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Daily Financial Regulation Update --Tuesday, March 23, 2021

March 23, 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 (Nominee)

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

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, 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 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

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Treasury and IRS Disbursing More Economic Impact Payments in Coming Days and Weeks

March 22, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced that the next batch of Economic Impact Payments will be issued to taxpayers this week, with many of the payments coming by paper check or prepaid debit card.

Federal Reserve Board

Testimony by Chair Powell on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

March 23, 2021

Jerome H. Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will be testifying before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Federal Reserve System Publishes Annual Financial Statements

March 22, 2021

The Federal Reserve System released the 2020 combined annual audited financial statements for the Federal Reserve Banks, as well as statements for the 12 individual Federal Reserve Banks, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board of Governors), and five limited liability companies (LLC’s) that manage and operate some of the credit facilities established by the Board of Governors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keynote Remarks on SOFR by Vice Chair for Supervision Quarles at an Event Hosted by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee

March 22, 2021

Randal K. Quarles, Vice Chair of Supervision at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave keynote remarks at “The SOFR Symposium: The Final Year,” an event hosted by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee.

Gender and Social Networks on Bank Boards

March 22, 2021

The Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a paper titled “General and Social Networks on Bank Boards,” as part of its Finance and Economics Discussion Series.

Global Stablecoins: Monetary Policy Implementation Considerations from the U.S. Perspective

March 22, 2021

The Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a paper titled “Global Stablecoins: Monetary Policy Implementation Considerations from the U.S. Perspective,” as part of its Finance and Economics Discussion Series.

Conference of State Bank Supervisors

Large Fintechs and Other Payments Companies Move to a Single Exam for Nationwide Regulatory Compliance

March 22, 2021

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced that 13 nationwide payments firms have undergone or are currently undergoing their single comprehensive exams in the first quarter of 2021 as part of the CSBS’s “One Company, One Exam” program.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Banking on Data: Great Possibilities, Great Responsibilities

March 22, 2021

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is partnering with Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business to host a new webinar series titled “Banking on Data: Great Possibilities, Great Responsibilities.” The series builds on the themes of the 2019 FDIC Fintech Research Conference and will feature academic paper presentations and policy-focused panels. The presentations will highlight the opportunities and challenges for financial institutions, consumers, and the financial system created by the use of big data and applied technologies.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Interim Final Rule: Emergency Capital Investment Program: Regulatory Capital Treatment of Instruments Issued Under the Emergency Capital Investment Program

March 22, 2021

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation published an interim final rule to support and facilitate the timely implementation of the congressionally authorized Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). Under ECIP, the U.S. Department of the Treasury can make capital investments in certain low- and moderate-income community financial institutions. The interim final rule provides that preferred stock issued under ECIP will qualify as additional tier 1 capital and that subordinated debt issued under ECIP qualifies as tier 2 capital under the agencies’ capital rules.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Responds to Investor Demand by Bringing Together Agency Information About Climate and ESG Issues

March 22, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a new page on its website to bring together agency actions and the latest information about climate and environmental, social and governance investing. The page will appear on the front page of SEC.gov and will be updated as the SEC continues to respond to investors.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB Submits 2020 Report to Congress on the Administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

March 22, 2021

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the 2020 annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The report highlights efforts by the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers, particularly those who have suffered negative financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN Director Blanco Delivers Remarks at FIBA AML Compliance Conference Addressing Implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020

March 22, 2021

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Kenneth A. Blanco delivered remarks at the Florida International Bankers Association Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Conference. He discussed FinCEN’s commitment to timely and effective implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: Confidence in Housing Market High as Concerns about Finances Linger

March 22, 2021

New Freddie Mac research shows the uncertainty renters and homeowners have about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, of which two-thirds of respondents are homeowners and one-third are renters, shows that although homeowners and renters continue to feel the economic pressure of the pandemic, those figures have improved and are down from the all-time high reached in October and November of 2020.

Ginnie Mae

The Ginnie Mae Global Market Analysis Report

March 22, 2021

Ginnie Mae released its Global Markets Analysis Report for March 2021. According to the report, 2020 was a record year for mortgage originations, with over $4 trillion in total volume originated. While much of the volume was driven by refinances owing to ultra-low rates, purchase originations were strong as well, reflecting improved affordability for homebuyers.

U.S. Department of Education

Department of Education Announces Action to Streamline Borrower Defense Relief Process

March 22, 2021

The Department of Education (DoE) announced it will streamline debt relief determinations for borrowers with claims approved to date that their institution engaged in certain misconduct. The DoE will be rescinding the formula for calculating partial relief and adopting a streamlined approach for granting full relief under the regulations to borrower defense claims approved to date. The DoE anticipates this change will ultimately help approximately 72,000 borrowers receive $1 billion in loan cancellation.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Additional Assistance for Students and Institutions Through HEERF Grant Program and Expanded SNAP Benefits

March 22, 2021

To provide ongoing relief from the COVID-19 emergency and implement provisions in the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) is announcing additional benefits, outreach, flexibilities and guidance to assist students, federal student aid applicants and institutions of higher educations.

International

European Commission

Report Confirms SURE’s Success in Protecting Jobs and Incomes

March 22, 2021

The European Commission published its first preliminary assessment of the impact of SURE, the €100 billion instrument designed to protect jobs and incomes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that SURE has been successful in cushioning the severe socio-economic impact resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. It has helped to ensure that the increase in unemployment in the beneficiary Member States during the crisis has been significantly smaller than during the global financial crisis, despite them experiencing a larger decrease in gross domestic product.

European Banking Authority

Isabelle Vaillant Speaks at an Institute for International and European Affairs Event

March 22, 2021

Isabelle Vaillant, Director of the Prudential Regulation and Supervisory Policy department at the European Banking Authority, provided a regulatory perspective on the reforms that are required to complete the banking union at a webinar on “Completing the Banking Union: Next Steps and Challenges Ahead,” organized by the Institute for International and European Affairs. In her speech, Ms. Vaillant highlighted the importance of the reforms carried out in the period of the Global Financial Crisis and how a decade of work and strengthening of the framework has contributed to a more stable European Union banking system.

The EBA Takes Steps to Address ‘De-Risking’ Practices

March 22, 2021

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published three regulatory instruments to address de-risking practices based on evidence gathered in its call for input. The instruments clarify that compliance with anti-money and countering terrorist financing obligations in European Union law does not require financial institutions to refuse, or terminate, business relationships with entire categories of customers that they consider to present a higher money laundering/terrorist financing risk. In the documents the EBA also set out steps that financial institutions and competent authorities should take to manage risks associated with individual business relationships in an effective manner.

UK Financial Conduct Authority

Business Interruption Insurance Test Case – Insurer Claims Data

March 22, 2021

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sent a letter to insurers explaining that it intended to gather information on all non-damage Business Interruption (BI) policies that are, in principle, capable of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic following certain court judgments. The FCA has published data from insurers who have submitted information on their progress with BI insurance claims, relating to claims and complaints on non-damage BI policies which were affected by the test case, against its updated list of policies.