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Daily Financial Regulation Update - Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 02, 2020

By FedACTion Task Force

Major Developments

COVID-19: FHFA Authorizes Loan Processing Flexibilities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Customers

March 31, 2020

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced several loan processing flexibilities to be implemented by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which including : allowing desktop appraisals on new construction loans; allowing flexibility on demonstrating construction has been completed (alternative to filing a Completion Report); allowing flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow renovation disbursements (draws); and expanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Implementation

April 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA),., effective today, April 1, 2020. WHD will also post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA.

Congress

to view the full text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), 116 HR. 748, Enacted March 27, 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. House of Representatives

Committee on Financial Services

COVID-19: Chairwoman Waters Releases Extended Statement for the Record on the CARES Act, Providing Guidance on the Congressional Intent Behind the Law

March 31, 2020

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released an extended statement for the record on H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The statement provides guidance to the Trump Administration on Congress’s intent behind the law, and serves to fill out the congressional record in the absence of Committee consideration of the legislation.

Federal Agencies

U.S. Department of Treasury

COVID-19: Treasury Delays Tax and Reporting Due Dates for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Ammunition Businesses Hit by COVID-19

March 31, 2020

The Treasury Department is delaying tax payment due dates for wine, beer, distilled spirits, tobacco products, firearms, and ammunition excise taxes for businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19: Treasury and IRS Release FAQs to Help Small and Midsize Businesses Navigate Paid Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits

April 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service are offering small and mid-size employers more information on the refundable tax credits available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid sick leave and family and medical leave related to COVID-19. Eligible employers can receive a credit in the full amount of the qualified sick leave and family leave wages paid for between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

COVID-19: President Rosengren of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Gives Speech Addressing the Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 1, 2020

Eric Rosengren, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, delivered remarks at a forum hosted by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. The remarks summarize the actions and considerations taken by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policymakers to stymie the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adaptations necessary going forward.

COVID-19: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Releases Brief on the Effects of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic on Service Workers in New England

March 31, 2020

Analyzing data from the American Community Survey, the brief finds that the following service workers in New England will be most impacted by the effects of the coronavirus: those working in food service, cleaning and building maintenance, retail and hospitality, and warehouse jobs. About one in five New England workers has one of these jobs and workers in these occupations are more likely to be Hispanic and experience poverty at higher rates than New England workers generally. Within these jobs, women and people of color earn significantly less than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. The brief indicates policy responses should support this population in order to promote equitable recovery.

Conference of State Bank Supervisors

CSBS Issues Comment Letter in Support of FHFA’s Proposed Eligibility Updates for Single-Family Seller/Services

March 31, 2020

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) released a comment letter in support of the proposed updated minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. According to the letter, the proposed updates would further strengthen the financial requirements and establish a more consistent capital and liquidity framework for nonbank mortgage servicers with different business models.

National Credit Union Association

COVID-19: The NCUA Announces Available Grants, Loans to Low-Income Credit Unions for COVID-19 Response

March 31, 2020

The National Credit Union Association announced that federally insured, low-income-designated credit unions may request grants and loans from the National Credit Union Administration to assist members, businesses, and communities experiencing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four million dollars in loans and $800,000 in grants are available to support members and communities.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

COVID-19: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Credit Reporting Guidance During Covid-19 Pandemic

April 1, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the Bureau) released a policy statement outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau’s statement encourages lenders to continue to voluntarily provide payment relief to consumers and to report accurate information to credit bureaus relating to this relief In addition, in response to staffing and resources constraints on lenders and credit bureaus due to the pandemic, the Bureau’s statement also provides flexibility for lenders and credit bureaus in the time they take to investigate disputes. The Bureau specifically states that it does not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against firms who exceed the deadlines to investigate such disputes as long as they make good faith efforts during the pandemic to do so as quickly as possible.

Federal Housing Finance Agency

COVID-19: FHFA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Minimum Financial Eligibility Requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers

March 31, 2020

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a 30-day extension to the comment period for the proposed update to the minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac Announces LIBOR Transition SOFR ARM Eligibility Requirements

April 1, 2020

Freddie Mac released a bulletin announcing their eligibility, underwriting and delivery requirements for SOFR-indexed ARMs and the availability of new ARM Notes and riders specific to the SOFR ARM offering.

U.S. Department of Education

COVID-19: Department of Education Announces New Federal Deadline Flexibility for Career and Technical Education Leaders

March 31, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced  new flexibilities for career and technical education (CTE) leaders who are required to submit their local CTE plan for FY 2020-2023 under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) by April 15, 2020. The flexibilities provide an extension for states that need additional time to submit their Perkins V state plans, allow states and local Perkins recipients to receive their first installment of Perkins V funds on time—even if they need an extension, and allow states to provide funding recipients additional time to complete their applications.

International

European Banking Authority

COVID-19: EBA provides additional clarity on measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the EU banking sector

March 31, 2020

In a series of statements, the European Banking Authority (EBA) reiterated its call to institutions to refrain from the distribution of dividends or share buybacks for the purpose of remunerating shareholders and called on authorities to use flexibility in supervisory reporting and to adopt clear regulatory expectations in regards to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Bank of England Prudential Regulatory Authority

COVID-19: PRA statement on deposit takers’ approach to dividend payments, share buybacks and cash bonuses in response to Covid-19

March 31, 2020

The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) issued a statement in support of the decisions by the boards of the large UK banks to suspend dividends and buybacks on ordinary shares until the end of 2020, and to cancel payments of any outstanding 2019 dividends in response to a request from us. The statement also includes PRA’s expectation that banks not pay any cash bonuses to senior staff, including all material risk takers.

UK Financial Conduct Authority

COVID-19: The Pensions Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority issue press release urging savers to stay calm and not to rush into financial decisions.

April 1, 2020

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), supported by The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), say fears over the impact of the pandemic on markets and personal finances may make savers more vulnerable to scams or making a decision that could damage their long-term interests. The press release urges savers to visit the Pensions Advisory Service website for pensions guidance before making any decisions about their retirement savings and to visit the ScamSmart website to learn how to protect themselves from pensions scams.