#BIS

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

28 03, 2024

Daily032824

2024-03-29T10:36:38-04:00March 28th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

House GOP Resolution Challenges CFPB Credit-Card Late-Fee Rule

As promised, the GOP resolution to overturn the CFPB’s credit-card late-fee rule has now been introduced (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37).  HFSC Rep. Ogles (R-TN) introduced H.J. Res. 121 on Tuesday, adding another attack to the rule which is already being challenged in court.

FinCEN Advances Limited KYC Reform

Acting on its longstanding promise, FinCEN in consultation with banking agency and NCUA staff today issued a RFI examining new KYC approaches, including permitting banks to collect partial SSN information directly from the customer backed by third-party sources that provide full SSN prior to account opening.

BIS: Statement Revisions Augur Greater Bank Risk

Doubtless reflecting Credit Suisse’s failure, the BIS today released a study on risk information derived from pre-publication revisions to bank financial statements sent to supervisors, finding that the frequency of revisions is highly correlated with a bank’s subsequent CAMELS rating downgrade, higher future average probability of borrower default, and greater distance to default score.

Daily032824.pdf

15 03, 2024

Al031824

2024-03-15T17:23:21-04:00March 15th, 2024|3- This Week|

Answered Prayers?

Banks have been asking regulators for years – decades? – to update 1995 merger guidance.  So the banking agencies are beginning to do, but not exactly as banks would have liked to see it done.  Although Sen. Warren (D-MA) thinks the OCC’s proposed merger policy is too soft, our analysis (see FSM Report MERGER14) and that of many others finds it a formidable barrier to all but the simplest, smallest transactions.  Now comes the FDIC.  As the schedule below makes clear, it plans on Thursday to issue a proposal based on its 2021 RFI (see FSM Report MERGER9).  We doubt any bank-merger policy influenced as strongly by CFPB Director Chopra will be a bank merger policy banks will like any better than the OCC’s, although some compromises may have to be made if Republican members of the FDIC board are willing to contemplate at least some of what Mr. Chopra, surely seconded by Chair Gruenberg, wants done.

Al031824.pdf

14 03, 2024

DAILY031424

2024-03-14T16:33:10-04:00March 14th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bipartisan Senators See More ILC Charters

Led by Sen. Romney (R-UT), bipartisan senators generally from states with large ILC presence or interest urged the agency to advance pending ILC charters and consider new ones.  The Senators oppose regulatory actions that may “target” ILC charter applications, expressing concerns about delays in the FDIC’s decision process.

Global Supervisors Target Mortgages, BNPL, Fintech as Top NBFI Systemic Priorities

An FSI report today recommends a holistic approach to regulating NBFI retail lenders, urging a policy mix increasing NBFI oversight.  This may well be right, but it will take statutory change in nations such as the U.S. to achieve it.

New Open-Standard-Setting for Open-Banking Set for Stringent Eligibility Standards

CFPB Director Chopra now states that the open-banking regulation regarding consumer data rights (see FSM Report DATA4) will be finalized in the fall, with proposed new standards for standard-setters released ahead of time so that the final rule addresses both issues.  Mr. Chopra is concerned that some forms of standard-setting organizations “weaponize” data to enhance their competitive position.

Daily031424.pdf

4 03, 2024

DAILY030424

2024-03-04T16:58:40-05:00March 4th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS Targets Prime-Broker Risk

The BIS quarterly review contains an assessment of the risk prime brokers may pose both to GSIBs and financial stability.  This sector has long been a concern of central bankers and risk managers, but the BIS analysis is the first in recent years to quantify it and decompose key risk drivers (e.g., wrong-way risk) to conclude that the inter-connections between hedge funds and prime brokers are a source of systemic instability and potential hazard to banks as evidenced all too clearly last year at Credit Suisse.  These risks are of course also a key part of the Fed’s new exploratory stress-test related to hedge funds (see Client Report STRESS32).

Daily030424.pdf

4 03, 2024

M030424

2024-03-04T11:50:09-05:00March 4th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

The Madness of a Model and its Unfounded Policy Conclusion

As the pending U.S. capital rules head into their own end-game, there is finally a good deal of talk about an issue long neglected in both public discourse and banking-agency thinking:  the extent to which higher bank capital rules accelerate credit-market migration.  Simple assertions that more capital means less credit are, as I’ve noted before, simplistic.  One must consider how banks reallocate credit exposures to optimize capital impact and, still more importantly, how the credit obligations banks decide to leave behind take a hike.  Now comes a new paper the Financial Times touts concluding that, thanks to shadow banks, “we can jack up capital requirements more.”  Maybe, but not judging by this study’s design.  Even with considerable charity, it can be given no better than the “very creative” grade which kind primary-school teachers accord nice tries.

