#Hsu

11 03, 2024

DAILY031124

2024-03-11T17:15:23-04:00March 11th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Hagerty Demands Signature-Asset Sale Answers ASAP

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) yesterday sent a letter to Chair Gruenberg questioning the FDIC’s adherence to requirements in its auction process during the sale of Signature Bank’s loan portfolio, accusing the FDIC of making political choices inconsistent with its least-cost mandate.

Scott Again Calls for Gruenberg Resignation

Adding to GOP pressure on FDIC Chair Gruenberg, Senate Banking Ranking Member Scott (R-SC) yesterday sent a letter reiterating his demand that Mr. Gruenberg step down.

BTFP Demise if FHLB Opportunity

As anticipated, the BTFP window closed today.

FDIC’s Hill Wants New Blockchain, Liquidity Standards

FDIC Vice Chair Hill today said there are “significant downsides” to the agency’s current approach to blockchain, describing its message and that of the inter-agency policy (see Client Report CRYPTO32) as “don’t bother trying.”

Warren Tries to Divide Powell from Other Regulators to Conquer Capital Regs

Following her grilling of Chair Powell last week regarding his decision to intervene in setting the new capital rules, Sen. Warren (D-MA) yesterday sent a letter to Vice Chair Barr, Chair Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu asking them if pressure from big banks has “weakened your resolve.”

GAO Wants FinCEN to Move Better, Faster

Reinforcing longstanding bank complaints about the current AML regime, GAO today published a report finding that FinCEN needs to improve transparency surrounding its progress implementing the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (see FSM Report AML132).

Biden Presses for Statutory Change Boosting FHLB Affordable-Housing Contributions

President Biden’s FY25 …

7 03, 2024

DAILY030724

2024-03-07T16:51:03-05:00March 7th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC GOP Press Discount-Window Reform, Slow-Go on Liquidity Risk

Building on questioning at a recent HFSC hearing (see Client Report LIQUIDITY34), Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair Barr (R-KY) led all Republican members of his subcommittee in a letter to Chair Powell, Chair Gruenberg, and Acting Comptroller Hsu urging them to address stigma and operational issues associated with the discount window.

Powell Reiterates: Capital Rules Will Change

Today’s Senate Banking hearing with Chair Powell covered much of the same ground as the Chair’s appearance before HFSC (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE75) with Democrats focusing on housing affordability and Republicans expressing their satisfaction with Mr. Powell’s statement that the Basel III proposal may have to be withdrawn and re-proposed.

House Judiciary Now Says 12 Large Banks Colluded with FinCEN

Prior to the House Judiciary’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing today on large bank “collusion,” the subcommittee yesterday published a report finding that FinCEN and the FBI engaged in backchannel discussions with large financial institutions to gather private financial data.

BCBS Proposes GSIB Window-Dressing Revisions

As anticipated, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision today released a consultation on revisions to the GSIB assessment framework concerning window dressing.

House Republican Targets Interest on Reserves

Following up on yesterday’s HFSC hearing (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE75), Rep. Davidson (R-OH) has introduced legislation (H.R. 7562) to prevent Federal Reserve Banks from paying interest on excess reserves.

Daily030724.pdf

27 02, 2024

Daily022724

2024-02-27T16:49:32-05:00February 27th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Barr Presses for Counterparty-Risk Management

FRB Vice Chair Barr today called for large banks to ensure that counterparty exposures are well managed according to actions he describes, announcing no new Fed initiatives in this arena.  Mr. Barr was particularly focused on the need for banks to ensure sound margining and to dynamically adjust margins and other risk buffers.

FSB Cites SEC MMF Global Leadership

The FSB today released its thematic peer review report on MMF reforms, generally finding that global progress on its 2021 MMF rule (see FSM Report MMF18) has been inconsistent across jurisdictions.  However, U.S. progress is detailed, with the FSB noting key points in the agency’s 2023 MMF rule (see FSM Report MMF20) despite ongoing concerns about lingering risks such as vulnerability to large and sudden redemption pressure due to large MMF holdings of risky assets.

