Rosenstein addressed the topic in response to a question about the Government Accountability Office’s recent
decision on the banking agencies’ leveraged lending guidance. In that case, the GAO determined the guidance
properly constituted a rule and thus should have been issued via notice-and-comment rulemaking.
Speaking to reporters at the same conference, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika – whose agency
was one of the three issuing the leveraged lending guidance – said the banking agencies would provide initial
thoughts about the fate of the guidance in the coming weeks. “I think we’re pretty much in the same place, and I
do expect us to say something,” he said.
NEW SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS BANKS’ EFFORTS TO PROTECT
With Americans over age 50 accounting for 70 percent of all bank deposits, and with an estimated one in five
seniors targeted by financial fraud, the ABA Foundation has released its inaugural Older Americans
Benchmarking Report highlighting how banks are working to combat elder abuse.
A majority of banks – 71 percent – said they required additional, specialized training for frontline staff to help spot
elder financial abuse, while 64 percent reported using automated tools to help better monitor their older
customers’ account activity. Six in ten said they offer products with favorable terms for older customers.
Banks also reported working closely with financial caregivers to detect and prevent elder abuse. In cases where
fraud is suspected, 77 percent said they call to notify the financial caregiver, while 55 percent schedule an in-person meeting. When elder fraud is suspected, banks respond by flagging the account for further monitoring (82
percent), reporting the incident to law enforcement (68 percent), and reporting it to adult protective services (62
percent), the survey found.
The survey noted that banks also educate seniors and their caregivers about financial fraud – 47 percent of
banks surveyed said they host educational events on topics such as avoiding scams, identity theft and choosing
a trusted financial caregiver. To help bankers in these efforts, ABA in 2015 launched Safe Banking for Seniors,
which provides resources to help bankers engage and educate their older customers. Read the survey
report. Learn more about Safe Banking for Seniors.
TREASURY TAPS KEN BLANCO TO LEAD FINCEN
The Treasury Department on November 8 announced that Ken Blanco, acting assistant attorney general for the
Justice Department’s criminal division, has been selected to become the new director of the Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network. He is expected to transition to his new role in December.
Blanco joined DOJ nearly two decades ago as an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Florida and
was named deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division in 2008. During his tenure with the criminal
division, Blanco’s responsibilities included oversight of the DOJ’s money laundering and asset recovery section.
FINCEN SEVERS TIES WITH CHINESE BANK CITING LINK TO ILLICIT NORTH
KOREAN ACTIVITY, WARNS BANKS OF NORTH KOREAN SCHEMES
FinCEN has issued a final rule that severs the Bank of Dandong – a small commercial Chinese bank that acts as
a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity – from the U.S. financial system. FinCEN designated the Bank
of Dandong for working on behalf of the North Korean government and issued a proposal under the PATRIOT
Act that would ( 1) apply special measures against the bank and ( 2) prohibit the opening or maintaining of a
correspondent account in the United States for, or on behalf of, the Bank of Dandong. On November 2, FinCEN