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29 03, 2023


2023-03-29T17:30:21-04:00March 29th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Barr Keeps CRA Hope Alive

Ahead of what is certainly going to be a trying HFSC hearing later today, FRB Vice Chairman Barr told an audience that pending CRA rules (see FSM Report CRA32) are still in the works, declining to provide any completion timeline.

Chopra Expands Post-SVB Policy Action Items

In remarks posted after a panel discussion yesterday, CFPB director and FDIC board member Rohit Chopra reaffirmed Chairman Gruenberg’s comments that changes are likely to capital and liquidity rules, but added action related to interest-rate risk management, resolution planning and stress-testing to the to-do list.

Senate Finance Dems Demand Tougher Penalties, Enforcement to Prevent Swiss Tax-Evasion Activities

Senate Finance Democrats today released a damning investigative report accusing Credit Suisse of persistently and often criminally enabling U.S. tax evasion despite a 2014 plea agreement with the U.S. Chairman Wyden (D-OR) presses for additional civil and criminal actions, noting that the UBS acquisition does not “wipe the slate clean.”

Bipartisan Senate Clawback Bill Reaches to BHC Investors, Creditors

Preempting Chairman Brown’s plans to introduce clawback legislation (see Client Report REFORM217), Sens. Warren (D-MA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Hawley (R-MO), and Braun (R-IN) today introduced their own bill to do so.

CFPB Sets Comment Deadline For Controversial Credit Card Proposal

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s proposed rule on Credit Card Penalty Fees.


13 03, 2023


2023-03-13T17:25:04-04:00March 13th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Biden Promises Regulatory Revamp

In an effort to restore confidence in the banking system, President Biden announced that he will ask Congress and the banking regulators to strengthen regulations that were rolled back by the Trump administration.

Political Battle Lines Take Shape

In the wake of yesterday’s decision to protect all SVB depositors, Members of Congress are now positioning themselves for future action.

Biden Presses Stability in Wake of SVB, Signature Rescues

Reflecting ongoing uncertainties and political fallout, President Biden later this morning reiterated comments from earlier today noted in our prior alert.

Comment Deadline Set for GSE Capital Proposal

The Federal Register today includes the FHFA’s proposal to refine Fannie and Freddie’s capital construct.

Fed Tries to Get Ahead of SVB Storm

Even as Sen. Hagerty (R-TN) led calls to review Fed supervision, the Fed today announced that Vice Chair Barr will lead a review of SVB’s supervision and regulation.


7 02, 2023


2023-02-07T16:53:41-05:00February 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Extends Digital Marketing Reach To “Pay-To-Play” Platforms

Expanding its reach to other forms of digital marketing (see FSM Report FINTECH30), the CFPB today issued an advisory opinion stipulating that what it calls “pay-to-play” consumer platforms presenting mortgage and settlement options are likely to violate the law.

High-Impact Fed Charter Policy Takes Effect

The Federal Register today includes the FRB’s policy statement rejecting the “states as laboratories for change” construct by conforming state member bank powers largely only to those authorized for national banks.  The statement is now effective.

GOP, Democrats Vie for Toughest Anti-China Stance

As we anticipated, at today’s full HFSC Committee hearing on China, Chairman McHenry (R-NC) made it clear that he intends action addressing emerging financial and economic risks, reiterating principles such as a commitment to free markets, opposing policies that stifle innovation, and preventing “malign” financial activities or interests.

Barr Backs Short-Term, Small Dollar Lending, Flexible Public-Welfare Option

In remarks today, Fed Vice Chair Barr stressed the need to eliminate discrimination in banking, noting the importance of the CRA rewrite (see FSM Report CRA32) to address redlining and community development.  However, he was silent as to the date by which the agencies are likely to issue the long-awaited final rule.


1 02, 2023


2023-02-01T16:53:57-05:00February 1st, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Set To Quash Credit-Card Late Fees

Taking action as anticipated following its June ANPR (see FSM Report CREDITCARD35), the CFPB today released an NPR that would curtail credit card late fees the Bureau calls “excessive,” moving ahead also with one aspect of the White House competition agenda.

Comment Deadline Set For CFPB Contract Registry Proposal

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s form-contract registry proposal.  As noted (see FSM Report CONSUMER48), the Bureau’s NPR would establish a public registry requiring nonbanks to post contract provisions which the agency believes threaten consumer legal or free-speech rights.

Brown, Democrats Press Thompson On Enterprise Loan Sale Programs

Ahead of a housing hearing as soon as next week, Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) and four other Democrats today sent a letter to FHFA Director Thompson requesting a review of Fannie and Freddie’s nonperforming and reperforming loan-sales programs.

McHenry Confirms Privacy, Crypto Priorities; Rewrites HFSC Rules

At an HFSC organizational meeting, Chairman McHenry (R-NC) today emphasized that he wants to work with Democrats, but much of what he said is unlikely to facilitate this.  For example, he noted with regard to crypto legislation that he wants to end the SEC’s enforcement-focused policy; as previously noted, any crypto legislation curtailing the SEC will run afoul of Democratic views in both the House and Senate.


7 11, 2022


2022-11-07T17:22:53-05:00November 7th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Toomey Calls for More Fed Transparency

Sen. Toomey (R-PA) continued Republican demands for still more Fed transparency, sharply criticizing the Fed’s Friday proposal to provide some transparency into which institutions are granted master accounts.

Sweeping CFPB Fee Restrictions Now Effective

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s circular on Unanticipated Overdraft Fee Assessment Practices and a bulletin now effective on Unfair Returned Deposited Item Fee Assessment Practices.

