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  • Agencies extend favorable CRA consideration for certain areas affected by Hurricane Maria

    On September 20, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC announced they are providing a 36-month extension to give favorable consideration under the CRA for bank activities that help revitalize or stabilize areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands impacted by Hurricane Maria. This extension is the second extension following the original period provided in January 2018 and the first extension granted in May 2021.

    The agencies determined that the FEMA’s designation of parts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as “active disaster areas” demonstrates ongoing community need to the area. The extension allows the agencies to give favorable consideration to a financial institution’s activities in the qualifying areas that satisfy the definition of “community development” under the CRA, including loans and investments, through September 20, 2026. The activities will be treated consistently with the agencies’ original Interagency Statement in January 2018.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC FDIC Federal Reserve CRA Disaster Relief

  • Federal and state financial regulatory agencies issue joint statement on the effects of Hurricane Idalia on supervisory practices

    On September 1, the FDIC, Fed, NCUA, OCC and CSBS issued a joint statement recognizing the serious impact of Hurricane Idalia on the customers and operations of many financial institutions in the effected area.

    The guidance discusses the following aspects of financial institution operations:

    • Lending: The agencies encourage financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers in affected communities, including prudent efforts to adjust existing loan terms, and declares that the agencies will not subject such efforts to examiner criticism. “The agencies recognize that efforts to work with borrowers in communities under stress can be consistent with safe-and-sound practices as well as in the public interest.”
    • Temporary Facilities: The agencies understand that many financial institutions face staffing, power, telecommunications, and other challenges in re-opening facilities and will expedite, as appropriate, any request to operate in temporary facilities.
    • Publishing Requirements: The agencies understand that the damage that the hurricane caused may affect compliance with publishing and other requirements for branch closings, relocations, and temporary facilities.  Impacted institutions should contact their primary federal and/or state regulator.
    • Regulatory Reporting Requirements: Impacted institutions that expect to encounter difficulty meeting the agencies' reporting requirements should contact their primary federal and/or state regulator to discuss their situation. 
    • Community Reinvestment Act: Financial institutions may receive CRA consideration for community development loans, investments or services that revitalize or stabilize federally designated disaster areas.
    • Investments: The agencies encourage financial institutions to monitor municipal securities and loans affected by the hurricane, including those related to local government projects.

     

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC FDIC NCUA CSBS Disaster Relief Consumer Finance

  • OCC allows institutions in Florida affected by Hurricane Idalia to temporarily close

    On August 29, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions, at their discretion, to close offices in areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Idalia “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” In issuing the proclamation, the OCC noted that only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that banks should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs. The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues Disaster Relief Florida Consumer Finance

  • OCC announces Tropical Storm Hilary disaster relief

    On August 21, the OCC issued a proclamation providing discretion to OCC-regulated institutions to close offices affected by Tropical Storm Hilary in California, Nevada, and Arizona “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on actions they should take in response to natural disasters and other emergency conditions. According to the OCC, only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and institutions should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief California Nevada Arizona

  • Agencies announce guidance regarding institutions affected by Hawaiian wildfires.

    Federal Issues

    On August 17, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Division of Financial Institutions, the NCUA, and the OCC issued a joint interagency statement covering supervisory practices for financial institutions affected by the Hawaiian wildfires. The agencies announced that, among other things, the regulators would expedite requests made by institutions for temporary operating facilities. The regulators noted that in most cases, “telephone notice to the primary federal and/or state regulator will suffice” for such requests. The agencies also encouraged financial institutions to work with borrowers in affected communities, explaining that “prudent efforts” to adjust terms on existing loans should not be subject to examiner criticism, in light of the unusual circumstances faced by the financial institutions.

    Further, the agencies announced that they understood that damage caused by the wildfires may affect the ability of institutions to comply with publishing requirements for branch closings, relocations, or temporary locations, and instructed institutions experiencing such difficulties to contact their primary federal and/or state regulator. The agencies additionally instructed institutions that face difficulty meeting reporting requirements due to the wildfires to contact their primary federal and/or state regulator, explaining that the agencies “do not expect to assess penalties or take other supervisory action” against institutions that take reasonable steps to comply with reporting requirements. The agencies also announced that financial institutions may receive CRA consideration for loans, investments, or services that revitalize or stabilize federally designated disaster areas. Finally, the agencies encouraged financial institutions to monitor any municipal securities and loans affected by the Hawaii wildfires.

