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16 12, 2022

DAILY121622

2022-12-16T17:19:37-05:00December 16th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

GHOS Presses Speedy Bank-Crypto Capital Standards

Basel’s governing body, the Governors and Heads of Supervision, today endorsed the Committee’s planned work schedule.

Fed Finally Finalizes LIBOR Transition Regs

Narrowly ahead of its year-end statutory deadline, the Federal Reserve today issued a final version of its detailed proposal (see FSM Report LIBOR8) to implement the LIBOR Act’s provisions on replacement rates for existing contracts without fallback language (see FSM Report LIBOR7).

Regulators Highlight P2P, Crypto, NBFI Risks at FSOC Meeting

Although most of the FSOC’s discussion today of the LIBOR transition and climate risks was perfunctory, comments on the now-released 2022 Treasury annual report were not.

McHenry, Davidson Point to Forex-Clearing Systemic Risk

Picking up a recent BIS report finding at least $65 trillion at risk in off-balance sheet foreign-exchange clearing, incoming HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) and the top Republican on the panel’s fintech task force, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), called on Fed Chairman Powell and Secretary Yellen to investigate what they consider a looming risk to U.S. financial stability.

Chopra Presses Cloud-Service Provider, Stablecoin Systemic Designation

CFPB Chairman Chopra’s written statement for the FSOC meeting is considerably different than the oral one described in our earlier client alert.

Daily121622.pdf

8 12, 2022

DAILY120822

2022-12-08T17:14:56-05:00December 8th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Comment Deadline Set For Fed’s Climate-Risk Management Principles

The Federal Register today includes the Fed’s comment request on proposed climate risk-management standards that would guide banking organizations with assets over $100 billion (see FSM Report CLIMATE15).

Basel: Climate Risk Not Ready for Capital Requirements

The Basel Committee today published a clarification by way of FAQs to its recently-finalized climate-risk management principles (see FSM Report CLIMATE14).

Warren, Smith Turn FTX Spotlight on Banking Agencies

As predicted in Karen Petrou’s memo on Monday, Congressional interest has now turned to the role of banks and their regulators in the FTX debacle.

FSB Heightens Focus on CCP, Insurer Resolvability

After over at least a decade of talking about nonbank resolvability, the FSB today announced that addressing it has become an “urgent” priority.

OCC’s Risk Inventory Continues To Target Deposit, Operational, Climate, Crypto Risk

As with its June 23 report on bank risks, the OCC’s December inventory reiterates concerns such as deposit outflow due to rate hikes, operational risks due to cyber-threats and third-party relationships, and compliance and credit risks.

Warren, Smith Back DOL Disqualification Proposal

Tackling yet another “big-bank” concern, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Smith (D-MN) sent a letter today applauding the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) proposal to disqualify banks found guilty of criminal misconduct from being qualified professional asset managers.

Daily120822.pdf 

7 12, 2022

CLIMATE15

2022-12-07T14:11:16-05:00December 7th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Climate-Risk Management

Following the pattern set in 2021 by the OCC, the FRB has now proposed climate risk-management standards as high-level principles to guide banking organizations with assets over $100 billion.  As with the OCC’s proposal and the very similar one that followed it from the FDIC, the FRB would give large banking organizations considerable discretion to manage climate financial risk as long as the organization expressly and transparently does so.  The Board is more explicit about the flexibility banks would have to decide if climate risk warrants a separate set of policies and procedures or if it can be incorporated into the broader risk-management construct.  However, regardless of an institution’s choice, the board of directors and senior management would need to ensure that climate risk is identified, measured, managed, and mitigated to the greatest extent possible consistent with the company’s business model and available climate-risk data.  Scenario analyses would also be required, although banks would have considerable flexibility conducting them.

CLIMATE15.pdf

6 12, 2022

DAILY120622

2022-12-06T16:40:03-05:00December 6th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Again Ratifies Focus on Crypto, Climate, Macro Risks

Following its meeting today, the FSB Plenary announced 2023 priorities to be finalized in January.  Focus will center on heightened monitoring of financial stability risks, enhanced NBFI and CCP resilience, work on the global crypto regulatory framework, cross-border payments reform, cyber and operational resilience, and financial risks from climate change.

FinCEN Targets De-Risking Compliance

Pointing to possible enforcement actions, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg today noted FinCEN concerns with the extent to which institutions apply a rules-based approach to de-risking rather than a risk-based one, leaving it vulnerable to fast-changing risks and without access to valuable suspicious activity information.

Warren, GOP Senators Put Silvergate On FTX Hotseat

Reflecting at least some bipartisan agreement on the need for new crypto standards, Sens. Warren (D-MA), Kennedy (R-LA), and Marshall (R-KS) late yesterday sent a letter to the CEO of Silvergate Bank demanding detailed information regarding its relationship with FTX and FTX affiliates.

GOP Threatens Woke Asset Managers With BHC Designation

The Senate Banking GOP report today on ESG asset management contains an interesting aside about the extent to which passive ownership of banking organizations could make the three largest asset managers de facto BHCs.

Brown Fires First Shot in 2023 ILC Wars

Putting down a market for the next Congress, Senate Banking Chairman Brown and two Democratic colleagues today introduced their bill end bar ILC charters for nonbank parents.

Daily120622.pdf

2 12, 2022

DAILY120222

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).

Daily120222.pdf

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

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