#Barr

12 04, 2024

DAILY041224

2024-04-12T16:38:09-04:00April 12th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Barr, Tillis Warn CFPB Against Mandatory-Arbitration Ban

HFSC Financial Institutions Chair Barr (R-KY) and Sen. Tillis (R-NC) sent a letter to the CFPB today threatening to invoke the Congressional Review Act to overturn any newly-proposed mandatory-arbitration ban from the CFPB, warning that it would violate the CRA.  This is based on the enactment of a reversal of the agency’s prior ban in 2017 which the Members state now cannot be vitiated by any proposal close to the one revoked.

IOSCO Adds CD, AI Workstreams to Revised Work Plan

IOSCO today announced revisions to its 2024 work plan, adding new workstreams to address opacity and illiquidity in the single-name CDS market as well as the integrity, financial stability and investor protection associated with AI along with monitoring financial-asset tokenization.

Daily041224.pdf

9 04, 2024

Daily040924

2024-04-10T10:52:27-04:00April 9th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate GOP Tackles Card Fees

Joined by GOP Senators from credit-card domiciles, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) yesterday led the expected Republican resolution overturning the CFPB’s credit-card late fee rule (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37).  It joins like-kind resolutions from Rep. Barr (R-KY) and Ogles (R-TN), with Mr. Barr’s resolution the one likely to move to the House floor.

Warren Starts Bargaining for Crypto-AML Standards

Throwing another wrinkle into the careworn face of efforts to pass stablecoin legislation, Sen. Warren (D-MA) yesterday sent a letter to Reps. McHenry (R-NC) and Waters (D-CA) arguing that their ongoing and apparently-hopeful efforts to craft stablecoin legislation may inadvertently amplify risk.

Daily040924.pdf

3 04, 2024

DAILY040324

2024-04-03T17:21:51-04:00April 3rd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Wants Policy Review, Fed-Operational Improvements Ahead of New Liquidity Regs

Turning from mergers to the Fed’s lender-of-last-resort role, Gov. Bowman today argues that new liquidity policies require careful review before any new rules are adopted.

Fed Treads Carefully in New Global Money-Tokenization Project

The BIS today announced a new program exploring ways in which tokenizing central-bank and bank money for wholesale transactions on programmable platforms would benefit the monetary system.

Powell Defends Independence, Mandate Limits

In remarks today on monetary policy and Fed independence, Chair Powell was at pains to emphasize that climate risk was outside the Federal Reserve’s mandate.

FHFA Treads Cautiously Towards FHLB Reform

Issuing a minor ruling regarding Puerto Rico cooperatives, FHFA today also laid out its 2024 priorities following last year’s report on the Home Loan Bank System.

Barr Stands by CRA Rule

Responding to questions about the court injunction on the CRA rule, FRB Vice Chair Barr today stated  that the rules are restated expectations within the boundaries of the Act and Congress intended the agencies to update the 1977 law.

Chopra: Merger Approval Requires Affirmative, Additive Community Benefit

Building on his comments when the FDIC board voted 3-2 to issue its merger proposal (see FSM Report MERGER15), CFPB Director Chopra today doubled down on the view that bank mergers should only be approved if there is demonstrable community benefit over an extended period of time.

Daily040324.pdf

1 04, 2024

Daily040124

2024-04-01T16:24:02-04:00April 1st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY: Experience Begets Overdraft Fee Knowledge

Perhaps reflecting the Biden Administration’s examination of overdraft fees, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York staff on overdraft credit found that experienced overdrafters are roughly twice as likely to know their bank’s overdraft fee than customers who have not overdrawn in the past year.  The report also finds that half of customers surveyed did not know their bank’s overdraft fee, which the report calls “potentially worrisome,” but notes that 41 percent of respondents are also indifferent to their bank’s overdraft policies.

