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A law that gives consumers the right to freeze their credit files went into effect July 1.
The law allows consumers to block access to their credit reports and scores by “freezing” the account, and making it impossible for personal information to be breached.
Consumers can unlock their credit files by contacting the credit bureaus and providing a security code. Continue Reading Consumer identity theft freeze law now in effect

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Nearly two years after its move into Colorado Springs, First Community Bank is expanding into its second office.
The bank will open a 10,058-square-foot branch at 5225 N. Academy Blvd. on July 17.
More than just doubling the its Colorado Springs footprint, the opening of the new branch represents an opportunity for the bank to double its $25 million residential construction loan business and tap into the medical and dental office businesses surrounding the branch’s neighborhood near Academy and Union boulevards. Continue Reading First Community Bank’s double vision a reality

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Because it was notably absent from news coverage, many people might not have heard that the Securities and Exchange Commission took its first enforcement action last month under the USA Patriot Act.
More than four years after passage of the Patriot Act and its anti-money laundering provisions, and after dozens of audits, the SEC made its first ruling — against the Los Angeles-based broker dealer Crowell, Weedon and Co. Continue Reading SEC puts its foot down in name of the Patriot Act

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Members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors are sharing their experiences from Hurricane Katrina.
The organizations have released “Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina: Preparing Your Institution for a Catastrophic Event.” Continue Reading Hard economic lessons learned as result of storm

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Look out American Express, Chase and MBNA, here comes Target.
Through its Target National Bank division, the retailer has issued credit cards to more than 16 million customers — going where no retailer has gone before — onto the top 10 list of the nation’s largest credit card issuers.
No wonder Wal-Mart and Home Depot want to enter the banking business. No retailer has ever ranked so high on the credit card list, and no other appears to be close either. The next closest retailer on the list, Nordstrom, ranks 27th. Continue Reading First retailer to join credit issuer’s top 10: Target

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U.S. Bancorp, the nation’s sixth largest financial institution and the state’s second largest bank, announced last week that it will acquire Vail Banks Inc., a move that will add 24 Colorado branch locations in 19 communities to its operations.
Vail Banks is the parent company for WestStar Banks, small community banks that dot the resort and bedroom communities around some of Colorado’s most popular ski and destination resorts. Continue Reading One purchase, 24 more branches for U.S. Bank

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Total revenue for Colorado’s commercial banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. jumped 17.5 percent between the first quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.
Net income for the state’s 160 FDIC-insured commercial banks was $134 million, up from $114 million during the first quarter of 2005. Continue Reading State banking revenue increases in first quarter

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Don Sall will hang up his hat as Wells Fargo’s regional president for the greater Colorado region when he retires at the end of the year.
Saul, who joined the bank in 1973 and spent the last 13 years in Colorado Springs, made the retirement announcement last week.
As president, Sall manages Wells Fargo’s banking operations in Greater Colorado and oversees more than 1,300 team members at about 70 branches in 30 communities. Continue Reading Wells Fargo president retiring after 33 years

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An ongoing Internal Revenue Service investigation has uncovered that a large number of tax-exempt credit counseling agencies are not complying with tax-exempt operating laws.
During the last two years, the IRS has been auditing 63 credit counseling agencies that generate more than half the industry’s revenue. Continue Reading Widespread tax-exempt fraud uncovered by IRS

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The Colorado House of Representatives approved an identity theft bill this week that has become model legislation for other states.
HB1347 was drafted by the Colorado Bankers Association. As worded, it would supply $600,000 annually for statewide ID theft investigation. Continue Reading State ID theft bill one step closer to becoming law

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