#climate

10 07, 2023

DAILY071023

2023-07-10T16:43:24-04:00July 10th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Lays Out Its ESG Priorities

The majority staff memo ahead of Wednesday’s HFSC hearing on ESG follows the outline anticipated  last week and that laid out in the GOP agenda for ESG-related action (see Client Report ESG4).

OCC Concurs On Capital, Tries For The Merger Middle

Acting Comptroller Hsu today confirmed our assessment of Vice Chair Barr’s comments earlier today (see Client Report CAPITAL228) that the three banking agencies are aligned on the new capital construct to be shortly released for public comment.

Barr, Foster Demand Delay to Capital Rewrite

Anticipating Vice Chair Barr’s remarks this morning detailing near-term capital policy changes (see Client Report CAPITAL228), HFSC Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) and Ranking Member Foster (D-IL) sent a letter late Friday demanding that he appear before the Subcommittee to present the conclusions of his capital review and upcoming Basel III implementation plans prior to public release, asking also for details and likely outcomes for industry consolidation.

House Republicans Keep Spotlight On FRB-SF

Continuing the GOP’s attack on the San Francisco Fed’s supervision of SVB in the wake of what many believe are “woke” priorities, House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer (R-KY) was joined today by Financial Services Subcommittee Chairwoman McClain (R-MI) in sending a letter to FRB Chairman Powell taking serious issue with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Fed for what they describe as SVB-related transparency and communication failures.

BIS Survey: Most Central Banks Considering CBDCs

The BIS …

7 07, 2023

Al070723

2023-07-07T16:49:21-04:00July 7th, 2023|3- This Week|

The ESG Jihad

As anticipated, House Republicans have made July their “ESG month” with HFSC and other panels planning an array of actions culminating in an HFSC mark-up of as-yet-unintroduced legislation later this month.  Before writing this off as part of the GOP’s pre-election “culture-war” campaign, it’s worth remembering that the Democratic-controlled Senate still approved a House measure overturning Department of Labor ESG pension-investment rules; only a Presidential veto saved those rules and it might take more of them to counter what Republicans now have in store for the financial-services sector.

Al071023.pdf

6 07, 2023

DAILY070623

2023-07-06T16:55:22-04:00July 6th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Basel Redesigns Global Bank-Supervision Construct

As promised at its last meeting, the Basel Committee today released a public consultation on revisions to its 2012 core supervisory principles (see FSM Report REFORM92).

Accommodative CRE Policy Goes Live

Publication in the Federal Register today makes effective a finalized policy statement issued by the banking agencies and NCUA late last week on how financial institutions are to handle troubled commercial real estate (CRE) loans.

Senate Dems Demand CFPB Voice-Cloning Action

Following his letter to large bank CEOs regarding AI fraud, Chairman Brown (D-OH) along with Sens. Menendez (D-NJ), Reed (D-RI), and Smith (D-MN) today sent a letter to Director Chopra urging action against AI-related financial scams.

FSB Turns to GSIB Resolvability

The FSB’s plenary today announced that recent events have spurred it to assess the resolvability of GSIBs and other large banks, providing neither timeline nor focus for this work.

FRB-NY Study Advances Wholesale Digital Currency

Although making clear that it sets no new policy nor endorses any CBDC action, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Center published a DLT proof-of-concept finding that shared ledgers can effectively support both wholesale domestic interbank and cross-border payments.

Daily070623.pdf

27 06, 2023

DAILY062723

2023-06-27T16:53:41-04:00June 27th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury, FIO Target Insurance, Banking Interconnections

In conjunction with FIO’s new report on Insurance Supervision and Regulation of Climate-Related Risks, Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, Graham Steele, today emphasized the need for further work to understand the insurance industry’s climate-related financial stability risks, especially from housing and banking sector spillovers.  In a panel discussion, FIO Director Steven Seitz also highlighted the report’s recommendations around macroprudential risks, including prioritizing the growth of the residual and surplus lines markets, “hardening” of the reinsurance market, and realizing the effects climate risk may have on state insurance guarantee funds.

