#RBC

23 10, 2023

M102323

2023-10-23T12:03:15-04:00October 23rd, 2023|6- Client Memo|

Why the New CRA Rules Won’t Serve Communities Any Better Than the Old CRA Rules

On Tuesday, the banking agencies will release the final version of their 679-page proposal to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act.  Regrettably, much of the proposal reflected the worst of false-science staff seeking complex new models defining subjective goals combined with certainty-loving compliance officers and lawyers who just want to be told the number they need to hit, not if the number makes any sense.  Unsurprisingly, there were hundreds of comment letters in which banks generally said the agencies should ease up and community groups urged still more stringent standards.  But the story doesn’t end with this unremarkable line-up– in just the last few months, two major bank trade associations and one often-virulently anti-bank advocacy group agreed on one crucial thing:  anything close to what the agencies proposed won’t work.

m102323.pdf

23 10, 2023

Karen Petrou: Why the New CRA Rules Won’t Serve Communities Any Better Than the Old CRA Rules

2023-10-23T12:03:22-04:00October 23rd, 2023|The Vault|

On Tuesday, the banking agencies will release the final version of their 679-page proposal to rewrite the Community Reinvestment Act.  Regrettably, much of the proposal reflected the worst of false-science staff seeking complex new models defining subjective goals combined with certainty-loving compliance officers and lawyers who just want to be told the number they need to hit, not if the number makes any sense.  Unsurprisingly, there were hundreds of comment letters in which banks generally said the agencies should ease up and community groups urged still more stringent standards.  But the story doesn’t end with this unremarkable line-up– in just the last few months, two major bank trade associations and one often-virulently anti-bank advocacy group agreed on one crucial thing:  anything close to what the agencies proposed won’t work.

There are of course sharp differences between what banks and public advocates want in a new CRA rule, but what unites them is the over-arching understanding that the new approach is a cumbersome exercise remote from the reality confronting both banks and borrowers in the least-served urban and rural communities.  Banks complain – often with good reason as I showed in my book on economic inequality – that risk-based capital rules over-estimate the risk of lending to many community-focused borrowers.  The new capital proposals would ameliorate some of this in their “enhanced” risk weightings, but these weightings actually don’t count for much of anything since the proposed “higher-of” standards applies current, higher weightings.

The agencies in fact acknowledge as much …

20 10, 2023

DAILY102023

2023-10-20T17:21:03-04:00October 20th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Senate AI Measure Tackles Financial Services

The text of the key Senate AI bill, S. 3050, has now become available.

Banking Agencies Offer Olive Branch

Reflecting strong pressure and recent FRB Chair Powell statements, the FRB today announced the launch of an open data collection assessing the rule’s effects – an issue on which many bank comment letters and Congressional Republicans have been scathing.

GOP Renew Funding Campaign vs. CFPB via Fed Losses

HFSC Vice Chairman Hill (R-AR) yesterday reintroduced legislation pressuring both the Fed and CFPB by prohibiting the Fed from transferring its earnings to the Bureau if the Fed incurs an operating loss.

FinCEN Highlights Hamas Sanction Red Flags

Reflecting ongoing Congressional pressure and recent Treasury sanctions, FinCEN today issued an alert reminding financial institutions to remain vigilant for suspicious activity related to Hamas funding sources.

Fed Stays Stoic on Financial-Stability Outlook

The FRB today released is semiannual financial-stability report differing little from the relatively-sanguine outlook in its May report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94).

Daily102023.pdf

19 10, 2023

DAILY101923

2023-10-19T16:30:42-04:00October 19th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

OIG Blasts FDIC’s Crypto-Policy Delay

Late yesterday, the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report critical of the FDIC’s supervisory crypto policy.

Fed May Signal Possible Compromise as GOP Barr Demands Capital Answers

Amid press reports that Chair Powell has implicitly promised capital-rule compromise, HFSC Financial Institutions Chair Barr (R-KY) released a letter today pressing Vice Chair Barr still harder on the cost-benefit analytical (CBA) and cumulative-impact issues raised at the September hearing at which Karen Petrou testified.

Fed Data Show Increases in Household Financial Resilience, Profound Home-Affordability Gap

The Federal Reserve yesterday released its triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).  As always, we here highlight data with financial-policy implications; Petrou blogs and other releases will update economic-equality indicators.

BIS Head Calls for Review of Large Bank Supervision

BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens today said that the mid-March failures show the need for nations to review how they supervise larger banks, specifically highlighting liquidity risk and setting frameworks for emergency liquidity assistance.

OCC Analysis Shows Broad IRR Resilience With Startling Risk Pockets

Showing some pockets of severe risk but overall resilience, the OCC today released a statistical analysis of interest rate risk based on projected changes in twelve-month net interest income as well as the economic value of equity in parallel interest rate shock scenarios ranging from -200 basis points to +400 bps.

