#Asset managers

5 01, 2024

Daily010524

2024-01-05T16:00:50-05:00January 5th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

McKernan Presses for Active Review of Asset-Manager Passivity

FDIC Director McKernan today reiterated his prior recommendation that the banking agencies review the stakes of large asset managers in banking organizations to ensure that they are truly passive.  Mr. McKernan is a former staffer for retired-Sen. Toomey (R-PA), who raised this concern towards the end of 2021 out of fears that asset-management ESG demands are unduly influencing banks.

Daily010524.pdf

20 12, 2023

DAILY122023

2023-12-20T16:49:55-05:00December 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Small-Business Reporting Reg Remains

In conjunction with his expected veto last night of legislation that would have overturned the CFPB’s small-business reporting rule, President Biden indicated that the Bureau’s rule is central to CRA implementation and would bring transparency to small-business lending.

FSB, IOSCO Try Get-Tough Approach to OEF Illiquidity

As promised, the FSB and IOSCO today finalized recommendations designed to enhance OEF resilience.

HFSC GOP Demands CFPB Nonbank Delay, Clarification

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) and nineteen Committee Republicans sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra urging the Bureau to extend by thirty days the comment deadline for its proposal to supervise large nonbank payment providers (see FSM Report PAYMENT27).

FERC Passive-Ownership Inquiry Poses Challenges to Funds, Banks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has opened another avenue scrutinizing the extent to which large asset managers may control the companies in which they invest.

FDIC Approves Significantly Revised Sign, Advertising Standards

The FDIC Board today unanimously approved a final rule modernizing requirements for use of the FDIC’s official sign and clarifying what constitutes misrepresentation and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo.

Daily122023.pdf

12 07, 2023

DAILY071223

2023-07-12T17:05:21-04:00July 12th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

SEC Concedes, Drops MMF Swing Pricing

In a startling bow to industry comments, the SEC today finalized MMF rules for institutional prime and tax-exempt funds that dispense with the proposal’s swing pricing (see FSM Report MMF19).

HFSC Bickers Over ESG, SEC Authority, Investor Rights

Today’s ESG hearing was the partisan show-down we anticipated – indeed, Rep. Sherman (D-CA) denounced the GOP for “waging war” against capitalism like Leon Trotsky.

Fed Nominations Advance

As anticipated, Senate Banking today approved the nominations of all three Federal Reserve Board nominees for the full Senate.

Warren Heightens Anti-Merger Campaign

Republicans were absent today from Senate Banking’s Economic Policy bank-merger hearing.  Chair Warren (D-MA) reiterated her strong opposition to virtually all mergers, indicating her plans to reintroduce anti-merger legislation from prior Congresses (see FSM Report MERGER8).

Daily071223.pdf

10 07, 2023

DAILY071023

2023-07-10T16:43:24-04:00July 10th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Lays Out Its ESG Priorities

The majority staff memo ahead of Wednesday’s HFSC hearing on ESG follows the outline anticipated  last week and that laid out in the GOP agenda for ESG-related action (see Client Report ESG4).

OCC Concurs On Capital, Tries For The Merger Middle

Acting Comptroller Hsu today confirmed our assessment of Vice Chair Barr’s comments earlier today (see Client Report CAPITAL228) that the three banking agencies are aligned on the new capital construct to be shortly released for public comment.

Barr, Foster Demand Delay to Capital Rewrite

Anticipating Vice Chair Barr’s remarks this morning detailing near-term capital policy changes (see Client Report CAPITAL228), HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) and Ranking Member Foster (D-IL) sent a letter late Friday demanding that he appear before the Subcommittee to present the conclusions of his capital review and upcoming Basel III implementation plans prior to public release, asking also for details and likely outcomes for industry consolidation.

House Republicans Keep Spotlight On FRB-SF

Continuing the GOP’s attack on the San Francisco Fed’s supervision of SVB in the wake of what many believe are “woke” priorities, House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer (R-KY) was joined today by Financial Services Subcommittee Chairwoman McClain (R-MI) in sending a letter to FRB Chairman Powell taking serious issue with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Fed for what they describe as SVB-related transparency and communication failures.

BIS Survey: Most Central Banks Considering CBDCs

The BIS …

7 07, 2023

Al070723

2023-07-07T16:49:21-04:00July 7th, 2023|3- This Week|

The ESG Jihad

As anticipated, House Republicans have made July their “ESG month” with HFSC and other panels planning an array of actions culminating in an HFSC mark-up of as-yet-unintroduced legislation later this month.  Before writing this off as part of the GOP’s pre-election “culture-war” campaign, it’s worth remembering that the Democratic-controlled Senate still approved a House measure overturning Department of Labor ESG pension-investment rules; only a Presidential veto saved those rules and it might take more of them to counter what Republicans now have in store for the financial-services sector.

Al071023.pdf

7 07, 2023

DAILY070723

2023-07-07T16:47:33-04:00July 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

House Judiciary Joins GOP Asset-Manager ESG Attack

Continuing the GOP campaign against ESG, House Judiciary Chairman Jordan (R-OH) and Reps. Massie (R-KY) and Bishop (R-NC) sent letters late yesterday to the leadership of BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisers, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, claiming that what they call “collusive agreements” violate antitrust law.

FRB-KC: Farm Credit System Mergers May Influence Ag-Bank Portfolio Strategy

New research from Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff concludes that, while Farm Credit System mergers over the past twenty years had relatively minor effects on agricultural-bank profitability and efficiency, they may have altered bank portfolio decisions with broader implications both for banks and the communities they serve.

