#SEC

17 04, 2024

DAILY041724

2024-04-17T17:36:07-04:00April 17th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Global Regulators Tackle NBFI Margining, Collateral Transformation

As it has long promised, the FSB today issued a consultation on standards designed to buttress derivatives, commodity, and securities-financing markets under stress through more stringent margining and collateral requirements.

Basel Head Says Go Slow re AI Risk, Supervisory Models

Basel’s Secretary General, Pablo Hernández de Cos, today focused on AI’s risk-reward profile in the banking sector, concluding that it raises a series of profound questions global regulators must work cooperatively to address.

Lummis, Gillibrand Begin Senate Stablecoin Debate

As long anticipated, Sens. Lummis (R-WY) and Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced a significantly revised version of their 2022 Bill (see FSM Report CRYPTO28) laying out U.S. stablecoin standards.

FIO Subpoena Power Faces Rollback

At HFSC’s mark-up today, the committee began with Rep. Fitzgerald’s (R-WI) Insurance Data Protection Act, H.R. 5335, which would repeal the Federal Insurance Office’s authority to subpoena insurance companies for data collection.

HFSC Likely to Pass RegTech Bill

At HFSC’s extended mark-up today, the committee turned to H.R. 7437, a bipartisan bill that would require federal banking regulators to regularly review and report to Congress on their use of technology to ensure they’re equipped to address threats to the financial system.

HFSC Set to Pass AOCI Recognition, Systemic-Risk Designation Study Measures

Continuing our coverage of today’s mark-up, HFSC was generally supportive of the two bills on the agenda from Democrats, H.R. 4206 from Rep. Sherman (D-CA) requiring large banks with available for sale securities to mark to market …

26 03, 2024

DAILY032624

2024-03-26T16:39:52-04:00March 26th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CBO Flags Long-Term Fiscal Risk to Financial Stability

CBO’s latest long-term fiscal forecast now includes a financial-stability warning absent from the Fed’s recent analysis (see Client Report SYSTEMIC97) and FSOC’s annual report (see Client Report FSOC29): the rising U.S. debt burden.

Chopra Expands CFPB Attack to Card Rewards

Undaunted by a CBA audience suing him on many actions, CFPB Director Chopra today gave a rousing defense of his agency’s credit-card late fee rule (see FSM Report CREDITCARD37), making clear he will vigorously defend it in the courts.

CFPB/FTC Press for More Tech-Finance Enforcement

Building on the Bureau’s recent efforts to limit AI use in comparison-shopping and other consumer-finance applications (see FSM Report CONSUMER56), the CFPB joined the FTC today in issuing a statement coordinating federal and state enforcement efforts against generative AI in particular and digital consumer-finance products more generally.

HFSC, AG Republicans Press SEC on Crypto-Custody Standards

HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) and House Ag Chair Thompson (R-PA), alongside 46 Republican members today sent a letter to SEC Chair Gensler calling for clarification the position on special purpose broker dealer’s (SPBD) ability to custody non-security digital assets, the agency’s willingness to address SPBD non-compliance, the regulatory classification of ETH, and the SEC’s position regarding Prometheum’s custody services announcement.

Daily032624.pdf

18 03, 2024

DAILY031824

2024-03-18T16:42:54-04:00March 18th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

IMF: More Work Needed to End Too-Big-to-Fail Banks

In a blog post today, the IMF stated that progress is required to put an end to too-big-to-fail banks following last year’s bank failures.  The Tobias Adrian post cites the need for more “intrusive” supervisory action, noting that last year’s failed US banks were allowed to pursue risky strategies without proper risk-management procedures.  The post calls for improved liquidity support for banks approaching resolution, also concluding that smaller banks may pose systemic risks.

SEC Sets AI-Use Standards via New Enforcement Action

Although actual fines are small, the SEC’s enforcement action today countering “AI washing” is not just aimed at investment advisers touting AI as their guide to investment choice either for their own actions or those of their customers.  The standard also applies to other financial entities (e.g., broker-dealers) and – with still greater effect – to public-company filings related to AI and machine learning both in terms of firm focus and products offered.  Both advisers targeted by the order were also charged with violations of SEC marketing and other standards.

