#Bowman

15 02, 2024

DAILY021524

2024-02-15T17:13:22-05:00February 15th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Focuses on Inclusive Cross-Border Payments

FRB Gov. Bowman today emphasized that national and global payment-system improvements must not only work for the financial system and payment providers, but also for end-users and broader inclusive growth.  This is a policy challenge that, she said, cannot be resolved only by technology.

Senate Dems Resume Attack on Zelle

Retreating from his stand during a recent hearing that seemed to absolve Zelle (see Client Report PAYMENT28), Senate Banking Chairman Brown, (D-OH) along with Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Reed (D-RI), today sent a letter reiterating calls for Zelle to clarify its reimbursement policy for impostor scams.  The letter also demands that Zelle revise its reimbursement policy to cover other scams and to and streamline its reporting process, demanding a new public commitment to doing so.

Waller Sees Impregnable Dollar Dominance

FRB Gov. Waller today mounted a strong defense not only of the dollar as the globe’s reserve currency under current conditions, but also even as digital currencies become more widely deployed.  This stand is consistent with those at the FRB opposing proposals in Congress to advance a CBDC on grounds that it is essential to preserve reserve-currency status (see FSM Report CBDC10) and signals no interest in the U.S. central bank to making any other payment-system changes to press sanctions policy with the dollar’s dominance in mind.

Daily021524.pdf

13 02, 2024

DAILY021324

2024-02-13T17:42:19-05:00February 13th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Durbin Tries Another Approach to Advance Card-Fee Limits

After trying various ways to bring his credit-card fee bill to the floor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair and Majority Leader Durbin (D-IL) has scheduled a hearing on this controversial bipartisan measure (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10).

FinCEN Reaches SEC Agreement to Bring Investment Advisers Under AML/CFT Standards

As it has repeatedly promised, FinCEN today revised a 2015 proposal and issued a new one to subject investment advisers to AML and CFT requirements similar to, but still less restrictive than, those that have long governed banks.

HFSC Rallies to Crypto AML/CFT Defense

The HFSC staff memo on Thursday’s Digital-Assets Subcommittee hearing makes it clear that cryptoasset entities will be given a strong platform from which to resist calls in the Senate to subject cryptoasset transactions to AML and sanctions law.

Gensler Reinforces AI Concerns

In remarks today, SEC Chair Gensler acknowledged AI’s benefits in a manner consistent with the President’s executive order (see Client Report AI3), but then launched into a sharp critique of its risks in line with the agency’s pending rule in this arena.

Bowman Takes Fed Accountability, Transparency to Task

In an essay today, FRB Gov. Bowman emphasized that regulatory accountability does not undermine the independence also essential to a sound, innovative banking system.

Gensler Turns to Bank/Hedge-Fund Interconnection

In addition to his speech on AI earlier today, SEC Chair Gensler today engaged in a wide-ranging discussion of key financial policy questions.

Daily021324.pdf

12 02, 2024

Daily021224

2024-02-13T13:14:07-05:00February 12th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Presses New Community-Bank Regulatory Construct

FRB Gov. Bowman today recommended that community banks be differentiated from larger ones based not on asset size as now, but rather by their business model.  Key criteria, she says, should be a simple and local business model focused on relationship banking.  Community-banking standards should reflect this business model in contrast to other banking strategies and be “fair,” i.e., focused on how challenging and costly it is for community banks to comply with rules that may not meaningfully apply to them.

IMF Targets Margining Risks

Reinforcing the work of global regulators addressing margining liquidity-risk fears, the IMF released a staff study finding that as much as a third of EU investment funds that are large derivatives end-users could not meet their variation-margin requirements under stress.

HFSC Set to Demand Much from Treasury, FinCEN

The HFSC majority-staff memo on Wednesday’s FinCEN hearing makes it clear that Under-Secretary Nelson and FinCEN director Gacki will face hard questioning on anti-money laundering and CFT topics.  These will surely include critical GOP scrutiny of Treasury’s request for additional authority for greater monitoring and enforcement authority over digital assets even though the Digital Asset Subcommittee plans a hearing specifically on this topic later this week.

FFIEC Redesigns Valuation-Bias Exam Protocol

Arguing that deficient real estate valuations due to bias or discrimination cause consumer harm and pose safety-and-soundness risks, the FFIEC today issued a statement of examination principles regarding valuation discrimination and bias in residential lending.  While the principles primarily concern …

6 02, 2024

DAILY020624

2024-02-06T16:33:54-05:00February 6th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Begin Pro Forma Reg Review Likely to Take on New Urgency

The FRB, FDIC, and OCC today released the first of the requisite ten-year request for comment on the extent to which existing rules are outdated or unduly burdensome.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of the request if it goes beyond the nominal inquiries in the past that led to little meaningful regulatory reform.

Senate GOP Turns to FHFA, FHLB on “Woke” Standards

Criticizing what they call the FHFA’s and FHLBs “politically contentious social agendas,” Senate Banking Republicans Hagerty (R-TN), Tillis (R-NC), Britt (R-AL), and Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to FHFA Director Thompson late yesterday arguing that several FHLB pilot programs are “racially discriminatory” and defy congressional intent.  They also argue that the pilot programs highlight a potential gap in FHFA oversight because the final rule governing Fannie and Freddie pilot programs does not also apply to the FHLBs.

