#Wells Fargo

21 12, 2022

FedFin on: Nonbank Enforcement-Order Registry

2022-12-21T16:54:37-05:00December 21st, 2022|The Vault|

The CFPB is proposing to create a public registry of certain enforcement actions that would initially cover nonbanks (including BHCs) with a goal of drawing public and enforcement-agency attention to what the Bureau’s director calls “serial offenders.” …

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

20 12, 2022

FedFin on: CFPB Crafts New-Style, High-Impact Enforcement Construct

2022-12-20T17:22:32-05:00December 20th, 2022|The Vault|

In this report, we provide an in-depth assessment of the CFPB’s unprecedented $3.7 billion settlement earlier today with Wells Fargo (WFC).  In its release, the Bureau notes that it worked with the FRB and OCC to craft this consent agreement; in his remarks, Director Chopra makes it clear that, settled or not, he wants to penalize a “corporate recidivist” by retaining or even tightening the Fed’s 2018 asset-cap (see Client Report CORPGOV26) and doing the same with the OCC’s 2021 mortgage-servicing settlement….

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

26 04, 2022

FedFin on: Chopra Stands His Ground on Sweeping Agenda, Administrative Process

2023-03-01T15:52:51-05:00April 26th, 2022|The Vault|

The Senate Banking Committee’s hearing today with CFPB Director Chopra was a sharply partisan session with little immediate impact on what Mr. Chopra plans to do to achieve his sweeping new vision.  Although the debate will have little to no impact on bank-merger policy, much of the session focused on the actions Mr. Chopra took in concert with Acting Chairman Gruenberg to wrest FDIC control from former Chair McWilliams and issue an RFI suggesting significant changes to both merger analytics and bank-resolution policy…

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

3 02, 2022

FedFin Assessment: Raskin Confirmation Possible, But a Squeaker

2023-04-05T14:06:56-04:00February 3rd, 2022|The Vault|

As this report details, all three Fed nominees before the Senate Banking Committee today emphasized the vital importance of Fed independence and their anti-inflation zeal to quell GOP opposition and cement it among moderate Democrats. Professor Philip Jefferson sailed through and will be confirmed — perhaps quickly — by a relatively -wide bipartisan margin. We expect Professor Lisa Cook also to prevail, with Democrats likely joined by a
couple of moderate Republicans convinced that attacks on her expertise art unseemly with regard to a Black woman given how rarely similar concerns are voiced about white nominees with no macroeconomic-policy expertise.

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

27 09, 2021

Karen Petrou: The Powell Political Calculus

2023-08-03T10:18:53-04:00September 27th, 2021|The Vault|

Although the quadrennial kerfuffle over appointment of the Federal Reserve chair gets a good deal of public attention, I cannot recall a time when anyone outside banking’s inner circles cared much about who might be the next Comptroller or Vice Chair of Supervision.  And, although they’ve garnered more attention of late in the diversity context, Federal Reserve presidencies were of even less public interest.  Not only are all of these appointments now proving remarkably consequential, but they also pose a particularly thorny political equation for President Biden.

While all of these finance appointments are significant, that for Jay Powell as Fed chairman is of course the most important of them all.  Although key lips are publicly zipped, Treasury Secretary Yellen would like to see Mr. Powell’s reappointment as would a host of other high-impact Democratic influencers. The plethora of coverage suggesting global financial markets will collapse if Mr. Powell is deposed peddle patent nonsense, but nonetheless signify the stakes some assign to his cause.

Despite this formidable support, the Powell reappointment was still proving difficult even before the Reserve Bank stock-trading disclosures.  As I noted at the time, it’s a lot easier to understand individual financial bets than monetary-policy complexities.  It’s thus unsurprising that Mr. Powell’s latest concessions are proving far from satisfactory to an array of high-impact Democratic influencers very emphatically not to be found on Wall Street.  One of Mr. Powell’s strengths in the renomination battle has been divisions among Democratic progressives, making this resonant scandal particularly …

20 09, 2021

Karen Petrou: Choosing Between Evisceration, Amputation, or Decapitation to Punish Big Banks

2023-08-03T14:36:09-04:00September 20th, 2021|The Vault|

One can pretty much count on senior Democrats to demand summary execution when Wells Fargo stumbles on its troubled path to exoneration from the Fed’s scorching 2018 enforcement order. So, when the OCC last week embarrassed the bank with renewed sanctions, Sen. Warren didn’t miss a beat; as we noted, she promptly sent Jay Powell a letter demanding that the bank be disemboweled. However, if Sen. Warren really wants to ensure that accident-prone banks mend their ways, she would do better by pressing remedies that might really work for the consumers she wants to protect.

Disembowelment via Sen. Warren would come via regulatory resurrection of the Glass-Steagall Act along her preferred lines. As she explains this in her letter, the Fed would use the authority she believes it has to revoke Wells Fargo’s charter as a financial holding company (FHC), thereby ending the holding company’s ability to engage in both consumer banking and securities activities.

Sen. Warren considers the mix of consumer and capital-markets activities fraught with contagion for vulnerable consumers, but none of the violations that sparked enforcement orders has anything to do with wholesale finance and could well have occurred in the most consumer-pristine of retail banks. For example, the OCC’s latest order punishes what are said to be severe lapses in mortgage servicing. IPO offerings, brokerage services, and even junk-bond sales have diddly to do with mortgage servicing or the cross-selling scandal that brought all this down on the bank in the first place. Thus, divesting capital-markets …

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