Barr Takes Over CFPB Card-Fee Fight

As anticipated, HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) has introduced H.J. Res. 122, the same CRA resolution overturning CFPB’s late fee rule introduced last week by freshman Rep. Ogles (R-TN).  Reports indicate poor communication between the Chair and junior member, and we expect this resolution to be the one that moves forward.

Daily040124.pdf

25 03, 2024

M032524

2024-03-25T11:45:52-04:00March 25th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

How the FDIC Fails and Why It Matters So Much

Last January, we sent a forecast of likely regulatory action and what I called a “philosophical reflection” on the contradiction between the sum total of rules premised on unstoppable taxpayer rescues and U.S. policy that no bank be too big to fail.  Much in our forecast is now coming into public view due to Chair Powell and Vice Chair Barr; more on that to come, but these rules like the proposals are still premised on big-bank blow-outs.  I thus turn here from the philosophical to the pragmatic when it comes to bank resolution, picking up on a stunning admission in the FDIC’s proposed merger policy to ponder what’s really next for U.S. banks regardless of what any of the agencies say will result from all the new rules.

m032524.pdf

25 03, 2024

Karen Petrou: How the FDIC Fails and Why It Matters So Much

2024-03-25T11:45:45-04:00March 25th, 2024|The Vault|

Last January, we sent a forecast of likely regulatory action and what I called a “philosophical reflection” on the contradiction between the sum total of rules premised on unstoppable taxpayer rescues and U.S. policy that no bank be too big to fail.  Much in our forecast is now coming into public view due to Chair Powell and Vice Chair Barr; more on that to come, but these rules like the proposals are still premised on big-bank blow-outs.  I thus turn here from the philosophical to the pragmatic when it comes to bank resolution, picking up on a stunning admission in the FDIC’s proposed merger policy to ponder what’s really next for U.S. banks regardless of what any of the agencies say will result from all the new rules.

Let me quote at some length from the FDIC’s proposed merger policy:

“In particular, the failure of a large IDI could present greater challenges to the FDIC’s resolution and receivership functions, and could present a broader financial stability threat. For various reasons, including their size, sources of funding, and other organizational complexities, the resolution of large IDIs can present significant risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), as well as material operational risk for the FDIC. In addition, as a practical matter, the size of an IDI may limit the resolution options available to the FDIC in the event of failure.”

In short, the FDIC wants to block most big-bank mergers because it can’t ensure orderly resolution of a large insured depository …

22 03, 2024

Al032524

2024-03-22T16:35:16-04:00March 22nd, 2024|3- This Week|

One Down, Not Out

As we noted, Vice Chair Barr has bowed to the institutional might of the central bank he helps govern, agreeing Friday that the consensus which Chair Powell committed (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE75) on the capital rules will lead to significant, material changes.  This is a major victory for banks who mustered what Mr. Powell and others said is the most omnipresent, potent regulatory-advocacy campaign they’ve ever seen.  Still, it leaves open what will change, how Acting Comptroller, and – more problematic – FDIC Chair Gruenberg and Director Chopra will join in.  We anticipated this outcome in our January forecast on the future of the capital rule, also laying out just what the concession might look like and what could happen if only the Fed or just the Fed and OCC are able to agree.  We will shortly provide clients with an updated forecast of what’s to come along with a look at a question of almost equal importance:  when changes will come and if that’s enough time to ensure finalization before the political landscape could take a decided change all its own this November.

Al032524.pdf

22 03, 2024

DAILY032224

2024-03-22T16:13:11-04:00March 22nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Banking Agencies Push Back Key Deadline

Easing a bit of burden and doubtless with litigation in mind, the banking agencies today issued an interim final rule extending the applicability date of facility-based assessment areas and public file provisions of the CRA rule from April 1, 2024 to January 1, 2026.  With this change, the manner in which assessment areas are evaluated is aligned to the same deadline.  The IFR also includes non-substantive revisions to the final rule.

