Friday, January 15, 2021

Week of Dec. 14

In This Issue…

Info on SolarWinds breach

There has been interest concerning the SolarWinds breach so we are providing the following information.

It is not our sense that not many, if any, of our Oklahoma banks use this software.  However, it is possible and even likely you might have customers utilizing it who have questions. Below you will find the advisory notice from SolarWinds as well as an update from our friend Brian Krebs on his security blog, krebsonsecurity.com.  The company has over 300,000 customers and a partial list includes the University of Oklahoma.

If your organization utilizes Solarwinds, you may want to pass this along to your respected IT departments:

SolarWinds has just been made aware our systems experienced a highly sophisticated, manual supply chain attack on SolarWinds Orion Platform software builds for versions 2019.4 HF 5 and 2020.2 with no hotfix installed or 2020.2 HF 1. We have been advised this attack was likely conducted by an outside nation state and intended to be a narrow, extremely targeted, and manually executed attack, as opposed to a broad, system-wide attack. We recommend taking the following steps related to your use of the SolarWinds Orion Platform.

SolarWinds asks customers with any of these products (listed in the full advisory) for Orion Platform v2020.2 with no hotfix or 2020.2 HF 1, to upgrade to Orion Platform version 2020.2.1 HF 1 as soon as possible to ensure the security of your environment. This version is currently available at customerportal.solarwinds.com.  SolarWinds asks customers with any of these products (listed in the full advisory) for Orion Platform v2019.4 HF 5 to update to 2019.4 HF 6 at customerportal.solarwinds.com.

More information on the SolarWinds hack can be found on krebsonsecurity.com, or click here to view the full advisory.

Providing this to keep you updated on an issue receiving national attention.  As always, if you have any questions, contact elaine@oba.com.

Back to top

Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 draft released

This morning we received a draft of the current more streamlined proposal for COVID-linked relief. The proposal is being shepherded through the Senate by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah). It represents the Senate’s bipartisan approach to the House approach, and whether it will pass is, at best, a guess at this point.

“We think it will likely be the base for future and ongoing negotiations in Washington,” said OBA Chief of Staff and Government Relations Director Adrian Beverage. “We also think that it’s not the end of the process, and more spending is likely to be proposed.

“The ABA’s top lobbyist, James Ballentine, told us this morning about the progress we’ve made so far.”

“[The Alliance between the nation’s state bankers associations and the ABA] have been advocating for a number of provisions associated with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be included in the next round of a COVID-19 relief package,” Ballentine said.  “Among them are:

    • A simplified forgiveness application,
    • Hold harmless for lenders,
    • Clarification of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance and its deductibility from PPP loan forgiveness,
    • Agent fees are clarified that they are only paid out in the event of a contract between the lender and agent, and
    • Whether business expenses paid for with the proceeds of PPP loans are tax deductible.

“We are pleased that the draft language released by the Coalition positively addresses each of these issues and is an indication that our joint outreach efforts have been effective.

“As this draft is a working document, we are still working with members of the House and Senate to include additional CARES extensions, such as the extension for Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) accounting,” Ballentine said.  “This extension is a high priority for ABA, state bankers associations, and bankers, as it will ensure that our member banks can continue to provide a wide range of forbearance options to impaired borrowers, and could be added as a last-minute item since there is no cost associated with it.

“Finally, the draft also includes a reduction in fees for Second Draw PPP loans,” he said. “Loans up to $350,000 will have a processing fee of 3% while all loans above $350,000 will have a processing fee of 1%.

“The text does not make any changes to the fee structure for first time PPP loan recipients,” he reported.  “We have shared with members of the Small Business Committees that this fee reduction could discourage lender participation in the program.”

Beverage pointed out the intent for both the House and Senate is to adjourn by this Friday, Dec. 18.

“It’s possible that they could delay adjournment until sometime next week, but there would have to be more signs of an agreement than is the case today,” Beverage said.

Back to top

COVID mitigation efforts in banks … what?

As if you need another government entity looking over your shoulder in the name of “supervision,” there appears to be a new sheriff in town. In visiting with our colleagues around the country, we have learned in some states, health department officials in a nearby state recently entered a bank branch to examine the bank’s COVID mitigation efforts.

Health department officials were specifically looking for floor stickers that require individuals to maintain a proper distance of at least six feet in bank lobbies, checking to make sure the branch had other mitigation efforts in place.

Health department professionals in Oklahoma, and every other state, have no statutory or regulatory authority to “examine” your bank, for any purpose. Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but that reality does not bestow any authority for non-bank departments to evaluate what you’re doing to mitigate COVID risks. You may ask them to come in; their folks can quick look around your lobby and even give you advice. But there’s no mandate you do so.

“We’re working with (State Banking) Commissioner, Mick Thompson, on this issue as it applies to Oklahoma banks,” said Adrian Beverage, “but it’s news to us. We are certainly aware that we’re in a pandemic, but that doesn’t matter.”

Beverage serves as the OBA Chief of Staff and Government Relations Director.

If any bank has had an occasion to experience this “new” examination policy, we ask you let Beverage know as soon as it’s reasonably feasible to do so.

Back to top

OBA education corner …

December is upon us, and as the year is finally coming to an end, the OBA has some education events on the calendar this month to round out 2020. Look for these coming up soon.

NOTE: Effective March 16, and until further notice, TTS (our webinar provider) has extended the OnDemand access period for all ‘Live Plus Five (Days)’ registrants to 60 days (versus five business days). Also, they are waiving the $75 per location fee for additional locations.

  • Notary Public, webinar, Dec. 17 — Notaries and others will learn best practices for dealing with issues unique to the financial industry. Help your team know their responsibilities, plus learn basic laws, liability and reviews of various notarial acts.
  • IRS Information Reporting: Rules and Forms, webinar, Dec. 17 — Learn about the many forms financial institutions must report, with an emphasis on when and exactly what to report. We’ll include easy-to-follow charts to complete each form.
  • Call Report Impacts and a Look at 2021, webinar, Dec. 17 — This 90-minute webinar will recap the most significant changes that impacted the 2020 Call Report, whether from the impact of COVID-19, the implementation of new accounting standards, or other regulatory reporting changes. Common questions and reporting uncertainties that have surfaced over the course of the past two quarters will be incorporated into the presentation.
  • Online Account Opening, webinar, Jan. 5 — During the program we will discuss the action steps required on your internet website to comply with new account opening procedures on all types of deposit accounts.
  • Best-Ever Compliance Checklists for Consumer Loans, webinar, Jan. 6 — For several years, Anne Lolley has shared her popular compliance checklists with bankers. In her upcoming webinar, Anne will again offer and explain those checklists. The checklists will chronologically lead lenders and processors through the various lending compliance requirements, and financial institutions that properly use these checklists will virtually eliminate compliance errors.
  • Writing an Effective Credit Memorandum, webinar, Jan. 7 — This course teaches skills required to write an effective credit memorandum. Learn to emphasize important factors and trends without stating the obvious. In short, your credit memoranda should present relevant, material facts, along with your thoughts and opinions.

One education program, in particular, to be aware of is the OBA Intern Program. The Intern Program will again be active in 2021 and we’re looking for participating banks! For more information on this IMPORTANT program – important not only to aspiring students, but also to participating banks – Contact the OBA education department at (405) 424-5252 or click here for more information!

The application for the 2021 GSB Madison HR School Scholarship is now open. The school is in April, and will be conducted virtually. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Feb. 12, 2021. Click here to download the application.

Back to top