2- Daily Briefing

7 02, 2024

DAILY020724

2024-02-07T17:14:25-05:00February 7th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Study: 96 CRA Reforms Had No Impact on Bank LMI Lending, Subprime Crisis

As banks take on the new CRA rule in the courts (see FSM Report CRA32), a new Fed study suggests that prior CRA changes had no meaningful impact on LMI mortgage lending in assessment areas and did not cause the subprime crisis as a prior study asserted.

NYCB’s Prospects, Policy and Political Consequences

After the markets closed, NYCB was up a bit from its lows, but it remains to be seen if this is a “dead-cat bounce” or stabilization. Regardless, the company’s market capitalization is down 57 percent since it surprised markets with unexpectedly-bad results.

Daily020724.pdf

6 02, 2024

DAILY020624

2024-02-06T16:33:54-05:00February 6th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Begin Pro Forma Reg Review Likely to Take on New Urgency

The FRB, FDIC, and OCC today released the first of the requisite ten-year request for comment on the extent to which existing rules are outdated or unduly burdensome.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of the request if it goes beyond the nominal inquiries in the past that led to little meaningful regulatory reform.

Senate GOP Turns to FHFA, FHLB on “Woke” Standards

Criticizing what they call the FHFA’s and FHLBs “politically contentious social agendas,” Senate Banking Republicans Hagerty (R-TN), Tillis (R-NC), Britt (R-AL), and Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to FHFA Director Thompson late yesterday arguing that several FHLB pilot programs are “racially discriminatory” and defy congressional intent.  They also argue that the pilot programs highlight a potential gap in FHFA oversight because the final rule governing Fannie and Freddie pilot programs does not also apply to the FHLBs.

SEC Finalizes Contentious Treasury-Market Registration Standards

The SEC today voted 3-2 to approve a revised version of an earlier proposal subjecting certain hedge funds and other Treasury-market participants to registration and SRO regulation, thus reducing their competitive advantages vis-à-vis banks in the secondary-dealer arena.  The new approach uses a qualitative test based on the extent to which a covered entity acts as a market-maker as well as Treasury investor.

Daily020624.pdf

5 02, 2024

DAILY020524

2024-02-05T16:54:06-05:00February 5th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Opposes Tech Self-Regulation, Highlights Emerging Risks

In remarks Friday on the future of banking, FRB Gov. Bowman joined Acting Comptroller Hsu in expressing concern over supervisory and governance complacency, especially when it comes to interest-rate and liquidity risk.  The speech picks up on Karen Petrou’s memo last week, pointing to the way in which regulators now appear focused principally on new rules, not emerging risks including those from fraud-renewed threats and third-party vendors.  Ms. Bowman thus urges greater accountability for banks based on third-party actions not only to enhance risk management, but also to reduce migration risk.

House GOP Expands Attack on Fed Work With Global Bodies

Continuing previous attacks on Federal Reserve Banks and federal banking agencies’ work with global entities, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) and Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) sent letters today to the San Francisco and New York Reserve Banks disputing what they describe as undue cooperation with the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) and Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Daily020524.pdf

2 02, 2024

DAILY020224

2024-02-02T16:21:33-05:00February 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Powell, Hsu Add to Pressure on SEC Crypto-Custody Standards

As we noted yesterday, Congressional Republicans are now mounting a Congressional Review Act effort to repeal the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (see FSM Report CUSTODY5) requiring balance-sheet recognition of crypto-custody deposits at considerable cost to banking institutions.

Trump to Dump Powell

As we expected, Donald Trump today said that, if elected, he will not reappoint Jerome Powell.  This decision will not present itself to the next president until Mr. Powell’s term ends in January of 2026, but we do not think either of the candidates is likely to reappoint Mr. Powell should he seek a third term.

GOP Bill Challenges Capital Proposal

Echoing long-held concerns of other HFSC Republicans, Rep. Ogles (R-TN) along with Rep. Donalds (R-FL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 7143) forcing regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Senate Presses for Anti-Hungary Sanctions

In a statement that may lead financial institutions to review their exposures, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Cardin (D-MD) called on the Biden Administration to consider sanctions against Hungary due to its government’s refusal until late yesterday to support EU efforts for Ukraine and its broadly anti-democratic program in general and with specific regard to pressuring the U.S. and its ambassador to Hungary.

HFSC Republicans Take Another Shot at FDIC

Continuing their campaign against FDIC Chair Gruenberg, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) along with Subcommittee Chairs Barr (R-KY) and Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to the FDIC questioning …

1 02, 2024

Daily020124

2024-02-01T16:56:10-05:00February 1st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CRA Rules Finally Go Live

The Federal Register today contains the OCC, FDIC, and FRB’s CRA final rule over three months after it was approved last October. The effective date of April 1 is unchanged and the regulation is now official; anyone contemplating litigation can begin formal proceedings.

Congress Takes on SEC Crypto-Custody Accounting

As anticipated, Sen. Lummis (R-WY) has today introduced a resolution to overturn the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (SAB) 121 via the Congressional Review Act (see FSM Report CUSTODY5).  Reps. Nickel (D-NC) and Flood (R-NE) have introduced an identical resolution in the House, with HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) already making clear that he intends to support the measure.

