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On December 12, the FDIC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) requesting comments on revisions to the agency’s brokered deposit regulations implementing Section 29 of the FDI Act, and also issued an associated factsheet. The regulations were originally implemented in the late 1980s, and the FDIC more recently issued guidance in the form of FAQs in 2016. The FDIC’s NPRM follows an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking issued last December (previously covered by InfoBytes here), that requested feedback on ways in which the agency could improve its brokered deposit regulation. According to the FDIC, the NPRM would modernize and establish a new framework to ensure the “classification of a deposit as brokered appropriately reflects changes in the banking system, including banks’ use of new technologies to engage and interact with their customers.” Among other things, the NPRM would: (i) revise the “facilitation” prong of the deposit broker definition so that it applies to persons who engage in specified activities; (ii) revise two exceptions under Section 29—the first would allow a wholly owned operating subsidiary to be eligible for the insured depository institution exception to the “deposit broker” definition in certain circumstances, while the second would amend the “primary purpose exception” for agents or nominees whose primary purposes are not the placement of funds with insured depository institutions for customers (the FDIC plans to establish an application process for third parties who want to take advantage of the primary purpose exception); and (iii) continue to consider an agent’s placement of brokered CDs as deposit brokering, and continue to be report such deposits as brokered. Chair McWilliams provided remarks (linked here) about brokered deposit regulation at a Brookings Institution event the day before the NPRM was adopted.
Board member Martin Gruenberg voted against the NPRM, stating that the proposal would “significantly weaken” the rule and would narrow the scope of deposits that are considered brokered “without adequate justification and expose the banking system to significantly increased risk.”
Comments on the NPRM are due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.
On March 12, the CFPB released its winter 2019 Supervisory Highlights, which outlines its supervisory and enforcement actions in the areas of auto loan servicing, deposits, mortgage servicing, and remittances. The findings of the report cover examinations that generally were completed between June 2018 and November 2018. Highlights of the examination findings include:
- Auto Loan Servicing. The Bureau determined that attempts to collect miscalculated deficiency balances from extended warranty products were unfair. The Bureau also found that deficiency notices were deceptive where eligible rebates were not sought or applied, although the notice purported to be calculated to include such rebates.
- Deposits. The Bureau found that companies engaged in a deceptive act or practice by failing to adequately disclose that when a payee accepts only a paper check through the institutions online bill-pay service, a debit may occur earlier than the date selected by the consumer.
- Mortgage Servicing. The Bureau noted several issues related to mortgage servicing, including servicers (i) charging consumers late fees greater than the amount permitted by mortgage notes; (ii) misrepresenting the reasons PMI could not be cancelled; and (iii) failing to complete loss mitigation applications with “reasonable diligence.”
- Remittances. The Bureau determined that remittance transfer providers erred when they failed to refund fees and taxes when funds were not made available to recipients by the date listed in the disclosure and the mistake did not result from one of the exceptions listed in the Remittance Rule.
The report notes that in response to most examination findings, the companies have already remediated or have plans to remediate affected consumers, and implement corrective actions, such as new policies and procedures.
Lastly, the report also highlights recent public enforcement actions and guidance documents issued by the Bureau.
On December 19, the FDIC announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) requesting comments on the agency's brokered deposit and interest rate cap regulations. (See also FDIC FIL-87-2018.) These regulations were originally implemented in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and apply to less than well-capitalized insured depository institutions. According to the FDIC, there have been “significant changes in technology, business models, the economic environment, and products since the regulations were adopted.” Currently, Section 29 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act restricts less than well-capitalized insured depository institutions from accepting brokered deposits, and places restrictions on interest rates that these insured depository institutions can offer. The ANPR includes a series of questions seeking feedback on a number of issues, including (i) ways in which the FDIC can improve the implementation of Section 29 “while continuing to protect the safety and soundness of the banking system;” (ii) whether the definition of a brokered deposit is too narrow or too broad; (iii) whether there have been specific changes within the financial services industry since the regulations were adopted that should be considered; (iv) whether there should be changes to the agency’s national rate calculation; and (v) how rates offered by internet or electronic-based financial institutions should be calculated.
The ANPR further notes that the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act created an exception from brokered deposit consideration for some reciprocal deposits. (See previous InfoBytes coverage here.)
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