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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • Groups Seek Injunction Blocking Trump's "2-For-1" Regulatory Order

    Federal Issues

    On February 8, three organizations—Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America—sued the Trump administration over the President’s recent Executive Order (as clarified by the OMB’s interim guidance issued on February 2), which directs agencies to identify two regulations for repeal for every rule written (covered in InfoBytes here). The action seeks to have the Executive Order declared unconstitutional and enforcement thereby stayed. Among other things, the complaint asserts that the President’s Executive Order unlawfully forces agencies to make decisions based on an “impermissible and arbitrary choice—whether to issue a new standard at the cost of the loss of benefits of two existing standards.” To repeal “two regulations for the purpose of adopting one new one, based solely on a directive to impose zero net costs and without any consideration of benefits,” Plaintiffs argue, “is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.” The case has been assigned to Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for D.C.

    Federal Issues Trump OMB Regulator Enforcement Executive Order

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  • CFPB Reaches Settlement with Arizona-Based Title Lender

    Courts

    On February 2, the CFPB announced a consent order and stipulation in an enforcement action against one of five Arizona-based title lenders under investigation for violations of TILA (see September 23 InfoBytes post). The terms of the February consent order and stipulation include a $10,000 civil money penalty as well as a mandatory requirement that the lender refrain from further violations of TILA and create a comprehensive compliance plan to ensure that its advertising practices for its title lending business conform to all applicable federal consumer financial laws and the terms of the consent order. On November 1 and December 20, 2016, the CFPB posted consent orders and stipulations against three of the other five title lenders (2016-CFPB-0018, 2016-CFPB-0019, 2016-CFPB-0021). The Bureau is still negotiating an agreement with the fifth title lender.

    Courts Consumer Finance CFPB TILA Title Loans Regulator Enforcement

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  • President Trump Issues Executive Order "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs"

    Federal Issues

    On January 30, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at reducing the “costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations” and ensuring that such costs are “prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.” The measure requires all executive departments and agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new regulation they implement. The Order also establishes a regulatory budget of $0 for FY 2017—meaning that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, when adding the cost burden of any new regulation and then subtracting the cost savings of repealed regulations, can be no greater than $0. Thereafter, beginning in FY 2018, each agency will be required to provide the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with its best approximation of the total costs or savings to be expected from any new regulations. To the extent such estimates predict an increase in that Agency or department’s “incremental regulatory costs,” such increase will need to be authorized by the OMB (or by congress via a new law).

    Details concerning how the new budgeting process and cost-offsetting policy will be implemented are left to the Office of Management and Budget, which is directed to provide agencies with guidance. House Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Tom Graves sent a January 30 letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, seeking clarification as to the Bureau’s stance on whether the Trump Administration’s January 20 “Regulatory Freeze” Memorandum—which is similarly directed at “executive agencies”—applies to the CFPB.

    Federal Issues Consumer Finance CFPB House Financial Services Committee Trump Cordray Regulator Enforcement Executive Order

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  • Bank Fined $18.3 Million for Billing Rate Discrepancies

    Courts

    On January 26, a cease-and-desist order was announced between the SEC and the bank regarding alleged violations involving unauthorized advisor fee overcharges affecting at least 60,000 advisory client accounts. The order claims that during a 15-year period, the bank failed to confirm the accuracy of billing rates entered into its computer systems in comparison to fee rates outlined in client contracts, billing histories, and other documents. Furthermore, the order alleges that the bank cannot locate approximately 83,000 advisory contracts for accounts opened from 1990 to 2012, preventing the bank from accurately validating the fee rates billed to clients over the years against the fee rates that were negotiated when the accounts were opened. As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to enhance its fee-billing and books-and-records practices, and will pay an $18.3 million fine.

    Courts Banking Consumer Finance SEC Regulator Enforcement

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