M030424.pdf

4 03, 2024

Karen Petrou: The Madness of a Model and its Unfounded Policy Conclusion

2024-03-04T11:50:02-05:00March 4th, 2024|The Vault|

As the pending U.S. capital rules head into their own end-game, there is finally a good deal of talk about an issue long neglected in both public discourse and banking-agency thinking:  the extent to which higher bank capital rules accelerate credit-market migration.  Simple assertions that more capital means less credit are, as I’ve noted before, simplistic.  One must consider how banks reallocate credit exposures to optimize capital impact and, still more importantly, how the credit obligations banks decide to leave behind take a hike.  Now comes a new paper the Financial Times touts concluding that, thanks to shadow banks, “we can jack up capital requirements more.”  Maybe, but not judging by this study’s design.  Even with considerable charity, it can be given no better than the “very creative” grade which kind primary-school teachers accord nice tries.

The paper in question is by Bank of International Settlements staff.  It looks empirically – or so it says – at what it calls the U.S. banking sector’s share since the 1960s of what it lugubriously calls “informationally-sensitive loans.”  It documents a lot of numbers said to demonstrate lower bank lending share, using a model founded on both erroneous data and wild leaps to conclude in a fit of circular reasoning that more nonbank lending explains why there is less bank lending.  In the study’s words, “intermediaries themselves have adjusted their business models.”  What might have led banks to decades of technological intransigence and strategic indolence is neither clearly explained nor verified.

What …

26 02, 2024

DAILY022624

2024-02-26T16:36:24-05:00February 26th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS: More Bank Competition Leads to Increased Credit Risk

A new BIS paper looks at a question critical to the debate over bank-merger policy:  the extent to which competition drives bank risk-based pricing decisions in corporate lending and, by extension, other credit markets.

OCC Proposes Changes to FOIA Procedures

The OCC today proposed several changes to its FOIA procedures, including allowing expedited processing requests and appeals of denials of these requests and those for fee waivers.

Warren, Progressives Expand Blast on CapOne/Discover Deal to Encompass OCC Merger Proposal

Following other Democratic attacks on the CapOne/Discover merger and her own, Sen. Warren (D-MA) continued her challenge in a letter also signed by twelve House Democrats.

CFPB Takes Precedent-Setting Step Bringing Nonbanks Under Supervision

The CFPB late Friday released its first contested finding that a nonbank is subject to its supervision following the establishment in 2022 of a process for bringing nonbanks under its supervisory wings (see FSM Report CONSUMER44).

Senate Republicans Introduce Anti-CBDC Bill

Sen. Cruz (R-TX) alongside Sens. Hagerty (R-TN), Scott (R-FL), Budd (R-NC) and Braun (R-IN) today introduced a bill to prohibit the Fed from directly or indirectly issuing a CBDC or even using CBDC as a monetary-policy tool.

Daily022624.pdf

14 02, 2024

DAILY021424

2024-02-14T17:29:47-05:00February 14th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Global Regulators Propose Ways to Limit Variation-Margining Stress

As promised, CPMI and IOSCO have issued a discussion paper on CCP and clearing-member variation-margin practices.  The global agencies propose eight principles to enhance the likelihood that margins will be covered in stress situations, a continuing challenge based on a recent IMF paper finding that up to a third of EU active-derivatives users would not be able to meet variation-margin calls under stress and would thus turn to liquidating MMF shares or other assets in a manner likely to amplify market stress.

HFSC Deploys Power of the Purse to Pressure FinCEN

As anticipated, today’s HFSC hearing with Treasury and FinCEN was highly partisan, with Republicans continuing to blast FinCEN for what they call SAR surveillance and now threatening to block any increased funding for FinCEN until it also improves beneficial-ownership reporting to the GOP’s liking. Rep. Loudermilk (R-GA) also criticized FinCEN for failing to release the statutorily-mandated BSA review and the $10,000 threshold review.

Barr Sees Banking System as Strong, Liquid

In remarks today, FRB Vice Chair Barr emphasized that, despite pockets of risk and CRE worries, the banking system is sound and he sees no liquidity-risk concerns across the financial system.  Still, March 2023 taught hard lessons, he said, with banks since taking significant steps to reduce HTM holdings and enhance liquidity resilience.

Daily021424.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

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