Scott Baird

Scott Baird

Scott M. Baird is an associate in the firm’s Business Transactions and Finance Groups, where his practice involves all aspects of corporate and securities law, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures, finance transactions, and securities law and compliance. He focuses on new legislation as well as regulatory and compliance matters involving financial service institutions. Read his full rc.com bio.

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U.S. Moves Ahead with Federal “Fintech Sandbox” — CFPB Announces Creation of Office of Innovation

In an effort to promote the development of new financial technology (fintech) products, Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced last week the creation of the Office of Innovation. Mulvaney said the new division, to be run by Paul Watkins under the umbrella of the CFPB, is designed to foster … Continue Reading

Data Breach Results in $1.4 Million Theft from CHET 529 College-Savings Accounts

On June 27, 2018, the State of Connecticut Treasurer’s Office announced that about $1.4 million had been stolen from Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) college-savings accounts. This theft resulted from data security breaches that occurred in early June, 2018. Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier confirmed that TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. (TIAA-CREF), the CHET Direct … Continue Reading

Rumor Mill Suggests Fidelity Investments Might Open Cryptocurrency Exchange

While many traditional financial institutions hesitate to embrace cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a recent news report suggests that Fidelity Investments, the fourth largest U.S. asset manager, is looking to enter the fray. Business Insider reported last week that Fidelity has posted internal job listings for systems engineers “to help engineer, create, and deploy a digital … Continue Reading

Opening a Bank Account with a Smartphone—Dodd-Frank Roll-Back Making Online Banking Easier

President Trump recently signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which is already making waves in the financial sector for its repeal of certain Dodd-Frank provisions that were passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Banks and other financial institutions should take note, however, that the Act also … Continue Reading

FFIEC Members Issue Joint Statement to Financial Institutions on Role of Cyber Insurance as Risk Management Tool

On April 10, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members issued a joint statement discussing cyber insurance and its potential role in the risk management programs of financial institutions. Members of the FFEIC include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union … Continue Reading

New York Department of Financial Services Updates Cybersecurity Guidance: Coverage of Cybersecurity Requirements Addressed in 4 New FAQs

On March 1, 2018, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) “cybersecurity regulations” (23 NYCRR Part 500) took effect, placing a number of cybersecurity requirements on banks, insurance companies, and other financial services institutions and licensees regulated by the NYDFS (“Covered Entities”). To aid in compliance with the regulation, the NYDFS recently added new … Continue Reading

Another Hitch in the Crypto Boom? North Korean Malware Hijacks Computers to Mine Monero Cryptocurrency

Researchers at cybersecurity firm AlienVault have discovered a computer virus of North Korean origin which infects and hijacks computers in order to mine Monero, a private digital currency which styles itself as “secure, private and untraceable.” Cryptocurrency mining is the resource-intensive process by which computers or “miners” running specific software verify cryptocurrency transactions. In exchange … Continue Reading

Early Adopter—Vanguard Announces Plan to Utilize Blockchain Technology

Top mutual fund firm The Vanguard Group, Inc. unveiled a plan last week to incorporate blockchain smart contract technology into some of its indexing operations beginning early next year. Vanguard’s initiative will be carried out through a partnership with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) and technology provider Symbiont and is intended to … Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Warns Financial Institutions of Venezuelan Corruption and Money Laundering

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued an advisory on September 20 warning U.S. financial institutions of “money laundering schemes used by corrupt Venezuelan officials.” The advisory was addressed to Private Banking Units, Chief Risk Officers, Chief Compliance Officers, AML/BSA Analysts, Sanctions Analysts and Bank Legal Departments, and identified … Continue Reading

Data Breach at Italy’s No. 1 Bank Exposes 400,000 Accounts

Italy’s top bank, UniCredit SpA, is yet another victim in a series of cyberattacks exploiting vulnerabilities in the financial services industry. Criminals made off with biographical and loan data from 400,000 UniCredit loan accounts after gaining access to the bank’s computer system through one of UniCredit’s third-party commercial partners. The series of data breaches was … Continue Reading

SWIFT Shores Up Network Security With Real Time Cybersecurity Tools

In an effort to combat an increasing number of fraudulent transfers carried out using its network, SWIFT, the international bank transfer network, announced this month that it is adding new tools and controls designed to prevent fraudulent transfers in real time. SWIFT reported that the new tools integrate into the SWIFT system directly without the … Continue Reading

