#rfi

22 12, 2023

DAILY122223

2023-12-29T10:01:49-05:00December 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

President Imposes Sweeping Secondary Sanctions

Responding to ongoing evidence that sanctions are not working as hoped despite recent Treasury assurances they are, the President today issued a sweeping executive order and Treasury laid out secondary sanctions for financial institutions found to facilitate Russian Federation finances related to its “war machine.”  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of these actions which pose significant threats to dollar-clearing access for financial institutions that have so far been largely outside the reach of existing sanctions.

Treasury Requests Feedback for Financial Inclusion Strategy

Following a statutory directive, Treasury today issued an RFI to develop a national strategy for financial inclusion.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth report on the RFI.  Noting significant disparities in banking-system access for LMI, low-wealth, Black, and Hispanic households as well as discrepancies in rates of stock and business ownership between white, Black, and Hispanic households, the RFI invites recommendations for policy, government programs, financial products, technology, and other tools and market infrastructure.

Brown Prioritizes Housing, ILC Bill, AI in 2024

The Senate Banking Committee today released its policy outlook entering 2024 prioritizing affordable housing, enacting the ILC-powers bill (see FSM Report ILC17), and AI financial-sector policy (likely here picking up the Warner-Kennedy bill we will shortly assess in depth).

Daily122223.pdf

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7 11, 2023

DAILY110723

2023-11-07T17:01:20-05:00November 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Treasury Advances Financial-Inclusion Agenda

In conjunction with its read-out of yesterday’s meeting of its most recent financial-inclusion discussion group, Treasury announced that it will shortly release a request for information about how best to accomplish the national financial-inclusion strategy demanded in the Department’s FY23 appropriations.

HFSC GOP Challenges Motives, Process of Basel, NGFS Standard-Setting

As anticipated, today’s Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on global banking accords was acrimonious, with Republicans strongly attacking what they characterized as Democratic agency head’s participation in a range of global banking accords as well as the Network for Greening the Financial System.

CFPB Proposes to Extend its Supervisory Reach to Tech-Payment Providers

The CFPB today proposed a sweeping rule bringing tech-platform or fintech companies offering general-use digital-payment services under bank-like consumer-protection standards via more direct CFPB supervision.

Bowman Stands by Basel

Perhaps due to today’s HFSC hearing on global accords, FRB Gov. Bowman today went beyond her ongoing critiques of pending rules to defend participation in the Basel Committee and other forums.

FHFA Starts FHLB Redesign

FHFA today released its long-awaited assessment of the Federal Home Loan Banks, laying out an ambitious program of supervisory, regulatory, and statutory issues.

McHenry Slams CFPB Digital-Payment Proposal

HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) today slammed the CFPB not for usual causes, but because he believes the agency’s proposed supervisory standards for nonbank general-use digital-payment providers will “entrench the status quo” – i.e., the role of banks – by eliminating consumer choice and impeding innovation.

Daily110723.pdf

7 07, 2023

DAILY070723

2023-07-07T16:47:33-04:00July 7th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

House Judiciary Joins GOP Asset-Manager ESG Attack

Continuing the GOP campaign against ESG, House Judiciary Chairman Jordan (R-OH) and Reps. Massie (R-KY) and Bishop (R-NC) sent letters late yesterday to the leadership of BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisers, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, claiming that what they call “collusive agreements” violate antitrust law.

FRB-KC: Farm Credit System Mergers May Influence Ag-Bank Portfolio Strategy

New research from Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff concludes that, while Farm Credit System mergers over the past twenty years had relatively minor effects on agricultural-bank profitability and efficiency, they may have altered bank portfolio decisions with broader implications both for banks and the communities they serve.

CFPB, Treasury, HHS Launch Interagency Inquiry Into Medical-Payment Products

As part of the White House initiative to address medical-sector “junk fees” and consumer protection, the CFPB today was joined by HHS and Treasury in issuing an RFI on high-cost specialty financial products it says harm medical patients by driving up debt.

