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InfoBytes Blog

Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • Treasury Renews Unchanged Information Collection on Designation of Financial Market Utilities; Seeks Public Comment


    On March 28, the Treasury Department issued a request for comment on its plan to renew an information collection, without change, on the designation of Financial Market Utilities (FMUs) as systemically important financial institutions. According to the Treasury’s notice, the information will be used by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to “determine whether to designate or rescind the designation of an FMU under Title VIII” of the Dodd-Frank Act. The request for comment allows FMUs to submit written materials to the FSOC before the Council makes a designation decision and also permits an FMU to request a hearing or submit materials to contest the FSOC’s proposed determination. Comments on the information collection must be received by April 27, 2017 as instructed on the notice’s publication in the Federal Register.

    Fintech Department of Treasury Federal Register Dodd-Frank FSOC SIFA

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  • CFPB Will Renew Four Advisory Councils

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On February 23, the CFPB published four notices in the Federal Register to renew three advisory councils and one advisory board for an additional two year period, covering the Academic Research Council, Community Banker Advisory Council, Consumer Advisory Board, and Credit Union Advisory Council. According to each respective notice, these entities have been reestablished for the purposes of providing information and recommendations in accordance with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Each notice is effective as of its publication date and charters filed for each entity are set to expire two years after the filing date unless renewed again.

    • The Academic Research Council provides the CFPB’s Office of Research with “advice and feedback on research methodologies, framing research questions, data collection, and analytic strategies.”
    • The Community Banker Advisory Council provides information and recommendations concerning the Bureau’s exercise of its authority under the federal consumer financial laws “as they pertain to banks or thrifts with total assets of $10 billion or less.”
    • The Consumer Advisory Board provides information and recommendations concerning the Bureau’s policy development, rulemaking, and enforcement functions, including on “emerging practices in the consumer financial products or services industry, including regional trends, concerns, and other relevant information.”
    • The Credit Union Advisory Council provides information and recommendations concerning the “Bureau’s policy development, rulemaking, and engagement functions as they relate to credit unions.”

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Consumer Finance Advisory Board Advisory Council CFPB Federal Register

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  • FinCEN Proposes SAR Data Fields Revisions

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    FinCEN published, at 82 FR 9109 in the Federal Register, a notice and request for comment on proposed updates and revisions to the collection of information filings by financial institutions required to file such reports under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). While the notice does not propose any new regulatory requirements or changes to the requirements related to suspicious activity reporting, it suggests changes to the required data fields used when filing SARs under the BSA. The majority of the proposed changes would alter the "checklist" of violations in Part II of the filings, including the addition of several fields related to cyber events. Written comments must be received on or before April 3.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Bank Secrecy Act Federal Register FinCEN

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  • Special Alert: Trump Administration Initiates "Regulatory Freeze"

    Consumer Finance

    On January 20, Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff to President Trump, issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies initiating a regulatory review to be headed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).  Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) has been nominated to fill that position.

    On behalf of the President, the memorandum asks the following of the agency and department heads:

    • No new regulations: “[S]end no regulation to the Office of the Federal Register (the ‘OFR’) until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2017, reviews and approves the regulation.”
    • Withdraw final but unpublished regulations: “With respect to regulations that have been sent to the OFR but not published in the Federal Register, immediately withdraw them from the OFR for review and approval.”
    • Delay the effective date of published but not yet effective regulations: “With respect to regulations that have been published in the OFR but have not taken effect, as permitted by applicable law, temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days from the date of this memorandum” and consider notice and comment to further delay the effective date or to address “questions of fact, law, or policy.”  Following the delay, regulations that “raise no substantial questions of law or policy” would be allowed to take effect.  For those regulations that do raise such questions, the agency or department “should notify the OMB Director and take further appropriate action in consultation with the OMB Director.”

    Rulemakings subject to statutory or judicial deadlines are exempt, and the OMB Director has the authority to grant further exemptions for “emergency situations or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial, or national security matters, or otherwise.”


    Click here to read full special alert



    * * *


    If you have questions about the “freeze” or other related issues, visit our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau practice for more information, or contact a BuckleySandler attorney with whom you have worked in the past.

    Consumer Finance CFPB Special Alerts Trump Federal Register OFR

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  • New FHFA Rule Requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Submit Underserved Markets Plan

    Federal Issues

    FHFA published a final rule in the December 18 Federal Register implementing certain “Duty to Serve” provisions of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Among other things, these provisions require that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adopt formal plans to improve the availability of mortgage financing in a “safe and sound manner” for residential properties that serve “very low-, low-, and moderate-income families” in three specified underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets. FHFA’s new rule addresses this obligation by requiring both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to submit to FHFA a three-year “Underserved Markets Plan” that describes the activities and objectives they will undertake to meet their Duty to Serve requirements. The Plans will become effective January 2018, after which time, the new rule requires further that FHFA annually evaluate, rate, and report to Congress each Enterprise's compliance with its Duty to Serve obligations as required by the statute.

    Federal Issues Mortgages Freddie Mac Fannie Mae FHFA Federal Register

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  • ABA Sues Credit Union Regulator Over Field of Membership Rule


    On December 7, the American Bankers Association (ABA) filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn a final rule published by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in that morning’s Federal Register. The final rule purports to “implement changes in policy affecting: The definition of a local community, a rural district, and an underserved area; the chartering and expansion of a multiple common bond credit union; the expansion of a single common bond credit union that serves a trade, industry or profession; and the process for applying to charter, or to expand, a federal credit union.”

    ABA’s law suit contends, among other things, that by “fail[ing] to adhere to the limitations on federal credit unions established by Congress,” the NCUA’s final rule “upsets the balance Congress struck between granting federal credit unions tax-favored status and limiting their operations to carefully circumscribed groups or localities that share a common bond.” Under the final rule, scheduled to take effect Feb. 6, Federal Credit Unions (FCUs) can apply to serve entire geographic regions, so-called “rural districts” up to 1 million people (which include the entirety of Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont or Wyoming), and areas contiguous to their existing service areas. NCUA is also facilitating easier conversions to community charters.

    Courts Banking NCUA Federal Register Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

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