CFPB

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1 12, 2022

DAILY120122

2022-12-01T17:57:37-05:00December 1st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FDIC, FRB-NY Highlight AOCI Losses

In remarks accompanying the banking-sector 3Q report, Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg noted that unrealized losses on AFS/HTM securities now total $690 billion, up 47 percent from just the second quarter.  This issue is also highlighted in remarks today from the head of supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but neither she nor Mr. Gruenberg indicates if the agencies plan any action in this arena.

Brown Talks Civil Rights, GOP Attacks CFPB

Although Chairman Brown (D-OH) used today’s Fair Lending hearing to renew discussion of his 2020 legislation bringing financial institutions under the Civil Rights Act (see FSM Report FAIRLEND9), most of the focus at the session was on the CFPB.

House Panel Blasts Fintech PPP Practices, Seeks Investigation

A new report from the Select Committee on the Coronavirus investigating the role of fintechs in PPP fraud concludes that fintechs failed to implement appropriate oversight and fraud-prevention strategies despite accruing “massive” profits from administration fees.

Barr Talks Even Tougher on Bank Capital Rewrite

Although Vice Chairman Barr today confirmed statements to the Senate Banking Committee (see Client Report REFORM214) that his holistic-capital review is under way without any immediate conclusions, he also emphasized that it will ensure that ample capitalization is sufficient for severe stress and creates incentives for prudent lending.  Current capital levels are, he said, at the low end of what research suggests they should be.

Daily120122.pdf

30 11, 2022

DAILY113022

2022-11-30T17:09:02-05:00November 30th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Brown Again Asks Treasury for Crypto Action, Recommendations

In a letter today, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) continued his press for regulators to do something soon about cryptoassets.  He called on Secretary Yellen to work quickly with regulators to advance the policy recommendations in recent Treasury reports (see Client Report CRYPTO32), noting in particular his concerns with vertical integration, calling for rules as well as recommendations regarding any needed statutory changes.

Confirmation Seems Assured for Full FDIC Board

At today’s confirmation hearing, Republicans raised numerous concerns with Acting Chairman Gruenberg, but appear reconciled to accepting his nomination in order to win confirmation for the two Republican nominees who would fill out the board.  Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) blasted Mr. Gruenberg over the alleged “power grab” last year and his support for climate risk initiatives, but the bulk of questioning centered around cryptoassets.

Brown Presses CFPB to Stop Silent Second Foreclosures

Chairman Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter today to CFPB Director Chopra urging the Bureau to sanction servicers foreclosing on “zombie” second liens.  These are second liens that were often piggybacks in pre-2008 high-LTV mortgages designed to ensure that first loans could be sold to the GSEs without private mortgage insurance.

Daily113022.pdf

28 11, 2022

CONSUMER44

2022-11-28T15:19:28-05:00November 28th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Nonbank Consumer-Finance Supervision

Reviving what it calls “dormant” authority, the CFPB has finalized a proposed “procedural rule” expressly reiterating its right to govern an array of nonbanks and establishing procedures for making supervisory orders public.  As a result, a wide array of nonbank providers of consumer-financial products and services face increased legal and reputational risk as well as changes to the current business model and/or product/service design if orders made public by the Bureau lead to public or political backlash akin to that leading to the decisions at many banks to eliminate or alter overdraft fees after the Bureau voiced strong objections to them.

CONSUMER44.pdf

21 11, 2022

DAILY112122

2022-11-21T17:37:05-05:00November 21st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY Considers Why Deposit Rates are Now So Sticky

As Karen Petrou’s talk last week noted, Democrats and the CFPB have charged that exploitation explains why bank deposit rates now lag Fed rate hikes.  Today’s post from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds a steady decline in bank deposit-rate matches to Fed rate hikes since 1994, but also identifies market factors that largely explain rate sluggishness.  The study estimates the “deposit beta” – i.e., the difference between FOMC hikes and all deposit rates (including non-interest paying funds) found in BHC data.

Senate Dems Demand Digital-Asset Crackdown

Following last week’s hearings with the banking agencies (see Client Report REFORM214), Chairman Brown (D-OH) and Senate Banking Democrats today sent letters urging Vice Chair Barr, Acting Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu to review SoFi’s digital asset activities, accusing the firm of improperly expanding its crypto trading following commitments not to do so when it was granted licenses as a national bank and BHC.  Following the playbook of pressing for rules and enforcement rather than new law, Senators point to a new SoFi service they believe is not only an “expanded” digital-asset activity despite a commitment to wind down these impermissible activities, but also is dangerous to investors and unsafe and unsound.

