27 03, 2023


2023-03-27T17:00:51-04:00March 27th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FDIC Adopts New IDI-Resolution Policy

The FDIC’s announcement late yesterday that it had sold portions of SVB to First-Citizens indicate that a provision also in its Signature bridge-bank sale reflect a new FDIC resolution policy: a willingness to take warrants.

Global Authorities Press FX Payment Redesign

The BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) today issued a final report offering a number of recommendations to central banks to facilitate the adoption of PvP systems.  To mitigate regulatory barriers, the report recommends that central banks strengthen regulatory incentives for FX market participants to use PvP arrangements, improve settlement risk exposure reporting, and enact robust settlement finality protection.

Barr Defends Fed, Promises Review

Ahead of what is sure to be two raucous days of Congressional hearings, FRB Vice Chairman Barr’s testimony emphasizes that the Federal Reserve will use “all its tools” to protect banks of all sizes and that all deposits at all banks are safe.

Gruenberg Mounts Vigorous FDIC Defense, Presses For Significant Rule, Premium-Assessment Rewrite

FDIC Chairman Gruenberg’s testimony ahead of Congressional hearings describes the Signature and SVB actions, rebutting bailout assertions on grounds that the banks in fact failed and banks – not taxpayers – will make up any FDIC losses.  He also indicates that the FDIC can and will investigate insiders to determine responsibility and pursue penalties if appropriate.


23 02, 2023


2023-02-23T16:48:42-05:00February 23rd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Strengthen Defenses vs. Crypto-Related Funding

As FedFin forecast when significant bank crypto-related deposit exposures came to light (see Client Report CRYPTO38), the banking agencies today issued guidance telling banks to monitor and mitigate risks related to resulting liquidity risk.

FSB Sets Out Key Cross-Border Payments Action Items

The Financial Stability Board today released a list of actions for implementing the G20’s Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments, including three priorities.  These are payment system interoperability and extension; legal, regulatory and supervisory finalizing frameworks; and cross-border data exchange and message standards.

IMF Presses CBDC, New “Unified Ledger”

A new IMF blog post advocates for public sector implementation of new payment technologies including tokenization, encryption, and programmability to improve cross-border payments, limit counterparty risk, and facilitate AML and other compliance.

FHFA Proposes GSE-Capital Revamp

FHFA today sought comment on several significant revisions to the regulatory-capital rules governing  Fannie and Freddie.  As we will detail in a forthcoming in-depth report, several of these changes concede to comments rejected as the current rules were finalized.


31 01, 2023


2023-01-31T16:58:29-05:00January 31st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS Finds Digital Payments Have Yet to Conquer Cash

In a brief today, the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) found that digital payments, while rapidly growing, have not supplanted cash.  CPMI does report a record high value and volume of cashless payments, crediting this to changing consumer preferences, increasing prevalence of fast payments systems, and COVID, noting that cashless options may also bolster financial inclusion.  However, the brief also finds a deceleration in the decline of cash withdrawals, concluding there is still a significant ongoing, if diminishing, demand for cash.

Warren, GOP Allies Grill Silvergate on FHLB Loan, Fed Supervision

Signaling bipartisan plans to take on crypto banking and now also the FHLBs as quickly as possible in the new Congress, senator Warren (D-MA) was joined yesterday by Sens. Kennedy (R-LA) and Marshall (R-KS) in sending another letter to the CEO of Silvergate Bank.  Following an earlier inquiry which they said led to an insufficient response, the letter now focuses on the bank’s use of a $4.3 billion FHLB loan as a liquidity backstop.  As in Karen Petrou’s recent memos and today’s podcast, the letter focuses on the System’s prior lien ahead of all other creditors (including the FDIC) and the extent to which this puts taxpayers at risk.


16 11, 2022


2022-11-16T17:14:29-05:00November 16th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Calls for Tough Fintech and Bank-Partnership Protection, Prudential Standards

Treasury has completed a long-pending study of the extent to which nonbank fintechs compete with banks and how this affects financial stability and consumer protection.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of this report, for which Karen Petrou was extensively interviewed as now noted publicly in the appendix.  The report was ordered by the Secretary in compliance with President Biden’s competition order (see Client Report MERGER6), finding that nonbank fintechs directly compete with banks and thus may reduce current concentration levels, sure to influence the inter-agency bank-merger policy that remains to be finalized.