SEC Finalizes Contentious Treasury-Market Registration Standards

The SEC today voted 3-2 to approve a revised version of an earlier proposal subjecting certain hedge funds and other Treasury-market participants to registration and SRO regulation, thus reducing their competitive advantages vis-à-vis banks in the secondary-dealer arena.  The new approach uses a qualitative test based on the extent to which a covered entity acts as a market-maker as well as Treasury investor.

Daily020624.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

22 01, 2024

M012224

2024-01-22T09:40:25-05:00January 22nd, 2024|6- Client Memo|

How the Banking Agencies Dealt Themselves Such a Weak End-Game Hand

We said from the start that finalizing the capital rules as proposed would be difficult because I have truly never seen a sweeping rule buttressed by such shoddy analytics.  It’s of course true that lots of rules make little sense, but rules that cost companies as much as the capital rules are uniquely vulnerable to substantive and legal challen­­­ges.  This is even more likely when, as now, the proposal’s victims know how to temper political claims with well-founded assertions of analytical flaws and unintended consequences.  When regulatory credibility is effectively undermined, even those who might otherwise side with the regulators become cautious, if not actually averse to doing so.  And thus, it has come to pass for the end-game rules.

m012224.pdf

22 01, 2024

Karen Petrou: How the Banking Agencies Dealt Themselves Such a Weak End-Game Hand

2024-01-22T09:22:56-05:00January 22nd, 2024|The Vault|

We said from the start that finalizing the capital rules as proposed would be difficult because I have truly never seen a sweeping rule buttressed by such shoddy analytics.  It’s of course true that lots of rules make little sense, but rules that cost companies as much as the capital rules are uniquely vulnerable to substantive and legal challenges.  This is even more likely when, as now, the proposal’s victims know how to temper political claims with well-founded assertions of analytical flaws and unintended consequences.  When regulatory credibility is effectively undermined, even those who might otherwise side with the regulators become cautious, if not actually averse to doing so.  And thus, it has come to pass for the end-game rules.

As our analyses of all of the comment letters filed last week by dozens of Democrats make clear, only a few super-progressive Democrats now stand firmly with the regulators and even they have a few qualms.  Maybe the agencies will try to bull it out – we thought so as recently as early this month in our outlook.  We were clear there that major changes would need to be made to finalize the end-game rules; now, we’re not sure even these will do.  The odds now are considerably higher for the re-proposal pressed last week by FRB Govs. Waller and Bowman.

The agencies are of course not naïve.  They knew that the final rule would have to show a few concessions to its critics.  As a result, …

17 01, 2024

DAILY011724

2024-01-17T16:21:16-05:00January 17th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Tries to Bring Overdraft Fees Under New Benchmark

Arguing that overdraft fees are a big-bank “junk-fee harvesting machine,” CFPB Director Chopra today released a long-awaited proposal to cap fees to what the agency considers a reasonable threshold.

Bowman Expands Basel Critique, Key Dem Now Points to Problems

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman did not go quite as far as her colleague Chris Waller yesterday, but she nonetheless urged that the end-game rules be re-proposed after comments are taken into account.

Senate Banking GOP Again Urges Capital Proposal Withdrawal

Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) along with all Committee Republicans late yesterday sent a letter to FRB Chair Powell, FDIC Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu once again calling on the regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Biden, Brown Praise CFPB Overdraft Proposal

Following the CFPB’s announcement of its proposed rule regarding overdraft fees today, President Biden again denounced “junk fees” as “exploitation,” and included the CFPB’s proposal in his administration’s efforts to lower costs for American consumers.

FRB/FDIC Provide Limited-Time Resolution-Plan Filing Flexibility

Reflecting a problem we identified in our assessment of the resolution-plan proposal (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL22), the FRB and FDIC today extended the resolution plan submission deadline for categories II and III banks from July 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.

Global Regulators Turn to OTC-Derivative Margin Improvement

Following yesterday’s release with the CPMI focused on CCPs and clearing members, the Basel Committee and IOSCO today …

9 01, 2024

DAILY010924

2024-01-09T16:48:15-05:00January 9th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Now Tackles Supervisory Transparency

In remarks late yesterday, FRB Gov. Bowman added a new concern: supervisory transparency.  She indicated that the Fed’s supervisory expectations have changed to the point at which some state agencies think the Fed goes too far, but banks have no way of anticipating possible supervisory injunctions.  As a result, she argues for near-term transparency via public notice-and-comment guidance or rulemaking.

Barr Bows a Bit

Answering questions today, FRB Vice Chair Barr indicated that the BTFP may well close on March 11, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the Fed’s emergency-liquidity mandate.  That said, loans will be extended until the one-year anniversary and may remain until 2025.  He also outlined a significant compromise on the operational-risk section of the end-game rules (see FSM Report OPSRISK22), more closely aligning the proposal with the Basel standards as our outlook anticipated.

Daily010924.pdf

5 12, 2023

DAILY120523

2023-12-05T17:00:21-05:00December 5th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Calls for Bank-Driven Inclusive Finance

Federal Reserve Gov. Bowman today encouraged banks to offer more inclusive retail-banking products in part by making better use of technology.  Noting the Board’s 2020 statement on small-dollar lending, she notes that consumers are best served when products such as these come from regulated banks.

Daily120523.pdf

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