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The Unique Advantages Fintechs Have When Expanding into Banking Operations – A Trend is Underway

March 12, 2021 | Financial Crime Consulting Risk + Compliance

On March 1, 2021, Square, Inc. (“Square”) announced that it had commenced banking operations under its independently governed subsidiary industrial bank, Square Financial Services (“Square Financial”). The announcement comes after Square successfully completed the charter approval process with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions for an Industrial Bank/Industrial Loan Corporation (“ILC”) license. Square Financial will offer business loan and deposit products, beginning with underwriting and originating business loans for Square’s existing sellers who … Read More

Immigration Alert: TPS for Venezuelans in the United States

March 9, 2021 | Immigration + Border Services

 

On March 8, 2021, the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelan nationals. The TPS period extends to September 2022 (18 months) and applies to those currently residing in the United States. Secretary Mayorkas cited the extraordinarily negative circumstances and poor living conditions in Venezuela as the primary reasons for the TPS.

As a result, and of utmost importance, any Venezuelan national who qualifies for and wishes to be considered … Read More

After Standing Vacant During the Pandemic Lockdown, Is Your Office Environment Safe from a Physical and Cybersecurity Perspective?

March 3, 2021 | Cyber Security

As the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines picks up steam, business leaders should begin considering remobilization and the physical return of employees to the workplace. Before opening your doors, however, it is important to consider where your security environment stands.

Before the pandemic lockdown, many businesses operated with robust physical security programs and cyber hardening measures that placed an emphasis on maintaining the safety and security of their people, and a focus on preventing outsider threats from penetrating critical network … Read More

Hostile Takeovers – It’s Time to Dust Off the Defensive Playbook

February 22, 2021 | Due Diligence Risk + Compliance

Hall of Fame Pitcher Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” This great advice could use a revision:  look back, for what’s behind you may be catching up.

Hostile takeovers are back in the news. Recently, CoreLogic, the real estate industry data and analytics giant, had to beat back a takeover bid from Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group, eventually approving a merger agreement with two private equity firms, Stone Point Capital and Insight Read More

Not So Remote Insider Threats

February 10, 2021 | Due Diligence Risk + Compliance

Insider threats, a security risk that comes from inside the organization itself, continue to be a risk for organizations even in the midst of a global pandemic.  With many employees working remotely and dealing with the challenges COVID-19 presents, it is easier than ever for employees to be recruited even unintentionally by threat actors. That’s because adversaries now have access to free or commercially available technological tools. These tools, which include forms of social media, encrypted communication platforms, and dedicated … Read More

Strategies Designed to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 While Strengthening Physical Security Key to a Successful NFL Season

February 5, 2021 | Security Consulting

The National Football League is set to open the professional sports championship calendar with Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida on Sunday evening. Last spring, amidst the global pandemic, the league was one of the legions of American enterprises that turned to security technology and companies like Guidepost Solutions to solve the challenge of keeping their employees, customers, and businesses safe.

For the NFL and its teams, reopening required a multi-faceted approach. It had to focus first on creating a … Read More

The Ransomware Payment Risk

January 27, 2021 | Cyber Security Risk + Compliance

Deciding whether or not to pay off a criminal that has crippled your organization’s operations with ransomware is a painful undertaking.  It is a crucial decision that must be made at a time often described as “pure chaos.” Management, attorneys, IT staff, incident response/digital forensics experts, the communications team, insurance companies and others all take part in addressing the crisis with an eye toward restoring operations to normal as quickly as possible.  Time is of the essence.  When technical recovery … Read More

Bank Secrecy Act Modernization Likely to Increase BSA/AML Enforcement, Including From Larger Whistleblowing Awards

January 13, 2021 | Financial Crime Consulting

2020 saw a substantial amount of enforcement activity in the BSA/AML/OFAC area.   Even prior to last month’s enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “2020 AMLA”), conventional wisdom favored an increase in enforcement activity by regulators and prosecutors for violations of laws in these areas under the incoming Biden Administration. [See Division F]

The 2020 AMLA just gave this area of enforcement a significant shot in the arm.  In an era where federal legislation has become … Read More

Good Intentions May Still Be Destructive To Privacy

December 17, 2020 | Privacy

As demonstrated by the Singaporean government, aggressive contact tracing is an effective means of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is one of the reasons why its healthcare system was never overwhelmed throughout this crisis, and the survivability of infected residents is one of the best in the world. It is hard to argue with that objective or result.

Singapore has invested heavily in two smartphone apps for contact tracing to help flatten the curve. This was well-intentioned by the … Read More

The SEC (Sort of) Weighs In on How Personal Liability for Chief Compliance Officers May Undercut Effective Compliance Programs

December 14, 2020 | Compliance Risk + Compliance

Although regulators often seek to empower compliance officers within their institutions, a troubling question lingers as to whether regulators are undercutting this important message by simultaneously sending mixed or unrefined signals about when a Chief Compliance Officer should be held personally liable for the compliance failings of his or her firm. The director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently urged investment firms to empower Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs), saying, “The CCO is … Read More