Daily031824.pdf

6 03, 2024

DAILY030624

2024-03-06T16:51:12-05:00March 6th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Bowman Renews Tailoring Defense

In dinner remarks last night, FRB Gov. Bowman argued that tailoring is a “grounding principle” of bank regulation ignored in the pending capital rules and final climate guidance (see FSM Report CLIMATE17), standards she also said are intended to allocate capital, not ensure effective supervision.

GAO Reviews Fed, FDIC Supervisory Practices

The GAO today issued a report examining the Fed and FDIC’s communication and escalation of supervisory concerns towards SVB and Signature prior to their collapse, finding that a lack of clarity and specificity in the Fed’s enforcement procedures contributed to delays in escalation towards SVB.

Scope 3 Removed From Final SEC Climate Disclosure Rule

The SEC today voted 3-2 to finalize its 2022 climate-risk disclosure proposal, opting to remove its controversial Scope 3 provisions.

Daily030624.pdf

28 02, 2024

DAILY022824

2024-02-29T11:26:05-05:00February 28th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

HFSC Dems Press for New Bank-Merger Policy

Although she issued a statement strongly opposed to the CapOne/Discover merger after it was announced, HFSC Ranking Member Waters (D-CA) today led a letter instead focusing on the need for the banking agencies and DOJ to quickly issue updated merger policies.

US Standards Complicate Transborder Personal-Financial Data Flows

The President plans later today to issue an executive order banning the transfer of sensitive data to “countries of concern” and certain persons subject to their jurisdiction.

Fed Worries About Regional-Bank Risk

Anna Kovner, Director of Financial Stability Policy Research at the New York Fed, today outlined four sources of systemic risk that worry the central bank even though the Fed still sees risks as manageable according to the analyses released last October (see Client Report SYSTEMIC97).

Daily022824.pdf

13 02, 2024

DAILY021324

2024-02-13T17:42:19-05:00February 13th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Durbin Tries Another Approach to Advance Card-Fee Limits

After trying various ways to bring his credit-card fee bill to the floor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair and Majority Leader Durbin (D-IL) has scheduled a hearing on this controversial bipartisan measure (see FSM Report INTERCHANGE10).

FinCEN Reaches SEC Agreement to Bring Investment Advisers Under AML/CFT Standards

As it has repeatedly promised, FinCEN today revised a 2015 proposal and issued a new one to subject investment advisers to AML and CFT requirements similar to, but still less restrictive than, those that have long governed banks.

HFSC Rallies to Crypto AML/CFT Defense

The HFSC staff memo on Thursday’s Digital-Assets Subcommittee hearing makes it clear that cryptoasset entities will be given a strong platform from which to resist calls in the Senate to subject cryptoasset transactions to AML and sanctions law.

Gensler Reinforces AI Concerns

In remarks today, SEC Chair Gensler acknowledged AI’s benefits in a manner consistent with the President’s executive order (see Client Report AI3), but then launched into a sharp critique of its risks in line with the agency’s pending rule in this arena.

Bowman Takes Fed Accountability, Transparency to Task

In an essay today, FRB Gov. Bowman emphasized that regulatory accountability does not undermine the independence also essential to a sound, innovative banking system.

Gensler Turns to Bank/Hedge-Fund Interconnection

In addition to his speech on AI earlier today, SEC Chair Gensler today engaged in a wide-ranging discussion of key financial policy questions.

Daily021324.pdf

6 02, 2024

DAILY020624

2024-02-06T16:33:54-05:00February 6th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Agencies Begin Pro Forma Reg Review Likely to Take on New Urgency

The FRB, FDIC, and OCC today released the first of the requisite ten-year request for comment on the extent to which existing rules are outdated or unduly burdensome.  We will shortly provide clients with an in-depth analysis of the request if it goes beyond the nominal inquiries in the past that led to little meaningful regulatory reform.

Senate GOP Turns to FHFA, FHLB on “Woke” Standards

Criticizing what they call the FHFA’s and FHLBs “politically contentious social agendas,” Senate Banking Republicans Hagerty (R-TN), Tillis (R-NC), Britt (R-AL), and Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to FHFA Director Thompson late yesterday arguing that several FHLB pilot programs are “racially discriminatory” and defy congressional intent.  They also argue that the pilot programs highlight a potential gap in FHFA oversight because the final rule governing Fannie and Freddie pilot programs does not also apply to the FHLBs.

