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FFIEC releases 2023 HMDA reporting guide
On April 13, the OCC issued Bulletin 2023-10 announcing the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council’s issuance of the 2023 edition of the revised “A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” The guide focuses on HMDA data submissions due March 1, 2024, and includes requirements and instructions for reporting and disclosing data for institutions and transactions covered by Regulation C. The guide also reflects a technical amendment to the 2020 HMDA Rule to adjust the loan volume thresholds (which took effect January 1) for reporting HMDA data on closed-end mortgage loans. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the CFPB issued the technical amendment last December to establish that the threshold for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans is 25 mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years, the threshold established by the 2015 HMDA Rule.
FFIEC releases 2022 HMDA data
On March 20, the CFPB announced the release of the 2022 HMDA modified loan application register (LAR) data. The LAR data, available on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s HMDA platform, contains modified loan-level information on approximately 4,394 HMDA filers. The Bureau also announced plans to produce the 2022 HMDA data “in other forms to provide users insights into the data,” including through a nationwide loan-level dataset, which will provide all publicly available data from all HMDA reporters, as well as aggregate and disclosure reports with summary information by geography and lender, to allow users the ability to create custom datasets and reports. The Bureau also said it plans to publish a Data Point article highlighting key trends in the annual HMDA data.
Agencies propose Call Report revisions
On February 22, the FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, and the OCC announced the publication of a joint notice and request for comment proposing changes to three versions of the Call Report (FFIEC 031, FFIEC 041, and FFIEC 051), as well as changes to the Report of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks (FFIEC 002), as applicable. Section 604 of the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 mandates agency review of information collected in the Call Reports “to reduce or eliminate any requirement to file certain information or schedules if the continued collection of such information or schedules is no longer necessary or appropriate.” The proposed changes would eliminate and consolidate certain items in the Call Reports based on an evaluation of responses to a user survey addressing the Call Report schedules. The agencies are also requesting comments on certain technical clarifications made last year concerning the reporting of certain debt securities issued by Freddie Mac and proposed Call Report process revisions. The proposed changes if approved, will take effect as of the June 30, 2023, report date. Comments are due April 24.
Agencies release 2021 CRA data
On December 15, members of the FFIEC with Community Reinvestment Act responsibilities (Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and the OCC) released 2021 Community Reinvestment Act data on small business, small farm, and community development lending. (See also fact sheet here.) The 685 reporting banks reported that they originated or purchased 9.4 million small-business loans totaling $371 billion, with the total number of loans originated by reporting banks increasing by approximately 12.6 percent from 2020. The dollar amount of these small business loans decreased by 21 percent, the report found. Additionally, roughly 47.1 percent of the reported small business loan originations and 59.3 percent of reported farm loans were made to firms with less than $1 million in revenue. With respect to community development lending activity, the agencies reported that based on data compiled from 618 banks, lending activity decreased by 10.1 percent from the amount reported in 2020.
FinCEN’s Das discusses agency’s priorities
On December 6, FinCEN acting Director Himamauli Das spoke before the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference about how FinCEN is addressing new threats, new innovations, and new partnerships, in addition to its efforts to implement the AML Act. Das first began by speaking about beneficial ownership requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). He noted that a final rule was issued in September, which implemented the beneficial ownership information reporting requirements (covered by InfoBytes here). He also stated that a second rulemaking, concerning access protocols to the beneficial ownership database by law enforcement and financial institutions, may be released before the end of the year, and that work is currently underway on a third rulemaking concerning revisions to the customer due diligence rule. With regard to anti-corruption, Das noted that the agency has been working with the Biden administration, and highlighted three alerts issued by FinCEN in 2022 that highlight “the risks of sanctions and export controls evasion by Russian actors, including through real estate, luxury goods, and other high-value assets.” Das explained that the alerts “complement ongoing U.S. government efforts to isolate sanctioned Russians from the international financial system.”
