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May 2021 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Details Challenges COVID-19 Continues to Place on Mortgage Borrowers  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued two reports that reveal mortgage borrowers are in need of more help coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent downturn in the economy. One report issued stated that overall complaints to the CFPB are higher than they’ve been in three years. The other reports that Black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers are more likely to be delinquent or in forbearance programs. Acting CFPB Director, Dave Uejio, said “More borrowers are behind on their mortgage payments than any time since the height of the Great Recession.”  

  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

OCC Published Final Rule Establishing Exception to Withdrawal Period Requirement for CIFs        

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized a rule that creates an exception to the requirement for banks that administer collective investment funds for real estate or other assets that aren’t readily marketable. The new rule codifies the time a bank has for withdrawing an account from a covered CIF and the bank may receive and extension to the usual time window with OCC approval, if certain requirements are met.  

 

National Credit Union Administration

NCUA Approves Final Rule Regarding Derivatives and Requests Comment on the Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating Level Policy  

The Board of the National Credit Union Administration held its fifth open meeting of 2021, unanimously approving a final rule that modernizes the administration’s derivatives rule by shifting it to an approach based more on principles while still retaining safety and soundness components. The Board also approved a notice requesting comment on the Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating Level Policy.   

 

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Names New Chief Economist and Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis  

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Jessica Wachter was appointed the Chief Economist and Director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA). Dr. Wachter comes to the SEC after 23 years as a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  

 

FDIC Begins Gathering Information on Digital Assets  

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced that it was requesting information and asking for comments from those interested about the digital asset activities of insured depository institutions. Recognizing the unique factors associated with digital assets, the FDIC is requesting this information to better understand the interest in digital assets from an institution’s standpoint and that of consumers.   

 

April 2021 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Protections for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X  

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing amending Regulation X to assist borrowers affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The proposed amendments would generally prohibit servicers from making the first notice or filing required for foreclosure until after December 31, 2021, amend early intervention and reasonable diligence obligations to ensure that servicers are communicating timely and accurate information to borrowers about their loss mitigation options during the current crisis, and temporarily permit mortgage servicers to offer certain loss mitigation options made available to borrowers experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship based on the evaluation of an incomplete application.  

  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

Agencies Invite Comment on Proposed Rule for Income Tax Allocation Agreements      

The federal bank regulatory agencies today invited comment on a proposed rule that updates and codifies existing guidance on income tax allocation agreements involving depository institutions and their affiliates.

Under the proposed rule, banks that file tax returns as part of a consolidated tax filing group would be required to enter into tax allocation agreements with their holding companies and other members of their consolidated group. The proposed rule also describes the provisions required to be included in those agreements and specifies regulatory reporting treatment.

Comments must be received within 60 days of the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register.

 

    

Federal Reserve Board

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement   

The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. Amid progress on vaccinations and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened. The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak but have shown improvement. Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

 

 

National Credit Union Administration

NCUA Board Briefed on Emerging Cybersecurity Threats, PCA Relief Measures

Board Briefed on Evolving Cyberthreats to the Financial System

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased cybersecurity vulnerabilities for federally insured credit unions and financial services market participants, which remain a target for hackers and thieves. Top threats include ransomware, malware and phishing attacks, identity theft, denial of service, ATM skimming, pandemic-themed attacks, and supply chain attacks.

As stressed in the briefing provided to the Board by the Chairman’s Special Advisor for Cybersecurity, supply chain risk is a significant threat to financial services because of the layered dependencies that exist in a complex, multi-service provider environment found in the financial services sector.

The NCUA continues to encourage credit union boards of directors to use previously issued advisories to review their relationships, assess and mitigate risk as it relates to their specific supply chain, and continue to strengthen their institution’s cyber vigilance and preparedness efforts.

Interim Final Rule Renews Prompt Corrective Action Relief

The NCUA Board received a briefing by the Office of Examination and Insurance staff on an interim final rule(opens new window) that temporarily modifies certain regulatory requirements to help ensure federally insured credit unions remain operational and able to provide needed financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the interim final rule makes two temporary changes to the NCUA’s prompt corrective action regulations. The first change temporarily reduces the earnings retention requirement for federally insured credit unions classified as adequately capitalized. The second change temporarily permits an undercapitalized credit union to submit a streamlined net worth restoration plan if it becomes undercapitalized predominantly because of share growth. If a credit union becomes less than adequately capitalized for reasons other than share growth, it must still submit a net worth restoration plan under the current requirements in NCUA’s regulations.

 

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Issues Notice of Substituted Compliance Application and Proposed Substituted Compliance Order for United Kingdom and Reopens Comment Period for Notice and Proposed Substituted Compliance Order for France

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to take two actions to continue to advance implementation of security-based swap regulation under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The Commission is publishing a notice of application and proposed substituted compliance order in response to an application from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  In addition, the Commission is re-opening the comment period on the notice of application and proposed substituted compliance order in relation to the application by France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR).

