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Daily Financial Regulation Update -- Friday, May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

By FedACTion Task Force

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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 (effective April 17, 2021)

Small Business Administration – Isabel Guzman (effective March 16, 2021)

Commodity Futures Trade Commission

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

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, 2011)

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 the full text of the PPP Extension Act of 2021, Enacted March 30, 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.

Federal Agencies

Department of the Treasury

Treasury Distributes $742 Million to States and Territories through Homeowner Assistance Fund

May 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it has distributed $742 million to 42 states and three territories through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). A part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan, HAF was designed to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Federal Reserve Board

Governor Waller Delivers Speech on Economic Outlook, Monetary Policy

May 13, 2021

Christopher J. Waller, a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, shared his outlook for the U.S. economy and the implications for monetary policy in a speech to the Global Interdependence Center’s 39th Annual Monetary and Trade Conference.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

FRBNY Blog: Racial and Income Consumer Spending Gaps Following COVID-19

May 13, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York published a Liberty Street Economics blog post entitled, “Racial and Income Gaps in Consumer Spending following COVID-19.” The post’s authors found that high-income counties had a considerably steeper decline in consumer spending at the beginning of the pandemic and social distancing restrictions, and a shallower recovery in consumer spending following the recent loosening of social distancing restrictions, than low-income counties. The differences by race were also sizable but became considerably more muted after the summer of 2020.

FRBNY Blog: Constrained Consumer Spending Across the Income Distribution during COVID-19

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York published a Liberty Street Economics blog post entitled, “Who’s Ready to Spend? Constrained Consumption across the Income Distribution.” The post’s authors looked at detailed spending data to track which categories of goods and services were the most constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing. They found that, in 2019, high-income households typically spent relatively more on these pandemic-constrained categories. Their findings suggest that these consumers may have reduced consumption significantly during the pandemic and will likely play a crucial role in unleashing pent-up demand when pandemic restrictions ease.   

Federal Housing Finance Agency

FHFA Releases February 2021 Foreclosure Prevention, Refinance and FPM Report

May 13, 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its Foreclosure Prevention, Refinance and FPM Report for February 2021. According to the report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 60,661 foreclosure prevention actions in February, bringing the total to 5,720,846 since the start of the conservatorships in September 2008. Approximately 43% of these actions have been permanent loan modifications.

Department of Labor

Labor Department Issues News Release on Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

May 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a news release regarding weekly unemployment insurance claims. The release states that, in the week ending May 8, the advance figure for seasonally-adjusted initial claims was 473,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised level (and the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000); the previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 498,000 to 507,000; the four-week moving average was 534,000, a decrease of 28,250 from the previous week’s revised average (and the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500); and the previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 560,000 to 562,250.

State Agencies

New York State Department of Financial Services

New York Enacts Legislation Protecting COVID-19 Stimulus Payments from Debt Collectors

May 13, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.5923-A/A.6617-A) protecting New Yorkers' COVID-19 stimulus payments from being garnished by debt collectors. All relief payments to New York residents under federal programs, including stimulus payments, tax refunds, rebates, and tax credits to support individuals and children qualified for or received prior to the effective date, will be protected under the legislation. 

International

Bank of England

FCA, Bank Encourage Switch to SONIA in Sterling Exchange Traded Derivatives Market

May 13, 2021

The Bank of England (Bank) released a Statement announcing the Bank and the Financial Conduct Authority, following close engagement with market participants, support and encourage market users and liquidity providers in the sterling exchange traded derivatives market to switch the default traded instrument to SONIA instead of LIBOR beginning June 17, 2021. This is to facilitate a further shift in market liquidity toward SONIA, bringing benefits for a wide range of users as they move away from LIBOR.

Deputy Governor Cunliffe Delivers Speech on “Public Money”

May 13, 2021

Jon Cunliffe, the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, delivered a speech entitled “Do We Need ‘Public Money’” at the OMFIF Digital Money Institute in London.

UK Financial Conduct Authority

FCA, PSR Release Joint Statement on Access to Cash

May 13, 2021

The Financial Conduct Authority and Payment Systems Regulator released a joint statement regarding the continued importance of access to cash and banking services for many consumers and business.

FCA Executive Director Mills Speech: Protecting Access to Cash, Banking Services

May 13, 2021

Sheldon Mills, the Financial Conduct Authority’s Executive Director of Consumers and Competition, delivered a speech on the need for government, regulators and industry to maintain their part in maintaining good access to cash across the UK, at the Which? Cash Summit 2.0.