#climate

14 11, 2023

REFORM229

2023-11-14T15:57:18-05:00November 14th, 2023|5- Client Report|

Capital Proposal Gets Bipartisan Bashing in Senate Banking

Today’s Senate Banking hearing with top bank regulators showcased broad bipartisan concern over the interagency capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).  Although Chairman Brown (D-OH), Sen. Warren (D-MA), and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) staunchly defended the proposal on countercyclicality grounds, other senators on both sides of the aisle sounded the alarm over its impact on credit availability, small-business lending, and shadow-bank migration.  FRB Vice Chair Barr repeatedly defended his agency’s analysis while emphasizing openness to comment, also highlighting that the proposal relates primarily to non-credit activity and would apply to only 37 banks.  Some Republicans also raised concerns over other recent rulemakings, with Sen. Britt (R-AL) asking Vice Chair Barr if the agencies would consider a comment deadline extension for the LTD proposal (see FSM Report TLAC9).  Although Mr. Barr stated that the rule is far simpler than the capital proposal, he also said the agencies would consider a similar extension.  FDIC Chairman Gruenberg drew bipartisan ire over reports of FDIC widespread harassment, with Republicans seizing the occasion to criticize Mr. Gruenberg’s leadership.  Grilled by Sen. Tillis (R-NC) about reports of a Fed leak of confidential supervisory information, Mr. Barr only said that he is deeply concerned.  Separately, Chairman Brown emphasized unfinished work on bank executive accountability and urged Congress to pass the RECOUP Act (see FSM Report COMPENSATION37), which passed the Committee nearly unanimously in July.

REFORM229.pdf

13 11, 2023

DAILY111323

2023-11-13T17:07:02-05:00November 13th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking GOP Demand End-Game Withdrawal, Holistic Review Release

Making still clearer their line of attack at tomorrow’s hearing, all GOP Members of the Senate Banking Committee today sent Chairs Powell, Gruenberg and Acting Comptroller Hsu another letter demanding the withdrawal of the capital proposals.

FRB-PHL: Fintech Spots Credit Risk Better than Banks

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia finds not only that fintech loan-risk scoring performed well during the pandemic, but also that the proprietary loan rating systems of large fintech companies better predict default likelihood in the personal loan market compared to traditional measures of credit risk.

Barr Stands By His Proposals

Vice chairman Barr’s testimony for forthcoming hearings emphasizes that the banking system is resilient and sound, eschewing the caveats included in Friday’s supervisory report about pockets of weakness.

Gruenberg Defends DIF Rewrites

While echoing comments from Messrs. Barr and Hsu about the sound banking system, FDIC Chair Gruenberg’s testimony pointed to what he called significant downside risk from higher rates, geopolitical tension, unrealized losses, and other factors.

Hsu Differentiates OCC Supervision, Defends Regs

Acting Comptroller Hsu’s testimony reiterates Mr. Barr’s comment about a sound banking system, pointedly noting that all of the recent failures were state-chartered.

Daily111323.pdf

7 11, 2023

DAILY110723

2023-11-07T17:01:20-05:00November 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Advances Financial-Inclusion Agenda

In conjunction with its read-out of yesterday’s meeting of its most recent financial-inclusion discussion group, Treasury announced that it will shortly release a request for information about how best to accomplish the national financial-inclusion strategy demanded in the Department’s FY23 appropriations.

HFSC GOP Challenges Motives, Process of Basel, NGFS Standard-Setting

As anticipated, today’s Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on global banking accords was acrimonious, with Republicans strongly attacking what they characterized as Democratic agency head’s participation in a range of global banking accords as well as the Network for Greening the Financial System.

CFPB Proposes to Extend its Supervisory Reach to Tech-Payment Providers

The CFPB today proposed a sweeping rule bringing tech-platform or fintech companies offering general-use digital-payment services under bank-like consumer-protection standards via more direct CFPB supervision.

Bowman Stands by Basel

Perhaps due to today’s HFSC hearing on global accords, FRB Gov. Bowman today went beyond her ongoing critiques of pending rules to defend participation in the Basel Committee and other forums.

FHFA Starts FHLB Redesign

FHFA today released its long-awaited assessment of the Federal Home Loan Banks, laying out an ambitious program of supervisory, regulatory, and statutory issues.