CFPB, Treasury, HHS Launch Interagency Inquiry Into Medical-Payment Products

As part of the White House initiative to address medical-sector “junk fees” and consumer protection, the CFPB today was joined by HHS and Treasury in issuing an RFI on high-cost specialty financial products it says harm medical patients by driving up debt.

FHFA Joins Repeat-Offender Crackdown

Acting on the “repeat-offender” crackdown initiated by the CFPB and recently picked up by the OCC, FHFA today issued a proposed rule that would revise its Suspended Counterparty Program (SCP) regulation to authorize FHFA to immediately suspend business between the GSEs and counterparties who are found to have committed civil or criminal misconduct in connection with real property management or ownership.

Daily070723.pdf

6 03, 2023

M030623

2023-03-06T16:31:40-05:00March 6th, 2023|6- Client Memo|

Why Way-Woke Won’t Work in 2023

The fact that both the House and Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution overturning the Department of Labor’s ESG standards makes it clear that striking an anti-woke blow is deemed good politics by red and purple politicians. The President’s certain veto also makes it clear that a blue man sees matters quite differently, as did 204 House Democrats and 46 of their Senate colleagues. This stalemate will continue for changes to federal law, but it won’t stop Republicans from taking a lot out on financial regulators and big banks that they can’t get into the law books. Thus, anyone deemed even a bit woke-ful will get an earful.

M030623.pdf

6 03, 2023

Karen Petrou: Why Way-Woke Won’t Work in 2023

2023-03-06T16:31:48-05:00March 6th, 2023|The Vault|

The fact that both the House and Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution overturning the Department of Labor’s ESG standards makes it clear that striking an anti-woke blow is deemed good politics by red and purple politicians. The President’s certain veto also makes it clear that a blue man sees matters quite differently, as did 204 House Democrats and 46 of their Senate colleagues. This stalemate will continue for changes to federal law, but it won’t stop Republicans from taking a lot out on financial regulators and big banks that they can’t get into the law books. Thus, anyone deemed even a bit woke-ful will get an earful.

Even if all these excoriations are only rhetorical, they will prove meaningful because even federal regulators immune from the appropriations process are susceptible to political influence – as well they should be if they are not also to be unaccountable. That anti-wokeness is already making its mark is evident in many ways, most recently in the inter- agency crypto-liquidity risk statement at great pains to refute any Republican suggestion that tough new standards amount to a blanket ban on engaging in any form of legal cryptoasset activity. In essence, the new statement says, “banks can do crypto if it’s legal, but they almost surely shouldn’t do crypto because it’s way risky and we’re watching.”

To be sure, anything crypto isn’t always toxic. Another way the agencies will handle accusations that they are conducting a stealth-woke anti-crypto campaign is to make it …

22 12, 2022

DAILY122222

2022-12-22T16:43:24-05:00December 22nd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Blasts ICE/BKI Merger

Although HFSC Chair Waters (D-CA) frequently opposes large-bank mergers, her stand today against the ICE/Black Knight deal is the first time we can recall her taking a public stand on a transaction before the Federal Trade Commission (outside HFSC’s jurisdiction).

Toomey Sets Agenda for GOP Fed Reform

Among his parting shots, Senate Banking Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) yesterday introduced legislation to reform the Federal Reserve System.

Toomey Also Tries to Set Stablecoin Agenda

In another effort to set the terms of debate before he departs, Senate Banking Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) also introduced a new version of his initial stablecoin legislation (see FSM Report CRYPTO27).

Warren Doubts Zelle’s Fraud Policy Changes

Continuing her campaign against Zelle fraud, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today sent a letter to the CEO of Zelle’s parent company demanding a briefing on pending efforts to compensate consumers for fraudulent transfers.

CFPB Cites ARM Risks, Rewards

The CFPB today issued a consumer alert describing the risks associated with various mortgage products during a period of rising interest rates.

Project Hamilton Ducks CBDC-Feasibility Decision

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston today announced the completion of its Project Hamilton work with MIT on a U.S. CBDC.

Fed to Reconsider Key Bank-Control Criteria

Although the banking agencies today reiterated that their policy is not generally to require reporting of loans to potentially controlling principal-fund complexes or banks that meet passivity requirements, the Fed will now reconsider relevant rules in this sector.

Daily122222.pdf

6 12, 2022

DAILY120622

2022-12-06T16:40:03-05:00December 6th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Again Ratifies Focus on Crypto, Climate, Macro Risks

Following its meeting today, the FSB Plenary announced 2023 priorities to be finalized in January.  Focus will center on heightened monitoring of financial stability risks, enhanced NBFI and CCP resilience, work on the global crypto regulatory framework, cross-border payments reform, cyber and operational resilience, and financial risks from climate change.

FinCEN Targets De-Risking Compliance

Pointing to possible enforcement actions, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg today noted FinCEN concerns with the extent to which institutions apply a rules-based approach to de-risking rather than a risk-based one, leaving it vulnerable to fast-changing risks and without access to valuable suspicious activity information.

Warren, GOP Senators Put Silvergate On FTX Hotseat

Reflecting at least some bipartisan agreement on the need for new crypto standards, Sens. Warren (D-MA), Kennedy (R-LA), and Marshall (R-KS) late yesterday sent a letter to the CEO of Silvergate Bank demanding detailed information regarding its relationship with FTX and FTX affiliates.

GOP Threatens Woke Asset Managers With BHC Designation

The Senate Banking GOP report today on ESG asset management contains an interesting aside about the extent to which passive ownership of banking organizations could make the three largest asset managers de facto BHCs.

Brown Fires First Shot in 2023 ILC Wars

Putting down a market for the next Congress, Senate Banking Chairman Brown and two Democratic colleagues today introduced their bill end bar ILC charters for nonbank parents.

Daily120622.pdf

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