HFSC GOP Calls for GAO Interchange Fee Study

Following introduction of HFSC Subcommittee Chair Luetkemeyer’s (R-MO) bill (H.R. 7531) to require the Fed to conduct a qualitative impact study of the interchange fee proposal, he and Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) yesterday sent a letter to the GAO requesting a study of the potential impacts of the proposal (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE12).  The members state that the proposal would cause banks and credit unions to face “material obstacles” to offset the regulatory, anti-fraud, and operating costs for extending banking services to low-balance consumers, with the proposal also raising “unique concerns” because the Fed offers competing payment services.  The members request that the GAO’s analysis examine the rule’s effects on consumer access to checking account services with regards to minimum balance costs, increases in ancillary fee revenue, LMI population access, and the cumulative impacts of agency rules since January 1, 2023 affecting debit accounts.

Barr Concedes Capital Rules Will Change

Ending speculation that Vice Chair Barr will not accede to Chair Powell’s end-game …

11 03, 2024

DAILY031124

2024-03-11T17:15:23-04:00March 11th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Hagerty Demands Signature-Asset Sale Answers ASAP

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) yesterday sent a letter to Chair Gruenberg questioning the FDIC’s adherence to requirements in its auction process during the sale of Signature Bank’s loan portfolio, accusing the FDIC of making political choices inconsistent with its least-cost mandate.

Scott Again Calls for Gruenberg Resignation

Adding to GOP pressure on FDIC Chair Gruenberg, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) yesterday sent a letter reiterating his demand that Mr. Gruenberg step down.

BTFP Demise if FHLB Opportunity

As anticipated, the BTFP window closed today.

FDIC’s Hill Wants New Blockchain, Liquidity Standards

FDIC Vice Chair Hill today said there are “significant downsides” to the agency’s current approach to blockchain, describing its message and that of the inter-agency policy (see Client Report CRYPTO32) as “don’t bother trying.”

Warren Tries to Divide Powell from Other Regulators to Conquer Capital Regs

Following her grilling of Chair Powell last week regarding his decision to intervene in setting the new capital rules, Sen. Warren (D-MA) yesterday sent a letter to Vice Chair Barr, Chair Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu asking them if pressure from big banks has “weakened your resolve.”

GAO Wants FinCEN to Move Better, Faster

Reinforcing longstanding bank complaints about the current AML regime, GAO today published a report finding that FinCEN needs to improve transparency surrounding its progress implementing the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (see FSM Report AML132).

Biden Presses for Statutory Change Boosting FHLB Affordable-Housing Contributions

President Biden’s FY25 …

7 03, 2024

DAILY030724

2024-03-07T16:51:03-05:00March 7th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC GOP Press Discount-Window Reform, Slow-Go on Liquidity Risk

Building on questioning at a recent HFSC hearing (see Client Report LIQUIDITY34), Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) led all Republican members of his subcommittee in a letter to Chair Powell, Chair Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu urging them to address stigma and operational issues associated with the discount window.

Powell Reiterates: Capital Rules Will Change

Today’s Senate Banking hearing with Chair Powell covered much of the same ground as the Chair’s appearance before HFSC (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE75) with Democrats focusing on housing affordability and Republicans expressing their satisfaction with Mr. Powell’s statement that the Basel III proposal may have to be withdrawn and re-proposed.

House Judiciary Now Says 12 Large Banks Colluded with FinCEN

Prior to the House Judiciary’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing today on large bank “collusion,” the subcommittee yesterday published a report finding that FinCEN and the FBI engaged in backchannel discussions with large financial institutions to gather private financial data.

BCBS Proposes GSIB Window-Dressing Revisions

As anticipated, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision today released a consultation on revisions to the GSIB assessment framework concerning window dressing.

House Republican Targets Interest on Reserves

Following up on yesterday’s HFSC hearing (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE75), Rep. Davidson (R-OH) has introduced legislation (H.R. 7562) to prevent Federal Reserve Banks from paying interest on excess reserves.

Daily030724.pdf

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