TOP OF THE AGENDA
House Financial Services Committee Approves AML Reform Bill
The House Financial Services Committee unanimously approved by a vote of 55-0 a bill, HR 2514 by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) that would provide updates to the Bank Secrecy Act, including increased SAR information sharing between banks and foreign affiliates and would encourage the use of technology and artificial intelligence in compliance programs. The current regime is nearly 50 years old and has not fundamentally changed since its adoption in 1970.
The committee also raised during the markup but postponed for consideration “The Corporate Transparency Act,” HR 2513, to allow for Treasury to provide additional information. The legislation has bipartisan political and industry support, strikes the right balance between imposing minimal requirements on small businesses while providing important information to law enforcement and financial institutions performing due diligence.
5 Stories Driving the Week
1. Quarles: Fed Needs Clearer Line Between Rules, Supervision
Federal Reserve Vice Chair of Supervision Randal Quarles said on May 7 that the Fed needs to have clearer delineation between regulatory and supervisory actions, in response to the debate over the role of guidance documents, according to a report by Politico. “We do need to have thought through very carefully what it is that we mean by supervision and what it is that we mean by regulation,” Quarles said in a Q&A session at the Yale School of Management. He indicated that the “Fed, as a politically independent agency, would seek to resolve these questions internally.” Read More >>
2. BPI Offers Recommendations to Clarify and Modernize FDIC’s Approach to Brokered Deposits
On May 6, BPI submitted a comment letter responding to the FDIC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the FDIC’s comprehensive review of its regulatory approach to brokered deposits. In the letter, BPI recommends that the FDIC clarify and modernize its approach to brokered deposits in a manner that is consistent with Congress’ purpose in the statute. Read More >>
3. Banks Safe from A Leveraged Loan Implosion, Fed’s Quarles Says
Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles said on May 7 that “while the lending does pose risks, a doomsday outcome seems extremely unlikely for the U.S. banks the Fed regulates,” reports Bloomberg News. Speaking at Yale University, Quarles said the concern is who is investing in securities tied to the debt, known as collateralized loan obligations. Quarles’ view is consistent with previous BPI research here, here and here.
4. Ways to Curb Nonbank Activity in the Mortgage Market and Reduce Systemic Risk
BPI posted a blog that documents the dramatic shift in both the origination and servicing of mortgage loans from banks to nonbanks in the United States and analyzes how much of that migration is attributable to differences in capital requirements. The note shows that stress tests conducted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are much less severe than those imposed on banks by the Federal Reserve. Read More >>
5. House Financial Services Committee to Hold Hearings on BB&T / SunTrust Merger
House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters said in May 8 letters to regulators that she intends to hold hearings on the proposed merger between BB&T and SunTrust. In letters to the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, she asked the regulators to schedule additional public hearings and defer any decision until the completion of Congressional oversight of the merger. Read More >>
In Case You Missed It
On May 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposal to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, designed to “provide consumers with clear protections against harassment by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts.” The proposal would set limits on the number of debt collectors’ weekly calls to consumers, update rules surrounding how collectors contact consumers using newer technologies and heighten requirements for information shared with the consumer about the debt. Proposal comments are due within 90 days of its publication in the Federal Register.
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, who is drafting data privacy legislation, said a high priority would be strengthening consumers’ control over their data. At a hearing on May 7, Crapo said “consumers should have the right to consent to the use of their data, and he criticized the prevalence of verbose, take-it-or-leave-it privacy agreements that many of them face online,” according to a report from Politico.
A bill being considered by the House Financial Services Committee would make it harder for criminals, terrorists and kleptocrats to anonymously launder money or evade taxes, according to a report by the Washington Post. “While anti-corruption campaigners have long fought for such a measure, more recent support from the banking industry and national security hawks has brightened prospects for bipartisan backing, proponents say.”
The House Financial Services Committee created two new task forces focused on financial technology and artificial intelligence – chaired by Representatives Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.), respectively.
A federal judge on May 2 ruled that the New York State Department of Financial Services can proceed with its lawsuit against the Office of Comptroller of the Currency for its federal bank charter for fintech firms.
House Financial Services Committee’s top Republican Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) sent letters to five federal financial regulators on May 3 requesting a status update on the agencies’ efforts implement S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, to amend the Dodd Frank Act.
The American Enterprise Institute hosted an event on access to Federal Reserve services in particular, interest rates on deposits. One panel focused on the Fed’s proposal to pay different interest rates and the other on the financial stability implications of allowing new, limited-purpose banks access to Fed services.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee holds a hearing on May 15 at 9:30 am on oversight of financial regulators. Witnesses include Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams, and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney Hood.
The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets will convene a hearing on May 15 at 10 am entitled, “Promoting Economic Growth: A Review of Proposals to Strengthen the Rights and Protections for Workers.”
On May 15 at 2 pm, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets will convene a hearing on assessing the use of sanctions in national security.
On May 16 at 10 am, the House Financial Committee will convene an oversight hearing on prudential regulators. Witnesses include Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams, and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney Hood.
The Antonin Scalia Law School’s Financial Services Regulation Law Concentration will host its first full-day public policy conference on the “Smart Regulation and the Future of Financial Services” on May 16. Speakers include Craig Phillips, Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury; Jeremy Newell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for BPI; and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.
On May 21 at 10 am, the House Financial Services Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will continue his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on May 22 at 9 am. This is a continuation of his April hearing on the international financial system.
Mark Van Der Weide, Federal Reserve General Counsel, has been added as a speaker to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and BPI 6th Annual Prudential Regulation Conference on June 4 in Washington DC. This year’s conference will assess how the post-crisis prudential regulatory framework is affecting the capital markets, including market liquidity, capital formation and innovation.
The Clearing House and BPI will host the 2019 Annual Conference from November 19 to 21. The event provides a forum for the industry’s leaders to examine the changing dynamics of the bank regulatory and payments landscapes with two and half days of high-level keynote speakers, in-depth expert panels, and networking.
The Pierre, New York