Biz Buzz: Tipton’s bill to ease regulatory burden on community banks | CraigDailyPress.com

Biz Buzz: Tipton’s bill to ease regulatory burden on community banks

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

WASHINGTON —Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, introduced legislation last week to reduce red tape compliance burdens on well-managed community banks so they can better focus their resources on providing vital economic services that help their communities grow and prosper, according to a press release from Tipton's office.

The Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act (H.R. 1553) would allow well-managed banks with under $1 billion in total assets to be eligible for an 18-month bank examination cycle by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Currently, only banks with assets below $500 million are eligible for the 18-month cycle, while other small banks are required to undergo an exam every year.

"The most widespread concern that I've heard from small banks I've met with throughout Colorado, is that increased regulatory compliance burdens have taken vital resources away from running their business operations and providing services to consumers. This legislation takes a commonsense step to reduce that heavy regulatory burden by allowing additional well-managed community banks — including banks in Colorado's 3rd District — to take advantage of a longer bank examination cycle. Under my bill, as many as 676 more banks around the nation would be eligible for an 18-month exam cycle, instead of the current 12-month cycle, allowing these well-run institutions to spend more time focusing on their respective communities," Tipton said in a statement. "Furthermore, this is a good government bill that would create greater efficiency in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's use of time and resources."

Watch out for scammers — inform BBB of false practices

According to a press release from the Better Business Bureau, last year, more than 2.5 million consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Sentinel Network — a program of the Federal Trade Commission.

Fraud-related complaints topped the annual report at 60 while identity theft accounted for 13 percent of all complaints. Remaining complaints regarded debt collection, imposter scams, telephone and mobile services, banks and lenders, prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries, auto-related businesses, shop-at-home and catalog sales, TV and electronic media and Internet services.

Consumers reported paying more than $1.7 billion in fraud complaints last year with the median amount at $498. Fifty-four percent of consumers reported they were contacted via phone while 23 percent said email. Only 4 percent of consumers reported traditional mail as the initial point of contact.

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When it comes to ID theft, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported ID theft at 39 percent, followed by credit card fraud, phone or utilities fraud and bank fraud. Other reported categories were employment-related fraud and loan fraud.

In Colorado, 36,639 consumers did take time to file complaints with the FTC (top complaint was imposter scams) while 3,255 Wyomingites did likewise (prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries topped the list).

The BBB, the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use consumer complaints to bring scam artists to justice and to put an end to unfair and misleading business practices. Keep in mind that the more information you provide, the more useful your complaint will be. Be prepared to provide your contact information, type of product or service involved, information about the company or seller, and details about the transaction.

To file a consumer complaint with your BBB, go to bbb.org. To file complaints with FTC, go to ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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