KC Fed: 2020 Capital-Distribution Constraints Worked
Touching on a subject of considerable sensitivity as well as a policy issue subject to change under a new Fed, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank has released a study arguing that 2020’s limits on capital distributions contributed to greater systemic resilience.  The paper tracks both share buy-backs and dividends over recent years, noting that GSIBs often distributed more than their income.  Repurchases succeeded dividends as the principal capital-distribution medium since the great financial crisis, a shift found to give banks more flexibility to adjust distribution levels without significant investor backlash.

FHFA Leads Way on U.S. AI/ML Standards
FHFA today issued the first U.S. financial-agency supervisory guidance on AI/ML use by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions (not also the FHLBs).  This goes well beyond the 2020 RFI released so far by the banking agencies (see FSM Report AI), with the standards also reflecting FHFA’s new equity focus in supervisory guidance specific to inclusive considerations.

Toomey Takes on the Entire Reserve-Bank System
In remarks today, Senate Banking Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) heightened his critique of the Federal Reserve’s regional banks, suggesting that the System needs a sweeping overhaul.

CFPB Assesses Overdraft-Fee Marketplace
Reflecting the CFPB’s continuing critique of overdraft fees (see FSM Report CONSUMER38), the Bureau today posted a chart of overdraft and NSF fees at the largest banks, calling recent changes “encouraging.”  However, the release does not retract recent allegations about their anti-consumer or -competition impact, noting only continuing Bureau concern and inviting consumer complaints.