15 03, 2023


2023-03-15T16:58:30-04:00March 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Waters Reiterates ICE/BKI Opposition

HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) released a statement today applauding the FTC’s move to block Intercontinental Exchange from acquiring the mortgage software company Black Knight.

Progressives Press For Tailoring Redo

Cementing prior denouncements of 2018 Dodd-Frank “rollbacks” into legislative action, 17 Democratic senators and 31 House Members today took direct aim at Trump-era banking policy by introducing legislation that would repeal Title IV of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

Bowman Presses Small-Bank Mergers, Climate Caution, Third-Party Guardrails

In remarks today, FRB Governor Bowman noted that delays in merger reviews cause significant operational and reputational risks and suggested considering all competitors when evaluating a small bank merger’s competitive effect to reduce delays.

New CFPB RFI Brings Data Brokers Under Scrutiny

Ahead of a planned rulemaking, the CFPB today released an RFI seeking comments on the business practices of data brokers, focusing on new business models to determine if certain practices fall under the scope of FCRA.

Warren, Blumenthal Call on DOJ, SEC to Investigate SVB

Although media reports indicate that an investigation is already under way, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter today to Attorney General Garland and SEC Chairman Gensler urging them to investigate senior SVB officials if they are not already doing so.

FHFA Delays New DTI-Based Upfront Fee

Following an announcement this January that FHFA would implement changes to Fannie and Freddie’s single-family pricing framework, Director Thompson today announced that the Agency will delay the effective …

14 02, 2023


2023-02-14T16:52:49-05:00February 14th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

What’s Next At The Post-Brainard Fed

Clients have asked us to advise on what may be next for the Fed if Vice Chair Brainard is indeed named as head of the White House NEC, which now seems certain.  In our view, there will be no change to FOMC policy given unanimity on this question and the leadership not only of the vice chair, but also of the Fed chairman and FRB-NY president.  However, there could be a significant shift in the likelihood of a U.S. CBDC.  Ms. Brainard has been the most outspoken advocate of a CBDC (see Client Report CBDC13), but her successor as head of the Fed payment committee is likely to be either Gov. Waller or Bowman, each of whom is a strong CBDC skeptic.


13 02, 2023


2023-02-14T15:50:52-05:00February 13th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman: Large-Bank Supervisory Guidance to Come, Capital Reform to Exempt Smaller Banks

FRB Gov. Bowman today acknowledged that, while Fed supervision and regulation must be independent of political objectives, they must also be accountable and therefore transparent, predictable, and tailored.


2 12, 2022


2022-12-02T16:51:39-05:00December 2nd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Menendez Blasts FRB-Chicago Choice

Continuing his campaign for increased diversity and transparency at the Federal Reserve, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued a fiery statement criticizing the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s decision to name a non-Latino president.

Fed Revises PSR to Prepare for FedNow

The FRB today finalized changes to its Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR) to expand access to collateralized intraday credit.  These reduce the administrative steps associated with requesting collateralized capacity, action the Fed says would improve intraday liquidity management and payment flows while also assisting the Reserve Banks managing intraday credit risk.

GOP Expands CBDC Attack to Project Hamilton

Readying an inquiry intended to block CBDC when the GOP takes over the house next year, Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and six other HFSC Republicans sent a letter to FRB Boston President Susan Collins demanding answers to allegations that private companies are abusing their work on Project Hamilton to position themselves for product sales to financial companies once a CBDC begins.

Fed Finally Outs Climate-Risk Principles

As long anticipated and likely late on Friday in hopes of avoiding critical GOP scrutiny, the Federal Reserve Board today released proposed climate-risk principles.  These are “high-level” as is also the case for global edicts in this contentious arena (see FSM Report CLIMATE14), also tracking the OCC’s longstanding like-kind proposal (see FSM Report GREEN12).


16 11, 2022


2022-11-22T15:02:46-05:00November 16th, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC Session Brings Crypto Action to Fore, “Holistic” Capital Under Scrutiny

HFSC today largely focused bank regulators on the same range of questions posed at yesterday’s Senate Banking session (see Client Report REFORM214).  However, Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) emphasized the importance of federal legislation in sharp contrast to Chairman Brown (D-OH), also announcing a hearing in December on FTX.  Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), who will become HFSC chairman in the next Congress, concurred with the chairwoman’s views on the need for digital-finance statutory reform.  However, he took strong issue with inter-agency policy with regard to new capital rules, merger restrictions, and third-party relationship constraints.  Republican members also targeted Vice Chairman Barr’s holistic capital review, arguing that banks are currently well capitalized and that additional standards would hamper lending.  Mr. Barr indicated that an SLR rewrite is part of the holistic review but not immediately necessary to quell Treasury-market volatility or illiquidity.  As discussed in more detail below, regulators promised banking-sector crypto rules at least as stringent as Basel’s proposal.



