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23 11, 2022

DAILY112322

2022-11-23T12:42:48-05:00November 23rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

OFAC Updates Guidance For Price-Cap Sanction Compliance

Reflecting ongoing negotiations about the level of the oil-price cap, OFAC last night provided updated guidance to banks and insurers about when transactions may violate this latest sanction.  The new guidance identifies “covered services” for financing; this means a commitment for the provision or disbursement of debt, equity, or economic resources related to the maritime transport of Russian oil.  However, and as before, U.S. persons are authorized to provide covered services if the Russian oil is purchased at or below the price cap.

FDIC Signals Tougher GSIB Resolution Reviews

With the FDIC signaling a tough new approach to resolution plan approval, the FRB and FDIC today announced the results of the resolution plans filed by U.S. GSIBs in July, 2021.  All the banking organizations saw their plans approved except for Citigroup, which had noted shortcomings due to data quality and management concerns; the bank now has until January 31, 2023 to submit a revised plan.  FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg noted that, going forward, the agencies will conduct more detailed reviews of internal testing results and independent capability assessments.

Daily112322.pdf

21 11, 2022

M112122

2022-11-21T16:48:57-05:00November 21st, 2022|6- Client Memo|

What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians.  No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation.

m112122.pdf

21 11, 2022

Karen Petrou: What Will Be Done, Not Just Said, To Fix FTX

2022-11-22T13:18:11-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

The only question left unanswered about FTX is whether it was a purposeful scam as more than a few clients conclude or a case of implacable forces ending the era of easy money that just got the better of another wunderkind whose awesome skills turned out to be largely confined to costumery conveying inspired innovation to all too many vulnerable investors and gullible politicians. No matter which it is or even – as I think – if it’s a bit of both, FTX is a debacle that will change U.S. financial policy for the better unless FTX drives still more crypto chaos that then spills over to core financial infrastructure and intermediation. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about crypto policy after my brief discussion in last week’s talk on the midterm’s policy impact. Here, more on both the legislative outlook and what regulators may finally bring themselves to do even if Congress can’t get itself together any better next year than in so many before it.

First more on why stablecoins are the cryptoasset most likely to come under a new federal gun. This isn’t because they deserve it more than any other cryptoasset – although they might – but because policy thinking about what to do with stablecoins is most advanced and, thus, bipartisan negotiations in the House are closest to the finish line.

That said, even stablecoin standards aren’t going to be easy. The clearest articulation of how new law might work is S. 4356, the Lummis-Gillibrand …

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

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

9 11, 2022

DAILY110922

2022-11-09T16:59:00-05:00November 9th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FIO, HHS Plan Longer Ponder on Federal Cyberinsurance

The Federal Insurance Office and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency today extended the comment deadline for comments on whether a federal insurance response is warranted for catastrophic cyber risk.  The earlier notice asked what type of catastrophic attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure are most likely, how best to measure their effect, the current catastrophic insurance landscape, and how any federal insurance should be structured.

FDIC Board Stands By DSIB Resolution Reform

At today’s FDIC Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee session, Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg defended the release of proposed DSIB resolution standards as guidelines, not rules.  Director Chopra reiterated concerns he expressed at a recent FDIC board meeting (see Client Report DEPOSITINSURANCE115), pressing for a structural rewrite of both DSIB and GSIB resolution standards.  Acting Comptroller Hsu focused largely on supervisory build-out, noting the need for more creative, forward-looking assessments of resolution plans.  Mr. Hsu also wants regulatory statements to ensure that investors understand that TLAC is a buffer of capital-at-risk in the event of extreme stress.

Daily110922.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

27 10, 2022

DAILY102722

2022-10-27T16:55:34-04:00October 27th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Seeks Comment on Consumer Data Rights, Market Power

Following remarks from Director Chopra earlier this week, the CFPB today announced a formal kick-off of its consumer data-rights rulemaking.

Gruenberg Reminds Markets of TLGP Backstops at Time of Liquidity Stress

In remarks today, Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg stoutly defended the agency’s final rule hiking DIF premiums (see Client Report DEPOSITINSURANCE115).

Warren Reignites Anti-Zelle Campaign

In another appeal to the CFPB to tackle Zelle, Sen. Warren (D-MA) today sent a letter to Director Chopra calling on the Bureau to increase consumer protections in peer-to-peer lending platforms and curtail what she again describes as “rampant” fraud.

Democratic Pressures Grow Against Fed Rate Hikes

Adding to critiques from Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Warren (D-MA), Sen. Hickenlooper (D-CO) today called on the Fed to halt interest-rate increases.

Fed Study Details QE Alternatives, Expanded Fed Role

A new FRB staff paper explores the past, present, and future as an approach to achieving the Fed’s increasingly-problematic monetary-policy transmission: “funding for lending.”

Daily102722.pdf

25 10, 2022

DAILY102522

2022-10-25T17:08:46-04:00October 25th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Setting Stage for US Action, UK Regulators Target Bigtech Consumer-Finance Market Power

Focusing principally on competition, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today released a discussion paper investigating bigtech’s entry into payments, deposit, consumer-credit, and insurance.

With Yellen Backing, SEC Central-Clearing NPR Advances

The Federal Register today includes the SEC’s proposal requiring that market clearinghouses submit certain secondary-market transactions for clearing along with the small percentage now already centrally-cleared.

FDIC Reports Significant Financial Inclusion Progress

Showing significant improvements in financial inclusion, the FDIC today released its biennial under- and unbanked household survey.

CFPB to Require Almost-Open Banking

At long last and as recently promised, the CFPB later this week will start a rulemaking process that would ultimately require financial institutions to share personal data with a consumer upon his or her request.

Democrats Get Ready To Blame The Fed

Continuing progressive critiques of the FOMC’s anti-inflation fight, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) has written to FRB Chairman Powell sharply protesting current Fed policy.

Daily102522.pdf

25 10, 2022

DEPOSITINSURANCE116

2022-10-25T12:49:16-04:00October 25th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Deposit-Insurance Premium Assessments

The FDIC has finalized its proposal largely unchanged to raise base Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) assessments by two basis points (bps) to replenish the DIF by the statutory deadline to reflect deposit inflows that the FDIC no longer expects to be temporary.  Even after the DIF reaches its minimum ratio, the added assessments will continue to restore the fund to what the FDIC believes to be a necessary, more ample reserve ratio.  This will increase costs at insured depository institutions (IDIs), in some cases by sizeable amounts likely to alter business strategy in ways that might dampen economic growth.  However, scant DIF resources under acute stress might trigger not only the need for another taxpayer infusion into the FDIC, but also demands for more stringent regulatory and resolution standards.

DEPOSITINSURANCE116.pdf

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