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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

7 11, 2022

DAILY110722

2022-11-07T17:22:53-05:00November 7th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Toomey Calls for More Fed Transparency

Sen. Toomey (R-PA) continued Republican demands for still more Fed transparency, sharply criticizing the Fed’s Friday proposal to provide some transparency into which institutions are granted master accounts.

Sweeping CFPB Fee Restrictions Now Effective

The Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s circular on Unanticipated Overdraft Fee Assessment Practices and a bulletin now effective on Unfair Returned Deposited Item Fee Assessment Practices.

CFPB Advances Bigtech Market Power Campaign

Continuing its campaign against bigtech’s market power, the Federal Register today includes the CFPB’s notice and request for comment on what fees bigtech payment operators levy on users for violations of acceptable use policies and whether their policies include provisions to restrict user platform access.

Fed Staff Paper Tries To Gauge Social Welfare Impact Of Liquidity, Capital Regs

A new Fed staff study attempts to lay out the social costs and benefits of large-bank liquidity and capital regulation.

Warren Continues Campaign Against Wells Fargo, Zelle

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today continued her campaign against Zelle by sending letters to its parent company and Wells Fargo, taking particular aim at what she deems the latter’s failure to provide adequate claims and reimbursement data and labelling responses to previous letters “insulting.”

Warren Denounces Fed “Culture of Corruption”

Sen. Warren (D-MA) today also continued her campaign against Chairman Powell, sending him a letter alleging “another set of egregious and embarrassing ethics breaches.”

Daily110722.pdf

31 10, 2022

Karen Petrou: The Moral Dilemma of CFPB Dictate

2022-11-01T16:56:49-04:00October 31st, 2022|The Vault|

There is little question that electoral politics powered the President’s launch last week of a new Administration “junk-fee” campaign. How most of these fees matter to the majority of households fuming as they can’t handle prices at the food store and fuel pump is yet to be seen, but politics is only part of the reason for the CFPB’s high-priority blitz against “surprise” fees. Politics is easily understood, if not practiced to maximum advantage. Regulatory actions founded on moral philosophy are not only a compliance conundrum, but also an intellectual quandary.

Question for today’s class: is it right for Rohit Chopra to set rules regardless of the niceties of the rulemaking process when he believes certain acts or practices violate the natural rights of the U.S. citizenry? This may seem a hyperbolic description of the CFPB’s spate of enforceable pronouncements, but it’s the way I read many of them.

Take for example the latest edict on overdraft fees. As FedFin’s in-depth analysis will detail later today, the CFPB’s circular details a raft of laws and rules governing overdraft fees, going on to say how nice they all were but how little they matter anymore.

Because technological delivery can, the CFPB says, obscure fund availability, the Bureau concludes that fees which comply with every provision of each applicable law and rule are still unfair, deceptive, and/or abusive. Disclosures that comply with every provision in each law and rule also no longer suffice, the Bureau believes, and thus depository institutions have an …

31 10, 2022

OVERDRAFT11

2022-10-31T11:38:50-04:00October 31st, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

“Surprise” Fee Restrictions

In conjunction with a Presidential speech and new White House initiative against “junk fees,” the CFPB has accelerated its own efforts in this arena with two new policy directives.  As with many other recent Bureau actions, the new circular and bulletin do not take the form of notice-and-comment rulemakings, but rather are directives with express enforcement implications unless or until the courts overturn them, the General Accounting Office intervenes to bar guidance outside the rulemaking process as it did years ago related to inter-agency leveraged-loan standards, or new law reconfigures the agency.  The most immediate implication of these edicts is a ban on blanket rejected deposit fees and further constraints on overdraft fees.  However, the reasoning and rationale in these orders is likely to carry over to a pending agency rulemaking on credit-card fees and possible initiatives related to remittances and even debit- or credit-card interchange fees.

OVERDRAFT11.pdf

31 10, 2022

M103122

2022-10-31T09:58:16-04:00October 31st, 2022|6- Client Memo|

The Moral Dilemma of CFPB Dictate

There is little question that electoral politics powered the President’s launch last week of a new Administration “junk-fee” campaign.  How most of these fees matter to the majority of households fuming as they can’t handle prices at the food store and fuel pump is yet to be seen, but politics is only part of the reason for the CFPB’s high-priority blitz against “surprise” fees.  Politics is easily understood, if not practiced to maximum advantage.  Regulatory actions founded on moral philosophy are not only a compliance conundrum, but also an intellectual quandary.

m103122.pdf

26 10, 2022

DAILY102622

2022-10-26T17:02:07-04:00October 26th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

BIS Announces Successful Multi-CBDC Platform Pilot

Following their retail crypto pilot last week, the BIS announced a successful pilot blockchain ledger – dubbed the mBridge Ledger – connecting twenty commercial banks in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the UAE via a multi-CBDC common platform.  Both domestic and foreign commercial banks are permitted to directly hold and transact in CBDCs on the platform to ensure seamless cross-border payments.  To protect monetary sovereignty, the platform allows governments to flexibly control CBDC issuance and redemption, transaction currencies and amounts, and visibility into usage.

With President at His Side, Chopra Sanctions Overdraft, Deposit Fees

President Biden today took aim at junk fees, slamming them in general even as he praised the CFPB’s initiative today sharply to limit “surprise” overdraft and deposit fees.  The agency did so by issuing a circular on unanticipated overdraft fee assessment practices and a bulletin on Returned Deposited Item Fee Assessment Practices, again using its non-regulatory tools to enact new policy and set stringent enforcement standards.  We will shortly provide clients with in-depth analyses of each release.

Daily102622.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

28 09, 2022

DAILY092822

2022-09-29T09:56:21-04:00September 28th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Targets Repeat Offenders, Overdraft Fees

Continuing his campaign against repeat offenders, CFPB Director Chopra announced sweeping penalties against Regions Bank for “illegal, surprise overdraft” fees.  These are said to be “manipulative” fees charged after the bank had notified consumers of sufficient balances at the time of a transaction, with the release accompanying the order also alleging that Regions’ senior management continued these fees after staff warned against them following an earlier CFPB enforcement order and Fed warnings.

Fed’s Bowman strongly disputes assertion of undo banking-market concentration

In remarks today FRB governor Bowman made it clear that she will dissent for any new merger policy, concluding that regulated banking is currently over-concentrated.  In her talk, she provides extensive data on the transformation of retail banking, arguing that the current measures are particularly deceptive when it comes to community banks.

Daily092822.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

21 09, 2022

DAILY092122

2022-09-27T16:31:10-04:00September 21st, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Liang Emphasizes Fed CBDC Views vs. Treasury Report

In remarks last night, Treasury Under-Secretary Liang took a decidedly more cautious stand on CBDC than Treasury’s recent report, emphasizing its caveats rather than over-arching conclusions.  Differing from the report (see Client Report CBDC14), she reiterated Fed concerns that CBDC might undermine financial intermediation even as the report argues that it might well not do so if nonbanks were given access to it and to instant payments.

Senate Democrats Lambast More Big Banks

Ahead of their hearing with big-bank CEOs tomorrow, Senate Banking Democrats today released additional “snapshots” similar to those published earlier this week, this time highlighting Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. These “megabank” snapshots follow the same format as those for the large regional banks, providing a list of headlines highlighting not only alleged instances of consumer discrimination and abuse, but also Wells Fargo’s fake accounts scandal and JP Morgan’s oil lending practices.

Daily092122.pdf

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