March 2021 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Abusiveness Policy Statement Rescinded  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it would rescinding its “Statement of Policy Regarding Prohibition on Abusive Acts or Practices”, a policy statement issued on January 24, 2020. In order to better protect consumers and the marketplace and to enforce the law as it was written by Congress, the CFPB intends to use its authority as supervisor and enforcer with the full scope of its authority, established by the Dodd-Frank Act.  

  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

OCC and Other Agencies Seek Opinions on Use of Artificial Intelligence      

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and four other federal regulatory agencies are looking for more information regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by financial institutions. They are looking for information on the use of AI in activities such as fraud prevention, customer service personalization, credit underwriting, and other operations.  

    

Federal Reserve Board

FRB Announces Restrictions on Bank Holding Company Dividends Ending for Most on June 30    

The Federal Reserve Board announced that temporary and additional bank holding company dividend and share repurchase restrictions will end for most institutions on June 30, after stress tests are completed and depending on the institution’s capital levels. If capital levels are above what is required by the stress test, the firm will no longer be subject to the additional restrictions.  

 

National Credit Union Administration

NCUA Board Extends CUSO Rule Comment Period 

The NCUA Board unanimously approved a 30-day extension to the comment period regarding the proposed rule on credit union service organizations, Part 712. The rule would increase the number of permissible activities and services for CUSOs, including originating loans that a federal credit union may originate and granting the NCUA Board more flexibility approving permissible activities and services.  

 

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Amends and Seek Comment on Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has implemented an interim final rule applying requirements mandated by congress regarding submission and disclosure requirements of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCA Act). These amendments apply to those who register with the Commission and meet certain requirements.  

February 2021 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Making our housing market work better for all Americans

In 2020, the CFPB issued new rules to help ensure borrowers can afford the mortgages they take on. To ensure consumers have the options they need, the CFPB will extend the mandatory compliance deadline for the Qualified Mortgage rules until July 1, 2021.  

  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

Role of Supervisory Guidance: Final Rule     

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has approved a final rule which confirms that supervisory guidance does not create binding legal obligations for the public. The final rule adopts the proposed rule, which was published on November 5, 2020, without substantive change. The final rule will become effective on March 15, 2021.

     

 

Federal Reserve Board

Federal Reserve Board announces final rule intended to reduce risk and increase efficiency in the financial system by applying netting protections to a broader range of financial institutions     

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced a final rule that is intended to reduce risk and increase efficiency in the financial system by applying netting protections to a broader range of financial institutions.

The final rule amends Regulation EE (Financial Institution Netting) to apply netting provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (FDICIA) to certain new entities including swap dealers. The rule would also make minor clarifications to the existing activities-based test in Regulation EE to clarify how the activities-based test applies following a consolidation of legal entities.

 

 

National Credit Union Administration

Board Approves Joint-Ownership Share Accounts Final Rule

The NCUA Board unanimously approved a final rule amending the NCUA’s regulation governing the requirements for a share account to be separately insured as a joint account. The final rule provides federally insured credit unions with an alternative method to satisfy the membership card or account signature card requirement. For example, under the final rule, the signature card requirement can be satisfied by the credit union having issued a mechanism for accessing the account, such as a debit card, to each co-owner or evidence of usage of the joint share account by each co-owner.

January 2021 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Finalizes Rule on Bureau’s Supervisory Guidance Use  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a final rule that codifies and amends the clarifications of differences between a regulation and supervisory guidance that were issued by the CFPB and other federal financial regulatory agencies in 2018. Supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law as regulations do but are more of an overview of supervisor expectations and best practices.    

  

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

OCC Releases Final Rule Ensuring Large Banks Provide Fair Access to Their Services     

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a final rule to ensure that services, capital and credit from large national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches of foreign banks are accessible and codifies years of guidance stating that banks should assess individual customers for risk, rather than making broad decisions about categories of customers.    

 

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Updates List of Solicitors Using Misleading Information     

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) updated its list of unregistered soliciting entities that use inaccurate information to solicit mostly foreign investors by impersonating genuine firms among other false pretenses. They added 28 entities to the list, which is meant to make sure investors can better inform themselves and avoid scams.         

 

Federal Reserve Board

FRB Releases Final Rule Updating Capital Planning Requirements      

The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) issued a final rule that updates capital planning requirements to fit with other recently modified rules. These requirements are meant to ensure large banks plan for their capital needs for different circumstances.  

 

National Credit Union Administration

NCUA and Other Agencies Issue SAR and AML Requirement FAQs  

The Nationals Credit Union Administration and other Federal Agencies recently released responses they compiled to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding suspicious activity reporting (SAR) and other anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The goal of these FAQs is to provide a central resource of information that can clarify regulatory requirements for financial institutions and assist them with compliance efforts.  

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