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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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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

19 10, 2022

DAILY101922

2022-10-20T17:16:10-04:00October 19th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Brings Older Adults Into Fair-Fee Focus

Following yesterday’s enforcement action and furthering its “fair-fee” policy agenda (see FSM Report CONSUMER38), the CFPB today published an Issue Brief on overdraft fees and economically-insecure older adults.

HUD Advances LIBOR Replacement As Deadline

Following its ANPR on replacing LIBOR last year, HUD today published a proposed rule to remove LIBOR as an approved index for forward ARMs and reverse mortgages, replacing it with SOFR.  For existing ARMs, HUD proposes to establish a spread-adjusted SOFR index to transition from LIBOR, with a lifetime five percent interest-rate cap for monthly adjustable rate reverse mortgages.

House Republicans Question PayPal’s Content Fine Mistake

Following revelations that PayPal had temporarily imposed a penalty fee on certain content, HFSC Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Rodgers (R-WA), and Reps. Emmer (R-MN) and Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman requesting more information about PayPal mistakenly updating its Acceptable Use Policy to include a fine for sharing “objectionable” messages on the platform.

Fed Study Finds Little Evidence of Discrimination in Mortgage Lending

A new Fed study on racial bias in mortgage lending finds little evidence of discrimination, concluding instead that disparities in observable applicant risk explain most racial denial disparities.  The study uses confidential HMDA supervisory data from 2018-2019 that controls for credit scores, DTI, and LTV on top of automated underwriting systems (AUS) recommendations.

Daily101922.pdf

18 10, 2022

DAILY101822

2022-10-18T17:16:23-04:00October 18th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Uses Enforcement Action to Press Payment-System Digital, Fee, Safety, Fairness Standards

Using an enforcement action today against ACTIVE Network, CFPB Director Chopra emphasized that this case epitomized broader Bureau concerns.  These are monitoring use of “digital dark patterns” – i.e., design features that manipulate users into harmful behavior that are profitable for companies.

Treasury’s FIO Seeks Input On Climate-Related Data Collection

Taking further action in response to the President’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk (see FSM Report GREEN8), Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office today requested comment on a proposed data collection regarding current and historical underwriting data on homeowners’ insurance from property and casualty insurers to assess climate-related financial risk.

HFSC Republicans Push Yellen to Support IFI Nuclear Energy Funding

In light of recent energy shortages in Europe, Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to Treasury Secretary Yellen urging her to support the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other IFIs financing nuclear energy projects.  They claim that an absence of Western funding has allowed China and Russia to fill the void, especially in developing countries.

Daily101822.pdf

22 09, 2022

REFORM212

2022-10-12T17:06:54-04:00September 22nd, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC Goes Easy on CEOs

At today’s big-bank oversight HFSC hearing, Committee Democrats focused on each bank’s progress on social issues, such as internal diversity, unionization, and historic roles in financing slavery.  Although Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) called for more restrictive merger-approval criteria in her opening statement, Democrats largely left the issue untouched.  Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) framed the hearing as political “theater,” focusing on discrediting capital increases.  Committee Republicans also asked CEOs about inflation, fiscal policy, and gun merchant codes.  Chairwoman Waters concluded this marathon session by chastising the CEOs for failing fully to answer the questions she posed ahead of the hearing and demanding that they do so in five legislative days.

REFORM212.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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