Fed Staff: Private Credit Poses Banking, Insurance, Systemic Risk

Reflecting concerns most recently expressed by Acting Comptroller Hsu and FSOC (see Client Report FSOC29), the Fed’s new staff paper on private credit contains not only a taxonomy about this fast-growing sector, but also a warning of emerging systemic risk.  Differing from the Fed’s May 2023 financial-stability assessment of low risk (see Client Report SYSTEMIC96), the paper argues for greater systemic-risk focus due to illiquidity, rising corporate leverage and default risk, and the extent to which large amounts of “dry powder” and the need to compete with banks for higher-quality loans lead to still …

26 02, 2024

DAILY022624

2024-02-26T16:36:24-05:00February 26th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS: More Bank Competition Leads to Increased Credit Risk

A new BIS paper looks at a question critical to the debate over bank-merger policy:  the extent to which competition drives bank risk-based pricing decisions in corporate lending and, by extension, other credit markets.

OCC Proposes Changes to FOIA Procedures

The OCC today proposed several changes to its FOIA procedures, including allowing expedited processing requests and appeals of denials of these requests and those for fee waivers.

Warren, Progressives Expand Blast on CapOne/Discover Deal to Encompass OCC Merger Proposal

Following other Democratic attacks on the CapOne/Discover merger and her own, Sen. Warren (D-MA) continued her challenge in a letter also signed by twelve House Democrats.

CFPB Takes Precedent-Setting Step Bringing Nonbanks Under Supervision

The CFPB late Friday released its first contested finding that a nonbank is subject to its supervision following the establishment in 2022 of a process for bringing nonbanks under its supervisory wings (see FSM Report CONSUMER44).

Senate Republicans Introduce Anti-CBDC Bill

Sen. Cruz (R-TX) alongside Sens. Hagerty (R-TN), Scott (R-FL), Budd (R-NC) and Braun (R-IN) today introduced a bill to prohibit the Fed from directly or indirectly issuing a CBDC or even using CBDC as a monetary-policy tool.

Daily022624.pdf

22 02, 2024

DAILY022224

2024-02-22T17:00:09-05:00February 22nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CapOne Deal Draws GOP Fire

Late yesterday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) joined Democrats in strongly opposing the CapOne/Discover merger, doing so not only via a short statement, but also a letter to Assistant AG Kanter.

CFPB Buttresses Calls to Block CapOne Deal

Adding still more heat to the fire it built Friday on credit-card industry practices, the CFPB today reported that the average APR margin for credit-cards has reached an all-time high.  APR margins were also found also to account for about half of the absolute card rate, which rose from 12.9 percent in 2013 to 22.8 percent in 2023.

Hsu Presses Cross-Border Cryptoasset-Platform Regulation

Speaking before the FSB’s Crypto Working Group today, Acting Comptroller Hsu made it clear that multi-function cryptoasset intermediaries require a home/host-country regulatory construct akin to that adopted in the U.S. and around the world after BCCI’s money-laundering scandal and failure in 1991.

Daily022224.pdf

21 02, 2024

DAILY022124

2024-02-21T17:03:29-05:00February 21st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Hsu Identifies Near-Term Microprudential Options to Curtail Systemic Risk via Bank Inter-Connections

Acting Comptroller Hsu warned that the risks of blurred lines between commerce and banking pose financial-stability risks, especially when it comes to payment systems and private equity.

Waters Adds to Democratic CapOne/Discover Merger Opposition

Building on Democratic opposition, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) made it clear that she vigorously opposes Capital One’s acquisition of Discover, arguing that it not only validates her view that tough new capital rules are essential, but also the significant risks large regional banks continue to pose.

