11 01, 2022

Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, January 11, 2022

2022-01-12T22:19:17+00:00January 11th, 2022|Press Clips|

Bank of America to Cut Overdraft Fees to $10 From $35

By Orla McCaffrey and Will Feuer

Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday it would cut overdraft fees to $10 from $35 beginning in May, following other big banks that have rolled back or ditched such charges. Overdraft fees, which are charged when customers don’t have enough cash in their accounts to cover their purchases, are under scrutiny by regulators and politicians who say they unfairly exploit cash-strapped families. Under the Biden administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have pressed banks to scale them back. In a December report, the CFPB flagged Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. on their overdraft fees….“It’s an astute political risk-management strategy,” said Karen Petrou, head of Federal Financial Analytics, a regulatory advisory firm. “It does pay to get out ahead of the reaper, and it does seem certain that the CFPB will turn to regulating overdraft fees.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bank-of-america-to-reduce-overdraft-fees-to-10-11641912259?mod=Searchresults_pos1&page=1

11 01, 2022

FedFin Assessment: Powell Sidesteps Many Challenges, Promises Much

2022-01-14T16:19:14+00:00January 11th, 2022|The Vault|

As promised yesterday (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE66), we listened closely today to gauge the extent to which Chairman Powell faces a serious challenge to reconfirmation. At least as far as Senate Banking Members are concerned, he doesn’t. Although Sen. Warren (D-MA) and other Democrats lambasted Mr. Powell over insider-trading allegations and what they called the Fed’s unresponsiveness, all still were cordial and seemed generally to blame the problem on institutional failures, not the chairman. Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) called the Fed’s diversity policy “outrageous,” but also does not seem inclined….

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here.…

11 01, 2022

FEDERALRESERVE67

2022-01-12T14:55:11+00:00January 11th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment:  Powell Sidesteps Many Challenges, Promises Much

As promised yesterday (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE66), we listened closely today to gauge the extent to which Chairman Powell faces a serious challenge to reconfirmation.  At least as far as Senate Banking Members are concerned, he doesn’t.  Although Sen. Warren (D-MA) and other Democrats lambasted Mr. Powell over insider-trading allegations and what they called the Fed’s unresponsiveness, all still were cordial and seemed generally to blame the problem on institutional failures, not the chairman.  Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) called the Fed’s diversity policy “outrageous,” but also does not seem inclined to block confirmation based solely on this issue.  As anticipated, most senators focused on inflation and the economy; Mr. Powell often reflected this by affirming that the Fed will soon cease to be quite as accommodative.  Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) urged Mr. Powell not to let up on economic stimulus, also complaining about big-bank consolidation, capital distribution, bank profits, and the need for more lending to “Main Street.”

FEDERALRESERVE67.pdf

10 01, 2022

Al011022

2022-01-10T14:23:39+00:00January 10th, 2022|3- This Week|

2022 BUILDING BLOCKS

We hope the holidays gave you a relaxing break no matter your travel and omicron worries.  FedFin staff stayed busy because so did federal policy-makers.  Actions in the last two weeks or so lay a solid platform for game-changing decisions in 2022 on…

Al011022.pdf

10 01, 2022

m011022

2022-01-10T14:22:24+00:00January 10th, 2022|6- Client Memo|

Senate Banking’s CBDC Questionnaire

It’s certain that Jay Powell’s confirmation hearing will put him through the wringer on inflation, equality, “insider” trading, and the rules he’ll foster under the new vice chair for supervision.  This is enough to try even the most patient of souls, but there’s another issue senators should be sure to raise:  what’s taking the Fed so, so long to start its CBDC deliberations, let alone conclude them? After initially dismissing the need for a U.S. central bank digital currency, Chairman Powell announced last May that the Board would seek public comment sometime that summer.  At about the same time, Gov. Brainard spoke about a possible CBDC construct and the Boston Fed announced a technical build-out project along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Hub also has CBDC ambitions.  Although Fed officials were quick to point out that none of these nor any of the subsequent high-profile papers commits the Fed to anything, work seemed well under way to join the dozens of other central banks convinced that CBDC is essential in the quick-digitization payment future clearly emerging outside the reach of central bankers.

m011022.pdf

10 01, 2022

Karen Petrou: Senate Banking’s CBDC Questionnaire

2022-01-10T14:21:01+00:00January 10th, 2022|The Vault|

It’s certain that Jay Powell’s confirmation hearing will put him through the wringer on inflation, equality, “insider” trading, and the rules he’ll foster under the new vice chair for supervision.  This is enough to try even the most patient of souls, but there’s another issue senators should be sure to raise:  what’s taking the Fed so, so long to start its CBDC deliberations, let alone conclude them?

