ComplianceEase Launches Technology Solutions Together with State Mortgage/Banking Regulators to Automate Regulatory Exams

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Regulators to set the standard for the future of examinations through greater efficiency and reduced time and costs for financial institutions.

ComplianceEase®, the nation's leading provider of automated compliance solutions, announced today at the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) Annual Regulatory Conference the initial release of its innovative RegulatorConnect™ and RegulatorDirect™ solutions, which will enable state-regulated mortgage lenders and banking institutions to plug into a new, more automated regulatory examination process, reducing their required time and cost.

RegulatorConnect links institutions with state regulators through electronic data transfer, while RegulatorDirect enables lenders to electronically deliver compliance audit reports to regulators with a single click. At the heart of the new process is ComplianceAnalyzer®, which was selected by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) to provide baseline as well as customized state agency-specific audits as the examination automation component of the Model Examination Guidelines initiative.

In the middle of 2007, in the wake of the mortgage meltdown, AAMRM and CSBS established the Model Examination Guidelines (MEGs) for state regulators to use as a set of recommended standards for their members' examination processes. The MEGs comprised five different modules, the fifth of which was intended to provide an "efficient tool to mechanize certain mundane and repetitive examination functions." As such, ComplianceEase's flagship automated compliance system ComplianceAnalyzer® was chosen by CSBS as the examination automation tool for the fifth module, following an eight-month evaluation and selection process by a taskforce representing fourteen state agencies.

"We've been very pleased to work with ComplianceEase on this initiative. This has far reaching implications for the way regulators and financial institutions will be able to approach what has been, in the past, a time-consuming and cost-prohibitive process," said Chuck Cross, Vice President of Mortgage Regulatory Policy at CSBS.

"Technology and automated solutions have become essential elements for CSBS to leverage as we seek new ways to standardize and improve regulatory supervision while streamlining the examination process for institutions and for regulators. ComplianceEase has helped us to achieve a very specific goal of our 'Improving Mortgage Industry Supervision Through Collaboration and Technology' initiative," Cross added.

Traditional examinations involve a "sampling" approach when reviewing loan portfolios. While well understood and accepted as the present standard for examinations, a sample is still a sample, and it relies on a small subset of loans to serve as a statistical representation of the whole. Automated compliance has fostered a new approach, enabling review of 100 percent of loan production and loan portfolios to improve accuracy, coverage and enforcement. At the same time, a more automated process saves time and costs for regulators and lenders alike. Advanced technology will bring regulatory bodies and institutions closer so that both can serve more efficient and more effective roles in the regulatory process.

These initiatives represent the wave of the future for regulatory supervision. Instead of the old method of combing through a handful of paper files hoping to identify issues, ComplianceAnalyzer can scan through hundreds of loans in a matter of minutes, providing analytics that identify violations, patterns and trends for examiners to focus on. In order to further improve supervision efficiency, ComplianceAnalyzer will be enhanced with additional state-specific rules and new tests based on requirements from the regulators.

"We are very excited to be working with CSBS and state regulators on the examination automation initiative. The goal is to achieve efficiency, effectiveness, uniformity and standardization, while reducing the cost and burden to regulators and the industry," said Michael Chan, vice president of ComplianceEase. "Financial institutions know that they need to be prepared for major regulatory changes and tougher regulations in the near future. It's critically important for institutions to determine the best regulatory strategies, particularly given the present economic landscape," noted Chan.

A stricter regulatory environment is forthcoming as part of the continuing response to the mortgage crisis. Financial institutions of all sizes will continue to face the challenge of ever changing laws and regulations. In order to fully understand the operational risks, loan level reviews are necessary in order to safeguard institutions' assets as well as to protect the consumer.

As the industry struggles to regain its footing, automation of the examination cycle will help to minimize examination costs for both regulators and for financial institutions. The cost savings, coupled with the time savings of an automated review process, make ComplianceEase's solutions a win for all parties involved. Most importantly, improved enforcement in the mortgage industry will no doubt help to restore the confidence of investors and consumers.

About Conference of State Bank Supervisors:
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) is the nationwide organization for state banking, representing the bank regulators of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and approximately 6,200 state-chartered financial institutions. CSBS also is responsible for improving the quality of state bank supervision by providing department performance evaluation and accreditation programs and supervisory education/training programs for state banking department personnel. For more information about CSBS, visit http://www.csbs.org.

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Katrina Chang
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