#CCP

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

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 …

16 01, 2024

DAILY011624

2024-01-16T16:33:43-05:00January 16th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Waller Raises Stakes for End-Game Finalization

Going beyond his longstanding critique of the end-game rules, FRB Gov. Waller today reflected industry comments and litigation plans, saying that he now thinks the proposal needs a “major overhaul” or should be withdrawn and reissued.  As we noted in our recent 2024 outlook, Gov. Bowman will surely side with this view, but Chair Powell holds the gavel when it comes to the end-game outcome at the Federal Reserve.  Mr. Waller also is personally opposed to the pending rewrite of debit-card interchange fees (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE12) because it forces the Fed to pick winners and losers.

Global Regulators Try Transparency as Cure to CCP-Margin Risk

The Basel Committee, CPMI, and IOSCO today released a long-planned consultation on CCP and clearing-member margining practices.  These are designed to limit the volatile and potentially-systemic liquidity stresses due to margining practices evident in 2020 and again after the Ukraine invasion, with the extent to which these further shift cost burdens from CCPs to clearing members their most controversial aspect.  Largely focused on transparency, the new approach would require CCPs to provide clearing members with margin-simulation tools that members would then make available to end-users to enhance margin-call preparedness.

Daily011624.pdf

18 12, 2023

FSOC29

2023-12-18T11:36:07-05:00December 18th, 2023|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment: FSOC Worries A Lot, Watches, Waits

This year’s FSOC report trods much old ground with two exceptions.  The first pertains to a new focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and new, generative technologies.  That said, the report does little beyond highlight this risk and include it among all the others federal agencies are told to monitor.  Private credit now also alarms FSOC, with insurance company investment in this sector of particular systemic concern in concert with the sectors’ CRE and junk-bond exposures, offshore reinsurance, and PE ownership.  As detailed in this report, banks are found to be resilient and have ample capital even as the report supports consideration of pending regulatory revisions.  Banking agencies are also asked to monitor uninsured-deposit levels and assess run-risk in light of social media and other accelerants.  In sharp contrast to more alarmist statements in the past and extensive Treasury reports (see Client Report CRYPTO32), this year’s report downplays cryptoasset risk because federal regulators are said to have taken steps to contain it.  The report also reiterates FSOC’s continuing focus on cyber and climate risk, with the closed session preceding the meeting considering a framework being developed by the OCC to measure and monitor financial risks and bank exposures.  Agencies are also encouraged to pursue comparable, “decision-useful” climate disclosures.  The LIBOR transition is considered a success and no longer poses a systemic risk.

FSOC29.pdf

14 12, 2023

DAILY121423

2023-12-15T17:22:54-05:00December 14th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Top Senate Democrats Heighten Payment App Scrutiny

Continuing to shift their focus from Zelle to payment-service providers, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) along with Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Warren (D-MA) today sent letters to Paypal and CashApp urging them to adopt new scam-reimbursement policies.

Treasury Defends Russian Sanctions, Economic-Warfare Clout

Facing increasing assertions that U.S.-led sanctions are not meaningfully affecting Russia, Treasury today issued a blog stoutly defending sanctions effectiveness.

Reed Presses OFR to Subpoena Shadow-Bank Data

The principal sponsor of the Dodd-Frank provisions creating the Office of Financial Research, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), today defended the agency on grounds that it lacks a confirmed director, promising to push the appointment on the floor as quickly as possible.

Basel Targets Stablecoin Reserve-Asset Risk

Moving forward with “targeted” changes to current standards, the Basel Committee today outlined revisions to its crypto standards with significant practical implications.

Liang Disputes Over-Arching Need for New AI Regs

Treasury Under Secretary Liang today argued that AI is not fundamentally different than other financial innovations and is already subject to existing consumer-protection, safety-and-soundness, illicit-finance, and financial-stability guardrails.

FRB-NY Official Highlights AI Promise, Problems, Policy Action

Summarizing a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York AI conference, the Bank’s chief risk officer, Mihaela Nistor, concluded that AI can now identify GSIB and GSIFI risk due to its ability to detect tail behavior not now captured by relevant models.

Democrats Urge CFPB to Take Second Stand Against Forced Arbitration

Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Sanders (I-VT) were today …

13 12, 2023

DAILY121323

2023-12-13T16:50:12-05:00December 13th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Oversight Subcomm Revisits Iran Sanctions

Today’s HFSC Oversight Subcommittee hearing focused on the Biden Administration’s recent efforts to limit terrorist funding from Iran.  Chairman Huizenga (R-MI) questioned the need for the November 14th renewal of a waiver that allows Iraq to pay Iran for electricity, calling for increased pressure on Iran following Hamas’s October 7th attack.

SEC Sets Out Treasury Central-Clearing Construct

As anticipated, the SEC this morning voted 4-1 to mandate central clearing for Treasury securities used in many repo and reverse-repo transactions, modifying the proposal in key respects still unsatisfactory to Commissioner Peirce.  The rule addresses continuing concerns about Treasury-market fragility, in part by reducing the number of highly-leveraged hedge-fund transactions.

GAO Reaches Equivocal Verdict on Digital-Asset Crypto Evasion Risk

Addressing Congressional concerns such as those in the Warren-Marshall crypto-compliance bill, the GAO today issued a report finding that digital assets pose risk to U.S. sanction implementation and enforcement despite mitigating factors that may reduce certain risks.

