22 05, 2023


2023-05-22T16:53:15-04:00May 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Set To Tackle LLPAs, GSE Policy

As noted, HFSC tomorrow will grill FHFA Director Thompson.  Republicans will surely emphasize their opposition to recent LLPAs laid out at a subcommittee hearing last week; Democrats will continue to defend them.

Americans Struggle With Inflation, Savings; Bank Use Stable

Although the Fed’s latest economic well-being study has grim macro results with significant political consequences, it also finds that 94 percent of Americans in 2022 had banking relationships, an unchanged rate from 2021 although gaps remain by age, race, ethnicity, and disability.

Kashkari Disputes Need For Broad Reg Rewrite If Big-Bank Capital Goes Way Up

Renewing his campaign to hike large-bank capital ratios, FRB-Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari today said that higher capital requirements would have prevented recent failures and that additional, over-complex rules are poor substitutes for them.


14 12, 2022


2022-12-15T17:14:06-05:00December 14th, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC GOP Sets Table for Rocky CFPB Relationship

Despite early warm goodbyes to outgoing Chairwoman Waters (D-CA), GOP members wasted no time trading blows at a fiery HFSC session today with CFPB Director Chopra.  As anticipated, incoming Chair McHenry (R-NC) and committee Republicans focused their efforts on what they call “regulation by guidance,” accusing the Director of trying to influence the behavior of firms through nonbinding releases and avoiding the public rulemaking process.  In his testimony and answers to members, Director Chopra said that the Bureau is watching voluntary industry action on Zelle fraud before taking action and is more broadly focused on payment-system standards that ensure neutrality and strict data-privacy.  Republican members also highlighted how the Bureau’s proposed small-business reports (see FSM Report SMBUS27) put undue regulatory burden on small banks.  Additionally, Rep. Loudermilk (R-GA) inquired about the appropriateness of making banks liable for P2P fraud.  Democrats refrained from questioning the Bureau’s actions, instead asking about its bigtech inquiry, the resurgence of ARMs, and blackbox algorithms.  Reps. Cleaver (D-OH) and Vargas (D-CA) also continued their attacks on crypto from yesterday’s hearing, calling it dangerous and useless.


15 09, 2022


2022-10-13T11:49:04-04:00September 15th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Financial Transactions to Get More Stringent CFIUS Scrutiny

The President today issued an executive order (EO) redefining key criteria used by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).

BNPL Faces DOA Consumer Standards

In conjunction with issuing a lengthy report, CFPB Director Chopra today announced that he has directed staff to work on new interpretive rules or guidance for the BNPL sector.

Basel Battles On

Acting as anticipated following instructions from on-high, the Basel Committee today “exchanged views” on pending crypto regulation (see FSM Report CRYPTO29) – terminology suggesting the committee has yet to reach agreement on this controversial consultation despite a request by central bankers and supervisory heads to finalize standards by year end.

Fed Joins Agencies with CRE Workout Policy

After a delay doubtless reflecting the need to run policies by Michael Barr, the FRB today proposed the same CRE-workout policies released for comment in early August by the OCC, FDIC, and NCUA.

Waters Tries Late-Game CRA Tackle

Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) today announced that she has introduced legislation to update the CRA, making the standards tougher for banks but – as far as known so far – failing to extend the law’s reach to nonbanks as urged by CFPB Director Chopra and Sen. Warren (D-CA), among others.


3 08, 2022


2023-01-04T13:29:59-05:00August 3rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Ag Crypto Bill Lauds CFTC, Faces Many Obstacles

As we anticipated as the crypto debate continues, the Senate Agriculture Committee has sought to claim jurisdiction with a new, bipartisan bill granting the CFTC broad regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement powers over most digital-asset platforms and the assets traded on them.

ECB Study Favors CBDCs Over Private Crypto for Cross-Border Payments

study released by the ECB today argues that CBDCs would be a cheaper, safer, and more effective vehicle for cross border payments for global transactions than privately-issued cryptoassets or stablecoins.  Based on assessment of global, not just EU markets, the study thus has implications for those in the U.S. opposing a CBDC.

FRB-Minneapolis Renews Attack on Big-Bank Capital Resilience

Renewing its attack on big-bank capital ratios, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis today released its own stress-test conclusions, reinforcing its president’s longstanding view that the largest U.S. banks are woefully under-capitalized even though test results show considerable variance on a bank-by-bank basis as well as overall resilience.

FRB Philadelphia President Touts Fintech’s Financial Inclusion Potential

FRB Philadelphia President Patrick Harker today stated that fintech can increase financial inclusion, specifically citing buy-now pay-later products because they offer financial services to low- to moderate-income customers who would otherwise be locked out of traditional lending because they are more likely to be non-White, lower earning, and younger.


15 06, 2022


2023-01-26T13:40:01-05:00June 15th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Thompson FHFA Sticks with Utilities for GSE Future Charters
The FHFA today issued its annual report to Congress.  Although the first under now-confirmed Director Thompson, it follows the agency’s practice of reporting to Congress largely on past actions.

CFPB Demands Better BNPL Data, Improved Credit Reporting
Although the CFPB has taken no official action on buy-now/pay-later finance since its January RFI, it today issued a staff report on the sector containing a new statement of CFPB policy.

Basel Battens Down First Climate-Risk Hatch
The Basel Committee today issued a final version of its 2021 proposed set of high-level principles for managing climate risk (see FSM Report CLIMATE12).  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth assessment of this new global framework, which is also the starting gun for final action on OCC and FDIC risk-management guidance (see FSM Report GREEN12).

