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Daily Financial Regulation Update -- Friday, March 12, 2021

March 12, 2021

By FedACTion Task Force

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Major Developments

President Biden Signs American Rescue Plan Act into Law

President Biden signed into law the nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. The U.S. Senate passed the bill by a 50-49 vote on Saturday, March 6, and the U.S. House passed the bill by a 220-211 vote on Wednesday, March 10. The bill includes, among other provisions, direct payments of $1,400 to many Americans, an extension of federal unemployment insurance payments of $300 per week, and an expansion of the child tax credit to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17 or $3,600 for children under age 6.

Administration Changes

Appointments/Confirmation Hearings

Department of the Treasury – Janet Yellen (effective January 26, 2021)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Rohit Chopra (Nominee)

Securities and Exchange Commission – Gary Gensler (Nominee)

Small Business Administration – Isabel Guzman (Nominee)

Commodity Futures Trade Commission

National Credit Union Administration – Todd M. Harper

Department of Housing and Urban Development – Marcia Fudge (effective March 10, 2021)

Department of Education – Dr. Miguel Cardona (effective March 2, 2021)

Congress

Click here to view the full text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), Enacted March 27, 2020.

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

Click here to view the full text of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, Enacted June 5, 2020.

Click here to view the full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Enacted December 27, 2020.  

Click here to view the full text of the American Rescue Plan of 2021, Enacted March 11, 2021.

Click here to view a running list of proposed legislation 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. House of Representatives

Committee on Financial Services

Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Assisting American Consumers during COVID-19

March 11, 2021

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions (Subcommittee) held a virtual hearing entitled “Slipping Through the Cracks: Policy Options to Help America’s Consumers During the Pandemic”.

CFPB to Interpret ECOA to Prohibit Lending Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

March 10, 2021

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule clarifying that the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B includes sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. This prohibition also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other associations. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, released a statement praising the CFPB’s action.

Federal Agencies

Federal Reserve Board

FRB Issues 2020 4th Quarter Financial Accounts of the United States Release

March 11, 2021

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued its Financial Accounts of the United States – Z.1 release for the fourth quarter of 2020.

OIG Issues Reports on Major Management Challenges for FRB, CFPB

March 8, 2021

The Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released separate reports entitled “2021 Major Management Challenges for the Board” and “2021 Major Management Challenges for the Bureau,” respectively.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

FRBNY, AARP to Host Virtual Event on COVID-19’s Impact on 50+ Entrepreneurs

March 11, 2021

On March 30, 2021 the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the AARP will host a virtual event entitled, “The State of the 50+ Entrepreneur”. The event will bring together thought leaders, researchers and policymakers to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older business owners and their firms, and what might be done to help their recovery.

Conference of State Bank Supervisors

CSBS Releases March 2021 Economic Update

March 11, 2021

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors published a blog post entitled, “March 2021 Economic Update: Hysteresis and the New ‘Normal’.”

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC to Host Meeting of the Advisory Committee of State Regulators

March 11, 2021

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will convene a meeting of its Advisory Committee (Committee) of State Regulators on March 18, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The Committee members will discuss and receive updates on a range of policy issues regarding the regulation of state-chartered financial institutions throughout the United States.

Securities and Exchange Commission

DCF Acting Director Coates Releases Statement on ESG Disclosure

March 11, 2021

John Coates, the Acting Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance, released a statement entitled, “ESG Disclosure – Keeping Pace with Developments Affecting Investors, Public Companies and the Capital Markets”.

Commissioner Peirce Delivers Remarks at Investor Advisory Committee Meeting

March 11, 2021

Hester M. Peirce, a Commissioner on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), delivered remarks at a meeting of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee (Committee). Commissioner Peirce’s remarks addressed the recent unprecedented national attention on the capital markets due to the meme stock trading events, and the Committee’s approach to making the capital markets work better for investors.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN Issues Advisory Regarding Jurisdictions with Deficiencies in Countering Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing

March 11, 2021

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory to financial institutions regarding the Financial Action Task Force’s February 25, 2021 updated list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. These changes may affect U.S. financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches regarding relevant jurisdictions. The advisory also reminds financial institutions of the status and obligations involving these jurisdictions.

U.S. Small Business Administration

SBA Releases Fact Sheet on Recent PPP Changes

March 9, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration released a Fact Sheet entitled “Changes to Paycheck Protection Program by Biden-Harris Administration Increase Equitable Access to Relief.”

Federal Housing Finance Agency

FHFA Further Extends COVID-Related Loan Flexibilities

March 11, 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced today that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend temporary loan origination flexibilities until April 30, 2021. The temporary flexibilities are designed to ensure continued support for borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic. All temporary flexibilities were set to expire on March 31, 2021.

Department of Labor

Labor Department Issues News Release on Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

March 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a News Release regarding weekly unemployment insurance claims. The News Release states that, in the week ending March 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised level; the previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 745,000 to 754,000; the four-week moving average was 759,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised average; and, the previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 790,750 to 793,000.

International

European Commission

Commission Proposes to Mobilize Almost €530 Million to Support COVID-19 Emergency Measures

March 11, 2021

The European Commission (Commission) put forward a package of almost €530 million in additional financial support under the EU Solidarity Fund. The financial support would contribute to the efforts deployed by 17 Member States and three accession countries to fight COVID-19. The financial contribution proposed by the Commission must be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council; the financial aid will then be disbursed to the applicant countries.

European Banking Authority

EBA Launches Public Consultation on Draft Revised Guidelines on Stress Tests of Deposit Guarantee Schemes

March 11, 2021

The European Banking Authority (EBA) launched a public consultation on its revised Guidelines on the stress tests conducted by national Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) under the Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive. The proposed revision will extend the scope of the DGS stress testing, by requiring more tests that will cover additional aspects of DGS interventions.

Bank of England

Bank Provides Update on CCFF

March 11, 2021

HM Treasury and the Bank of England confirmed that, while the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) will close for new purchases of commercial paper from eligible issuers effective March 23, 2021 the CCFF will continue to allow early repayment of funds borrowed.