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5 Risk Areas For Banks One Year Into The COVID 19 Crisis

March 12, 2021, Law360

Jean Veta and Jeremy Newell are quoted in Law360 regarding the legal risks financial institutions still face one year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regarding investigations into relief loans, Ms. Veta says banks have been acting as partners with the U.S. Department of Justice in investigating PPP fraud. “Indeed, the banks were victims in these frauds. However, it doesn't take much to imagine that down the road, the spotlight could turn on the banks themselves.” She adds that it's a distinct possibility in the months ahead that federal enforcement authorities could try to argue that some banks that got caught up in these PPP fraud cases either knowingly processed bogus loan applications or didn't have adequate controls and safeguards to keep bad actors from applying in the first place.

Regarding the shift to remote working for bankers, Mr. Newell says the widespread adoption of remote work on an open-ended basis has forced financial institutions to confront a host of risk management issues that aren't going away any time soon. “Some of this shift to remote work will almost certainly be permanent. That is going to pose real long-run challenges in terms of how banks adapt the real core of their processes and procedures to the complexities of large-scale remote work, and I expect that supervisors will want to understand and assess how banks are handling that.”

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