Brown Presses Bank CEOs on Servicemember Rights

A week after the GSIB CEOs came before the Senate Banking Committee (see Client Report GSIB23), Banking Committee Chair Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to the CEOs of the four largest consumer banks encouraging them to ensure that active-duty servicemembers obtain all the financial benefits to which they are entitled.

Daily121323.pdf

7 12, 2023

DAILY120723

2023-12-07T16:42:01-05:00December 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS: CCP Collateral Holdings Pose Systemic Risk

A new BIS study looks at the risk that the transformation of OTC markets to centrally-cleared ones has in turn transformed markets based in part on know-your-counterparty into those dependent principally on collateral backing margin positions – an inherently more fragile market structure.

White House Presses FHLB Affordable-Housing Action

In remarks today, National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard not only highlighted the Biden Administration’s actions to address housing affordability, but also mentioned plans for new financing programs.

Ambitious CFPB Regulatory Plans Come Into View

The CFPB’s fall 2023 regulatory agenda provides status updates for several significant rulemaking items.

Basel to Set IRR, Window-Dressing, Crypto Standards

The Basel Committee’s year-end meeting advanced plans to address interest-rate risk (IRR) with a concrete agreement to issue a new consultation later this month updating current global IRR standards (see FSM Report IRR7).

BIS Points to MMF Risk When Rates Rise

Another new BIS paper concludes that the record size of MMFs poses significant threat to dollar-funding market stability.

OCC Warns Banks of AI Risk, Possible Supervisory Action

Reflecting growing Congressional, regulatory, and industry concerns over AI, today’s OCC semiannual risk assessment for federal banks states that national banks should be mindful of AI risks as these fall under current supervisory procedures.

Senate GOP Goes for Gruenberg’s Jugular

Despite efforts by the FDIC to reassure critics about its independent investigation, Senate Banking Republicans today fired off a ferocious letter demanding that FDIC Chair Gruenberg immediately resign …

9 11, 2023

SYSTEMIC98

2023-11-09T13:06:42-05:00November 9th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Systemic-Risk Determinations

Rejecting the Trump Administration’s hands-off approach to designating systemically-important nonbank financial institutions or activities and practices, the Biden Administration’s FSOC has finalized its bifurcated proposals to designate systemic entities and another laying out an analytical approach to identifying systemic risk that would then guide firm and activity designation as well as Council staff coordination with primary federal regulators.  This is likely to lead to new additional systemic entity-based designations, rules, product or service prohibitions/restrictions, and/or firm-specific supervisory action.  The final framework is as comprehensive as the proposal, meaning that U.S. systemic standards could extend far more widely than is now the case even if firm-specific nonbank designations are few and far between.

SYSTEMIC98.pdf

11 10, 2023

DAILY101123

2023-10-11T16:47:36-04:00October 11th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Targets U.S. Leverage Ratio, NBFIs

In remarks during the Morocco IMF/Bank meeting today, FRB Gov. Bowman contrasted U.S. bank resilience with the IMF’s findings yesterday on potential vulnerabilities as rates rise and macroeconomic conditions soften.

FSB Reiterates Stability Concerns

The FSB’s latest work plan reiterates all it most recently said to the G20.

CFPB Barrels Down on “Basic” Banking Fees

In conjunction with a new White-House junk-fee initiative, the CFPB today issued “guidance” – i.e., essentially a final rule – banning large banks and credit unions from collecting “unreasonable” fees for what the Bureau considers reasonable and “basic” account information.

SEC Throws Wrench into TLAC Standards

As we noted yesterday, the FSB’s assessment of the global resolution framework’s effectiveness found significant glitches it urges national regulators quickly to address via standards such as those now pending in the U.S. to bring smaller banking organizations into the resolution-planning regime (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL23).

OFR Study: Short-Selling Does Not Harm Financial Stability

OFR today released a model-based study that finds no evidence that short-selling adversely affects financial stability.

Daily101123.pdf

19 09, 2023

DAILY091923

2023-09-19T18:11:29-04:00September 19th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Finally Takes Concrete CCP-Resolution Action

Following longstanding announcements that it would advance CCP resolvability, the FSB today released a consultative report recommending a toolbox approach to CCP resolution providing sufficient loss absorption and liquidity that is readily available and mitigates adverse effects on financial stability.

Treasury Advances Climate-Risk Principles, Not Mandates

Cautiously advancing the President’s climate-risk order (see FSM Report GREEN8), Treasury today released nine nonbinding principles for net-zero financing and investment encouraging financial institutions to focus on limiting scope 3 emissions by implementing robust net-zero transition plans.

CFPB Expands AI Crackdown

Expanding on last year’s adverse action guidance (see FSM Report FAIRLEND11), the CFPB today issued a circular stating that lenders – especially those using AI – cannot use CFPB sample adverse actions forms and checklists to deny consumers credit if the samples do not accurately portray the reasoning behind the denial.

HFSC Republicans Expand Attack From Capital to LTD Rules

Today’s HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on the economic consequences of the banking agencies’ slate of recent proposals showcased strong Republican concerns.

Daily091923.pdf

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