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16 11, 2022

REFORM215

2022-11-22T15:02:46-05:00November 16th, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC Session Brings Crypto Action to Fore, “Holistic” Capital Under Scrutiny

HFSC today largely focused bank regulators on the same range of questions posed at yesterday’s Senate Banking session (see Client Report REFORM214).  However, Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) emphasized the importance of federal legislation in sharp contrast to Chairman Brown (D-OH), also announcing a hearing in December on FTX.  Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), who will become HFSC chairman in the next Congress, concurred with the chairwoman’s views on the need for digital-finance statutory reform.  However, he took strong issue with inter-agency policy with regard to new capital rules, merger restrictions, and third-party relationship constraints.  Republican members also targeted Vice Chairman Barr’s holistic capital review, arguing that banks are currently well capitalized and that additional standards would hamper lending.  Mr. Barr indicated that an SLR rewrite is part of the holistic review but not immediately necessary to quell Treasury-market volatility or illiquidity.  As discussed in more detail below, regulators promised banking-sector crypto rules at least as stringent as Basel’s proposal.

REFORM215.pdf

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4 11, 2022

DAILY110422

2022-11-04T17:11:14-04:00November 4th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Big Banks Pressed on Sluggish, Inequitable Deposit-Rate Hikes

Advancing an initiative with political “legs,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) has demanded answers from the nation’s largest banks on why small-deposit rates have barely budged even as the Fed sharply hiked interest rates now reflected in higher loan costs.

FRB-NY Official Details Wholesale CBDC Prototype

Remarks today from a senior FRB-NY official, Michelle Neal, continued the Fed’s ambivalent stand on a CBDC (see FSM Report CBDC10).

Fed Fixes Advanced-Approach Glitches

The FRB is proposing to implement three changes to Regulation Q data collection/disclosure rules governing advanced-approach capital adequacy at BHCs, SLHCs, and state member banks.

Fed to Name Master-Account Names

Reflecting ongoing concerns on Capitol Hill, the Fed is proposing to make what our analysis suggests were opaque payment-system access guidelines (see FSM Report PAYMENT24) “a bit more transparent.”

Toomey Presses for SLR Rewrite

Ranking Senate Banking Member Toomey (R-PA) today released his letter to Chairman Powell cautioning the central bank not to handle any Treasury-market liquidity events with new backstop facilities.

Waters Adds To Fed’s Political Woes

In a letter today, HFSC Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) joined Sens. Warren (D-MA), Brown (D-OH), and Hickenlooper (D-CO) in sharply criticizing the recent Fed “super-sized” rate hike.

Fed Worry Level Goes Up

The Federal Reserve likely hoped for the torpor of a Friday afternoon to quell frightened replies to the latest financial-stability report released today.

Daily110422.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

20 09, 2022

DAILY092022

2022-09-27T16:49:38-04:00September 20th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

FedFin Assessment: Tales of a New TLAC

With press reports strongly suggesting that U.S. banking agencies will impose TLAC requirements on at least some regional BHCs, we think it helpful to provide an update on the 2016 rule imposing this resolution buffer (see FSM Report TLAC6) to note the implications of reopening the regulation.

HFSC Dems Attack Lack of Diversity in Insurance

Ahead of an HFSC hearing on Thursday, Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Beatty (D-OH) released a report sharply critical of the lack of diversity in the largest US insurance companies.  Noting an array of problematic practices, the report also calls for action on legislation to require insurance companies to report their diversity data and policies to their respective regulators and to publicly disclose the gender and race makeup of their board directors and senior executives.

Senate Banking Fires Another Shot at Big Banks

Following yesterday’s “snapshots” of Truist, PNC, and USB ahead of the Thursday big-bank hearing, Senate Banking Democrats today continued their attack on large banks, releasing similar reports on Citi and Bank of America.  These snapshots again focus on consumer issues such as Zelle fraud and also highlight recent enforcement actions.

Daily092022.pdf

15 09, 2022

DAILY091522

2022-10-13T11:49:04-04:00September 15th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

Financial Transactions to Get More Stringent CFIUS Scrutiny

The President today issued an executive order (EO) redefining key criteria used by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).

BNPL Faces DOA Consumer Standards

In conjunction with issuing a lengthy report, CFPB Director Chopra today announced that he has directed staff to work on new interpretive rules or guidance for the BNPL sector.

Basel Battles On

Acting as anticipated following instructions from on-high, the Basel Committee today “exchanged views” on pending crypto regulation (see FSM Report CRYPTO29) – terminology suggesting the committee has yet to reach agreement on this controversial consultation despite a request by central bankers and supervisory heads to finalize standards by year end.

Fed Joins Agencies with CRE Workout Policy

After a delay doubtless reflecting the need to run policies by Michael Barr, the FRB today proposed the same CRE-workout policies released for comment in early August by the OCC, FDIC, and NCUA.

Waters Tries Late-Game CRA Tackle

Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) today announced that she has introduced legislation to update the CRA, making the standards tougher for banks but – as far as known so far – failing to extend the law’s reach to nonbanks as urged by CFPB Director Chopra and Sen. Warren (D-CA), among others.

Daily091522.pdf

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