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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

DAILY112122

2022-11-21T17:37:05-05:00November 21st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FRB-NY Considers Why Deposit Rates are Now So Sticky

As Karen Petrou’s talk last week noted, Democrats and the CFPB have charged that exploitation explains why bank deposit rates now lag Fed rate hikes.  Today’s post from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds a steady decline in bank deposit-rate matches to Fed rate hikes since 1994, but also identifies market factors that largely explain rate sluggishness.  The study estimates the “deposit beta” – i.e., the difference between FOMC hikes and all deposit rates (including non-interest paying funds) found in BHC data.

Senate Dems Demand Digital-Asset Crackdown

Following last week’s hearings with the banking agencies (see Client Report REFORM214), Chairman Brown (D-OH) and Senate Banking Democrats today sent letters urging Vice Chair Barr, Acting Chairman Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu to review SoFi’s digital asset activities, accusing the firm of improperly expanding its crypto trading following commitments not to do so when it was granted licenses as a national bank and BHC.  Following the playbook of pressing for rules and enforcement rather than new law, Senators point to a new SoFi service they believe is not only an “expanded” digital-asset activity despite a commitment to wind down these impermissible activities, but also is dangerous to investors and unsafe and unsound.

Daily112122.pdf

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

14 11, 2022

DAILY111422

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

FSB Thinks 2020 Reg Relief Could Go, Stay – It All Depends

In conjunction with the G20 summit, the FSB has released a policy paper assessing the extent to which various pandemic-related regulatory forbearances should be continued.

FSB Reiterates Climate, Crypto, NBFI Plans

The FSB head’s letter to the G20 today reiterates all of the priorities expressed in its October letter to G20 finance ministers.

Regulatory Hearings to Address Last-Gasp 2022 Agenda, Position Panels for a Busy New Year

With GOP House and Democratic Senate control largely assured, this week’s hearings with Messrs. Barr, Gruenberg, Harper, and Hsu will illuminate not only current priorities – most notably what’s next for federal crypto law and rule – but also the very different priorities HFSC and Senate Banking will advance in the next Congress.

FRB-NY Staff: Big U.S. Banks Remain Extremely Resilient

In its latest assessment of the vulnerability of the fifty largest U.S. BHCs, Federal Reserve Bank of New York staff confirmed the overall rosy assessment of bank resilience in the Board’s latest financial-stability report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94).

OCC Ramps Up Fair-Lending Enforcement

In remarks delivered for Acting Comptroller Hsu, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy Grovetta Gardineer reiterated that ensuring fairness is a top OCC priority.

Gruenberg Finally Gets the Nod

Knowing now that he has secured Democratic Senate control into next year, President Biden today finally and formally nominated Acting FDIC Chairman Gruenberg to assume the chairmanship.

Daily111422.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

19 10, 2022

DEPOSITINSURANCE115

2022-10-24T11:19:32-04:00October 19th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FDIC Hikes Premiums, Presses Resolvability

The FDIC board today voted 3-0 to increase DIF assessment rates by 2bps, finalizing its proposal (see FSM Report DEPOSITINSURANCE114) and rejecting industry arguments on grounds that a small DIF premium increase now would make a more damaging procyclical assessment increase under adverse economic conditions less likely.  Unsurprisingly, the FDIC also joined the Fed in approving the ANPR that bears its name, with Acting Comptroller Hsu praising the ANPR’s balance between protecting financial stability and competition among the largest banks. CFPB Director Chopra used his remarks to advance his campaign against big banks and mergers, calling for an overall review of FDIC premiums to charge the largest banks more and an end to “lax” merger approvals.  This report summarizes today’s meeting; in-depth reports on the final rule and ANPR will follow.

DEPOSITINSURANCE115.pdf

18 10, 2022

FedFin on: FDIC Hikes Premiums, Presses Resolvability

2022-10-24T11:21:49-04:00October 18th, 2022|The Vault|

The FDIC board today voted 3-0 to increase DIF assessment rates by 2bps, finalizing its proposal (see FSM Report DEPOSITINSURANCE114) and rejecting industry arguments on grounds that a small DIF premium increase now would make a more damaging procyclical assessment increase under adverse economic conditions less likely. Unsurprisingly, the FDIC also joined the Fed in approving the ANPR that bears its name, with Acting Comptroller Hsu praising the ANPR’s balance between protecting financial stability and competition among the largest banks. CFPB Director Chopra used his remarks…

The full report is available to retainer clients. To find out how you can sign up for the service, click here and here.…

11 10, 2022

DAILY101122

2022-10-12T10:26:48-04:00October 11th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FSB Slow-Walks Global Crypto Action

As promised, the FSB today released preliminary recommendations for global cryptoasset regulation and questions for consultation.

FSB Demurs on Crypto Systemic Risk

In its latest letter to the G20, the FSB today leaves its prior global-risk assessment largely unchanged, but refines its action plan.

Hsu Hunts for Reasons to Tolerate Crypto

In two speeches today, Acting Comptroller Hsu has again reiterated his concerns that cryptoassets pose an array of risks, a view of course echoing the FSOC’s findings (see Client Report CRYPTO33) and those in recent Treasury reports (see Client Report CBDC14 and Client Report CRYPTO32).

FRB KC: Better Data, Research Needed to Guide Payment Inclusion

A new research briefing from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City calls for more research and data collection on underserved populations excluded from the payment system as well as more systematic research into public and private payment inclusion initiatives.

HFSC Republicans Press Hsu on Bank-Fintech Partnerships

HFSC Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and four other House Republicans today sent a letter to Acting Comptroller Hsu demanding clarification on the OCC’s treatment of bank-fintech partnerships.

Daily101122.pdf

8 09, 2022

DAILY090822

2022-11-09T13:00:10-05:00September 8th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Gensler Stands Crypto Ground

In remarks today, SEC Chairman Gensler stood firm: almost all crypto tokens are securities because they are investment contracts under the “Howey Test.”  Further guidance is unnecessary, he said, because the Commission has been clear and crypto companies request it only because they do not like this conclusion, not because they fail to understand it.

GOP Demands Answers On CBDC Authorization, Construct

Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and all of the HFSC’s Republicans today sent a letter to Vice Chair Brainard demanding that she clarify several issues germane to U.S. CBDC issuance.  These most notably include the extent to which the “support” from the Administration and Congress she said was needed (see Client Report CBDC13) means express statutory change and Administration order.

Toomey Demands Greater CRA Transparency, Updated Regulations

Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) today sent a letter to Vice Chair Brainard, Acting Comptroller Hsu, and Director Gruenberg sharply criticizing what he calls a lack of transparency of CRA-derived community benefit plans (CBPs).  Describing these as an “egregious” circumvention of congressional intent, he demands that the banking regulators update regulations implementing GLBA’s CRA sunshine provision, specifically urging them to establish a public database containing all CRA-related agreements in full.

Daily090822.pdf

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