TD Merger Draws Democratic Fire
Reflecting continuing opposition to large-bank mergers, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) along with Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA), Chuy García (D-IL), and Al Green (D-TX) today sent a letter to Acting Comptroller Hsu demanding that TD’s proposed acquisition of First Horizon Bank be denied unless or until the bank is held accountable for what the Members describe as flagrant consumer abuses.


23 05, 2022


2023-02-21T13:53:43-05:00May 23rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY Staff: Mandatory Flood Insurance Harms LMI Households

A New York Fed blog post today points to another important, unintended consequence of well-meaning regulation: the adverse impact of mandatory flood-insurance coverage on LMI households.

FRB Atlanta Staff Bolsters Proposed Cash Acceptance Mandate

blog post today from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta strengthens the case for the mandate for retailer cash acceptance recently approved by the House Financial Services Committee.

Kansas City Fed Finds Persistent Commodity-Market Price Hikes, Volatility

Reflecting concerns in a recent Petrou op-ed, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City today released a report differing from the FOMC’s optimistic inflation forecasts at least as far as they relate to commodities.

HFSC Tackles Disability Rights

Tomorrow’s HFSC Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion hearing on disability rights will focus not only on housing access, but also on the extent to which a broad range financial services are easily accessible to persons with disabilities.

Fed Survey Shows Significant LMI Investment in Payment, Investment Crypto

The Fed today released a report on household well-being in 2021, detailing an array of survey findings that generally show Americans feeling remarkably prosperous and satisfied.  The Fed cautions that this may no longer pertain, but the data do suggest what may be more than a passing rebound in economic resilience for at least some families.


24 01, 2022


2023-04-20T14:55:24-04:00January 24th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FFIEC Advances Exam-Reform Initiative

Completing the final phase of its Examination-Modernization Project, the FFIEC late last week issued best practices for requesting examination information from supervised entities.  Best practices include requesting only risk-focused and relevant information, giving institutions sufficient time, and examiner coordination to avoid duplicative and/or redundant requests.

CFPB Seeks Comment on BNPL

The CFPB’s inquiry into buy-now/pay-later (BNPL) providers along with questions for public comment  were posted in today’s Register.


12 01, 2022


2023-04-24T15:42:45-04:00January 12th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Ag Committees Enter Crypto Fray

Flexing their jurisdictional muscle, the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees today sent a letter to the CFTC urging it to govern cryptoassets which, they say, are commodities.

CFPB UPs the Ante for Its Anti-BNPL Inquiry

The CFPB today broadened its market-monitoring demand of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) providers into a general request for public comment.  Focusing in particular on consumers and international agencies, the Bureau seeks views on matters such as risks and benefits, merchant experience, and ways to improve the sector.


16 12, 2021


2023-05-22T16:01:11-04:00December 16th, 2021|2- Daily Briefing|

FHFA Constructs a GSE Stress-Capital buffer
Building on its pending rewrite of GSE-capital rules, FHFA today proposed capital-planning requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac akin in many ways to those governing large banks.   

Campaign Advances to Oust McWilliams
Ramping up the FDIC battle, Public Citizen today called on President Biden to oust FDIC Chair McWilliams.  Confirming those who have suggested that the fracas is about more than bank M&A, the letter is signed not only by many consumer-advocacy groups, but also by climate-change interest organizations.

Democrats Demand BNPL Review, CFPB Obliges
Acting quickly on Senate Democrats’ request, the CFPB today launched an inquiry into buy now, pay later (BNPL) credit, requesting information from five BNPL credit providers on BNPL risks and benefits.

FSB Says Global NBFIs are Stable, Shrinking vs. Banks
The FSB today released its annual NBFI monitoring report, concluding somewhat puzzlingly that balance-sheet NBFI vulnerability measures appeared broadly stable comparing 2020 and 2019 despite the market volatility at the pandemic’s outset and massive government intervention.

OCC Begins Climate-Risk Regulatory Build-Out
As promised, the OCC today issued draft climate risk-management principles that, when finalized, would guide future agency action starting next year.


15 12, 2021


2023-05-23T12:22:59-04:00December 15th, 2021|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC GOP Try to Restrain FDIC Democrats
Squaring off in the partisan battle over FDIC merger policy, HFSC Republicans have launched their own investigation into what they call the Democrats’ “power grab.”  Republicans also “demanded” that Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) convene an oversight hearing even as they seek Democrats to join their inquiry.

Powell Commends MMF Proposal, Demurs on Crypto Risk
As expected, Fed Chair Powell’s press conference today focused almost entirely on inflation.  However, Mr. Powell used a question on financial stability to applaud the SEC’s MMF proposal (see alert earlier today).  Asked about crypto’s financial-stability risk, the Fed chair discounted near-term systemic risk, but consumer protection and market issues such as leverage outside the Fed’s jurisdiction warrant attention.

Senate Dems Demand BNPL Standards
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) was joined today by Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH), Sen. Warren (D-MA), and other Committee Democrats in calling on the CFPB to regulate buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) products.

SEC Advances Controversial Swing-Pricing MMF Rewrite
Acting on a major FSOC, Fed, and global worry, the SEC today approved a multi-prong proposal realigning MMF liquidity standards and clarifying how MMFs can handle negative rates.  The most controversial of the options would impose swing pricing on prime institutional and tax-exempt funds, an approach about which two Democratic commissioners expressed some concerns and the FSB seemed particularly skeptical in its recent MMF-options paper (see FSM Report MMF18).


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