examiners easily access documents and resources they might need. However, it also serves as a comprehensive resource for financial institutions, letting you access resources specific to your examining agency.
    • Link to view the FFIEC's BSA/AML InfoBase 
  2. FAQs about the Fifth Pillar of BSA/AML Compliance: FinCEN recently released their long-awaited FAQs about Beneficial Ownership, also known as the Fifth Pillar of BSA/AML compliance. It's a long document, but a great reference.

IT and Cyber-Security Resources

Even though Ncontracts doesn't directly help with cybersecurity, we know it's a big priority for our friends and colleagues in the industry. Here are two great resources from the FFIEC that we're sure you'll appreciate:

  1. FFIEC's IT Handbook: The FFIEC is, as you might have noticed, one of the best resources for compliance insights (at least from a regulator's perspective). This handbook is actually an interactive website that includes lots of data, articles, and tools to help you manage IT and security, with a focus on compliance. It's a great resource for anyone invovled in IT at your financial institution.
  2. FFIEC's Cybersecurity Assessment Tool: In May 2017, the FFIEC updated their cybersecurity assessment tool. This set of questions will help you identify your risk and ability to respond to cyber threats. In addition, it's designed so that you can use it regularly and may even help you track your progress over time. It's not explicitly a cybersecurity risk assessment, but it seems to be close.

UDAAP Resources

udaap-compliance-guide.pngWe know that identifying UDAAPs and managing your risk can be a bit tricky. Here are a few reading materials that we share with new employees to help them understand some of the details.

  1. Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices by State-Chartered Banks: This nine-page document released by the FDIC back in 2004 is still one of the easier-to-read resources on the "U" and "D" of UDAAPs. 
  2. Quick-Start Guide to UDAAP Compliance: Last summer, Ncontracts released this quick-and-dirty guide to UDAAP compliance.

General Compliance Resources

Below are a few more general compliance resources for you to keep in your proverbial back pocket. They're helpful tools with a wide variety of information - most or all of it compliance-focused.

  1. FDIC Compliance Examination Manual: This manual is a kind of one-stop shop for a lot of the compliance examination information you might need. It's an extremely valuable resource, and it's updated regularly, so make sure to bookmark this one.
  2. Regulatory Implementation Calendar: The Federal Reserve's Consumer Compliance Outlook team keeps a short regulatory compliance calendar updated on their website. It's a really simple list of important upcoming dates. While it's a simple tool, it's a valuable one.
  3. ABA NewsBytes: These newsy updates from the ABA can be received either with an email subscription or on their website. We really appreciate the curation of this list, and think you will, too!
  4. CBANC: For general compliance and financial resources, we definitely recommend CBANC. It's free for employees of financial institutions to join. We've seen that it's a great place to ask questions of other financial professionals, and share insider tips. Luckily, the management team over at CBANC also does a really good job of vetting the few vendors they allow on the site, so it's not spammy.  
  5. Federal Reserve's "Community Bank Connections" Site: This repository of content for community bankers, created and aggregated by the FRB, is a really interesting resource. There are articles about the future of banking, perspectives from examiners, and other informative posts. While it's not 100% focused on compliance issues, that is one of the primary topics covered, so we think its inclusion on this roundup is definitely justified.
  6. "Ask the Fed" Presentation Series: In addition to Community Bank Connections, the Fed also provides an interesting program for "senior officials of state member banks, bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, and state bankers' associations," according to their site. It discusses regulatory issues, and does include a Q+A. As it currently stands, this presentation can only be attended by bankers.
  7. Detecting Red Flags in Board Reports eBook: In 2013, the OCC released this handy guide for Board Members, written to help them understand how to identify red flags in their Board Reports. If you're involved in creating Board reports, this tool could be a good one for you, too.

Regulators, Associations, and Industry Partners

We would be remiss if we didn't include links to the many regulatory agencies that provide necessary compliance and financial information. While these can't be considered "overlooked," they are still valuable and worth including here.

In addition, you'll definitely want to subscribe to your state associations, as well as any national or regional banking associations. Some of the most popular ones to consider are the ABA (American Bankers Association), Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU).

Ncontracts Viewpoint: We hope that these resources help you! In addition, please note that Ncontracts offers a complete resources library on our website. While we did link to some of our resources in this blog, you can always visit the resources page to get access to free tools that will help you achieve your compliance- and growth-related goals.

In addition, you will notice that our blog now includes enhanced searching capabilities. From the main blog page, you can now use the category drop-downs to filter the blogs and more easily find the posts that you're looking for.

Please note that, if you're a Ncontracts customer, you also will be the first to access upcoming webinars and premium resources. If you'd like to make special requests, for webinar topics or sharable decks, please let your Ncontracts Customer Success Manager know.



Related: What Is A Compliance Management System And Why Your FI Needs One


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