Wrapping up 2020 and Planning for 2021

by Johnita Akin


As I am writing this article, we are already in the month of November. I don’t know about you, but 2020 has been an experience I will never forget. In my twenty-plus years of community banking, I never thought the banking industry would be welcoming, much less requiring, customers to wear a mask to enter through their doors! Employees who are trained to identify possible robbery intent are now enforcing mask mandates. One thing is certain, the banking and finance industry is more than capable of adapting to meet the needs of their customers.


A few reminders as we near the finish line of 2020. Don’t forget to check your training logs to ensure all employees complete their assigned training. Also, make sure your Board has completed all necessary training. Review all regulatory changes that took place this year and verify that all the necessary updates were made to comply with these changes to keep your bank compliant. It would be a great idea to get training assigned and ready to send for next year’s completion. Take a moment to review upcoming regulatory changes and schedule reminders on your calendar. Make sure your internal and external audits are completed for this year. Think about what policies need to be updated. Consider employee hires and promotions, and regulatory changes. Although these are very obvious considerations to check, they are often overlooked and discovered during audits.


A major change coming and something new to be watching for is Small Business Data Collection. The CFPB issued an outline of proposals for Small Business Data Collection rules which will be implemented as part of the requirement in the Dodd Frank Act. As the title suggests, it is data collection focused on loans to small businesses, including women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses. This rule will fall under Regulation B and be a part of The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which is a Fair Lending Rule. At this time, you have a chance to submit a comment on this outline of proposals. The outline can be found at:


While reviewing your compliance needs for the upcoming year, please keep Vala Secure in mind. We offer all regulatory compliance audits, including Deposit Operations Compliance audits, Lending Compliance audits, Fair Lending audits, BSA and BSA Validation audits, ACH audits, compliance website reviews, Virtual Compliance Officer offerings. We also offer FFIEC Information Technology audits and risk assessments, social engineering, security testing, vendor management, and Virtual Information Security Officer offerings. You name it, we cover it! We are in the business of making sure your business is secure and protected from violations. Please let us know if we can be of assistance. For more information visit our website at