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28 11, 2022

CONSUMER44

2022-11-28T15:19:28-05:00November 28th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Nonbank Consumer-Finance Supervision

Reviving what it calls “dormant” authority, the CFPB has finalized a proposed “procedural rule” expressly reiterating its right to govern an array of nonbanks and establishing procedures for making supervisory orders public.  As a result, a wide array of nonbank providers of consumer-financial products and services face increased legal and reputational risk as well as changes to the current business model and/or product/service design if orders made public by the Bureau lead to public or political backlash akin to that leading to the decisions at many banks to eliminate or alter overdraft fees after the Bureau voiced strong objections to them.

CONSUMER44.pdf

21 11, 2022

FedFin on: Treasury Plumbs the Depth of Nonbank Finance, Seeks New Merger Policy, Rules

2022-11-22T13:19:47-05:00November 21st, 2022|The Vault|

As promised, this report provides an in-depth analysis of Treasury’s report and resulting recommendations to the President’s Competition Council on the impact of new nonbank consumer-finance entrants from a competition, consumer-protection, and financial-stability perspective.  Although the report calls for reconsideration of bank-merger policy with an eye to the growing role of fintechs and bigtechs, its overall view of market power fails in our view to capture the actual landscape in which…

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

21 11, 2022

FINTECH31

2022-11-21T12:00:14-05:00November 21st, 2022|5- Client Report|

Treasury Plumbs the Depth of Nonbank Finance, Seeks New Merger Policy, Rules

As promised, this report provides an in-depth analysis of Treasury’s report and resulting recommendations to the President’s Competition Council on the impact of new nonbank consumer-finance entrants from a competition, consumer-protection, and financial-stability perspective.  Although the report calls for reconsideration of bank-merger policy with an eye to the growing role of fintechs and bigtechs, its overall view of market power fails in our view to capture the actual landscape in which these important new entrants compete with banks.  For example, its focus on deposit-market concentration compares banks principally to neobanks, failing to consider deposit-like products such as prime MMFs and in many cases also credit-union deposits.  As a result, erroneous conclusions are drawn about market power that exists when all competitors – not just bigtechs or fintechs – are considered.

FINTECH31.pdf

16 11, 2022

DAILY111622

2022-11-16T17:14:29-05:00November 16th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Calls for Tough Fintech and Bank-Partnership Protection, Prudential Standards

Treasury has completed a long-pending study of the extent to which nonbank fintechs compete with banks and how this affects financial stability and consumer protection.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of this report, for which Karen Petrou was extensively interviewed as now noted publicly in the appendix.  The report was ordered by the Secretary in compliance with President Biden’s competition order (see Client Report MERGER6), finding that nonbank fintechs directly compete with banks and thus may reduce current concentration levels, sure to influence the inter-agency bank-merger policy that remains to be finalized.

Williams Presses for NBFI Standards

In remarks today, FRB-NY President John Williams said that the central bank should not adjust monetary policy to address the price-stability challenges of volatile Treasury markets and that financial-stability questions have generally been well-addressed as evident in the sound U.S. banking system.  Noting recent findings in the latest staff report (see Client Report TMARKET3), Mr. Williams also called for structural changes to NBFIs along lines also laid out by the FSB (see Client Report NBFI2), arguing that MMFs and other NBFIs must be a market source of strength, not of vulnerability requiring rescue beyond the Fed’s new standing facility.

G20 Blesses FSB, Basel Work Plans

In addition to top-priority concerns such as Ukraine, the G-20 Leader’s Declaration today tackled the usual financial-policy agenda, supporting the FSB’s recent NBFI report (see Client

3 11, 2022

DAILY110322

2022-11-03T17:15:32-04:00November 3rd, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Gruenberg Backs Bank On

In remarks late yesterday, FDIC Acting Chairman Gruenberg pointed to the importance of Bank On accounts to retain previously un- or under-banked households brought into the system following large government payments early in the pandemic.

ECB Presses Climate-Risk Capital Regs

Moving far ahead of the Fed, the ECB has announced strict plans to ensure that EU banks not only improve governance and express climate-risk stress testing, but also hold sufficient internal-capital allocations for physical and transition risk.

Data Standard-Setters to Come Under CFPB Regs

In remarks late yesterday updating the CFPB’s open-banking rulemaking efforts, Director Chopra indicated that the new consumer-data rules (see forthcoming in-depth FedFin report) will also address   how best to set public and private-sector standards to ensure industry-wide fairness and access to critical infrastructure.