Daily020124.pdf

31 01, 2024

DAILY013124

2024-01-31T16:57:15-05:00January 31st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking Turns to AI’s Impact on Housing Finance

 

Today’s lightly-attended Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing on AI and Housing focused principally on AI governance issues including accountability, model explainability, transparency, and bias.  Sen. Warnock (D-GA) called for action on S. 3692, legislation to prohibit use of algorithmic systems to coordinate – and it is believed thus inflate – rental prices or reduce supply.  Although Subcommittee Chairwoman Smith (D-MN) lauded AI for its potential to boost the housing supply, she and other Democrats raised serious concerns that AI reinforces biases in lending decisions.

Democrats Remain Dubious About the Capital Proposal

Today’s Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on the capital rules made it still more clear that more than a few Democrats share at least some GOP concerns.  Chair Barr (R-KY) reiterated points he has frequently made about the poor analytics behind the proposal; Full Committee Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Green (D-TX) were unequivocal in their support.  Other Democrats raised concerns many had previously expressed in comment letters, with Rep. Sherman (D-CA) pointing to problems with the proposal’s impact on capital markets and its lack of credit for private mortgage insurance and Rep. Beatty (D-OH) highlighting concerns with small business credit availability.

Daily013124.pdf

30 01, 2024

DAILY013024

2024-01-30T17:13:26-05:00January 30th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

FinCEN Estimates High Bank-BOI Reporting Costs

FinCEN via the Federal Register today requested comment on the estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden for new Access Rule beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements (see FSM Report AML135).

Brown Puts More Pressure on Powell

Following Sen. Warren’s rate-cut demands and affordable housing concerns yesterday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to FRB Chair Powell also calling for less restrictive monetary policy on grounds that elevated rates negatively impact home affordability, limit the housing supply, restrict small business growth, and dampen wages.

HFSC Targets China Sanctions, Outbound Investments

Today’s HFSC National Security Subcommittee Hearing focused on China sanctions and restrictions on outbound investments.

GOP Demands Retraction of CFPB Tech-Payment Proposal

Reiterating their opposition to the Bureau’s pending digital-payment rule (see FSM Report PAYMENT27), HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) alongside Digital Assets Subcommittee Chairman Hill (R-AR) and Rep. Flood (R-NE) sent a letter today urging the CFPB to reopen and extend the comment period and reconsider finalizing the rule as proposed.

Daily013024.pdf

29 01, 2024

DAILY012924

2024-01-29T16:36:27-05:00January 29th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Advances AI Governance, Government Adoption

Following the President’s AI executive order (see Client Report AI3), the White House today released an update following a steering-group meeting.

BIS Study Examines Stablecoin Run-Risk

A new BIS study supports pending U.S. legislation and possible rules related to stablecoin reserve assets and run-risk, finding that transparency increases stablecoin stability when reserve assets are of high quality, but decreases stability when reserves are perceived to be low quality or when there are low transaction costs to convert to fiat.

Hsu Sets Course to New OCC Merger Policy with No Fed Companion in Sight

In remarks today emphasizing the need for a more transparent bank-merger process, Acting Comptroller Hsu announced that the OCC will today release an NPR eliminating the possibility that merger applications will be approved solely by the passage of time.

Warren Starts the New Year with Political Pressure on Fed Policy

Reiterating concerns about high interest rates, Sen. Warren (D-MA) along with Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO), Rosen (D-NV) and Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to Chair Powell calling on him to reverse rate hikes, citing its impact on the current affordable housing crisis.

Daily012924.pdf

26 01, 2024

DAILY012624

2024-01-26T16:09:38-05:00January 26th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Rewrite Call Reports Ahead of Final Capital Regs

Despite growing bipartisan concern over a capital proposal likely to be significantly revised, the Fed, OCC, and FDIC today requested comment on proposed changes to call reporting requirements as well as regulatory capital and market risk capital reporting requirements to ensure that these conform with the agencies’ proposal.  Many changes reflect the departure from the advanced approach, with the agencies arguing that new disclosure requirements would increase transparency and complement the supervisory review process.  Certain item instructions would also be altered to reflect AOCI transition requirements, while form terminology would change to reflect the proposed expanded risk-based approach and the scope of banking organizations covered.

Daily012624.pdf

25 01, 2024

DAILY012524

2024-01-25T16:50:12-05:00January 25th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Surprisingly Slams the BTFP’s Doors

At an unusual time and on a day that does not comport with the usual timelines for Fed action, the Board last night unanimously announced it will shutter the Bank Term Funding Program as scheduled on March 11.

Basel Head Backs U.S. Regulators

In response to waves of recent letters pushing back on the Basel III capital rules, Basel Committee Secretary General Esho defended Basel III, arguing that there is little evidence that Basel III implementation will have a detrimental effect on banking and economic growth

FTC Tackles AI Inter-Connections, Concentration

Following remarks by FTC Chair Khan making clear that there is no “AI exception” to lawful behavior, the FTC announced that it has issued orders to Alphabet, Amazon, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI requiring them to provide their recent investment and partnership information involving gen-AI companies and major CSPs.

CFTC Kicks Off Financial-Agency AI Assessment

Just as it did years ago with climate risk (see Client Report GREEN4), the CFTC took the lead among U.S. financial regulators with respect to AI.

Daily012524.pdf

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