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Daily Financial Regulation Update -- Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

By Paul Hastings Professional

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Major Developments

House Passes American Rescue Plan Act

By a vote of 220 to 211, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that 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. President Biden is expected to sign the bill on Friday, March 12, 2021.

Statement of Treasury Secretary Yellen

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 (Nominee)

Department of Education – Dr. Miguel Cardona

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, adopted by US Senate on March 6, 2021, pending in the US House of Representatives.

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. Senate

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Senate Banking Committee Votes in Favor of SEC and CFPB Nominees, and to Approve Subcommittee Organization

March 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Committee) voted in favor of sending to the Senate floor the nominations of Gary Gensler, President Biden’s nominee for Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s nominee for Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Committee also voted to approve the Subcommittee organization and jurisdiction.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee on Financial Services

House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing on Racial Equity

March 10, 2021

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing entitled “Justice for All: Achieving Racial Equity Through Fair Access to Housing and Financial Services.” The hearing focused on solutions to barriers faced by people of color, the businesses they own, and the communities in which they live, including challenges in accessing capital and banking services.

Committee on Small Business

House Small Business Committee Holds Hearing on Future of PPP

March 10, 2021

The U.S. House Committee on Small Business held a hearing on the next steps for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is currently set to expire on March 31. At the hearing, small business owners and lenders testified on the impact of a recent set of PPP reforms the Biden administration has instituted. 

Federal Agencies

Department of the Treasury

Secretary Yellen Delivers Remarks on Impact of COVID-19 at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference

March 9, 2021

Janet Yellen, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, delivered remarks virtually at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference. In her remarks, Secretary Yellen reflected on COVID-19’s impact on American cities, and presented the case for the American Rescue Plan Act.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

FRBNY Releases Early Benchmarked Employment Data

March 10, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released early benchmarked employment data for total employment in New York State, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the metropolitan areas in New York and Northern New Jersey.

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Office Issues Alert Cautioning against Investing based on Celebrity Involvement

March 10, 2021

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an Investor Alert, in which it cautioned investors not to make investment decisions related to Special Purpose Acquisition Companies based solely on celebrity involvement.

Commissioner Crenshaw Delivers Speech on SEC Priorities to Council of Institutional Investors

March 9, 2021

Caroline A. Crenshaw, a Commissioner on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, delivered a speech entitled “Moving Forward Together – Enforcement for Everyone” at the spring conference of the Council of Institutional Investors.

FINRA

FINRA News Release Highlights Research on Fraud Awareness Education

March 10, 2021

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a News Release highlighting a study entitled “Can Educational Interventions Reduce Susceptibility to Financial Fraud?”, conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. According to the News Release, the study found that educational interventions can increase consumers’ ability to recognize fraudulent investment opportunities and increase their knowledge about investment fraud.

National Credit Union Association

NCUA to Host Webinar on Credit Risk Issues Related to COVID-19

March 10, 2021

On March 24, the National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar about potential areas of credit risk resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

International

European Banking Authority

EBA Assesses 2020/2021 Consumer Trends

March 10, 2021

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published its Consumer Trends Report for 2020/2021. The report identifies topical issues recently addressed by the EBA including irresponsible lending, creditworthiness assessments, and digitalization; as well as issues on which the EBA has recently started to work, including selling practices and access to bank accounts. The report also explains measures the EBA has taken to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on consumers.

Bank of England

Bank Releases Minutes of Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Forum

March 10, 2021

The Bank of England (Bank) released Minutes from the second meeting of the Artificial Intelligence Public-Private Forum (Forum), which took place on February 26. The Bank, together with the Financial Conduct Authority, launched the Forum to explore the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on financial services.