CFPB Thinks Big on Open Banking

As anticipated, the CFPB today advanced from a review of consumer data rights (see FSM Report

22 08, 2023

FedFin on: GSIB Surcharge

2023-08-23T10:19:58-04:00August 22nd, 2023|The Vault|

As anticipated in the wake of recent bank failures, the FRB has proposed a significant revision to the current rules calculating systemic-risk scores that lead to GSIB designation.  These indicators are used not only for GSIB designation or a higher surcharge, but also for categorizing U.S. and foreign banks for other purposes and thus would also bring some banking organizations into categories subject to very strict prudential standards.  The Board estimates that the overall impact of the changes to the surcharge and risk-scoring methodology are small and, regardless, warranted to enhance systemic resilience and consistency.  It also estimates that the interaction of this new approach with certain liquidity and TLAC standards is generally minimal.  However, the Fed has not assessed the relationship of scoring revisions to one way to calculate the GSIB charges, nor does the Board assess the cumulative impact of all of the changes proposed here in concert with its sweeping revisions to U.S. capital rules for all banking organizations with assets over $100 billion.  It is also unclear how these changes in concert with all the others interact with the stress capital buffer applicable to large U.S.-domiciled banking organizations…

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

22 08, 2023

GSIB22

2023-08-22T10:19:26-04:00August 22nd, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

GSIB Surcharge

As anticipated in the wake of recent bank failures, the FRB has proposed a significant revision to the current rules calculating systemic-risk scores that lead to GSIB designation.  These indicators are used not only for GSIB designation or a higher surcharge, but also for categorizing U.S. and foreign banks for other purposes and thus would also bring some banking organizations into categories subject to very strict prudential standards.  The Board estimates that the overall impact of the changes to the surcharge and risk-scoring methodology are small and, regardless, warranted to enhance systemic resilience and consistency.  It also estimates that the interaction of this new approach with certain liquidity and TLAC standards is generally minimal.  However, the Fed has not assessed the relationship of scoring revisions to one way to calculate the GSIB charges, nor does the Board assess the cumulative impact of all of the changes proposed here in concert with its sweeping revisions to U.S. capital rules for all banking organizations with assets over $100 billion.  It is also unclear how these changes in concert with all the others interact with the stress capital buffer applicable to large U.S.-domiciled banking organizations.  Despite the Fed’s conclusions, it seems likely that the total impact will be considerable in light of methodological problems in this proposal as well as those FedFin identified with the impact analysis for the capital rewrite.

GSIB22.pdf

8 08, 2022

m080822

2023-01-04T13:13:40-05:00August 8th, 2022|6- Client Memo|

Procyclical Capital Rules and the Economy’s Discontent

In our recent paper outlining the holistic-capital regime regulators should quickly deploy, we noted that current rules are often counter-productive to their avowed goal of bank solvency without peril to prosperity.  However, one acute problem in the regulatory-capital rulebook – procyclicality – does particularly problematic damage when the economy faces acute challenges – i.e., now.  None of the pending one-off capital reforms addresses procyclicality and, in fact, several might make it even worse.  This memo shows how and then what should be quickly done to reinstate the counter-cyclicality all the regulators say they seek.

m080822.pdf

8 08, 2022

Karen Petrou: Procyclical Capital Rules and the Economy’s Discontent

2023-01-04T13:14:40-05:00August 8th, 2022|The Vault|

In our recent paper outlining the holistic-capital regime regulators should quickly deploy, we noted that current rules are often counter-productive to their avowed goal of bank solvency without peril to prosperity.  However, one acute problem in the regulatory-capital rulebook – procyclicality – does particularly problematic damage when the economy faces acute challenges – i.e., now.  None of the pending one-off capital reforms addresses procyclicality and, in fact, several might make it even worse.  This memo shows how and then what should be quickly done to reinstate the counter-cyclicality all the regulators say they seek.

Last Thursday, the Fed set new, often-higher risk-based capital (RBC) ratios for the largest banks.  The reason for this untimely capital hike lies in the interplay between the RBC rules and the Fed’s CCAR stress test.  Packaged into the stress capital buffer (SCB), these rules determine how much RBC each large bank must hold to ensure it can stay in the agencies’ good graces and, to its thinking, better still distribute capital.

Put very simply, the more RBC, the less RWAS – i.e., the risk-weighted assets, against which capital rules are measured.  The higher the weighting, the lower a capital-strained bank’s appetite to hold it unless risk is high enough also to offset the leverage ratio’s cost – at which point the bank is taking a lot of unnecessary risk to sidestep another set of unintended contradictions in the capital construct.  As a Fed study concludes, all but the very strongest banks sit on their …

11 01, 2022

FedFin Assessment: Powell Sidesteps Many Challenges, Promises Much

2023-04-24T15:54:45-04:00January 11th, 2022|The Vault|

As promised yesterday (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE66), we listened closely today to gauge the extent to which Chairman Powell faces a serious challenge to reconfirmation. At least as far as Senate Banking Members are concerned, he doesn’t. Although Sen. Warren (D-MA) and other Democrats lambasted Mr. Powell over insider-trading allegations and what they called the Fed’s unresponsiveness, all still were cordial and seemed generally to blame the problem on institutional failures, not the chairman. Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) called the Fed’s diversity policy “outrageous,” but also does not seem inclined….

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

11 01, 2022

FEDERALRESERVE67

2023-04-24T15:54:31-04:00January 11th, 2022|5- Client Report|

FedFin Assessment:  Powell Sidesteps Many Challenges, Promises Much

As promised yesterday (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE66), we listened closely today to gauge the extent to which Chairman Powell faces a serious challenge to reconfirmation.  At least as far as Senate Banking Members are concerned, he doesn’t.  Although Sen. Warren (D-MA) and other Democrats lambasted Mr. Powell over insider-trading allegations and what they called the Fed’s unresponsiveness, all still were cordial and seemed generally to blame the problem on institutional failures, not the chairman.  Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) called the Fed’s diversity policy “outrageous,” but also does not seem inclined to block confirmation based solely on this issue.  As anticipated, most senators focused on inflation and the economy; Mr. Powell often reflected this by affirming that the Fed will soon cease to be quite as accommodative.  Senate Banking Chairman Brown (D-OH) urged Mr. Powell not to let up on economic stimulus, also complaining about big-bank consolidation, capital distribution, bank profits, and the need for more lending to “Main Street.”

FEDERALRESERVE67.pdf

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