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Banking Cannabis Demands High-Level Compliance Scrutiny

By Mike Kennedy

While cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, more than 30 states have legalized retail sales through medical and/or recreational programs. Regardless of political, personal or moral stance, it’s difficult for anyone to deny the very real momentum generated by the emerging legal cannabis industry. U.S. legal cannabis sales reached $10.8 billion in 2018 and continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 20 percent. This meteoric rise in a few short years shows no signs of slowing down, as U.S. demand for cannabis continues to outpace state-sanctioned cannabis programs. Despite such impressive figures, there is one significant hurdle holding this industry back: the lack of access to banking.

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Toward a More Modern CRA

Regulators and industry groups ramp up discussions.

By Bill Poquette, Editor-in-Chief

In late August last year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the best ways to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act. A couple of months later, Comptroller Joseph M. Otting was quoted as saying revising the CRA was the No. 1 reason he was lured to Washington from his post as CEO of OneWest Bank in sunny Southern California.

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Bowman’s Debut

ABA’s Community Bankers Conference in San Diego

By Alaina Webster

American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols opened the first General Session of the 2019 ABA Conference for Community Bankers by outlining several key issues facing financial institutions as well as ABA’s policy goals for the coming year.

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The New Rules for Banking

By David M. Wallace

Trust in banks has declined since the global financial crisis a decade ago.  And now the conflicting challenges of both protecting and sharing customer data simultaneously, if not done right, risk further undermining that declining trust.

On the other hand, the opportunity to embed the regulatory requirements as best practices should not be missed. Strong data protections and open banking support will separate successful banks from the stragglers.

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Abrigo Launches Annual CECL Readiness Survey

Abrigo, a provider of compliance, credit risk and lending solutions technologies for community financial institutions, has opened its annual survey to track the market’s progress, preparation and expected impact of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s new current expected credit loss standard. The new accounting standard, which the financial services industry has heralded as “the biggest accounting change in banking history,” will go into effect on Dec. 15, 2019, for SEC-filing financial institutions.

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