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Enforcement actions spike in first quarter.

* Regulators were busy on the enforcement front in the first quarter and financial institutions felt the impact. Enforcement actions rose by 30 percent in the first quarter, according to Continuity, a financial institution compliance solutions company based in New Haven, Connecticut.

The company, built by bankers and former examiners, measures enforcement activity using an index called the Banking Compliance Index (BCI). The index found that 176 enforcement actions were issued against banks and credit unions in the first quarter. That was a 30 percent increase over the enforcement actions taken in the fourth quarter.

The added enforcement activity is taking its toll on institutions in both monetary and staffing terms, according to Continuity. The average community financial institution needed to devote an added $30,988 and 331 hours to manage just the new regulatory changes introduced in the first quarter, the company said. Those additional hours are the equivalent of 1.35 fulltime employees.

"There's no singular reason for the spike in enforcement actions last quarter; it's simply the regulatory environment we're operating in these days," said Pam Perdue, executive vice president of regulatory operations at Continuity.

Perdue added that more regulatory burdens are coming later this year that will likely further increase the hours and staffing needed for compliance. "Changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act are expected this summer and at least 10 other significant regulatory proposals are in the pipeline," she said.

The BCI data sources include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

(CFPB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency OCC).

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Title Annotation:NEWS ROOM
Comment:Enforcement actions spike in first quarter.(NEWS ROOM)
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Date:Jun 1, 2015
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