#Hamas

13 12, 2023

DAILY121323

2023-12-13T16:50:12-05:00December 13th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Oversight Subcomm Revisits Iran Sanctions

Today’s HFSC Oversight Subcommittee hearing focused on the Biden Administration’s recent efforts to limit terrorist funding from Iran.  Chairman Huizenga (R-MI) questioned the need for the November 14th renewal of a waiver that allows Iraq to pay Iran for electricity, calling for increased pressure on Iran following Hamas’s October 7th attack.

SEC Sets Out Treasury Central-Clearing Construct

As anticipated, the SEC this morning voted 4-1 to mandate central clearing for Treasury securities used in many repo and reverse-repo transactions, modifying the proposal in key respects still unsatisfactory to Commissioner Peirce.  The rule addresses continuing concerns about Treasury-market fragility, in part by reducing the number of highly-leveraged hedge-fund transactions.

GAO Reaches Equivocal Verdict on Digital-Asset Crypto Evasion Risk

Addressing Congressional concerns such as those in the Warren-Marshall crypto-compliance bill, the GAO today issued a report finding that digital assets pose risk to U.S. sanction implementation and enforcement despite mitigating factors that may reduce certain risks.

Brown Presses Bank CEOs on Servicemember Rights

A week after the GSIB CEOs came before the Senate Banking Committee (see Client Report GSIB23), Banking Committee Chair Brown (D-OH) today sent a letter to the CEOs of the four largest consumer banks encouraging them to ensure that active-duty servicemembers obtain all the financial benefits to which they are entitled.

Daily121323.pdf

1 12, 2023

Al120423

2023-12-01T16:41:48-05:00December 1st, 2023|3- This Week|

Capital Conundrum

Early signals indicate that GSIB CEOs summoned this week before Senate Banking will do their best to use the session to solidify Congressional calls for substantive changes in pending capital rules based on a far more transparent, systematic CB analysis.  Signals such as the Brown/Reed letter last week also make it clear that Democrats will push hard for tougher GSIB-specific standards to offset increasingly-likely changes to the capital rules.  Democratic advocates of specific changes – i.e., with regard to LMI mortgages and small-business credit – will also use the session to navigate a path between helping regional banks on key points while looking tough on the overall question of big-bank capital.  Again, sticking it to GSIBs may be their tactic.  Republicans won’t let up against the capital rules, but we suspect they’ll also focus on borrowers and regional banks, side-stepping GSIB surcharges and other top-tier questions wherever possible.

Al120423.pdf

15 11, 2023

DAILY111523

2023-11-15T16:42:07-05:00November 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Advances Sanctions Bills

HFSC yesterday reported an array of Hamas-sanctions related measures, extending its reach to Iran, China, and other nations deemed to support Hamas.  Bipartisan bills with some hope of advancing include measures to require Treasury to report on financial institution’s involvement with Iranian officials (H.R. 6245), mandate that OFAC develop a licensing program for private firms to conduct nominal transactions with sanctioned entities (H.R. 6370), and to expand secondary sanctions to Chinese banks financing the purchase of Iranian oil (H.R. 5923).

Basel Tackles Digital Fraud

The Basel Committee has released a discussion draft seeking views on supervisory and financial-stability implications of digital fraud.  Discussion papers of this sort are often precursors to more formal standards, and this one appears to be no exception.  While Basel seeks comment on broad questions such as the definition of digital fraud, it also wants views on the prevalence of digital fraud as commenters choose to define it and resulting risks.

Daily111523.pdf

9 11, 2023

DAILY110923

2023-11-09T17:11:08-05:00November 9th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Outlines Capital-Comment Priorities

In remarks today, FRB Gov. Bowman reiterated many of her longstanding concerns regarding pending bank rules, going on now to lay out key points on which she believes comment are warranted on the capital standards.

OMB Now Demands Distributional Analytics

Following its order to federal agencies now to consider competitive-impact in regulatory assessments, OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) today issued new standards also demanding distributional-impact analyses.  As Karen Petrou’s memo this week made clear, it is our view that these are singularly and unfortunately absent from those accompanying the recent spate of banking proposals.

HFSC Plans Sanctions Markup

As anticipated, HFSC is proceeding next Tuesday to mark up a raft of bills addressing Iran and broader sanctions questions.  Among the bills is one from Reps. Vargas (D-CA) and Hill (R-AR), H.R. 6245, to require Treasury to report on financial institution’s involvement with Iranian officials.