Warren Gives No Merger Ground

In a letter sent today to Chair Gruenberg, Acting Comptroller Hsu, Vice Chair Barr, Assistant Attorney General Kanter, and Secretary Yellen, Sen. Warren (D-MA) demands fast action on the rewrite of bank merger guidelines pending since at least the President’s executive order in 2021 (see FSM Report MERGER10) as well as an end to large-bank M&A.  Sen. Warren takes particular issue with Secretary Yellen’s recent comments suggesting the need for industry consolidation and again confronts Acting Comptroller Hsu’s “openness” to at least some transactions.  It thus seems clear that her opposition to his nomination as Comptroller remains as firm as ever.

Daily062723.pdf

27 06, 2023

ESG4

2023-06-27T09:24:21-04:00June 27th, 2023|5- Client Report|

Passive Asset Managers Top ESG Financial Hit List

Late Friday, GOP HFSC Members issued a withering report criticizing the Biden Administration for using financial regulators to do its political bidding on ESG objectives that it believes “contort” financial regulators into political instrumentalities that put retail investors at risk.  The group’s most immediate target is environmental policy, but it plans also to focus on corporate decision-making to ensure that it too does not put policy goals above pecuniary return.  The SEC is unsurprisingly the GOP’s top target, with HFSC likely readying action on an array of proxy-voting changes and proposed bills to block the Commission’s proposed climate-risk disclosures.

ESG4.pdf

7 06, 2023

DAILY060723

2023-06-07T16:50:58-04:00June 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Basel Advances Supervisory Rewrite, Wants Quick End To End-Game

The Basel Committee’s release today of its latest meeting confirms that global regulators plan to revise 2012’s core supervisory principles (see FSM Report REFORM92) in light of recent events, releasing a consultation next month.  Work is also under way to update the 2022 crypto standards (see FSM Report CRYPTO37) to address permissionless blockchains and stablecoins.

HFSC Urges Careful Use of China Sanctions

At today’s HFSC National Security Subcommittee hearing on maintaining the dollar’s global dominance, Subcommittee Chairman Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Reps. Petterson (D-CO) and Kim (R-CA) argued that the sanctions that would follow an invasion of Taiwan need to be used carefully to avoid unintended harm to the dollar’s global status.

Durbin Leads Renewed Charge For Credit-Card Network Choice

As anticipated, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Durbin (D-IL) along with Sens. Welch (D-VT), Marshall (R-KS), and Vance (R-OH) today reintroduced legislation to extend routing-system requirements to credit cards.  The bill, which has also been reintroduced in the House by Reps. Gooden (R-TX) and Lofgren (D-CA), slightly revises last year’s measure (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10) by addressing security and operational risks associated with unaffiliated network routing requirements.

Daily060723.pdf

5 06, 2023

DAILY060523

2023-06-05T16:41:32-04:00June 5th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY: Bank Discrimination Not To Blame For More Black Fintech PPP Loans

A new paper from Federal Reserve Bank of New York staff concludes that differences in PPP applications between white and Black firms entirely explains why Black PPP borrowers received a greater share of loans from fintechs rather than banks.  This issue has been a longstanding point of contentiousness used by fintech advocates to argue that their business model warrants less regulation on grounds that it is also less discriminatory.  However, the paper’s results suggest that any fintech-driven mitigation of racial disparities in lending outcomes is the product of higher Black-borrower applications, not higher approval rates that would demonstrate less discrimination.

GOP Leadership Presses Treasury, SEC On US/EU Climate Coordination

Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) was joined today by House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer (R-KY) in sending letters to Treasury Secretary Yellen and SEC Chairman Gensler taking serious issue with reports that the Department and Commission have been facilitating EU regulators’ efforts to advance international climate-related disclosure policies and ESG initiatives.  Although the letter references U.S. companies, Ranking Member Scott and Chairman Comer sharply criticize EU standards they say would cause serious business and financial system harm through “onerous extra-territorial climate mandates.”