SEC Finalizes Contentious Treasury-Market Registration Standards

The SEC today voted 3-2 to approve a revised version of an earlier proposal subjecting certain hedge funds and other Treasury-market participants to registration and SRO regulation, thus reducing their competitive advantages vis-à-vis banks in the secondary-dealer arena.  The new approach uses a qualitative test based on the extent to which a covered entity acts as a market-maker as well as Treasury investor.

Daily020624.pdf

2 02, 2024

DAILY020224

2024-02-02T16:21:33-05:00February 2nd, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

Powell, Hsu Add to Pressure on SEC Crypto-Custody Standards

As we noted yesterday, Congressional Republicans are now mounting a Congressional Review Act effort to repeal the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (see FSM Report CUSTODY5) requiring balance-sheet recognition of crypto-custody deposits at considerable cost to banking institutions.

Trump to Dump Powell

As we expected, Donald Trump today said that, if elected, he will not reappoint Jerome Powell.  This decision will not present itself to the next president until Mr. Powell’s term ends in January of 2026, but we do not think either of the candidates is likely to reappoint Mr. Powell should he seek a third term.

GOP Bill Challenges Capital Proposal

Echoing long-held concerns of other HFSC Republicans, Rep. Ogles (R-TN) along with Rep. Donalds (R-FL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 7143) forcing regulators to withdraw the capital proposal (see FSM Report CAPITAL230).

Senate Presses for Anti-Hungary Sanctions

In a statement that may lead financial institutions to review their exposures, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Cardin (D-MD) called on the Biden Administration to consider sanctions against Hungary due to its government’s refusal until late yesterday to support EU efforts for Ukraine and its broadly anti-democratic program in general and with specific regard to pressuring the U.S. and its ambassador to Hungary.

HFSC Republicans Take Another Shot at FDIC

Continuing their campaign against FDIC Chair Gruenberg, HFSC Chair McHenry (R-NC) along with Subcommittee Chairs Barr (R-KY) and Hill (R-AR) sent a letter today to the FDIC questioning …

1 02, 2024

Daily020124

2024-02-01T16:56:10-05:00February 1st, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

CRA Rules Finally Go Live

The Federal Register today contains the OCC, FDIC, and FRB’s CRA final rule over three months after it was approved last October. The effective date of April 1 is unchanged and the regulation is now official; anyone contemplating litigation can begin formal proceedings.

Congress Takes on SEC Crypto-Custody Accounting

As anticipated, Sen. Lummis (R-WY) has today introduced a resolution to overturn the SEC’s staff accounting bulletin (SAB) 121 via the Congressional Review Act (see FSM Report CUSTODY5).  Reps. Nickel (D-NC) and Flood (R-NE) have introduced an identical resolution in the House, with HFSC Chairman McHenry (R-NC) already making clear that he intends to support the measure.

Daily020124.pdf

29 01, 2024

DAILY012924

2024-01-29T16:36:27-05:00January 29th, 2024|2- Daily Briefing|

White House Advances AI Governance, Government Adoption

Following the President’s AI executive order (see Client Report AI3), the White House today released an update following a steering-group meeting.

BIS Study Examines Stablecoin Run-Risk

A new BIS study supports pending U.S. legislation and possible rules related to stablecoin reserve assets and run-risk, finding that transparency increases stablecoin stability when reserve assets are of high quality, but decreases stability when reserves are perceived to be low quality or when there are low transaction costs to convert to fiat.

Hsu Sets Course to New OCC Merger Policy with No Fed Companion in Sight

In remarks today emphasizing the need for a more transparent bank-merger process, Acting Comptroller Hsu announced that the OCC will today release an NPR eliminating the possibility that merger applications will be approved solely by the passage of time.

Warren Starts the New Year with Political Pressure on Fed Policy

Reiterating concerns about high interest rates, Sen. Warren (D-MA) along with Sens. Hickenlooper (D-CO), Rosen (D-NV) and Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to Chair Powell calling on him to reverse rate hikes, citing its impact on the current affordable housing crisis.

Daily012924.pdf

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