FHFA Joins Repeat-Offender Crackdown

Acting on the “repeat-offender” crackdown initiated by the CFPB and recently picked up by the OCC, FHFA today issued a proposed rule that would revise its Suspended Counterparty Program (SCP) regulation to authorize FHFA to immediately suspend business between the GSEs and counterparties who are found to have committed civil or criminal misconduct in connection with real property management or ownership.

Daily070723.pdf

13 06, 2023

CONSUMER50

2023-06-13T15:17:22-04:00June 13th, 2023|1- Financial Services Management|

Trust-in-Banking Survey

Reflecting Acting Comptroller Hsu’s focus on consumer protection, fairness, and inclusion, the OCC is seeking views on what could become an annual survey of what consumers and especially bank customers think of their bank. Mr. Hsu did not lay out what he thinks they think or should think nor did he indicate any policy goals beyond the need to have the information necessary to ensure fairness, consumer service, and access.

CONSUMER50.pdf

9 06, 2023

DAILY060923

2023-06-09T16:39:43-04:00June 9th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC GOP Press Crypto Rewrites

The HFSC majority memo for Tuesday’s full committee hearing on digital assets reinforces Chairman McHenry’s (R-NC) determination to press ahead with legislation redesigning the federal crypto-regulatory ecosystem.  As noted, the draft bill constructed with House Ag is generally unacceptable to HFSC Democrats, ensuring a more acrimonious hearing than last week’s Ag session.  The witnesses all represent the private sector and generally support the new bill.

OCC Launches Consumer-Trust Campaign

The OCC last night launched a new customer-trust initiative with a new survey proposal and RFI.  In accompanying remarks, Acting Comptroller Hsu emphasized that consumer trust in banks must be earned by banks that responsibly and fairly use their market power.  Bolstering this new campaign, Mr. Hsu also argues that consumer trust reduces reliance on higher-risk nonbanks and gives banks the funding with which to provide through-the-cycle community lending.  For its part, the OCC is working to finalize the longstanding CRA rewrite (see FSM Report CRA32), with Mr. Hsu noting the need through these rules and the OCC’s recent fair-lending rewrite to ensure fairness and LMI-household access to national banks.

Daily060923.pdf

17 05, 2023

DAILY051723

2023-05-17T17:44:04-04:00May 17th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Bipartisan Senate Consensus Demands Structural Change To Fed IG

At today’s Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing on Fed accountability, Chairwoman Warren (D-MA) was unsparing in her criticism of the Fed and its current IG, Mark Bialek.  She elicited the fact that he is the Fed’s highest-paid employee and, while he may be dismissed only by two-thirds of the Board, she argued that he is essentially captive and thus cannot be relied upon to investigate ethics challenges, bank failures, and internal operations.

HFSC GOP Demands LLPA Changes No Matter FHFA’s RFI

As anticipated, Chairman Davidson (D-OH) reiterated GOP demands that the FHFA rescind the entirety of its LLPA proposal at today’s HFSC Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing, despite FHFA conceding to some Republican demands and issuing an RFI on the Enterprises’ single-family pricing framework earlier this week.  Mr. Davidson also pushed back on FHFA’s assertion that LLPA pricing must be set with regard to private mortgage insurance, saying that MI does not reduce taxpayer risk or GSE capital even though it is required for risk reduction and captured in the GSE capital standards.

Daily051723.pdf

17 05, 2023

GSE-051723

2023-05-17T17:14:20-04:00May 17th, 2023|4- GSE Activity Report|

Setting Purpose Via Prices

With Republicans on the anti-LLPA warpath, FHFA is hoping to preserve as much of the current fee structure as possible without paying too high a political price, issuing a request for information (RFI) in hopes that letter-writing will keep everyone busy until Congress moves on to other matters.  If FHFA does redefine the capital thresholds by which pricing is judged, it could well also redefine the products the GSEs will purchase.

GSE-051723.pdf

16 05, 2023

DAILY051623

2023-05-16T17:44:43-04:00May 16th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Hsu Presses Reg Harmonization, Resolution Reform, Merger-Policy Rewrite

We now add our assessment of Acting Comptroller’s Hsu’s testimony to our analyses of those from Messrs. Barr and Gruenberg ahead of HFSC’s hearing later this morning.