Williams Presses for NBFI Standards

In remarks today, FRB-NY President John Williams said that the central bank should not adjust monetary policy to address the price-stability challenges of volatile Treasury markets and that financial-stability questions have generally been well-addressed as evident in the sound U.S. banking system.  Noting recent findings in the latest staff report (see Client Report TMARKET3), Mr. Williams also called for structural changes to NBFIs along lines also laid out by the FSB (see Client Report NBFI2), arguing that MMFs and other NBFIs must be a market source of strength, not of vulnerability requiring rescue beyond the Fed’s new standing facility.

G20 Blesses FSB, Basel Work Plans

In addition to top-priority concerns such as Ukraine, the G-20 Leader’s Declaration today tackled the usual financial-policy agenda, supporting the FSB’s recent NBFI report (see Client

31 08, 2022


2023-01-03T16:36:42-05:00August 31st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Study Highlights DeFi Risks

The Federal Reserve yesterday released a staff study concluding that DeFi regulation poses unspecified but unintended consequences even as it reiterated and expanded on potential risks.

FSB’s Domanski Reinforces Calls for Holistic Crypto Framework

Dietrich Domanski, the FSB’s Secretary General, today reiterated global regulators’ call for a holistic crypto framework to rationalize digital payments so that innovation remains well governed.

Fed Study Details Need For, Challenges to Crypto Regulation

Another Fed study today repeats some of the DeFi study’s concerns noted earlier today, but goes on to a broader examination of digital-asset risk based on the Fed’s financial-stability methodology (see Client Report SYSTEMIC93).

FHLB System Opened for Possible Reform

Acting on Director Thompson’s promise to Congress, FHFA today announced a sweeping review of the Federal Home Loan Bank System.  This will begin at a late-September “listening” session, proceeding then to additional national and regional discussions.


4 08, 2022


2023-01-04T13:25:43-05:00August 4th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Global Regulators Tackle CCP Operational, Liquidity Risk

Although no new standards are planned, IOSCO and the CPMI nonetheless today released a request for views on how CCPs can best manage operational and other risks unrelated to default events.

Senate Climate Change Session Yields Familiar Talk, Little Action

Today’s Senate Banking hearing on the economic costs of climate change yielded familiar climate, energy, and financial-stability arguments along party lines.

Toomey Demands Fed Transparency, Presses Reform

In a Bloomberg interview today, Senate Banking Ranking member Toomey (R-PA) disclosed that a conservative group pressing the Fed for Reserve Trust information determined that there are at least a dozen pages germane to the question of how this firm obtained payment-system access.

CFPB Plans to Combat Bigtech in Payments and Commerce

The CFPB today released a report laying out more details of how it plans to proceed on at least one bigtech concern: the integration of payments and commerce.  The report details numerous risks in this arena, including those related to security and privacy and the ability of bigtech to quickly gain a dominant market share.

Brown, Other Dems Demand USB Consumer-Account Data

Sens. Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-CA), and three other Banking Committee Democrats today demanded information from U.S. bank regarding a recent CFPB enforcement action related to improperly-opened consumer accounts.


21 07, 2022


2023-01-04T15:58:15-05:00July 21st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Housing Prices Session Ignites Familiar Partisan Debates

Today’s Senate Banking Committee Hearing on Housing Price Increases was another session of partisan discussion of the housing market and how to address it.  Chairman Brown (D-OH) focused on the economic stressors that result from housing insecurity, emphasizing the consequences on families of color.

Senate Banking Republicans Demand FHFA Reverse Racial Equity Plans

Following yesterday’s hearing (see Client Report GSE147), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and eleven other Senate Banking Republicans sent a letter to Director Thompson strongly objecting to what they call “affirmative-action” subsidies, calling them unconstitutional and beyond the FHFA’s mandate and the Enterprises’ charters.

BIS CPMI Identifies Benefits, Barriers to Multilateral Payment System Platforms

The BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures published an article today arguing that multilateral platforms can alleviate some payment system frictions, but several challenges remain.  The article claims that multilateral platforms can shorten processing chains, facilitate standardization, and process multiple currencies, resulting in faster payments.

CFPB Sure Now to Tackle Zelle Scams

Following media coverage yesterday suggesting near-term CFPB action, the majority of Senate Banking Democrats have called on the Bureau to do exactly what it appears to contemplate:  take action to make banks offering Zelle responsible not only for fraud, but also scams to which consumers give initial consent.


