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16 11, 2022

REFORM215

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.

REFORM215.pdf

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15 11, 2022

DAILY111522

2022-11-15T17:28:46-05:00November 15th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Recognizing Early Stage, FSB Still Slams Climate Stress Scenario Analytics

In collaboration with the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), the FSB today concluded that risk exposures and vulnerabilities may be underestimated under current climate-stress scenarios because metrics fail to capture second-round effects, potential climate non-linearities, risk-management costs and externalities, and asset-price corrections triggered by transition shocks.  Further, while orderly scenarios do not yield severe impacts, disorderly scenarios and scenarios involving no financial system transition accompanied by high medium- to long-term physical risks correlate with significant GDP and financial losses.  As a result, the FSB determines that, although the impact of climate risk is concentrated in certain sectors and currently contained from a domestic financial perspective, tail risks may pose notable resilience threats.

FRBNY Launches CBDC Feasibility Project

Advancing more of the U.S. CBDC infrastructure, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York today announced that its Innovation Center (NYIC) will engage in a proof-of concept project testing the technical, legal, and business feasibility of distributed ledger technology to settle financial institution liabilities through transfer of central bank liabilities.  Work includes collaboration between NYIC and private sector organizations and will harness simulated data to explore the feasibility of central bank wholesale and commercial digital money interoperating on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger, but will not advance policy outcomes or signal imminent Federal Reserve CBDC adoption or design specifications.

Daily111522.pdf

15 11, 2022

REFORM214

2022-11-22T15:27:38-05:00November 15th, 2022|5- Client Report|

Crypto, Deposit Rates, Capital Top Senate Discussion

At today’s Senate Banking oversight hearing with the banking agencies, Chairman Brown (D-OH) generally applauded the work of regulators, emphasizing the need for tough standards, like-kind rules for bigtech companies, and an inquiry into why depositor interest rates lag Fed rate hikes along lines posed earlier by Sen. Reed (D-RI).  FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg concurred, criticizing banks for sluggish rates.  Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) reiterated his longstanding complaints about regulators straying outside their mission in areas such as climate change.  He also called for SLR relief to reduce Treasury-market risk and opposed pending large-bank resolution guidance (see FSM Report LIVINGWILL19) on grounds that it is unnecessary.

REFORM214.pdf

14 11, 2022

DAILY111422

2022-11-14T17:00:05-05:00November 14th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Thinks 2020 Reg Relief Could Go, Stay – It All Depends

In conjunction with the G20 summit, the FSB has released a policy paper assessing the extent to which various pandemic-related regulatory forbearances should be continued.

FSB Reiterates Climate, Crypto, NBFI Plans

The FSB head’s letter to the G20 today reiterates all of the priorities expressed in its October letter to G20 finance ministers.

Regulatory Hearings to Address Last-Gasp 2022 Agenda, Position Panels for a Busy New Year

With GOP House and Democratic Senate control largely assured, this week’s hearings with Messrs. Barr, Gruenberg, Harper, and Hsu will illuminate not only current priorities – most notably what’s next for federal crypto law and rule – but also the very different priorities HFSC and Senate Banking will advance in the next Congress.

FRB-NY Staff: Big U.S. Banks Remain Extremely Resilient

In its latest assessment of the vulnerability of the fifty largest U.S. BHCs, Federal Reserve Bank of New York staff confirmed the overall rosy assessment of bank resilience in the Board’s latest financial-stability report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94).

OCC Ramps Up Fair-Lending Enforcement

In remarks delivered for Acting Comptroller Hsu, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy Grovetta Gardineer reiterated that ensuring fairness is a top OCC priority.

Gruenberg Finally Gets the Nod

Knowing now that he has secured Democratic Senate control into next year, President Biden today finally and formally nominated Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg to assume the chairmanship.

Daily111422.pdf

3 11, 2022

DAILY110322

2022-11-03T17:15:32-04:00November 3rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Gruenberg Backs Bank On

In remarks late yesterday, FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg pointed to the importance of Bank On accounts to retain previously un- or under-banked households brought into the system following large government payments early in the pandemic.

ECB Presses Climate-Risk Capital Regs

Moving far ahead of the Fed, the ECB has announced strict plans to ensure that EU banks not only improve governance and express climate-risk stress testing, but also hold sufficient internal-capital allocations for physical and transition risk.

Data Standard-Setters to Come Under CFPB Regs

In remarks late yesterday updating the CFPB’s open-banking rulemaking efforts, Director Chopra indicated that the new consumer-data rules (see forthcoming in-depth FedFin report) will also address   how best to set public and private-sector standards to ensure industry-wide fairness and access to critical infrastructure.

IMF Climate-Risk Priorities Include GSIB Buffers

The IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Bo Li today set priorities for central banks and bank regulators addressing financial-system climate resilience.

Daily110322.pdf

20 10, 2022

DAILY102022

2022-10-20T17:36:06-04:00October 20th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Staff Study: Climate Risk-Based Capital Impossible for Foreseeable Future

FRB staff released a stylized study of one critical climate-risk policy question:  the extent to which banks should hold capital against it.  Members of Congress have suggested this over recent years (see FSM Report GREEN9) and the BIS at the outset of its thinking recommended both “brown-penalty” and “green-incentive” capital charges (see Client Report GREEN).