IMF Climate-Risk Priorities Include GSIB Buffers

The IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Bo Li today set priorities for central banks and bank regulators addressing financial-system climate resilience.

Daily110322.pdf

30 09, 2022

DAILY093022

2022-10-03T13:40:26-04:00September 30th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Brainard Acknowledges Risk But Sticks to Policy Guns

Responding to acute concerns that Fed policy will shatter global financial stability, Fed Vice Chair Brainard today emphasized her longstanding and once-isolated view that monetary policy must consider financial stability.

Global Standard-Setters Turn to Clearing Margin, Liquidity

The Basel Committee, IOSCO, and CPMI issued the first substantive response to the FSB’s decision to target margining practices following its review of the 2020 financial crisis and the need to address nonbank financial intermediation (see Client Report NBFI).

HFSC Republicans Denounce Beneficial Ownership Rule

HFSC Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) released a statement today sharply criticizing FinCEN’s beneficial ownership final rule as overly broad and complex.

Basel Concludes High Capital Compatible with Sustained Profitability

The Basel Committee today released its latest report on bank capitalization, finding that profitability remains robust despite capital ratios increasing to the highest level since the beginning of the exercise in 2012.

Bowman Comes Out Swinging on New, Costly Big-Bank Rules

Following a speech earlier this week largely siding with banks on merger policy, FRB Gov. Bowman today agreed with assertions from bank CEOs (see Client Report REFORM213) and others that the largest U.S. banks are now well capitalized as judged by ratios and effective stress testing.

FRB/FDIC Turn to Regional Resolvability

The Fed and FDIC today announced that they will shortly propose resolution guidance for most regional banks.

Daily093022.pdf

26 09, 2022

Karen Petrou: Nonbanks Win Big

2022-09-27T10:49:12-04:00September 26th, 2022|The Vault|

As our in-depth reports detailed, Treasury took the President’s policy edicts to heart when crafting a new digital-finance policy for the U.S.  Treasury could have ducked some hard decisions via laudatory rhetoric, but it chose instead to recommend specific policies that cut a new path to a U.S. CBDC and crypto regulation.  Our reports detail key policy decisions and what’s soon to be done with them, but one warrants even more immediate attention:  Treasury’s decision to adhere not just to the President’s executive order on crypto-finance, but also to another on increasing financial sector competition.  This puts banks on notice that not all have yet taken.

Overlooked in much analysis of Treasury’s sweeping reports is its call to break up what Treasury clearly sees as the monopoly banks have long enjoyed over payment-system access.  Treasury for example argues that many banks have exited retail remittances even though these are critical to financial inclusion and leaves the market ill-served.  Indeed, it wants nonbanks to obtain overall instant-payment access, saying:

Network effects support the adoption of instant payment systems: Widespread use makes it more likely that a payor can use an instant payment system to make a payment to a payee, increasing the system’s value. …  Broadening the range of financial institutions that are eligible to participate in instant payment systems, as certain foreign jurisdictions have done, could help to enhance speed and efficiency, competition, and inclusion in payments, including for cross-border payments.

The problem with Treasury’s call for payment-system …

26 09, 2022

M092622

2022-09-27T10:49:36-04:00September 26th, 2022|6- Client Memo|

Nonbanks Win Big

As our in-depth reports detailed, Treasury took the President’s policy edicts to heart when crafting a new digital-finance policy for the U.S.  Treasury could have ducked some hard decisions via laudatory rhetoric, but it chose instead to recommend specific policies that cut a new path to a U.S. CBDC and crypto regulation.  Our reports detail key policy decisions and what’s soon to be done with them, but one warrants even more immediate attention:  Treasury’s decision to adhere not just to the President’s executive order on crypto-finance, but also to another on increasing financial sector competition.  This puts banks on notice that not all have yet taken.

m092622.pdf

22 09, 2022

REFORM213

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

Senate Republicans Tackle Woke Banking; Democrats Turn Again to Zelle, Fees

Senate Banking’s hearing with big-bank CEOs proved much more combative than HFSC’s session yesterday (see Client Report REFORM212).  From the outset, Republican Senators condemned what they characterized as serious threats of banking politicization around social and cultural issues, with Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) predicting a Republican counter-offensive should his party regain control.  He also said that the Fed’s decision to join other central banks and supervisors in implementing climate scenario analysis is a precursor to regulatory edicts pressuring banks to divest from energy companies.  Republicans also emphasized that high regulatory-capital requirements have undue macroeconomic effects.  As predicted, Democratic focused extensively on Zelle and bank fees.

REFORM213.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

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