13 07, 2022


2023-01-06T15:18:57-05:00July 13th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Small Business Committee Urges Fintech Transparency, New CFPB Role in Fintech Lending

Today’s Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations hearing on fintech transparency focused on financial practices that may harm small businesses’ access to credit.

HFSC Party Lines Form on CRA Rewrite

As anticipated, the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions today held a hearing examining the banking agencies’ proposed rule to modernize the CRA (see FSM Report CRA32).

Fed Proposes Debit-Card, Payment-System Data Collections

Although the Fed has yet to finalize a controversial proposal related to debit-interchange fees (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE8), it has proposed changes to how it collects debit-card information essential to implementing changes to network selection and, should it come to do so, fee calculations.

FSB Chair Reiterates Need for Crypto Regulation, Highlights Progress on Climate Roadmap

FSB Chair Klaas Knot’s letter today to the G20 ministerial reiterated all the points regarding COVID exit strategies, regulation of cryptoassets, and executing FSB’s climate roadmap outlined after June’s plenary meeting.

Senate Democrats Demand More Stringent, Binding Fed Ethics Standards

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined by four other Democrats today sent a letter to Chairman Powell again calling for more stringent, enforceable Fed ethics standards, and reminded Mr. Powell in strongly-written arguments about the need to do so via binding regulation or by the kind of statutory change they have already introduced.

Global Regulators Press for Global Stablecoin Payment-Risk Standards

Doubtless spurred by FSB requests and market …

20 05, 2022


2023-02-21T14:11:57-05:00May 20th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

G7 Presses for Global Crypto Action

Preoccupied though it was with Ukraine, the G7 ministerial communiqué advances and hones global work on digital assets.  Most notably, it calls on the FSB to advance and implement comprehensive cryptoasset regulation.  As recent FSB statements indicate, the Board is contemplating its options; this G7 directive may accelerate work into more concrete standards more quickly, stipulating like-kind rules for like-kind activities.  The communiqué also calls global disclosure standards on stablecoin reserve assets and “encourages” jurisdictions to explore CBDC’s “international dimensions.”

Global Regulators Press for Harmonized, DeFi Cross-Border Payments

The BIS and CPMI today issued to papers supporting their work to build out the cross-border payment system advocated by the FSB (see FSM Report PAYMENT23).  The first paper lays out an aspirational global rulebook designed to ensure that all transborder nodes are premised on common standards for finality, certainty, and the other criteria essential to sound payment-system operations.  The second paper takes the concept of legal uniformity into the new arena of decentralized finance, laying out where DeFi might be applicable to cross-border payments with a best-execution DeFi construct, an approach for inter-operability among central banks and private banks, a DeFi utilities for AML/KYC identification, and a small-payment platform.


7 12, 2021


2023-05-23T13:20:29-04:00December 7th, 2021|2- Daily Briefing|

FBO Sanctions Update
Sens. Cotton (R-AR), Rubio (R-Fl) and eleven GOP colleagues have introduced S. 3318, legislation pressing the U.S. to deny foreign financial institutions access to the U.S. financial system if they provide “Palestinian martyr” payments.

Chopra Slams “Banking Cartel” as CFPB Sets LIBOR Standards
The CFPB today issued its final LIBOR-transition rule, with Director Chopra’s accompanying statement emphasizing that this rule will now prevent the “banking cartel” from again illegally setting disadvantageous consumer interest rates.

CFPB Accepting Additional Bigtech Inquiry Comments
The CFPB today reopened the comment period on its bigtech inquiry, now accepting comment until December 21. As we noted when the comment period opened, the Bureau then provided a very short comment window because Director Chopra said that the Bureau must move quickly due to the initiative’s importance.

Warren Readies Anti-Powell Attack
Sen. Warren (D-MA) today released a letter making it clear that she will strongly oppose Chairman Powell when his confirmation comes before the Senate Banking Committee.

FSB: Persistent Gaps Challenge Resolution Regimes
The FSB today updated progress on implementing its key attributes of effective resolution regimes, reporting significant advances at GSIBs despite gaps at smaller banks, insurance companies, and CCPs.

HFSC Dems: Investment Firms Must Increase Diversity
Ahead of a hearing Thursday sure to be critical of large financial companies, a new HFSC majority staff report on diversity and inclusion looks at large investment firms (including those owned by banks) and finds little progress.


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