Sony Cyber-Attackers Lurking at Financial Supervisor “Watering Hole” Target Banks and Others

Cybersecurity specialists at BAE Systems and Symantec announced last week new evidence suggesting that the criminals behind the notorious 2014 attack on Sony Corp. are also responsible for recent cyber-attacks involving 104 organizations in 31 countries. Researchers and investigators have long attributed the 2014 Sony attack, which crippled computer systems and revealed internal emails, to … Continue Reading

Connecticut Town Struck by Cyber Fraud

On January 17, 2017, officials in Farmington, Connecticut disclosed that the town was recently the victim of a multi-million dollar theft likely perpetrated by sophisticated cybercriminals operating in China. The thieves intercepted a $2 million dollar Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer that was intended as payment to a local company for work on a large … Continue Reading

Bank Objections Play Key Role in Delay of New York Cybersecurity Regulation

The New York Department of Financial Services announced last week that it will revise and delay the effective date of its proposed cybersecurity regulation. The announcement came two days after New York bankers brought up a number of criticisms of the proposed rules at a hearing before the state’s Standing Committee on Banks. At the … Continue Reading

Tesco Bank Cyber-Robbery—Some Implications for U.S. Banks—and their Depositors

UK-based Tesco Bank froze online transactions on Monday after discovering that cyber-criminals stole money from 20,000 different customer accounts. The exact method used by the perpetrators is still under review, but preliminary analysis suggests the attackers exploited weaknesses in the bank’s online payment system related to the  processing of debit card transactions. The Bank has … Continue Reading

In Wake of Cyber-Attacks, Regulators Focus on SWIFT as Senators Urge Obama to Press G20 to Combat Cybercrime

As cyber-attacks involving the global payment system SWIFT increase in frequency abroad, U.S. regulators are discussing steps designed to protect against similar attacks on U.S. financial institutions. The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued a joint letter last week to Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) of … Continue Reading

Ukrainian bank loses $10 million in latest SWIFT cyber-attack

An unnamed bank in Ukraine is the most recent victim in a series of cyber-attacks exploiting vulnerabilities in the international banking communications system. According to an independent IT monitoring organization, hackers stole approximately $10 million by breaking into the Ukrainian bank’s internal network and submitting fraudulent money orders via SWIFT, the messaging system responsible for … Continue Reading

European Banking Authority contemplates the use of consumer data by financial institutions

In order to better address both the opportunities and risks associated with the innovative use of consumer data by financial institutions, the European Banking Authority (EBA) released a discussion paper last week seeking public comments on the subject. The EBA notes in the paper that the increasing digitalization of the economy and the adoption of … Continue Reading

Recent indictment underscores threat to financial institutions’ cybersecurity

In an era of cyberwarfare, financial institutions can find themselves in the crossfire. The U.S. government indicted seven Iranian hackers last week, charging the individuals for their roles in a 2011 series of cyber-attacks targeting at least 46 major banking institutions. The attacks, which Attorney General Loretta Lynch called “relentless,” “systematic” and “widespread,” were carried … Continue Reading

FDIC cybersecurity framework features four areas critical to bank security

Long gone are the days when a financial institution’s primary security concern was protecting cash in the bank vault, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) acknowledges in its recent article, “A Framework for Cybersecurity,” released February 1, 2016. Instead, the framework asserts that cyber-attacks now represent “one of the most critical challenges facing the financial … Continue Reading

FAST Act loosens financial institutions’ privacy policy notice requirements

In addition to providing long-term funding for highway infrastructure improvements and other transportation projects, the newly enacted Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) seeks to reduce consumer confusion by eliminating annual privacy notice requirements for financial institutions in some circumstances. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to provide consumers with notice of the … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity and resiliency: The Financial Sector’s “New Frontier”

“The Internet has a dark side,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin remarked while addressing senior level banking executives at this year’s Clearing House Annual Conference. Raskin focused her comments on malicious cyber activity, pointing out that weaknesses in the financial sector’s complex interconnected system attract bad actors like water “drawn to cracks in a … Continue Reading
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