CFPB Advances Bigtech Market Power Campaign

Continuing its campaign against bigtech’s market power, the Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s notice and request for comment on what fees bigtech payment operators levy on users for violations of acceptable use policies and whether their policies include provisions to restrict user platform access.

Fed Staff Paper Tries To Gauge Social Welfare Impact Of Liquidity, Capital Regs

A new Fed staff study attempts to lay out the social costs and benefits of large-bank liquidity and capital regulation.

Warren Continues Campaign Against Wells Fargo, Zelle

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today continued her campaign against Zelle by sending letters to its parent company and Wells Fargo, taking particular aim at what she deems the latter’s failure to provide adequate claims and reimbursement data and labelling responses to previous letters “insulting.”

Warren Denounces Fed “Culture of Corruption”

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today also continued her campaign against Chairman Powell, sending him a letter alleging “another set of egregious and embarrassing ethics breaches.”


25 10, 2022


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.


19 08, 2022


2023-01-04T11:13:22-05:00August 19th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Payment-System Decision Process May Begin Today

Today’s Federal Register includes the Fed’s final payment-system access guidance (see FSM Report PAYMENT25).  The guidelines are thus effective immediately.  As noted, the final three-tier process for Reserve Bank deliberations sets out a process for streamlined, “intermediate,” and additional scrutiny based on an applicant’s charter, regulation, risk-profile, and numerous other, possibly discretionary factors.

CFPB Plans New Credit-Card Fee Disclosure Requirements

Following its ANPR on credit-card fees (see FSM Report CREDITCARD35), the CFPB today published a rationale for its campaign to control them and – despite the early stage of its rulemaking – a plan to do so via a data-collection proposal published yesterday in the Federal Register.  Comments on the proposal are due by October 17 and the details now provided on the Bureau’s plans suggest it will get more than a few.  The post argues that APR transparency would spur competition and empower consumers.

FDIC Goes After Crypto Companies for False Advertising

Based on its earlier warning and recent rule re advertising FDIC insurance, the FDIC today issued cease-and-desist orders against five cryptocurrency companies it claims are advertising that several of their crypto-related products are FDIC-insured.  The order expressly instructs these companies to remove any reference that suggests products carry FDIC coverage within fifteen days and makes clear that a failure to comply will result in further FDIC action, the nature of which is not specified.


17 08, 2022


2023-01-04T11:35:25-05:00August 17th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Cautions on Payment-System Access, CBDC

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman pointed to the Fed’s final payment-system access guidelines, again urging nonbanks not to have “false expectations” about access while an implementation process advances.  She also noted a longstanding inter-agency proposal addressing partnership risks (see FSM Report VENDOR9) and said she believes final action is needed but provided no insight into when this might in fact occur.  Noting also yesterday’s Fed supervisory letter on cryptoassets, Gov. Bowman indicated that additional supervisory guidance on stablecoins, custody, and other outstanding digital-asset issues is also being developed.

CFPB Digital-Market Standards Start Now

Today’s Federal Register includes the CFPB’s interpretive rule subjecting digital companies using behavioral or similar data to market consumer-finance products to federal consumer law (see FSM Report FINTECH30). The rule is effective immediately.  As noted, the rule curtails the extent to which digital advertising and marketing strategies are exempt from CFPB regulation and state or federal enforcement actions.


28 07, 2022


2023-01-04T15:35:02-05:00July 28th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

End-August Deadline Set for LIBOR Comments

The Federal Register today includes the Fed’s proposal to implement the LIBOR Act.  Comments are due by August 29.  As we noted (see FSM Report LIBOR8), a smooth transition from LIBOR by its effective end date in June 2023 appears unlikely, with the Fed leaving several questions unresolved in its NPR in favor of meeting this deadline.

HFSC Votes in On Key Bills

Turning to recorded votes from yesterday’s markup, the HFSC today approved several bills including reforms to overdraft fees and credit reporting.  The overdraft bill, H. R. 4277 (Maloney, D-NY), passed 27-22.  Also voted on were H.R. 8485 (Williams, D-GA), and H.R. 8478 (Pressley, D-MA).  Both passed the Committee 28-23.

FSOC Agency Heads Report Climate-Risk Progress

At today’s FSOC open meeting, member agency heads reported their climate-risk progress following the President’s executive order.  Chairman Powell reiterated that the Fed is updating work on climate risk assessments without providing timing or details.  SEC Chairman Gensler mentioned the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure proposal, stating that hundreds of issuers already disclose climate-related information.


20 07, 2022


2023-01-06T14:31:13-05:00July 20th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Fed Study: Mortgage Churning for CRA Adversely Affects LMI Mortgage Market

A new Fed staff paper revisits one of the longstanding questions with CRA regulation: whether allowing equal CRA credit for mortgage originations and purchases increases LMI-focused mortgage finance.  Critics of past CRA rules have argued that mortgage purchases are “churning” – i.e., the same loans are bought and sold across the marketplace at the time of each bank’s CRA examination.

Comment Deadline Extended for CFPB Relationship Banking RFI

The Federal Register today provides a 30-day comment period extension for the CFPB’s Relationship Banking RFI (see FSM Report CONSUMER43).  Comments are now due August 22.  As noted, the Bureau has inferred that preserving relationship banking requires “human touch” rapid responses to consumer inquiries that will ensure high-quality banking services are available in all markets.

CFPB Blog: Overdraft/NSF Policy Changes Reduced Fees

Expanding on its December 2021 report, a CFPB blog post today concluded that overdraft and NSF policy changes led to significant reductions in the amount bank customers incur from various account fees.  The post provides two tables — one displaying overdraft/NSF revenue and the other showing ATM fees — across multiple years and specific quarters for small and midsize banks and for select large banks.


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