After initially dismissing the need for a U.S. central bank digital currency, Chairman Powell announced last May that the Board would seek public comment sometime that summer.  At about the same time, Gov. Brainard spoke about a possible CBDC construct and the Boston Fed announced a technical build-out project along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Hub also has CBDC ambitions.  Although Fed officials were quick to point out that none of these nor any of the subsequent high-profile papers commits the Fed to anything, work seemed well under way to join the dozens of other central banks convinced that CBDC is essential in the quick-digitization payment future clearly emerging outside the reach of central bankers.

What’s happened since the summer CBDC storm?  Not much.

Mr. Powell and other Fed officials at one point promised that the CBDC paper would come in September, but autumn came and went.  The Fed’s certainly been busy tidying up after its “transitory” inflation goof and ongoing macroeconomic challenges, but it neglects CBDC at its and our peril.

First, whether …

10 01, 2022

FEDERALRESERVE66

2022-01-10T14:11:18+00:00January 10th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: Powell, Brainard Confirmations Confront Challenges

Many of you have asked us to forecast key policy implications ahead of two high-powered hearings this week considering President Biden’s top Fed nominees.  We will as usual provide clients with in-depth analyses after the Senate Banking Committee ponders Chairman Powell’s nomination for a second term on Tuesday and Gov. Brainard’s to become vice chair on Thursday.  Now, we explain why we think Mr. Powell’s confirmation chances – while still good – are not the slam-dunk many media sources suggest and why Gov. Brainard also faces a challenging outlook.  We will not consider the odds that an appointment in the next few days of Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for supervision will alter the political calculus except to say that the last time the White House tried this Sen. Warren (D-MA) didn’t budge.  We don’t expect she will this time.  This report does not consider other pending nominations to join the Board of Governors because none of them are likely to affect policy debate except when it comes to demands for greater Fed diversity.

https://fedfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/FEDERALRESERVE66.pdf

 

 …

10 01, 2022

Daily011022

2022-01-12T22:20:58+00:00January 10th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FDIC Exempts Some Custody Funding from Brokered Deposits
As promised in its brokered-deposit rule (see FSM Report DEPOSIT INSURANCE111), the FDIC today published a notice expanding deposit-making exceptions to funds received from third-party custodians without discretion over the IDIs into which funds are placed.

FSB Turns to Insurance Resolutions
The FSB today expanded on longstanding efforts to ensure successful insurance-company resolution, issuing papers on resolution funding, and resolution planning.

Warren Stands Firm Against Powell
As anticipated in our in-depth report earlier today (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE22), Sen. Warren (D-MA) is not letting upon Chairman Powell.  Today, she sent a tough letter reiterating demands for an array of information on Fed-officer trading, reiterating also that she wants an SEC investigation.

Daily011022.pdf

6 01, 2022

AML135

2022-01-06T17:01:37+00:00January 6th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

AML/CFT Regulatory Reform

As the banking industry has long hoped and Congress last year directed, FinCEN is beginning to develop a new policy framework prioritizing ways to make anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulation more risk-based.  FinCEN is taking the opportunity of its request for information (RFI) also to seek views on ways to modernize AML/CFT standards, make them more efficient, ensure adherence to global protocols, and toughen rules where necessary to protect national security.  Last year’s law required Treasury to enhance law enforcement and submit a report on AML/CFT reform by January of 2022.

AML135.pdf

6 01, 2022

GSE-010622

2022-01-06T16:52:26+00:00January 6th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

The Cost of Equity

As noted yesterday, FHFA followed through on its heavy hints in the 2022 GSE scorecards, mandating significant hikes in upfront fees on most high-balance mortgages and those for second homes.  There is little question in our mind that these price hikes will restore portfolio-based origination channels for these loans and, to a lesser degree, also give PLS a boost.  How much of the market transfers out of the GSEs will determine the extent to which remaining high-balance and second-home fee business cross-subsidizes lower-fee products aimed at more affordable, lower-income market segments.  If, as FHFA seems to expect, business migrates and GSE capitalization improves, then cross-subsidization might be minimal.

GSE-010622.pdf

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