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Daily Financial Regulation Update - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 13, 2020

By FedACTion Task Force

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Major Developments

House of Representatives Proposes The Heroes Act as Next Phase in COVID-19 Legislation

May 12, 2020

The Heroes Act (the Act), H.R. 6800, was introduced in the U.S. House,, authorizing among other things authorizes an additional $10 billion in economic injury disaster grants and includes reforms to the Small Business Administration’s (the SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  The Act would extend the PPP coverage period for borrowers until the end of the calendar year and would set-aside funds for community lenders, with an additional carve-out for small businesses with ten or fewer employees. The Act also would mandate regular reporting by the SBA on specific demographic, industry, size, and geographic data points for PPP loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans and grants.

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.

to view the full text of the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020, Enacted April 24, 2020.

from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 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

Oversight of the Financial Regulators Hearing

Chairman Crapo’s Opening Remarks

May 12, 2020

In remarks at a U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, encouraged federal agencies to continue looking for opportunities to provide flexibility for financial institutions to lend to households and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed concerns, with respect to the Municipal Liquidity Facility, that the inclusion of population thresholds for cities and states that were not a part of the CARES Act will impede access to smaller and rural communities.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Quarles Testimony

May 12, 2020

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles described various actions the Federal Reserve has taken to support the U.S. economy, maintain the supply of credit, and reduce the economic impact of the various containment measures taken in response to public health concerns. In particular, Quarles noted that the Federal Reserve has made adjustments to certain documentation and compliance requirements to ensure the continuing flow of credit while maintaining critical consumer protections, delayed implementation of new regulatory measures and temporarily shifted supervisory activities from on-site examinations to off-site monitoring, made targeted changes to capital requirements, reduced reserve requirements to zero and took steps to increase the availability of the discount window to meet liquidity needs.

FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams’s Testimony

May 12, 2020

Chairman of the FDIC Jelena McWilliams testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in regards to the FDIC’s areas of focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular McWilliams described ways in which the FDIC has encouraged banks to work with affected customers and communities, increased flexibility for banks to meet the needs of their customers, engaged with the Small Business Administration on small business lending, taken actions to protect consumers and increase financial options, and actively monitored the financial system.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting’s Testimony

May 12, 2020

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting testified during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The Comptroller's testimony discussed the agency's efforts to support the operation of the federal banking system and promote its ability to meet the needs of its customers during the national public health emergency created by COVID-19. The Comptroller's testimony also provided details about the range of activities currently underway, including efforts to strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act regulations, make Bank Secrecy Act compliance more effective and efficient, and encourage banks to provide more responsible small-dollar lending.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee on Small Business

Chairwoman Velázquez Announces Virtual Committee Events in May

May 12, 2020

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) announced several Committee virtual events throughout the month of May:

Wednesday, May 13 – 1 PM: Bipartisan Virtual Forum: A Conversation with SBA Lenders

Friday, May 15 – 10 AM: First Look: SBA Office of Inspector General Preliminary PPP Report

Wednesday, May 20 – 1 PM: Bipartisan Virtual Forum: The Effects of COVID-19 on Rural Economies

Thursday, May 21 – 1 PM: Business Interruption Coverage: Are Policyholders Being Left Behind?

Thursday, May 28 – 1 PM: Bipartisan Virtual Forum: Small Business Priorities for the Next Phase of Recovery: How to Leverage the Small Business Development Center Network

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

OCC Issues Bulletin on Annual Meetings during the COVID-19 Emergency

May 12, 2020

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a bulletin addressing inquiries from banks that are considering changes to the date, time, or location of their annual meetings as a result of stay-at-home and similar orders and potential health concerns. The bulletin also addresses the specific regulatory requirements applicable to federal savings associations that may seek to delay their annual meetings.

Federal Reserve Board

Federal Reserve Updates Term Sheet for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) and Announces Monthly Disclosures for the TALF and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility

May 12, 2020

The Federal Reserve Board (the Board) announced additional information regarding borrower and collateral eligibility criteria for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), which was initially announced in March. For both the TALF and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, the Board also announced that it will disclose:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC Issues Proposed Rule to Mitigate the Deposit Insurance Assessment Effect of Participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the PPP Lending Facility, and the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

May 12, 2020

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved a notice of proposed rulemaking that would mitigate the deposit insurance assessment effects of participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPLF) and Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB, FHFA, & HUD Launch Joint Mortgage and Housing Assistance Website for Americans Impacted by COVID-19

May 12, 2020

To ensure homeowners and renters have the most up to date and accurate housing assistance information during the COVID-19 national emergency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the new mortgage and housing assistance website 

. The joint website consolidates the CARES Act mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams. It also provides lookup tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is financed by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

FINRA

FINRA Releases Notice on Fraud and Investment Accounts During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 11, 2020

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) released a new Notice to broker-dealers advising firms and their associated persons to be aware of and take appropriate measures to address the increased risks and challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Notice, in addition to new scams focusing on COVID-19, previous scams may also find new life as fraudsters adapt to and exploit recent events and related vulnerabilities, especially those related to the remote working environment.

Department of Labor

Indiana Trucking Company Pays Back Wages to Worker Denied Paid Sick Leave While Experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms and Seeking Diagnosis

May 12, 2020

A truck driver has received $3,017 in back wages after being denied emergency paid sick leave while he was experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer – Mahant Trucking based in Avon, Indiana – violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance and Reminders to States to Ensure Integrity of Unemployment Insurance Programs

May 11, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor issued targeted guidance and reminders that provide states with details regarding required integrity functions for their regular unemployment compensation programs, as well as those authorized by Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation of the CARES Act.