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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • CSBS challenges OCC’s pending fintech charter

    State Issues

    On December 22, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia opposing the OCC’s impending approval of a national bank charter for a financial services provider (company), arguing that the OCC is exceeding its chartering authority. According to the complaint, the company’s charter is close to being formally approved by the OCC after being “solicited, vetted and in November 2020 accepted as complete” by the agency. The complaint asserts the company will continue its lending and payment activities (which are currently state-regulated) without obtaining deposit insurance from the FDIC. The complaint alleges that the company is applying for the OCC’s nonbank charter, which was invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in October 2019 (which concluded that the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charter (SPNB) should be “set aside with respect to all fintech applicants seeking a national bank charter that do not accept deposits,” covered by InfoBytes here). CSBS argues that “by accepting and imminently approving” the company’s application, the “OCC has gone far beyond the limited chartering authority granted to it by Congress under the National Bank Act (the “NBA”) and other federal banking laws,” as the company is not engaged in the “business of banking.” CSBS seeks to, among other things, have the court declare the agency’s nonbank charter program unlawful and prohibit the approval of the company’s charter under the NBA without obtaining FDIC insurance.

    State Issues CSBS OCC Fintech National Bank Act Courts Preemption NYDFS Fintech Charter Bank Regulatory FDIC

  • CSBS and others release ransomware mitigation tool

    State Issues

    On October 13, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), joined by the Bankers Electronic Crimes Task Force and the U.S. Secret Service, released a self-assessment tool to help supervised financial institutions mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks. The tool will also help financial institutions assess how well they are managing risks and identify gaps for increasing security. CSBS developed the tool in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service and the Bankers Electronic Crimes Task Force as incidents of ransomware have been on the rise and continue to spread.

    State Issues CSBS Ransomware Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security

  • CSBS discusses CARES Act response in congressional letter

    Federal Issues

    On October 9, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) wrote to the ranking members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee with an update on the organization’s efforts regarding the CARES Act and oversight of nonbank mortgage servicers. CSBS notes that state regulators are the primary authority over nonbank mortgage servicers, and during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state regulators “identified liquidity as a supervisory priority.” Thus, according to CSBS, state regulators have been actively monitoring liquidity and other business operations by seeking real time data and other updates from nonbank mortgage servicers. Moreover, CSBS discusses the efforts made in response to the CARES Act, including consumer and servicer guidance issued in conjunction with the CFPB (covered by InfoBytes here and here), as well as examination procedure guidance. Lastly, the letter highlights the organization’s recent release of proposed regulatory prudential standards for nonbank mortgage servicers. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the proposal includes baseline standards that would apply to all covered servicers and enhanced standards—covering capital, liquidity, stress testing, and living will/recovery and resolution planning—that would apply to certain larger servicers. CSBS concludes the letter with a commitment for “continued coordination and information exchange with federal agencies.”

    Federal Issues State Issues Covid-19 CARES Act Supervision CSBS Senate Banking Committee House Financial Services Committee

  • CSBS proposes prudential standards for state-licensed nonbank mortgage servicers

    State Issues

    On October 1, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) requested public comment on proposed regulatory prudential standards for nonbank mortgage servicers. According to CSBS, the proposal is being issued to address concerns about nonbank mortgage servicers, including the rapid market share growth, institution size, and financial stability and governance. The goals of the proposal are to (i) “[p]rovide better protection for borrowers, investors and other stakeholders in the occurrence of a stress event. . .[that] could result in harm”; (ii) “[e]nhance effective regulatory oversight and market discipline over these entities”; and (iii) “[i]mprove transparency, accountability, risk management and corporate governance standards.” Highlights of the proposal include:

    • Baseline Standards. CSBS notes that the baseline standards, which cover eight areas—capital, liquidity, risk management, data standards and integrity, data protection/cyber risk, corporate governance, servicing transfer requirements and change of control—will represent regulatory requirements for state-licensed nonbank mortgage servicers and will “leverage existing standards or generally accepted business practices” in order to minimize the regulatory burden.
    • Enhanced Standards. CSBS is proposing enhanced standards that would apply to servicers owning whole loans plus mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) totaling the lesser of $100 billion or representing at least a 2.5 percent total market share based on Mortgage Call Report quarterly data of licensed nonbank owned whole loans and MSRs (known as “Complex Servicers”). The enhanced standards would be applied to capital, liquidity, stress testing and living will/recovery and resolution planning. Additionally, the proposal notes that regulators may determine a nonbank mortgage servicer that does not meet the definition of Complex Servicer is still subject to the enhanced standards based on “a unique risk profile, growth, market importance, or financial condition of the institution.”

    Comments on the proposal are due by December 31.

    State Issues Licensing Nonbank Mortgage Servicing CSBS Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

  • CSBS announces first MSB Accreditation

    State Issues

    On September 28, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced that the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions received its first Money Service Business (MSB) Accreditation. According to the announcement, the MSB Accreditation—which is offered by CSBS together with the Money Transmitter Regulators Association—certifies that the “state has the resources and necessary processes in place to ensure MSBs in that state operate safely and soundly, follow BSA/AML standards and abide by state and federal consumer protection laws.”