Daily022124.pdf

20 02, 2024

M022024

2024-02-20T09:14:36-05:00February 20th, 2024|6- Client Memo|

How the OCC Made a Bad Bank Both Bigger and Badder

As I noted last week, the OCC’s proposed bank-merger policy fails to reckon with the strong supervisory and regulatory powers federal banking agencies already have to quash problematic consolidations and concentrations.  Here, I turn to one reason why the OCC may not trust these rules:  it doesn’t trust itself.  A bit of recent history shows all too well why this self-doubt is warranted even though it’s also inexcusable.

m022024.pdf

20 02, 2024

Karen Petrou: How the OCC Made a Bad Bank Both Bigger and Badder

2024-04-12T09:48:06-04:00February 20th, 2024|The Vault|

As I noted last week, the OCC’s proposed bank-merger policy fails to reckon with the strong supervisory and regulatory powers federal banking agencies already have to quash problematic consolidations and concentrations.  Here, I turn to one reason why the OCC may not trust these rules:  it doesn’t trust itself.  A bit of recent history shows all too well why this self-doubt is warranted even though it’s also inexcusable.

I owe my historical recall to the authoritative Bank Reg Blog, which last week looked at the latest on NYCB.  This included a troubling reminder of the troubled bank’s merger with Flagstar before it thought it snapped up another great deal from the FDIC via acquiring what was left of Signature Bank.

NYCB first sought approval for the Flagstar acquisition in 2021 when its primary federal regulator was the FDIC.  As is often the case with merger applications, this one appeared to go into a dark hole.  Unlike many other acquisitions, the banking companies had a go-to Plan B: charter conversion.

NYCB went to the OCC and got rapid approval not just for converting its charter to a national bank, but also then for acquiring Flagstar via a reverse flip that also involved a Flagstar conversion to a national charter.  The OCC then readily approved the merger in 2022, just in time for some of the super-rapid growth via the Signature deal both the OCC and FDIC approved even though they should have been well aware that rapid-fire mergers almost always lead …

2 02, 2024

DAILY020224

2024-02-02T16:21:33-05:00February 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Powell, Hsu Add to Pressure on SEC Crypto-Custody Standards

As we noted yesterday, Congressional Republicans are now mounting a Congressional Review Act effort to repeal the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (see FSM Report CUSTODY5) requiring balance-sheet recognition of crypto-custody deposits at considerable cost to banking institutions.

Trump to Dump Powell

As we expected, Donald Trump today said that, if elected, he will not reappoint Jerome Powell.  This decision will not present itself to the next president until Mr. Powell’s term ends in January of 2026, but we do not think either of the candidates is likely to reappoint Mr. Powell should he seek a third term.

GOP Bill Challenges Capital Proposal

Echoing long-held concerns of other HFSC Republicans, Rep. Ogles (R-TN) along with Rep. Donalds (R-FL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 7143) forcing regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Senate Presses for Anti-Hungary Sanctions

In a statement that may lead financial institutions to review their exposures, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Cardin (D-MD) called on the Biden Administration to consider sanctions against Hungary due to its government’s refusal until late yesterday to support EU efforts for Ukraine and its broadly anti-democratic program in general and with specific regard to pressuring the U.S. and its ambassador to Hungary.

HFSC Republicans Take Another Shot at FDIC

Continuing their campaign against FDIC Chair Gruenberg, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) along with Subcommittee Chairs Barr (R-KY) and Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to the FDIC questioning …

29 01, 2024

DAILY012924

2024-01-29T16:36:27-05:00January 29th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Advances AI Governance, Government Adoption

Following the President’s AI executive order (see Client Report AI3), the White House today released an update following a steering-group meeting.

BIS Study Examines Stablecoin Run-Risk

A new BIS study supports pending U.S. legislation and possible rules related to stablecoin reserve assets and run-risk, finding that transparency increases stablecoin stability when reserve assets are of high quality, but decreases stability when reserves are perceived to be low quality or when there are low transaction costs to convert to fiat.

Hsu Sets Course to New OCC Merger Policy with No Fed Companion in Sight

In remarks today emphasizing the need for a more transparent bank-merger process, Acting Comptroller Hsu announced that the OCC will today release an NPR eliminating the possibility that merger applications will be approved solely by the passage of time.

Warren Starts the New Year with Political Pressure on Fed Policy

Reiterating concerns about high interest rates, Sen. Warren (D-MA) along with Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO), Rosen (D-NV) and Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to Chair Powell calling on him to reverse rate hikes, citing its impact on the current affordable housing crisis.

Daily012924.pdf

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