McHenry Slams CFPB Digital-Payment Proposal

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) today slammed the CFPB not for usual causes, but because he believes the agency’s proposed supervisory standards for nonbank general-use digital-payment providers will “entrench the status quo” – i.e., the role of banks – by eliminating consumer choice and impeding innovation.

Daily110723.pdf

27 10, 2023

Al103023

2023-10-27T17:00:24-04:00October 27th, 2023|3- This Week|

Take a Deep Breath

But don’t relax too much as newly-minted Speaker Johnson (R-LA) figures out what he’s going to do with the gavel now that he’s got it.  The House has barely three weeks to see if unanimity holds and a shutdown is avoided in favor of yet another can-kicking continuing resolution.  Regardless, with HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) happily freed of his Speaker Pro Tem assignment, HFSC will this week (see below) return to the high-impact hearing schedule if was forced to cancel during the speakership battle, move a raft of bills through mark-up, and work hard to put Mr. McHenry’s plans to realign crypto jurisdiction into must-pass legislation if the House agrees (likely) and the Senate doesn’t object (far less certain).  Among the bills to be marked up and those on the Senate’s agenda will surely be measures reviewed at last week’s Senate Banking hearing to ensure Treasury is super-tough when it comes to Iran and Hamas.  Secondary sanctions are in the works, putting any financial institution doing business in the U.S. on notice that offshore activities so far out of law-enforcement’s reach are about to come in range.  And, if that’s not enough, then there’s all the regulatory action.

Al103023.pdf

24 10, 2023

DAILY102423

2023-10-24T17:18:54-04:00October 24th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

McHenry, Barr Blast Basel Adherence in End-Game Regs

Although today’s hearing challenging regulatory actions aligned with global regulators was postponed, HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) and Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Barr (R-KY) today kept up the pressure, releasing a letter to the GAO commissioning a study of the end-game rules.

New CRA Reg Sets Controversial, Complex Standards

Leading the way to certain inter-agency approval, the Federal Reserve today voted 6-1 to approve a final version of their 2022 controversial proposal (see FSM Report CRA32).

FDIC OIG: Supervisors Missed So Much, Acted So Slowly re SBNY

The FDIC’s OIG report today on SBNY’s failure follows much of the line the Fed’s OIG took when it came on the material-loss review of SVB’s collapse.

House Republicans Pressure Biden on $6 Billion Iran Ransom

Although HFSC continues to cancel all its hearings as the speakership battle continues, its Oversight Subcommittee today optimistically released a memo outlining goals for Thursday’s Iran-sanctions hearing.

Treasury Presses CSPs to Negotiate With Banks

Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Graham Steele today highlighted Treasury’s work with cloud service providers (CSPs) to improve transparency and security.

Divided FDIC Advances CRA Rewrite, Climate-Risk Principles

As anticipated, the FDIC on a 3-2 vote joined the Fed in approving a 1400+ page final CRA rule.

Daily102423.pdf

12 10, 2023

DAILY101223

2023-10-12T17:09:17-04:00October 12th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Calls for More Private Climate Disclosures

Expressing considerable satisfaction with climate-risk disclosure progress, the FSB today released a report finding that all member jurisdictions either have or plan climate disclosure regimes, but there still needs to be greater private-sector self-reporting.

Pressure Builds for Heightened Iran, China Sanctions

Ahead of the hearing we anticipated earlier this week, HFSC Republicans have introduced several bills designed to increase financial pressures on Iran to punish it for the Hamas attack.

EU Regulators Add ESG Considerations to Regulatory, Supervisory Standards

In a bit of gold plating for what it believes to be the public good, the European Banking Authority today issued a report pressing for Pillar 1 capital charges for activities posing ESG risks with particular attention to climate.

OMB Redesigns Federal Rulemaking to Consider, Increase Competition

Acting under the President’s competition executive order (see Client Report MERGER6), OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs yesterday issued new guidance governing federal rulemaking stipulating express assessment of the impact of new or prospective rules to enhance market competition.

CFPB, DoJ Issue Immigration Discrimination Warning

Taking action that may in some cases put lenders in conflict with state law, the CFPB and DoJ stated today that “unnecessary or overbroad reliance” on immigration status in a credit decision may violate the ECOA.