Daily112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

FedFin on: Treasury Plumbs the Depth of Nonbank Finance, Seeks New Merger Policy, Rules

2022-11-22T13:19:47-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

As promised, this report provides an in-depth analysis of Treasury’s report and resulting recommendations to the President’s Competition Council on the impact of new nonbank consumer-finance entrants from a competition, consumer-protection, and financial-stability perspective.  Although the report calls for reconsideration of bank-merger policy with an eye to the growing role of fintechs and bigtechs, its overall view of market power fails in our view to capture the actual landscape in which…

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

21 11, 2022

M112122

2022-11-21T16:48:57-05:00November 21st, 2022|6- Client Memo|

What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians.  No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation.

m112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

FINTECH31

2022-11-21T12:00:14-05:00November 21st, 2022|5- Client Report|

Treasury Plumbs the Depth of Nonbank Finance, Seeks New Merger Policy, Rules

As promised, this report provides an in-depth analysis of Treasury’s report and resulting recommendations to the President’s Competition Council on the impact of new nonbank consumer-finance entrants from a competition, consumer-protection, and financial-stability perspective.  Although the report calls for reconsideration of bank-merger policy with an eye to the growing role of fintechs and bigtechs, its overall view of market power fails in our view to capture the actual landscape in which these important new entrants compete with banks.  For example, its focus on deposit-market concentration compares banks principally to neobanks, failing to consider deposit-like products such as prime MMFs and in many cases also credit-union deposits.  As a result, erroneous conclusions are drawn about market power that exists when all competitors – not just bigtechs or fintechs – are considered.

FINTECH31.pdf

21 11, 2022

Karen Petrou: What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

2022-11-22T13:18:11-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians. No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about crypto policy after my brief discussion in last week’s talk on the midterm’s policy impact. Here, more on both the legislative outlook and what regulators may finally bring themselves to do even if Congress can’t get itself together any better next year than in so many before it.

First more on why stablecoins are the cryptoasset most likely to come under a new federal gun. This isn’t because they deserve it more than any other cryptoasset – although they might – but because policy thinking about what to do with stablecoins is most advanced and, thus, bipartisan negotiations in the House are closest to the finish line.

That said, even stablecoin standards aren’t going to be easy. The clearest articulation of how new law might work is S. 4356, the Lummis-Gillibrand …

10 11, 2022

DAILY111022

2022-11-10T17:35:13-05:00November 10th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Inter-Agency Treasury-Market Rewrite Progresses

Treasury’s Inter-Agency Working Group on Treasury Market Surveillance (IAWG) today released a progress report on its efforts to guide action to stabilize the Treasury marketplace.

Fed Reg Report Highlights Future Priorities

The Fed today released its semiannual Supervision and Regulation Report, reiterating that banks entered 2022 in historically sound financial shape and outlined its priorities based on the potential risks of changing market conditions.

FSB NBFI Report Highlights Liquidity, Systemic Risk

The FSB today released a progress report on improving the resilience of non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI), recommending a number of enhancements to the current policy toolkit to better mitigate liquidity and financial stability risk.

CFPB Spotlights Cryptoasset Complaints

The CFPB today published a bulletin analyzing cryptoasset complaints the Bureau has received since 2018, observing a large spike in these complaints over the past two years and concluding that fraud, theft, hacks, and scams are widespread problems affecting participants in crypto markets.

CFPB Continues Furnisher Accountability Campaign

The CFPB today continued its campaign for furnisher accountability by issuing a circular upholding the Bureau’s belief that consumer credit reporting agencies and furnishers must conduct a reasonable investigation of non-frivolous consumer disputes and that failure to do so may subject them to CFPB enforcement under the FCRA.

CFPB Modifies Nonbank Financial-Company Standards

The CFPB today acted again by fiat to amend what it calls its procedural rule (see FSM Report CONSUMER41) revising its “dormant” authority and, as we noted in our analysis, creating a sweeping …

7 11, 2022

DAILY110722

2022-11-07T17:22:53-05:00November 7th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Toomey Calls for More Fed Transparency

Sen. Toomey (R-PA) continued Republican demands for still more Fed transparency, sharply criticizing the Fed’s Friday proposal to provide some transparency into which institutions are granted master accounts.

Sweeping CFPB Fee Restrictions Now Effective

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s circular on Unanticipated Overdraft Fee Assessment Practices and a bulletin now effective on Unfair Returned Deposited Item Fee Assessment Practices.

CFPB Advances Bigtech Market Power Campaign

Continuing its campaign against bigtech’s market power, the Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s notice and request for comment on what fees bigtech payment operators levy on users for violations of acceptable use policies and whether their policies include provisions to restrict user platform access.

Fed Staff Paper Tries To Gauge Social Welfare Impact Of Liquidity, Capital Regs

A new Fed staff study attempts to lay out the social costs and benefits of large-bank liquidity and capital regulation.

Warren Continues Campaign Against Wells Fargo, Zelle

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today continued her campaign against Zelle by sending letters to its parent company and Wells Fargo, taking particular aim at what she deems the latter’s failure to provide adequate claims and reimbursement data and labelling responses to previous letters “insulting.”

Warren Denounces Fed “Culture of Corruption”

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today also continued her campaign against Chairman Powell, sending him a letter alleging “another set of egregious and embarrassing ethics breaches.”

Daily110722.pdf

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