FSB Presses for MMF, Open-End Rules; Government-Bond CCPs

Continuing its NBFI focus (see Client Report NBFI), the FSB today issued new recommendations to address government-security market illiquidity.

Gruenberg Gives No Clue as to Timing, Content of Inter-Agency Crypto Guidance

In remarks today, Acting Chairman Gruenberg reiterated the risks laid out in the FSOC digital asset report (see Client Report CRYPTO33), repeated warnings against misrepresenting FDIC deposit insurance, and announced forthcoming interagency crypto guidance without providing any details or timeline.

Bipartisan Senators Press Secondary Sanctions for Enactment

Sens. Toomey (R-PA) and Van Hollen (D-MD) released a readout of a conversation with the Ukrainian Ambassador on the upcoming G7 Russian oil price cap, positioning their oil sanctions amendment for inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in light of the Ambassador’s support for it.

Warren Calls for Stronger, More Transparent CFPB Remittance Rule

Joined by four Senate Democrats, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra asking that the agency strengthen its remittance rule to ensure greater transparency for exchange rates and fees it …

19 10, 2022

DAILY101922

2022-10-20T17:16:10-04:00October 19th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Brings Older Adults Into Fair-Fee Focus

Following yesterday’s enforcement action and furthering its “fair-fee” policy agenda (see FSM Report CONSUMER38), the CFPB today published an Issue Brief on overdraft fees and economically-insecure older adults.

HUD Advances LIBOR Replacement As Deadline

Following its ANPR on replacing LIBOR last year, HUD today published a proposed rule to remove LIBOR as an approved index for forward ARMs and reverse mortgages, replacing it with SOFR.  For existing ARMs, HUD proposes to establish a spread-adjusted SOFR index to transition from LIBOR, with a lifetime five percent interest-rate cap for monthly adjustable rate reverse mortgages.

House Republicans Question PayPal’s Content Fine Mistake

Following revelations that PayPal had temporarily imposed a penalty fee on certain content, HFSC Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Rodgers (R-WA), and Reps. Emmer (R-MN) and Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman requesting more information about PayPal mistakenly updating its Acceptable Use Policy to include a fine for sharing “objectionable” messages on the platform.

Fed Study Finds Little Evidence of Discrimination in Mortgage Lending

A new Fed study on racial bias in mortgage lending finds little evidence of discrimination, concluding instead that disparities in observable applicant risk explain most racial denial disparities.  The study uses confidential HMDA supervisory data from 2018-2019 that controls for credit scores, DTI, and LTV on top of automated underwriting systems (AUS) recommendations.

Daily101922.pdf

18 10, 2022

DAILY101822

2022-10-18T17:16:23-04:00October 18th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Uses Enforcement Action to Press Payment-System Digital, Fee, Safety, Fairness Standards

Using an enforcement action today against ACTIVE Network, CFPB Director Chopra emphasized that this case epitomized broader Bureau concerns.  These are monitoring use of “digital dark patterns” – i.e., design features that manipulate users into harmful behavior that are profitable for companies.

Treasury’s FIO Seeks Input On Climate-Related Data Collection

Taking further action in response to the President’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk (see FSM Report GREEN8), Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office today requested comment on a proposed data collection regarding current and historical underwriting data on homeowners’ insurance from property and casualty insurers to assess climate-related financial risk.

HFSC Republicans Push Yellen to Support IFI Nuclear Energy Funding

In light of recent energy shortages in Europe, Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to Treasury Secretary Yellen urging her to support the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other IFIs financing nuclear energy projects.  They claim that an absence of Western funding has allowed China and Russia to fill the void, especially in developing countries.

Daily101822.pdf

13 10, 2022

DAILY101322

2022-10-13T16:58:46-04:00October 13th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Final FSB Climate Standards Push Scenario Analysis, Stress Testing to Macropru Bucket

Building on its interim report (see FSM Report CLIMATE13), the FSB today published its final report on Supervisory and Regulatory Approaches to Climate-related Risks. FedFin will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of the report, which focuses on regulatory reporting and data collection, system-wide supervisory and regulatory approaches, and assessing the extent to which current policies and tools address climate-related risks.

Daily101322.pdf

6 10, 2022

DAILY100622

2022-10-06T17:22:24-04:00October 6th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

OSTP Establishes AI User Rights, Privacy Protections

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released a little-noticed AI “Bill of Rights” that establishes AI user rights and data privacy principles.  Although nonbinding, this framework now sets policy that individual agencies are likely to follow even if they are nominally independent, as is the case with the FRB, OCC, and FDIC.  The CFPB is no longer independent and is in any case already committed to like-kind principles; the banking agencies so far have only issued an RFI (see FSM Report AI).

OCC Tightens Fintech, Payment, Crypto Supervisory Screws

The OCC today released its Bank Supervision Operating Plan for FY2023, highlighting the Office’s supervisory issues based in part on policy considerations.  The agency is prioritizing cybersecurity; third-party service providers with a particular focus on fintechs; consumer-protection and AML compliance; new product risk, such as payment systems technology and digital assets; and climate risks.

Daily100622.pdf

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