Yellen Says White House Supports Community-Bank Exemptions

Speaking today to the ICBA, Secretary Yellen today joined the parade of policy-makers affirming the national importance of community banks.

JEC GOP Counter FRB on SVB Causality

JEC Republican staff today released a memo finding that tailored liquidity rules did not contribute to SVB’s failure, a contrast to the FRB’s SVB report (see Client Report REFORM221).

LLPAs Set for GOP Frying Pan

The majority-staff memo for tomorrow’s Housing Subcommittee hearing makes it clear that, as anticipated, the sole topic will be FHFA’s controversial LLPAs and related GSE pricing.

Senate Banking: Tough Grilling For Failed-Bank CEOs, Growing Consensus For Clawback Bill/Tough Rules

As predicted, today’s Senate Banking hearing with the CEOs of SVB and SBNY was a feisty session in which Democrats built their case for executive clawback legislation and the failed bank executives defended management while repeatedly placing blame on what they called an “unprecedented series of events.”

Daily051623.pdf

15 05, 2023

DAILY051523

2023-05-15T17:23:44-04:00May 15th, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

Yellen Highlights Investor – Not Uninsured-Deposit – Runs, Buoys Sector Mergers

In an interview over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Yellen struck a decidedly different tone on bank mergers than voiced in the Administration’s policy prior to recent failures.

Gensler Outlines Top Financial Stability Concerns

In remarks today, SEC Chair Gensler outlined his financial-stability priorities.

Failed-Bank CEOs Defend Themselves, Contest Need For Receivership

Ahead of testimony tomorrow before Senate Banking, the CEOs of SVB and Signature have filed statements defending their actions and those of their colleagues.

FHFA Seeks Views On New Pricing Framework

Following last week’s announcement that it would postpone its controversial decision to retain an upfront fee related to a borrower’s debt-to-income level, the FHFA today released a Request for Input on the Enterprises’ single-family pricing framework as well as the process for setting their upfront guarantee fees.

Barr Stands His Supervisory, Regulatory Ground

Vice Chairman Barr’s testimony for Congressional hearings this week has just been released along with the Board’s 2023 supervision-and-regulation report.

Gruenberg Sticks To His Guns

FDIC Chairman Gruenberg’s Congressional testimony largely recounts prior statements about the condition of the banking system, recent bank failures, the new special-assessment proposal (see FSM Report DEPOSITINSURANCE120), and the agency’s deposit-insurance reform conclusion (see Client Report DEPOSITINSURANCE119).

Daily051523.pdf

22 03, 2023

DAILY032223

2023-03-22T17:37:57-04:00March 22nd, 2023|2- Daily Briefing|

FTC Builds On Treasury Cloud Concerns, Seeks Competition, AI Views

Signaling apprehension about a number of risks outlined in a recent Treasury report, the FTC today requested comment on the business practices of cloud computing providers.

Scott, Warren Reach Over Partisan, Ideological Divide to Blast the Fed

Demonstrating the confluence of populist and progressive thinking about the Fed we anticipated at the start of this year, Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Warren (D-MA) have introduced legislation mandating that the Fed’s inspector general be fully independent of the chair and board of governors.

Fed Under Still More Pressure to Boost Regional-Bank Supervision

Sen. Warren (D-MA) continued her prolific letter-writing campaign, today also joining with Sens. Duckworth (D-IL), Blumenthal (D-CT), Sanders (I-VT), Reed (D-RI), Hirono (D-HI), Markey (D-MA), King (I-ME), Whitehouse (D-RI), Smith (D-MN), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Schatz (D-HI) to call upon Vice Chairman Barr quickly to heighten regulatory standards for banking organizations between $100 and $250 billion.

Powell Protests Suggestions Of Fed Supervisory Error

At his press conference today, Chairman Powell sought to defend the Fed so vigorously that some of his comments may ignite still more criticism.

Yellen Denies FDIC-Coverage Rewrite, Suggests Need for Liquidity-Rule Revisions

In her appearance today before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Treasury Secretary Yellen refuted press reports that Treasury is considering significant deposit-insurance coverage expansion, saying only that the banking system is safe and it is too soon to consider structural reforms.

Daily032223.pdf

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