Daily110923.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

26 10, 2023

DAILY102623

2023-10-26T16:48:48-04:00October 26th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate Banking Focuses on Rapid-Fire Administration Action to Sanction Iran, Curb Hamas, Govern Crypto

Today’s Senate Banking Hearing on Illicit Finance and Terrorism showcased continued bipartisan support for stronger Iranian sanctions as well as for secondary sanctions on traditional financial institutions and cryptoasset firms facilitating terrorism.  In addition to highlighting their bipartisan measure targeting DeFi-related money laundering and sanctions evasion, Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Warner (D-VA) noted that they are working on a bill that would apply secondary sanctions on banks and DeFi entities that transact with foreign parties that facilitate terrorist financing.

Bipartisan Small-Business Leadership Opens New End-Game Front

Opening a new front of Congressional concern about the capital proposal’s credit impacts, House Small Business Economic Growth Subcommittee Chairman Meuser (R-PA) along with Ranking Member Landsman (D-OH) and two others today sent a letter to FRB Chairman Powell and Vice Chair Barr “imploring” them to commission a comprehensive review of the capital proposal’s effects on small business lending.  They also ask that all the agencies counteract any negative repercussions of the proposal, noting that this might entail significantly easing capital requirements.

Daily102623.pdf

23 10, 2023

DAILY102323

2023-10-23T16:37:02-04:00October 23rd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Plans Fintech-Friendly Legislation

Wednesday’s HFSC Digital Assets Subcommittee hearing on electronic payments will consider the state of various electronic payments offerings and lay the groundwork for several GOP measures to override current standards or give providers greater leeway.  As a result, these bills are unlikely to advance in the Senate.  Measures to be covered include a bill to be introduced by Rep. Steil (R-WI) to create a federal framework for the earned-wage lending programs the CFPB has recently criticized.

HFSC Plans Sanctions Review

As anticipated, Wednesday’s HFSC National Security hearing on Middle East sanctions will consider an array of bills designed to punish Iran, sanction Hamas, and – at least as far as Republicans plan – criticize the Biden Administration for actions such as agreeing to release $6 billion to Iran in exchange for several hostages.  We have noted many of the bills on which a record will be built in prior client alerts, with the panel planning for example to advance H.R. 5923, a Lawler (R-NY) bill to extend current secondary sanctions related to Iran to all transactions with Chinese financial institutions and sanctioned Iranian banks related to oil purchases.

Daily102323.pdf

20 10, 2023

DAILY102023

2023-10-20T17:21:03-04:00October 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate AI Measure Tackles Financial Services

The text of the key Senate AI bill, S. 3050, has now become available.

Banking Agencies Offer Olive Branch

Reflecting strong pressure and recent FRB Chair Powell statements, the FRB today announced the launch of an open data collection assessing the rule’s effects – an issue on which many bank comment letters and Congressional Republicans have been scathing.

GOP Renew Funding Campaign vs. CFPB via Fed Losses

HFSC Vice Chairman Hill (R-AR) yesterday reintroduced legislation pressuring both the Fed and CFPB by prohibiting the Fed from transferring its earnings to the Bureau if the Fed incurs an operating loss.

FinCEN Highlights Hamas Sanction Red Flags

Reflecting ongoing Congressional pressure and recent Treasury sanctions, FinCEN today issued an alert reminding financial institutions to remain vigilant for suspicious activity related to Hamas funding sources.

Fed Stays Stoic on Financial-Stability Outlook

The FRB today released is semiannual financial-stability report differing little from the relatively-sanguine outlook in its May report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94).

Daily102023.pdf

18 10, 2023

DAILY101823

2023-10-18T17:19:09-04:00October 18th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Responds to Hamas Sanctions Pressure, More to Come

Reflecting ongoing and high-impact Congressional pressure, OFAC today sanctioned ten Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators including the virtual currency exchange service known as Buy Cash.

CPMI Wants Faster Payments

The BIS Committee on Payment and Market Infrastructures today submitted an interim report to the G20 with ten initial considerations regarding the structure, design, and oversight of interlinking arrangements for fast payment systems.

Treasury Reiterates CBDC Interest

Treasury International Affairs Under-Secretary Jay Shambaugh yesterday stated that Treasury has a “complementary role” in addressing CBDC’s role in the payment system, reinforcing the likelihood that Treasury continues to press the FRB to go farther into CBDC than the Fed seems willing to do (see Client Report CBDC14).

Senate Sides with Industry versus CFPB Small-business Reporting

Despite a veto threat from the White House, the Senate today voted 53 to 44 to authorize Congressional Review Act withdrawal of the CFPB’s small business reporting rule.

Daily101823.pdf

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