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Daily Financial Regulation Update - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April 01, 2020

By FedACTion Task Force

Major Developments

COVID-19: Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Release Guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program

March 31, 2020

The Treasury and SBA issued significant guidance implementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and announced that lenders will commence accepting loan applications on April 3, 2020 by small businesses and on April 10, 2020 by self-employed and independent contractors. The PPP provides up to $349 billion in loans intended for job retention and certain other expenses incurred by qualifying small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, and tribal businesses.

Congress

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), 116 HR. 748, Enacted March 27, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, 116 P.L. 127, 116 H.R. 6201, 134 Stat. 178, Enacted March 18, 2020.

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, 116 P.L. 123, 116 H.R. 6074, 134 Stat. 146, Enacted March 6, 2020.

from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, House Committee on Financial Services, and House Committee on Small Business.

U.S. Senate

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

COVID-19: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Releases CARES Act Resources

March 31, 2020

The Resources webpage includes the Committee’s section-by-section summary of Title IV, a summary of lending programs in Title IV, the full text of the CARES Act, and links to other information sources relevant to the bill.

U.S. House of Representatives

COVID-19: Pelosi, Khanna Urge Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Admininstrator Carranza to Include Private Equity- and Venture Captial funded-Startups in SBA Coronavirus Aid

March 31, 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ro Khanna sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza requesting the Trump Administration to consider startups in their regulatory guidance when implementing the CARES Act relief package.

Federal Agencies

Department of Treasury

COVID-19: Treasury and the IRS Release Employee Retention Credit for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

March 31, 2020

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit to help businesses keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

Federal Reserve Board

COVID-19: Federal Reserve issues Guidance on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Quarterly Reporting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 31, 2020

The Federal Reserve Board issued a consumer affairs letter informing officers and managers in charge of consumer affairs that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Board) does not intend to cite in an examination or initiate an enforcement action for failure to report the quarterly HMDA data.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

COVID-19: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Has Released Repurchase Agreement Operational Details to Support the Functioning of Short-Term U.S. Dollar Funding Markets.

March 31, 2020

In accordance with the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directive, the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will conduct a series of overnight and term repurchase agreement operations (repos) to maintain the supply of reserves remains keep short-term U.S. dollar funding markets functional. Securities eligible as collateral for both overnight and term operations include Treasury, agency debt, and agency mortgage-backed securities. Primary Dealers will be permitted to submit up to two propositions per security type at rates equal to or greater than the minimum bid rate.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

COVID-19: Regulatory Capital: Joint Statement on the Interaction of the Revised Transition of the CECL Methodology for Allowances With Section 4014 of the CARES Act

March 31, 2020

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a joint statement clarifying the interaction between the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) interim final rule issued on March 27, 2020, and the CARES Act for purposes of regulatory capital requirements.

Securities and Exchange Commission

COVID-19: SEC Updates Q&A on Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations to the Exchange Act Rules with COVID-19 Guidance

Marcy 31, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission has updated the guidance to include answers to questions about whether a registrant who will likely be unable to timely file a Rule 12b-5 report should furnish an 8-K or 6-K report (Question 135.12), and whether a registrant that filed a Form 12b-25 can subsequently rely on the COVID-19 order to extend the filing deadline for the subject report (Question 135.13).

SEC Small Business Advocate to Host Virtual Coffee Breaks Discussing Small Business Capital Raising

March 31, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation is hosting a series of virtual coffee breaks to engage with the public to discuss updates, trends, and perspectives on how COVID-19 is impacting raising capital.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

COVID-19: CFTC Provides Further Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

March 31, 2020

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) announced that it has issued additional targeted, temporary no-action relief to foreign affiliates of certain futures commission merchants (FCMs) in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The relief expires on September 30, 2020.

International

European Commission

COVID-19: EU approves close to €240 million to strengthen resilience in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees in light of the coronavirus pandemic

March 31, 2020

The European Union has issued a new package of almost €240 million to assist countries hosting refugees from Syria and vulnerable persons in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. The assistance package includes, among other actions, €100 million to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable local households and Syrian refugees, as well as to contribute to the establishment of sustainable social safety nets in Lebanon. This package raises the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis to more than €2 billion.

COVID-19: State aid: European Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

March 31, 2020

The European Commission has found a French scheme deferring the payment by airlines of certain aeronautical taxes to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme aims at compensating airlines for part of the damage suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak, by temporarily reducing the pressure on their cash flows.

UK Financial Conduct Authority

COVID-19: Financial Conduct Authority Issues Dear CEO Letter to Firms Providing Services to Retail Investors About COVID-19

March 31, 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a letter to firms providing services to retail investors outlining FCA expectations during the COVID-19 crisis. The letter includes guidance on client identity verification and flexibility within FCA rules, supervisory flexibility over best execution until the end of June, supervisory flexibility over 10% depreciation notifications until the end of September, FCA policy and implementation, and financial resilience.