The following newsletter provides a roundup summarizing enforcement actions, guidance, rulemakings, and other public statements taken by a federal and/or state financial services regulatory agency, specifically focusing on: (1) the source of the development (regulator, legislative body, etc.), (2) the subject matter (consumer lending, money transmission, capital markets, etc.), and (3) the general issue covered.
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- Federal Reserve Board. BASEL III & Bank Activities. FRB Vice Chairman Barr gave remarks at the ABA Annual Convention discussing the BASEL III endgame. Separately, Gov. Bowman spoke at an event on monetary policy and past and prospective efforts related to bank regulation.
- Federal Reserve Board. Holding Company Activities & Safety and Soundness. FRB published a final rule to adopt risk-based capital requirements for depository institution holding companies that are significantly engaged in insurance activities. The rule is effective January 1, 2024. Separately, Gov. Bowman released a dissenting statement on the rulemaking due to the delegation of authority to agency staff.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Safety and Soundness. FDIC approved a notice of proposed rulemaking and issuance of guidelines relating to proposed corporate governance expectations for large and midsize banks with more than $10 billion in total consolidated assets. It would add an Appendix C to the FDIC's regulation for safety and soundness standards 12 C.F.R. §§ 364, et seq. (Part 364) applicable to agency-insured and/or agency-supervised institutions within scope. The deadline for comments is December 11, 2023. Separately, Chairman Gruenberg gave a statement in support of the action while Vice Chairman Hill and Director McKernan dissented.*
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Consumer Information Requests & "Junk Fees." CFPB published an advisory opinion, applicable as of December 16, 2023, regarding a provision enacted by Congress which generally prohibits large banks and credit unions from imposing unreasonable obstacles on customers, such as charging excessive fees, for basic information about their own accounts. The agency also noted that it does not intend to seek monetary relief for potential violations of Dodd-Frank Sec. 1034 prior to February 1, 2024. Additionally, Dir. Chopra provided remarks on a press call on eliminating "junk fees."
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Debt Collection, Medical Financial Products & Credit Reporting. CFPB's General Counsel and Senior Advisor gave prepared remarks on medical debt, related financial products, and credit reporting.
- National Credit Union Administration. Credit Unions & Mortgage Lenders. NCUA Chairman spoke at a conference on the credit union's system in the housing market, disparities in mortgage lending, appraisal bias, and the importance of consumer financial protection.
- National Credit Union Administration. Credit Unions & Student Loans. NCUA released a letter encouraging and providing guidance to credit unions to work constructively with borrowers impacted by the resumption of student loan payments.
- Treasury Department. Anti-Money Laundering / Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). Treasury Assistant Sec. for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes gave remarks at the ACAMS conference on the effectiveness of and gaps in the AML/CFT regime, beneficial ownership, and attempts at evasion in Russian and other sanctions programs.
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. BSA/AML & Beneficial Ownership. FinCEN's Director spoke at the annual ACAMS Conference covering: 1) Beneficial Ownership Information Implementation, 2) the agency's other anti-corruption initiatives related to residential real estate and investment advisors, 3) efforts to combat fentanyl trafficking, and 4) the agency's whistleblower program.
- Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. Student Loans. MD OCFR published guidance on the Student Financing Company Act, which has a compliance deadline as of March 15, 2024.
Enforcement and Litigation
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau & Federal Trade Commission. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). CFPB & FTC filed a complaint and stipulated proposed order against a rental screening subsidiary of a credit reporting agency for alleged violations of the FCRA related to rental background checks and for failing to honor security freeze and lock requests. Separately, the agency's Enforcement Director provided remarks on the action.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). CFPB sued a mortgage lender regarding allegations that the company submitted error-ridden data as part of required mortgage loan data reports in violation of the HMDA and a prior consent order.
Research & Analysis
- Federal Reserve Board. Community Banks & Bank Activities. FRB Gov. Bowman gave remarks at a community banking conference on the role of research, data, and analysis in bank regulatory reforms, the role of community banks in the financial system, the implications of the evidence supporting community bank regulatory policies, and future areas of research including insured and uninsured deposits.
Michael Buckalew is a regulatory analyst with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.