     

    Federal Issues Bank Regulatory Consumer Finance NCUA OCC Federal Reserve FDIC Disaster Relief

  • SBA offers disaster assistance to businesses and residents

    Federal Issues

    On August 16, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the availability of low-interest disaster loans available to businesses and residents across the nation.

    • Mississippi – In light of damage from severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred between June 14-19, certain private non-profit businesses (PNP) that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans. PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million with an interest rate of 2.375% to repair or replace damage. SBA is also offering economic injury disaster loans to help meet the needs of PNP organizations. The filing deadline is Oct 11, and the deadline to submit economic injury applications is May 13, 2024.
    • Illinois – Following the announcement of the presidential disaster declaration due to severe storms and flooding June 29-July 2, SBA is offering affected businesses and residents in Illinois low-interest loans. SBA detailed that disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to replace or repair damage, and “[i]nterest rates are as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years.” The filing deadline is Oct 16, and the deadline to submit economic injury applications is May 13, 2024.
    • New Jersey – In light of damage from severe storms and flooding that occurred June 14-19, certain PNP organizations that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans. PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million with an interest rate of 2.375% with terms up of to 30 years to repair or replace damage. SBA is also offering economic injury disaster loans to help meet the needs of PNP organizations. The filing deadline is Oct 10, and the deadline to submit economic injury applications is May 13, 2024.
    • Oklahoma – SBA is making low-interest federal disaster loans available for certain PNP organizations in certain counties following the announcement of the presidential disaster declaration. PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million with an interest rate of 2.375% with terms of up to 30 years to repair or replace damage. “SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.”

    Federal Issues SBA Disaster Relief Loans Consumer Finance Small Business Lending

  • FDIC announces Mississippi disaster relief

    On August 15, the FDIC issued FIL-36-2023 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Mississippi affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes from June 14 - June 19. The FDIC acknowledged the serious impact of the inclement weather faced by affected institutions and encouraged those institutions to work with impacted borrowers to adjust and alter terms on existing loans, provided the measures are done “in a manner consistent with sound banking practices.” Additionally, the FDIC noted that institutions “may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.” The FDIC will also consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements and instructed institutions to contact the Dallas Regional Office if they expect delays in making filings or are experiencing difficulties in complying with publishing or other requirements.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues FDIC Consumer Finance Disaster Relief Mississippi

  • OCC allows Hawaii institutions to temporarily close, SBA offers loans

    On August 10, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close offices in areas affected by the wildfires in Hawaii. In issuing the proclamation, the OCC noted that only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that institutions should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs. The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on actions they should take in response to natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    In addition, the Small Business Association (SBA) announced that it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Hawaii businesses and residents and California businesses and residents affected by the severe winter storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred February 21 – July 10. 

    Interest rates for these loans can be as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations and 2.375% (2.5% for Hawaii) for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition, with loans up to $500,000 for homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate and $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including personal vehicles. The loans are part of the SBA’s commitment to “providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC Hawaii California SBA Disaster Relief Consumer Finance

  • FDIC announces Hawaii disaster relief

    On August 11, the FDIC issued FIL-41-2023 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Hawaii affected by wildfires from August 8 and continuing. The FDIC acknowledged the unusual circumstances faced by affected institutions and encouraged those institutions to work with impacted borrowers to, among other things: (i) extend repayment terms; (ii) restructure existing loans; or (iii) ease terms for new loans, provided the measures are done “in a manner consistent with sound banking practices.” Additionally, the FDIC noted that institutions “may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.” The FDIC will also consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements and instructed institutions to contact the San Francisco Regional Office if they expect a delay in making filings or are experiencing difficulties in complying with publishing or other requirements.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues Consumer Finance FDIC Disaster Relief Hawaii

  • FDIC announces Vermont disaster relief

    On July 19, the FDIC issued FIL-36-2023 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Vermont affected by severe storms and flooding from July 7 through the present. The FDIC acknowledged the unusual circumstances faced by affected institutions and encouraged those institutions to work with impacted borrowers to, among other things: (i) extend repayment terms; (ii) restructure existing loans; or (iii) ease terms for new loans, provided the measures are done “in a manner consistent with sound banking practices.” Additionally, the FDIC noted that institutions “may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.” The FDIC will also consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements and instructed institutions to contact the New York Regional Office if they expect delays in making filings or are experiencing difficulties in complying with publishing or other requirements.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues FDIC Consumer Finance Disaster Relief Vermont

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