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Daily Financial Regulation Update -- Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

By FedACTion Task Force

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Major Developments

President Biden Signs PPP Extension Act of 2021 extending PPP until May 31st

March 30, 2021

President Biden signed into law the PPP Extension Act of 2021. The law extends the deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021 and provides an additional 30-day period (through June 30, 2021) for the Small Business Administration to process then pending applications.

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 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

U.S. Department of the Treasury

IRS Projects Stimulus Payments to Non-Filer Social Security and other Federal Beneficiaries will be Disbursed by April 7, 2021

March 30, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service and Department of the Treasury announced that they anticipate Economic Impact Payments will begin to be issued this weekend to Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries who do not normally file a tax return, with the projection that the majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7, 2021.

First Joint Committee Meeting Under the Bilateral Agreement Between the United States of America and the United Kingdom on Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance

March 30, 2021

The United States and the United Kingdom held the first meeting of the Joint Committee established under the U.S.-UK Agreement on Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance (Agreement). The Agreement addresses three areas of prudential insurance oversight: (i) reinsurance, (ii) group supervision, and (iii) the exchange of insurance information between supervisors.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo Meets with Racial and Economic Justice Leaders to insure Equitable Implementation of the American Rescue Plan

March 30, 2021

Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) Wally Adeyemo met virtually with racial and economic justice leaders to discuss the Treasury Department’s commitment to equitable implementation of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and ways to leverage Treasury Department programs to address systemic inequality. In his first outreach meeting since being confirmed last week, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo made clear that racial equity, both with respect to personnel and policies, is a priority of his and Secretary Yellen’s, and reiterated his commitment to an open dialogue with groups embedded in communities where the need for assistance is most acute.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council

A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!

March 30, 2021

The Task Force on Consumer Compliance of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council recently developed a revised version of “A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” (Guide). The updated Guide is intended to assist financial institutions in complying with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) as implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Regulation C. The Guide applies to HMDA data that financial institutions are required to collect beginning on January 1, 2021 and must submit by March 1, 2022. The Guide provides a summary of certain key requirements, including those relating to institutional coverage, transactional coverage, and data collection, reporting, and disclosure requirements.

Federal Reserve Board

Speech: The FSB in 2021: Addressing Financial Stability Challenges in an Age of Interconnectedness, Innovation, and Change

March 30, 2021

Randal K. Quarles, Chair of the Financial Stability Board and Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., titled “The FSB in 2021: Addressing Financial Stability Challenges in an Age of Interconnectedness, Innovation, and Change.”

Back to the Present: Learning about the Euro Area through a Now-casting Model

March 30, 2021

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a paper as part of its International Finance Discussion series titled “Back to the Present: Learning about the Euro Area through a Now-casting Model.”

The Dollar and Corporate Borrowing Costs

March 30, 2021

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released a paper as part of its International Finance Discussion series titled “The Dollar and Corporate Borrowing Costs.”

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Research by New York Fed and AARP Finds Decline in Active Business Ownership Among Those 45 and Older

March 30, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in collaboration with AARP, released a report, State of the Older Entrepreneur During COVID-19, that finds a sharp decrease in active business ownership among the 80% of small firm owners who are 45 and older. The report finds active business ownership for white owners 45 and older declined 8% for the yearlong period that ended in January 2021. The decline for Asian owners in the same age group was more than twice as steep, at 19%. The drop was 16% for Black owners and 11% for Latinos.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Nick Stanescu Joins Boston Fed as Senior Vice President and Business Executive for FedNow Service

March 30, 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced the appointment of Nick Stanescu as senior vice president and business executive of the FedNow Service, the new real-time payment and settlement service that the Federal Reserve is developing to support faster payments in the United States.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Evaluation of SBA’s Award Procedures for the CARES Act Entrepreneurial Development Cooperative Agreements

March 30, 2021

The Office of Inspector General of the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a report titled “Evaluation of SBA’s Award Procedures for the CARES Act Entrepreneurial Development Cooperative Agreements.” The report found that SBA awarded the CARES Act entrepreneurial development cooperative agreements and grants in accordance with applicable federal laws, regulations and guidance.

Small Business Facts: Science/High-Tech Workers And Small Firms

March 30, 2021

The Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration released a bulletin titled “Small Business Facts: Science/High-Tech Workers and Small Firms.” According to the bulletin, small businesses play a special role in innovation. In 2018, 37% of high-tech workers worked for small businesses. According to the Census Bureau’s data series, Innovation Measurement Initiative, the bulk of STEM-related researchers working on funded research at universities go into the private sector after completing their research, and a significant share go on to work at small businesses.

Federal Housing Finance Agency

FHFA House Price Index Up 1.0% in January and Up 12.0% from Last Year

March 30, 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a release stating that house prices rose nationwide in January 2021, up 1% from the previous month. House prices rose 12% from January 2020 to January 2021. The previously reported 1.1% price change for December 2020 was revised upward to 1.2%.

U.S. Department of Education

Department of Education Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Emergency Flexibilities to Additional Federal Student Loans in Default

March 30, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) announced an expansion of the pauseon federal student loan interest and collections to all defaulted loans in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. The DoE announced that it will expand the 0% interest rate and pause of collections activity to 1.14 million borrowers who defaulted on a privately-held FFEL Program loan. The action will protect more than 800,000 borrowers who were at risk of having their federal tax refunds seized to repay a defaulted loan. The relief will be made retroactive to March 13, 2020.

International

UK Financial Conduct Authority

FCA confirms Finalized Guidance for Advising on Defined Benefit Transfers

March 30, 2021

The Financial Conduct Authority confirmed its finalized Defined Benefit transfer guidance for advisers. The Finalized Guidance is designed to help firms identify any weaknesses in their existing processes so that they can put into place an appropriate framework for managing and delivering suitable advice in connection with defined benefit transfers.