Daily101223.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

5 10, 2023

DAILY100523

2023-10-05T16:36:40-04:00October 5th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Kanter, Khan Mount Stout Defense of Draft Merger Guidelines

FTC Chair Khan and DOJ Assistant AG Kanter today defended the agencies’ draft merger guidelines (see FSM Report MERGER12) on grounds that they are faithful to congressional intent, reflect core legal principles, are more accessible and easier to apply, and better reflect the modern competitive landscape.

Basel Plans NBFI Ops-Risk Supervisory Standards, Continuing Review of Bank Supervision, New Disclosures

The Basel Committee today released its long-awaited report on 2023 vulnerabilities, deciding based on it to prioritize new supervisory approaches and additional analytical tools.

Bipartisan Bill Provides Transaction Account Deposit Insurance

Following Chairman Gruenberg’s remarks yesterday highlighting targeted deposit insurance reform, Sens. Manchin (D-WV), Braun (R-SD), and Hickenlooper (D-CO) yesterday introduced legislation to reinstate the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program, expanding deposit insurance to non-interest bearing transaction accounts up to $10 million.

FDIC Proposes Public-Good Policy for IDI Corporate Governance

The FDIC today announced the Board’s 3-2 approval of an NPR establishing guidelines on corporate governance and risk management for FDIC-supervised IDIs with over $10 billion in assets.

Daily100523.pdf

28 09, 2023

DAILY092823

2023-09-28T16:44:03-04:00September 28th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Resilience Plan Focuses on Physical Infrastructure, Not Finance

The White House today released a National Climate Framework focused principally on promoting climate resilience in non-financial sectors such as building and energy use, improving federal agency climate preparedness, ensuring land and water resilience, and increasing climate-related community benefits and job opportunities.

BIS Conducts Successful Wholesale CBDC FX Pilot

Looking at the wholesale CBDCs of most interest in the U.S., the BIS today announced the conclusion of Project Marina, a wholesale CBDC FX pilot with DeFi elements among the central banks of France, Switzerland, and Singapore.

OCC Moves Interest-Rate Risk to Supervisory Priority List

The OCC today released its 2024 bank supervision operating plan announcing that there will be heightened supervision focus on interest-rate risk, AML/CFT, payments, DLT, and CRA.

All But The Smallest, Simplest Regional Banks Face Tougher Supervision

Signaling tougher supervisory standards for most regional banks, the long-anticipated Federal Reserve OIG report on SVB’s failure largely reiterates findings in Vice Chair Barr’s SVB report (see Client Report REFORM221) on failures by Board and FRB-SF supervisory staff quickly to adapt to SVB’s rapidly-changing risk profile.

Gruenberg Again Calls for Targeted Deposit Insurance Reform

In remarks today, FDIC Chair Gruenberg said that cross-border cooperation enhanced resolution of SVB’s international subsidiaries, using a talk to global deposit insurers also to reiterate prior recommendations on deposit-insurance reform (see Client Report DEPOSITINSURANCE119).

Daily092823.pdf

27 09, 2023

DAILY092723

2023-09-27T16:36:21-04:00September 27th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FinCEN Bows to BOI Pressure

Responding to bipartisan concerns, FinCEN today issued an NPR to extend the beneficial ownership information (BOI) report filing deadline from thirty to ninety days for companies created or registered in 2024.

Chopra Considering Refi, Point Rules

The CFPB today released its annual report on residential mortgage lending, finding that mortgage applications, originations, and affordability declined significantly in 2022 while costs, loan denials, HELOC originations, and the percentage of cash-out refinances all increased.

HFSC GOP Presses Gensler on Banking-Reg Cumulative Impact

During Chairman Gensler’s as-always contentious HFSC hearing today, Rep. Barr (R-KY) asked if the SEC is in consultation with the Federal Reserve regarding the combined CRE effects of recent SEC proposals and the Basel III endgame standards (see Client Report CAPITAL234).

Carstens Says Law Must Catch Up To CBDC

BIS General Manager Agustín Carstens today emphatically called for rapid development of clear CBDC legal frameworks based on defined rights and obligations for privacy, AML compliance, and user choice.

Daily092723.pdf

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