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Cleaning Out the Attic: Making Sense of Cash and Treasury Management Agreements

Everyone has that pile of objects in the basement or the attic that over the years just keeps growing in size. It could be old toys no longer used but saved for use by the grandchildren, old clothes you think you might wear again someday, or the furniture from your parents’ house that you hated to give up but really had no room for in your own house. In the banking context, the pile of objects closely resembles the cash management agreements many banks use. Many of these agreements were first put in use years ago when the bank decided to offer ACH services in addition to the normal commercial deposit account. Eventually the bank added wire transfer and a money market sweep account to the suite of options. Oftentimes banks use a separate form for each of the available services, some of which may or may not conflict with the other forms that were developed over a 10- or 20-year period.

Technology, cyber-risks and the ways people initiate transfers of funds have changed over time and will continue to change in the near future. If you haven’t updated your cash management agreements in several years, now may be a good time to review that pile of documents and agreements and consider what items needs to be addressed. A good way to handle such a review is to combine the separate agreements into one master agreement. Consolidating the documents in such a manner ensures that all of the definitions are consistent and any security processes are addressed across the entire platform.

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Managing Social Media Risk: New Guidance From Regulators

Social media has become ubiquitous and many banks are wondering if they can survive without a trendy presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and in the “blogosphere.” It is a bit of the Wild West out there though, with few rules in place to protect your message. Instead of yelling at the TV at home, a person can post a negative comment about your business for the world to see and, even if unfair and baseless, there may be little you can do about it.

Financial institutions use social media in a variety of ways, including marketing, promotions, account applications, consumer feedback and communicating with new and existing customers. Since these communications occur in an informal and largely unsecured environment, it introduces new risks. If your bank is active in social media, or simply advertises consumer banking or other products through social media, new proposed guidance from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) instructs your bank to adopt compliance policies and procedures governing these activities. Even if your financial institution is not active in social media, you need a process for responding to negative comments or complaints that surface through social media platforms.

This article briefly summarizes the proposed FFIEC guidance.

We encourage all interested banks to submit comments on this guidance by the deadline March 25, 2013.

What are the compliance expectations for banks using social media?

On January 23, 2013, the FFIEC issued a request for comment on a proposed “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance.”  The intent of the guidance is to help banks, thrifts and non-banks under the supervision of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau identify, address, oversee and control risk from social media within their overall risk management program.

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