Ransomware attack comes with malicious ransom note

Some cybercriminals are taking an “in for a penny in for a pound” approach with a new ransomware campaign that is now under development.  MalwareHunterTeam discovered the ransomware and the fact the malicious actors kindly offer several forms of payment to obtain the decrytption key, including PayPal. However, if the victim chooses PayPal and follows the link provided they will end up on a phishing page where their account login credentials are stolen. When the target hits send a clue becomes evident that something is amiss. Instead of going to PayPal the payment goes to[.]php, which is one of the few clues that something is amiss.

Wells Fargo now plans to operate under growth ban through 2019

Wells Fargo & Co. is planning to operate under a Federal Reserve asset cap through the end of 2019, rather than just the first half of the year, as it takes longer than anticipated to correct issues in its consumer business. “To have enough time to incorporate this feedback in our plans in a thoughtful manner and adopt and implement the final plans as accepted by the Federal Reserve and complete the third-party reviews, we’re now planning to operate under the asset cap through the end of 2019,” Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan said Tuesday on an earnings call with analysts.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secures powerful House committee seat that gives her a huge say over Wall Street

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has secured a spot on the House Financial Services Committee, the powerful House group that oversees Wall Street. Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the appointment on Tuesday night on Twitter, saying: “Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. It oversees big banks, lending, & the financial sector.” “I am very grateful for the opportunity to sit on this committee as a freshman, and look forward to working under the leadership of @RepMaxineWaters!” she added.

A New Year Brings a New Vermont Law Aimed at Data Brokers and Credit Reporting Agencies

On Jan. 1, 2019, a new Vermont law intended to protect consumers by imposing new requirements on “data brokers,” companies that aggregate and sell consumer information, and credit reporting agencies took effect. Under the new law, data brokers must comply with registration, information security safeguards and reporting requirements, while credit reporting agencies are prohibited from assessing fees for establishing or removing security freezes. The Vermont legislature’s intent in enacting the new law is fourfold: (1) inform consumers about data brokers and their data collection practices; (2) protect consumer information by requiring that data brokers implement certain administrative, technical and physical safeguards; (3) prevent harm to consumers by prohibiting certain methods of acquisition and use of their information by data brokers; and (4) make it easier and less expensive for consumers to obtain and protect their credit information.

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to CFPB’s structure

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a lawsuit challenging the single-director structure of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. NAFCU has long advocated for a commission structure at the bureau to ensure long term continuity and stability in its policymaking.   The lawsuit – initially brought by the State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the 60 Plus Association, an Alexandria, Va.-based free enterprise advocacy group – argued that the Dodd-Frank Act effectively gives “unbounded power to the CFPB,” that far exceeds what is allowed under the U.S. Constitution.


January 15th, 2019, Marietta, GA- Chris Zhao, PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University joined Sequium as  Vice President of Business Intelligence & Chief Data Officer.  Chris brings over 30 years of hands-on IT and leadership experiences in Software engineering, Data Mining, Business Intelligence, and Data Science. Prior to joining Sequium, he had been a Senior Consultant for UPS, Credit Suisse, Thomson Reuters, IPSOS, and Bain Capital, covering multiple business domains and industries. In consumer behavior analytics, Chris developed active index algorithms leveraging integrated consumer and behavioral data, and created tremendous values for his business clients. Chris was also adjunct professor at Rider University and Peking University. He is a graduate of Princeton University with Ph.D. in Mathematics.  

CFPB to scrap key underwriting portion of payday rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to eliminate underwriting requirements in a highly anticipated revamp of its payday lending rule, according to sources familiar with the bureau’s proposal. The CFPB in October signaled its interest in “revisiting” the ability-to-repay provisions in the 2017 small-dollar lending rule issued under former Director Richard Cordray. But sources familiar with the agency’s thinking say the CFPB — now led by Trump appointee Kathy Kraninger — has concluded the best approach is to remove those provisions altogether. Under the current rule, which has not yet gone fully into effect, lenders must verify a borrower’s income as well as debts and other spending, to assess one’s ability to repay credit while meeting living expenses.

States Sue to Override Feds for Right to Regulate Fintech

States continue to fight the federal government for regulatory control of financial technology (fintech) companies, and the latest fintech lawsuit contends that feds don’t have the legal right to regulate them.
Fintech companies are technology startups specializing in a certain aspect of financial services. Lemonade, for example, offers renter’s insurance, SoFi refinances student loans and offers personal loans, and Kabbage provides small business loans.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to consumer protection bureau

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a Texas bank’s constitutional challenge to the structure of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing up a case that could have led to more presidential power over an independent agency that President Donald Trump’s administration already has weakened. The decision by the justices not to hear an appeal brought by State National Bank of Big Spring may not be the final word on the matter as three other cases involving the CFPB are heading toward the high court. The case was delayed in reaching the high court because it was put on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was tackling a case involving mortgage servicer PHH Corp that had raised the same issues.

OCC fights for US fintech charter in court

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) wants to dismiss the lawsuit that opposes its decision to create a special purpose charter for fintechs. As reported in September 2018, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) said it will renew its litigation efforts against the OCC concerning the charter. That followed on from the OCC accepting applications for national bank charters from non-depository fintech firms. Back in April 2018, John W. Ryan, CSBS president and CEO, said: “The OCC’s action is an unprecedented, unlawful expansion of the chartering authority given to it by Congress for national banks. If Congress had intended it to be used for another purpose, it would have explicitly authorized the OCC to do so.”