    The Accreditation is part of the CSBS Vision 2020 program. Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on CSBS Vision 2020 here.

    State Issues Money Service / Money Transmitters State Regulators Vision 2020 Licensing CSBS Fintech

  • CSBS announces single exam for money transmitters

    State Issues

    On September 15, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced the launch of a single, streamlined examination for money transmitters operating nationwide (i.e., in 40 or more states), known as “MSB Networked Supervision.” The single exam—which will apply to “78 of the nation’s largest payments and cryptocurrency companies”—will be led by one state overseeing a group of examiners sourced from around the country. MSB Networked Supervision is a result of recommendations from the CSBS Fintech Industry Advisory Panel and CSBS Vision 2020 (covered by InfoBytes here).

    State Issues Money Service / Money Transmitters State Regulators Examination Supervision Vision 2020 Licensing CSBS Fintech

  • Agencies give guidance on working with borrowers affected by hurricane, wildfires

    Federal Issues

    On September 1, the Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued a joint statement covering supervisory practices for financial institutions affected by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires. Among other things, the agencies called on financial institutions to “work constructively” with affected borrowers, noting that “prudent efforts” to adjust loan terms in affected areas “should not be subject to examiner criticism.” Institutions facing difficulties in complying with any publishing and reporting requirements should contact their primary federal and/or state regulator. Additionally, the agencies noted that institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services that revitalize or stabilize federally designated disaster areas.

    Additionally, HUD announced it will make disaster assistance available to Louisiana, which will provide foreclosure relief and other assistance to homeowners living in parishes affected by Hurricane Laura. Specifically, HUD is providing an automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages for covered properties and is making FHA insurance available to those victims whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Additionally, HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program will allow individuals who have lost homes to finance the purchase of a house, or refinance an existing house along with the costs of repair, through a single mortgage.  The program will also allow homeowners with damaged property to finance the rehabilitation of existing single-family homes.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief HUD FDIC OCC Federal Reserve NCUA CSBS

  • Federal agencies and CSBS to hold webinar on PPP

    Federal Issues

    On August 20, the FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, OCC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors  announced that a webinar will be held with SBA officials discussing the loan forgiveness process and recent changes in the Paycheck Protection Program on Thursday, August 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT). Participants must preregister for the webinar and are encouraged to email questions in advance to An archive of the webinar materials will be available here, a few hours after the webinar ends.


  • CSBS: OCC’s proposed “non-branch” provisions undermine dual banking system

    Federal Issues

    On August 3, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued its comment letter to the OCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) on national bank and savings association activities concerning “non-branch” offices. Specifically, CSBS wrote that the “non-branch” provisions in the NPR make “far-reaching” revisions without legal authority, undermine the dual banking system, conflict with National Bank Act (NBA) preemption limits, and would allow national banks to operate branches without complying with related Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations. Additionally, CSBS contended that the OCC’s rulemaking process is “truncated and flawed,” and afforded a particularly brief period for public comments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    According to CSBS, the NPR, announced in June (covered by InfoBytes here), would “expand the scope of activities that may occur at non-branch offices purportedly without regard” to state restrictions.  These activities include: (i) performing loan approval and origination functions at a single, publicly accessible office; (ii) disbursing loan proceeds through an operating subsidiary; and (iii) establishing drop boxes and other unstaffed facilities. CSBS also contended that the NPR’s non-branch provisions would undermine Congressional intent and give national banks competitive advantages over state-charted banks. CSBS further argued that the non-branch provisions conflict with Congress’ clear intention that “NBA preemption does not apply to agents, affiliates or subsidiaries of national banks.” Finally, CSBS highlighted a distinction between the proposed non-branches (but de facto branches) and actual branch offices, arguing that the NPR creates a legal loophole allowing non-branch national banks to avoid CRA obligations associated with licensed branches.

    Federal Issues OCC CSBS Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Fintech National Bank Act CRA

  • OCC proposes True Lender rule

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On July 20, the OCC issued a proposed rule (see also Bulletin 2020-70) that addresses when a national bank or federal savings association (bank) is the “true lender” in the context of a partnership between a bank and a third party in order to clarify uncertainties about the legal framework that applies. Specifically, the proposed rule amends 12 CFR part 7 to state that “a bank makes a loan when, as of the date of origination, it (i) is named as lender in the loan agreement or (ii) funds the loan.” The OCC notes that the proposal intends to cover situations where the bank “has a predominant economic interest in the loan,” as the original funder, even if it is not “the named lender in the loan agreement as of the date of origination.”

    In response, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued a statement opposing the proposal, stating that “the true lender doctrine is and should remain a matter of state law.”

    As previously covered by InfoBytes, the OCC and the FDIC recently issued final rules clarifying that whether interest on a loan is permissible under federal law is determined at the time the loan is made and is not affected by the sale, assignment, or other transfer of the loan, effectively reversing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s 2015 Madden v. Midland Funding decision. At the time, both agencies chose not to address the “true lender” issue.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC True Lender Valid When Made Madden CSBS State Issues FDIC


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