Feds issue strategic plan to help fight identity theft

Filed under: Banking & Finance |

The President’s Identity Theft Task Force has released its strategic plan for combating identity theft.

The plan provides information about identity theft awareness, prevention, detection and prosecution. The three areas of focus include:

  • Law enforcement. The task force examined the tools law enforcement can use to prevent, investigate, and prosecute identity theft crimes; recover the proceeds of these crimes; and ensure just and effective punishment of identity thieves.
  • Education. The task force surveyed current education efforts by government agencies and the private sector on how individuals and corporate citizens can protect personal data.
  • Government safeguards. Because government must help reduce, rather than exacerbate, incidents of identity theft, the task force worked with many federal agencies to determine how the government can increase safeguards to better secure the personal data that it and private businesses hold.

For more information, visit www.idtheft.gov.

BiggsKofford names new leader

Jerry Biggs is stepping down as managing director if BiggsKofford P.C.

Chris Blees, who has been with the company since 1994 and has been a director since 1999, has been named managing director. Blees, 35, will provide overall corporate leadership, as well as day-to-day management. He will continue to manage the firm’s merger, acquisition and sales practice.

Biggs will continue to serve as chairman and will consult about client and firm strategies.

Founded in 1982, BiggsKofford offers tax, accounting, mergers and acquisitions consulting, business valuation and litigation support.

Two bills pass, protecting the banking community

Gov. Bill Ritter has signed two bills that will help protect the banking community, according to the Independent Bankers of Colorado.

Senate Bill 40, Branch Banking in Colorado, prohibits a financial institution from establishing or maintaining its principal office, an LPO, DPO, electronic communication device or branch in Colorado within 1.5 miles of the premises or property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by an affiliate that engages in commercial activities.

House Bill 1185, Entity Accounts, provides a mechanism described as a “certificate of existence and authority,” by which financial institutions may legally rely on information provided by people opening a deposit or loan in the name of an entity.

The Bank at Broadmoor heads west

The Bank at Broadmoor is scheduled to open a branch at 3216 W. Colorado Ave. in the first week of June. The company plans to initially hire five people to staff the bank with the plan to eventually hire 10 people. The bank currently employs about 50 people and has $125 million in deposits. It will be the fourth location for privately-held bank that opened in 1980.

Security Service FCU opens new location

Security Service Federal Credit Union has opened a branch at 5820 Barnes Road.

The Powers and Barnes Service Center is the fifth Colorado Springs branch and the ninth location statewide.

The credit union has more than $4 billion in assets and more than 590,000 members in Colorado, Texas and overseas.

Hedge funds up 26 percent in 2006

Despite energy market volatility and a major hedge fund collapse, the hedge fund industry grew by 26 percent in 2006, according to the Hennessee Group’s 2006 Hedge Fund manager survey.

The hedge fund industry closed the year with $1.5 trillion in assets, compared to $1.2 trillion at the end of 2005.

The growth was attributed to a 13 percent increase in management performance. Inflows also grew by 13 percent.

The gains came despite the collapse of Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund Amaranth Advisors LLC, which lost $6 billion because of bad energy trades during September, according to Hennessee.

The overall number of hedge funds grew by 7 percent, from 8,900 to 9,550 funds.

The 2007 survey respondents include 605 hedge funds from 178 management companies, representing more than $342 billion in assets.

10 banks report counterfeit cashier’s checks

Several banks contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last week about counterfeit cashier’s checks circulating through the system with the following institutions’ names:
Mission Community Bank, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Nature Coast Bank, Crystal River, Fla.
Union Savings Bank, Danbury, Conn.
First Century Bank, Tazewell, Tenn.
CreekSide Bank, Woodstock, Ga.
Community Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas
Commercial Bank, Alma, Mich.
The Bank of Brodhead, Brodhead, Wis.
First Indiana Bank, National Association, Indianapolis
Mercantile Bank, Orlando, Fla.

For more information visit, the FDIC’s Special Alerts Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2007/index.html.

Sarah Colwell covers banking and finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.