14 10, 2022


2022-10-14T17:04:18-04:00October 14th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Along with a Squeaker Merger Approval, Fed/FDIC Begin Work on Large-Bank Resolvability

As anticipated in Karen Petrou’s speech yesterday, the Fed today unanimously approved and the FDIC will shortly do the same on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking re-enforcing large-bank resolvability.  That this complex rulemaking will not slow near-term merger decisions was made clear today also by the Fed and OCC decisions to clear USB’s acquisition of MSFG’s California banking organization.

Covid Comm Presses CFPB for Still More Credit-Reporting Reform

The Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Rep. James Clyburn (D-NC) sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra requesting that the Bureau investigate the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (NCRAs) for failing to properly address credit reporting errors.  Citing data, the Subcommittee obtained from the NCRAs, Chairman Clyburn alleges that reporting errors occurred far more often than previously thought, that the majority of disputes do not result in consumer relief, and that the NCRAs discarded “tens of millions” of submissions without investigation by claiming they came from unauthorized third-parties.

Waller Dismisses Threat To Reserve Dollar Without A CBDC

In remarks today, FRB Governor Waller reiterated his skepticism of foreign-issued CBDCs and stablecoins, arguing that the underlying reasons for dollar dominance are non-technological and CBDCs will not affect them.  He dismisses concerns that foreign CBDCs would undermine dollar dominance because they could neither reduce payment frictions nor prevent illicit finance.


29 08, 2022


2023-01-04T10:17:26-05:00August 29th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FedNow Set for Soon

Vice Chair Brainard today announced that the Fed’s instant-payment “FedNow” system will achieve its hoped-for opening in mid-2023 (see FSM Report PAYMENT20).  Although this announcement covers only an expansion of the Fed’s pilot program rather than a complete launch, Ms. Brainard cautioned that, while the system is ready thanks to early adoption by some financial institutions, it remains to be seen if enough banks, core processors, software-developers, and other entities are willing to make the investments necessary to create the ubiquitous, equitable service sought by the central bank.  However, it is unclear if slow adoption is due to preference for the U.S.’s longstanding, private real-time system, continuing challenges to inter-operability, the fact that FedNow will be a pilot even when officially launched, or if simple lag time accounts for the delay of concern to the Fed.


19 08, 2022


2023-01-04T11:13:22-05:00August 19th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Payment-System Decision Process May Begin Today

Today’s Federal Register includes the Fed’s final payment-system access guidance (see FSM Report PAYMENT25).  The guidelines are thus effective immediately.  As noted, the final three-tier process for Reserve Bank deliberations sets out a process for streamlined, “intermediate,” and additional scrutiny based on an applicant’s charter, regulation, risk-profile, and numerous other, possibly discretionary factors.

CFPB Plans New Credit-Card Fee Disclosure Requirements

Following its ANPR on credit-card fees (see FSM Report CREDITCARD35), the CFPB today published a rationale for its campaign to control them and – despite the early stage of its rulemaking – a plan to do so via a data-collection proposal published yesterday in the Federal Register.  Comments on the proposal are due by October 17 and the details now provided on the Bureau’s plans suggest it will get more than a few.  The post argues that APR transparency would spur competition and empower consumers.

FDIC Goes After Crypto Companies for False Advertising

Based on its earlier warning and recent rule re advertising FDIC insurance, the FDIC today issued cease-and-desist orders against five cryptocurrency companies it claims are advertising that several of their crypto-related products are FDIC-insured.  The order expressly instructs these companies to remove any reference that suggests products carry FDIC coverage within fifteen days and makes clear that a failure to comply will result in further FDIC action, the nature of which is not specified.


17 08, 2022


2023-01-04T11:35:25-05:00August 17th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Cautions on Payment-System Access, CBDC

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman pointed to the Fed’s final payment-system access guidelines, again urging nonbanks not to have “false expectations” about access while an implementation process advances.  She also noted a longstanding inter-agency proposal addressing partnership risks (see FSM Report VENDOR9) and said she believes final action is needed but provided no insight into when this might in fact occur.  Noting also yesterday’s Fed supervisory letter on cryptoassets, Gov. Bowman indicated that additional supervisory guidance on stablecoins, custody, and other outstanding digital-asset issues is also being developed.

CFPB Digital-Market Standards Start Now

Today’s Federal Register includes the CFPB’s interpretive rule subjecting digital companies using behavioral or similar data to market consumer-finance products to federal consumer law (see FSM Report FINTECH30). The rule is effective immediately.  As noted, the rule curtails the extent to which digital advertising and marketing strategies are exempt from CFPB regulation and state or federal enforcement actions.


5 05, 2022

FedFin on: Agencies Advance Sweeping, Tough CRA Rewrite

2023-03-01T14:34:50-05:00May 5th, 2022|The Vault|

The FDIC today led the way with release of a long-awaited inter-agency proposal updating decades-old CRA regulation.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth assessment of the new approach, which includes an update to assessment-area calculations to address electronic-delivery modalities, tackles new concerns such as environmental and racial justice, and adds new community priorities such as childcare and financial literacy.  This report provides details on these provisions as well as on key points raised at the meeting by CFPB Director Chopra…

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here and here.


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