Transitioning into discussing effective AML/CFT programs, Das said that the “AML Act’s goal of a strengthened, modernized, and streamlined AML/CFT framework will ultimately play out over a series of steps as we implement all of the provisions of the AML Act.” He then described how the AML Act requires FinCEN to work with the FFIEC and law enforcement agencies to establish training for federal examiners in order to better align the examination process. He further noted that the AML/CFT priorities and their incorporation into risk-based programs as part of the AML Program Rule are “crucial” for providing direction to examiners on approaches that improve outcomes for law enforcement and national security.
Das also highlighted the digital asset ecosystem as a key priority area for FinCEN and acknowledged that the area has seen “continuing evolution” since 2013 and 2019, when the agency released its latest related guidance documents on the topic. Das explained that FinCEN is taking a “close look” at the elements of its AML/CFT framework applicable to virtual currency and digital assets to determine whether additional regulations or guidance are necessary, which “includes looking carefully at decentralized finance and its potential to reduce or eliminate the role of financial intermediaries that play a critical role in our AML/CFT efforts.”
FFIEC updates 2018 Cybersecurity Resource Guide for Financial Institutions
On October 27, the FDIC issued FIL-50-2022 related to recent updates made to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) 2018 Cybersecurity Resource Guide for Financial Institutions. The FFIEC guide is designed to assist financial institutions in meeting their security control objectives and preparing to respond to cyber incidents. The FFIEC guide includes updates to certain references as well as new ransomware-specific resources to address the ongoing threat of ransomware incidents.
OCC announces updated FFIEC cyber resource guide
On October 6, the OCC announced that the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) issued an update to the FFIEC Cybersecurity Resource Guide for Financial Institutions. According to the OCC, the 2022 FFIEC Cybersecurity Resource Guide for Financial Institutions provides a list of voluntary programs and actionable initiatives that are intended to help financial institutions meet their security control objectives and respond to cyber incidents. The 2022 guide rescinds and replaces the 2018 guide, and applies to a wide range of financial institutions including community banks. Highlights of the guidance include: (i) updated resource links for the Assessment, Exercise, Information Sharing, and Response and Reporting categories; and (ii) new ransomware specific resources.
FFIEC releases new HMDA tool
On August 30, the CFPB unveiled the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council’s Quarterly Graphs tool, which permits users to view HMDA mortgage loan data and, for the first time, follow mortgage market trends throughout the collection year. According to the CFPB, the new tool integrates currently available quarterly data submitted by financial institutions who report a combined total of at least 60,000 applications and covered loans (excluding purchased covered loans) for the preceding calendar year. The tool provides graphs for an extensive lists of metrics, including loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income ratios, borrower credit scores, denial rates, interest rates, and total loan costs. The tool also allows users to download graphs in a number of formats, including CSV, XLS, PDF, or custom web link. The tool currently contains data for 2019, 2020, 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, with future quarter data being added as it is available.
Agencies seek comment on renewing FFIEC’s cybersecurity assessment tool
On August 8, the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, and the NCUA (collectively, “Agencies”) issued a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comments on the renewal of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s cybersecurity assessment tool. According to the notice, the Agencies are seeking comment on, among other things: (i) “[w]hether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agencies, including whether the information has practical utility”; (ii) “[t]he accuracy of the Agencies’ estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (iii) how to “enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected”; and (vi) “minimize[ing] the burden of the collection on respondents.” Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Agencies seek comment on CRE loan statement
On August 2, the FDIC, OCC, and NCUA (collectively, “the agencies”) issued a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on an updated policy statement regarding accommodations and workouts for commercial real estate (CRE) loans whose borrowers are experiencing financial difficulty. In 2009, the Policy Statement on Prudent Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts was issued by the FFIEC, which the agencies view “as being useful for both agency staff and financial institutions in understanding risk management and accounting practices for  CRE loan workouts.” Among other things, the statement would include (i) a new section on short-term loan accommodations; (ii) information about changes in accounting principles since 2009; and (iii) revisions and additions to examples of CRE loan workouts. The new updated statement would also “address relevant accounting changes on estimating loan losses and provide updated examples of how to classify and account for loans modified or affected by loan accommodations or loan workout activity.” Specifically, the agencies seek input on how the document reflects sound practices in CRE loan accommodation and what additional information can be included to optimize the guidance of managing CRE loan portfolios.