Saturday, May 25, 2024

Week of March 11

In This Issue…

Rep. Perlmutter introduces banking marijuana bill: H.R. 2215
OBA Bankers’ Night Out programs ready for spring
OBA education corner …

Rep. Perlmutter introduces banking marijuana bill: H.R. 2215

Last week, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced H.R.2215, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2017 (or the SAFE Act of 2017). This bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Denny Heck (D-Wash.), and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio).

As noted in last week’s OBA Update, the bill provides, in essence, that a bank or credit union shall not be liable under federal law nor subject to forfeiture for providing financial services to a legitimate marijuana-related business, which is operating in compliance with that state’s law authorizing the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

“This is the bill we’ve been waiting for because it clarifies the conflicts between federal and state law as to whether banks may legally take care of their state-licensed cannabis business customers,” OBA President and CEO Roger Beverage said. “It amends federal law to clarify that proceeds from marijuana-related businesses are not to be considered illegal under money laundering rules or the Controlled Substances Act.”

The bill creates a “safe harbor” for banks that choose to serve MRBs and clarifies the gaps created by the law in Oklahoma and other states for banks dealing either directly or indirectly with a marijuana production, transportation or retail business. It clarifies the relationships of bank customers who are landlords, or that finance related entities that touch on “marijuana” commerce.

“The Association neither supports nor opposes the use of marijuana by individuals who are conducting themselves in full compliance with state law,” Beverage said. “It will remove the traps that currently exist and will make it clear that an Oklahoma bank may make its own decision about financing the MRB in some fashion and not having to worry about violating federal law.”

Beverage also pointed out this measure directs FinCEN to issue new guidance and exam procedures as to how the basics of serving MRBs is to be handled going forward.

“We will be asking the Oklahoma delegation in Congress to support this bill,” Beverage said. “It won’t be easy and we have a lot of work to do. But we simply must get clarification and certainty for banks so that they can tend to their customers properly and without having to worry about breaking federal law.

“This is becoming a public safety issue, and it’s coming on very quickly. The last thing we need is to encourage the bad guys to go after legitimate businesses and possibly hurt people simply because Congress refuses to resolve the confusion. They don’t have to make marijuana ‘legal’ if they feel strongly about it; they can simply de-criminalize the mechanics of protecting, processing and controlling the cash that’s coming through the system. We think that’s extremely important and necessary to these businesses.”

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OBA Bankers’ Night Out programs ready for spring

The dates for the OBA Bankers’ Night Out programs have been finalized. Mark your calendar for the date of the program that’s in your area of the state and plan to attend. Bring your coworkers with you so that everyone can be up to speed on topics affecting their job. In addition to state and federal legislative updates, the program will include a discussion on the recent developments regarding hemp.

As in the past, the schedule for each of these meetings is:

5:30 p.m. – Drinks
6:15 p.m. – Program
7 p.m. – Dinner

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. The cost is $50 per person. Click here for a registration form.

Locations and dates for this year’s events are:

  • Lawton, March 26.
  • Tulsa, March 27.
  • Oklahoma City, April 17.
  • Krebs, April 18.
  • Enid, April 23.
  • Guymon, April 25.

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OBA education corner …

Spring is almost here, although one could be fooled by our recent weather. Still, until it actually gets here, though, you can stay warm with fellow bankers in our educational seminars, webinars and conference! Take note of the following:

  • Legal Liabilities When Check Fraud Occurs, March 21, webinar — If you’re confused about what your financial institution’s legal responsibility might be in various check fraud situations, this seminar is for you.
  • Residential Construction Lending, March 25, webinar — This program provides an overview of the major issues involved in consumer or residential construction lending, primarily to individuals having a home built or remodeled.
  • Opening Accounts for Nonresident Aliens, March 25, webinar — Since the USA PATRIOT Act, Customer Identification Program (CIP) law passed, opening these accounts and covering the required documentation and identification bases makes dealing with these accounts more challenging than ever.
  • Opening Accounts for Nonresident Aliens, March 25, webinar — Since the USA PATRIOT Act, Customer Identification Program (CIP) law passed, opening these accounts and covering the required documentation and identification bases makes dealing with these accounts more challenging than ever.
  • Best-Ever Compliance Checklists for Commercial Loans, March 27, webinar — This colorful checklist, patterned after the popular Best-Ever Consumer Checklists, will guide bankers through traps and ensure compliance.
  • 2019 Woman in Banking Luncheon, March 28, Oklahoma City — The 2019 Women in Banking Luncheon will feature guest speaker Natalie Bartholomew and include discussions about women in banking.
  • Foreign Remittances, March 28, webinar — This webinar will cover the requirements for providers under Regulation E.
  • Successful Workout Strategies for Problem Loans, April 4, webinar — This webinar is designed to provide the participant with a disciplined strategy for approaching the loan when it reaches the workout situation.
  • Mapping Multi-Tiered Business Accounts with New CDD, April 4, webinar — This program will focus on different structures and common errors. When is an account a “dba” and when is it disregarded? When is it an agent and when is it a sole proprietorship? There are many mistakes made by financial institutions because of lack of understanding of business structures.
  • IRA Death Payments to Beneficiaries, April 5, webinar — In this two hour webinar, we will focus on the answers to these questions in a nice, detailed format with examples and handouts to help facilitate your beneficiary payouts when an IRA owner dies.
  • Lending to Municipalities, April 8, webinar — This webinar has been developed for banks and bankers who are aware of opportunities to serve their community through credit services to municipalities and other local government or quasi-governmental organizations (i.e. volunteer fire departments, emergency health care providers, political subdivisions, etc.). Extending credit to municipal entities requires legal, tax, accounting and credit knowledge and analysis that can be quite different from conventional commercial lending decisions.
  • Marketing & Advertising Compliance, April 10, webinar — What can you say in advertisements? What must you say? What can you not say? Many sets of rules govern these questions, and more are on the way. How about your promotional efforts – contacting prospects and customers to let them know what you have available?
  • Basic New Accounts, April 16-Oklahoma City; April 17-Tulsa — This program will provide an overview of state law requirements in the area of new accounts, plus federal requirements for beneficial ownership, disclosures, basic TIN compliance, CIP, anti-money laundering and deposit insurance.

Also, the OBA is proud to promote the recognition of bankers who have devoted 50 or more years of service to the banking industry. All eligible nominees will be honored at the 2019 OBA Convention on May 20-22 at the Edmond Convention Center and Hilton Garden Inn in Edmond. Click here to download a nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact Janis Reeser at 405-424-5252 or

Additionally, GSB-Madison has its schedule for online seminars set for March through May. Click here to see what GSB-Madison has in store for March and Click here to see what GSB-Madison has scheduled for April and May!

Finally, several scholarships are now available to bankers from OBA-member banks for various graduate schools of banking. Applications should be submitted to the OBA’s Janis Reeser by email (, regular mail (643 N.E. 41st St., OKC, 73105) or fax (405-424-4518). The scholarship recipients will be selected and announced no later than April 22.

The deadline is approaching on all these scholarships! Click on the links below for more specific information about each scholarship:

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