Daily060523.pdf

31 05, 2023

DAILY053123

2023-05-31T17:00:40-04:00May 31st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

IMF: Housing Risk Not At GFC Level, Still Worrisome

While falling home prices are unlikely to trigger another financial crisis, an IMF blog post today finds that a drop could still harm the global economic outlook.

FDIC Tries Guarded Optimism

The FDIC’s first-quarter report on the condition of the U.S. banking industry was guardedly optimistic, but that in part appears to be due to the way in which the agency foresees its problems.  Problem banks are up by 4 to 43 with $58 billion in assets among them.

End-Game Starts Soon

FRB Governor and Vice-Chair nominee Jefferson today expanded on the Fed’s financial-stability objectives, resolutely disavowing any of the credit-allocation ambitions Republicans sometimes ascribe to its work on climate risk.

CFPB Small-Business Disclosures Go Live

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s controversial final rule on small business data collection published late March which the Bureau says will increase transparency in small business lending, promote economic development, and combat unlawful discrimination.

FHA Expands Pandemic Mortgage Relief As Rates Rise

FHA today requested comment on a new loss mitigation proposal called the Payment Supplement Partial Claim allowing servicers to use FHA funds to bring a borrower’s mortgage current and temporarily reduce principal payments.

Daily0523123.pdf

16 05, 2023

DAILY051623

2023-05-16T17:44:43-04:00May 16th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Hsu Presses Reg Harmonization, Resolution Reform, Merger-Policy Rewrite

We now add our assessment of Acting Comptroller’s Hsu’s testimony to our analyses of those from Messrs. Barr and Gruenberg ahead of HFSC’s hearing later this morning.

Yellen Says White House Supports Community-Bank Exemptions

Speaking today to the ICBA, Secretary Yellen today joined the parade of policy-makers affirming the national importance of community banks.

JEC GOP Counter FRB on SVB Causality

JEC Republican staff today released a memo finding that tailored liquidity rules did not contribute to SVB’s failure, a contrast to the FRB’s SVB report (see Client Report REFORM221).

LLPAs Set for GOP Frying Pan

The majority-staff memo for tomorrow’s Housing Subcommittee hearing makes it clear that, as anticipated, the sole topic will be FHFA’s controversial LLPAs and related GSE pricing.

Senate Banking: Tough Grilling For Failed-Bank CEOs, Growing Consensus For Clawback Bill/Tough Rules

As predicted, today’s Senate Banking hearing with the CEOs of SVB and SBNY was a feisty session in which Democrats built their case for executive clawback legislation and the failed bank executives defended management while repeatedly placing blame on what they called an “unprecedented series of events.”

Daily051623.pdf

20 04, 2023

DAILY042023

2023-04-20T17:02:29-04:00April 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Reed-Grassley Bill Lays Out Another Clawback Construct

Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Grassley (R-IA) introduced yesterday S. 1181, a bill allowing the FDIC to claw back the prior two years of failed bank executive compensation and prohibits them from working at another financial institution for at least two years.

FRB-NY Staff Find Severe Climate Risk At Big Four U.S. Banks But We Wonder

Based on a more in-depth study, a new FRB-NY post measures the market risk to financial institutions related to climate change.

FSB Report Shows Growing Supervisory Interest In Climate-Related Compensation Frameworks

A new FSB report on climate-related financial risk factors in compensation frameworks across the banking, insurance and asset management sectors concludes that financial institutions will need to continuously revise their climate-related criteria to ensure effective alignment of compensation with prudent risk management.

Brown Presses For Stringent FHLB Mission Standards

Following considerable furor over the role of the FHLBs in recent bank failures, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) has written to FHFA Director Thompson requesting that the agency’s planned FHLB report also include a detailed assessment of this issue.

Waller Sees Promise In Tokenization, AI

Following prior comments about crypto risk, FRB Gov. Waller today highlighted two innovations he believes may well have natural use cases if their risks can be contained or mitigated.

Fed Study: Bank Enforcement Action Resolution Improves Minority Lending Outcomes

A new Federal Reserve paper concludes that enhancing bank loan and internal governance policies is critical to improving access to credit for minority …

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