April 7, 2020 

MBA Seeks Banks Response On SBA E-Tran Access, Director Loans, Missouri PPP Volume

MBA has been asked by members of our congressional delegation on bank access of the SBA's E-Tran system, loans to directors and PPP volume. This information will be given to the Treasurer to drive critical improvements for banks. Please complete this brief survey. Any details you can provide will be extremely helpful. We appreciate all your feedback.

Submit Photos, News For April Issue Of The Missouri Banker

For the April issue of The Missouri Banker, MBA would like to showcase our members and their operations during this time. We are looking for photos and brief descriptions from our members on how they responded to the needs of their customers and communities. This could include, but not limited to, the following.
  • bankers working all hours of the night and into the morning submitting PPP loan requests
  • setting up remote offices for employees to work from home
  • bankers social distancing in the branches
  • bankers welcoming customers in drive-thrus
  • donations and support to community organizations (donations to school lunch programs, Meals on Wheels, food pantries, etc.) helping individuals during this pandemic
Please submit your materials to Lori Bruce by 5 p.m. Friday, April 10. The information you submit may be shared by MBA in its print publications, e-newsletters, online or social media.

SBA Unveils New Lender Gateway to Facilitate PPP Loans

In response to the significant operational challenges banks have experienced this week accessing the SBA’s systems to make PPP loans, SBA today launched a new Lender Gateway in partnership with Amazon Web Services to facilitate connection to the E-Tran system.

The gateway can be accessed at connect.sba.gov. Lenders should create an account on SBA Connect, request authorization to the Paycheck Protection Lender Gateway by providing their Federal Reserve System or FDIC number, as well as their authorization number. From there, they can proceed to the Lender Gateway to begin submitting loan authorization requests.

The SBA also has established a lender hotline for those having issues accessing the E-Tran system. Lenders experiencing technical difficulties should contact the hotline at 888-572-0502.

Congress Moving To Allocate More Funds For PPP Loans

In response to surging demand from small businesses, congressional leaders hope to allocate up to $250 billion more for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would work with Senate Democrats to approve more funding as soon as Thursday using parliamentary procedures allowing the Senate to pass uncontroversial legislation. American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols welcomed the news.

“Despite early difficulties with this unprecedented SBA lending program, banks of all sizes are actively accepting PPP loan applications and trying their best to deliver these funds to small business customers as quickly as possible,” Nichols said. “By approving additional funding right away, the administration and Congress can reassure more small businesses that they will be able to benefit from this financial lifeline.”

Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., estimated that the PPP will need $200-250 billion in the coming days. Rubio discussed a variety of issues related to the PPP, including program funding, liquidity and SBA system access, and heard feedback during a videoconference today with ABA’s board and state bankers association leaders.

ABA Updates Paycheck Protection Program FAQs

With many banks experiencing significant challenges accessing the Small Business Administration’s systems to make Paycheck Protection Program loans, the American Bankers Association is continuing to collect feedback from bankers and communicate these issues to SBA and the Treasury Department. SBA has established a lender hotline for those having issues accessing its E-Tran system. Lenders experiencing technical difficulties should contact the hotline at 833-572-0502.

ABA also has updated its frequently asked questions document on the PPP to reflect guidance that was released by the SBA over the weekend and will continue to update the FAQs as additional guidance is issued. The FAQs are available for ABA members and nonmembers (click “Register” to create an account to access the FAQs). ABA has set up a dedicated email address, ppp@aba.com, for bankers to submit questions they may have about the PPP that are not addressed in the FAQs, or to report challenges they may be experiencing accessing SBA systems.

Agencies Update Guidance on COVID-19 Loan Modifications

The federal banking agencies today updated guidance on working with borrowers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The revised guidance, which replaces a statement issued on March 22, aligns agency expectations on troubled debt restructuring with the CARES Act and articulates their views on the application of consumer protection regulations. “Financial institutions have broad discretion to implement prudent modification programs consistent with the framework included in this statement,” the agencies said in a newly added line.

In addition to incorporating Section 4013 of the CARES Act, which specifically allowed certain COVID-19-related loan modifications to not be reported as TDRs, the guidance covers accounting for loan modifications made outside of Section 4013 consistent with the previous guidance.

While lenders and services must adhere to consumer protection requirements, in light of the emergency situation, “the agencies will take into account an institution’s good-faith efforts demonstrably designed to support consumers and comply with consumer protection laws.” The guidance added that “the agencies do not expect to take a consumer compliance public enforcement action against an institution, provided that the circumstances were related to the National Emergency and that the institution made good faith efforts to support borrowers and comply with the consumer protection requirements, as well as responded to any needed corrective action.”

OCC Supports FinCEN’s Approach To BSA Compliance During Pandemic

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued a statement of support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s approach to Bank Secrecy Act compliance during the coronavirus pandemic. FinCEN previously announced relief from certain BSA/AML requirements, including a postponement of new currency transaction reporting requirements.

More important, FinCEN also clarified that banks will not be required to re-verify beneficial ownership information when making Paycheck Protection Program loans to existing customers, unless the institution’s own compliance framework required it to do so.

The OCC noted that “when evaluating a bank’s BSA compliance program, the OCC will consider the actions taken by banks to protect and assist employees, customers and others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including any reasonable delays in BSA report filings, beneficial ownership verification or re-verification requirements, and other risk management processes.”

FBI Warns Of Teleconferencing Hijacking During COVID-19 Pandemic

The FBI released a warning following reports of video-teleconferencing platforms, currently used by many schools and businesses during the pandemic, that were hijacked and used to display pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language. The FBI recommends that VTC hosts take the following steps to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats.
  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public.
  • Require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to intended participants.
  • Manage screensharing options.
  • Ensure participants use updated versions of remote access/meeting applications. For more information, see the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s “Security Tip: Understanding Patches and Software Updates.”
  • Ensure your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security. 
CISA also recommends the following VTC cybersecurity resources.

FTC Data Shows Jump In Coronavirus-Related Complaints From Consumers

Consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission related to COVID-19 have surged in recent weeks. Since the beginning of the year, FTC has received more than 7,800 coronavirus-related reports from consumers, double what they were about a week ago.

The top complaint categories include travel and vacation related reports about cancellations and refunds, reports about problems with online shopping, mobile texting scams and government and business imposter scams. In fraud complaints that mentioned the coronavirus, consumers reported losing a total of $4.77 million, with a reported median loss of $598.

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