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On April 24, the OCC issued Bulletin 2020-43 to “remind banks that it has exclusive visitorial authority over them.” The bulletin states that it is important for banks to quickly provide the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses. As such, state and local officials cannot examine banks’ books and records without prior authorization such that they attempt to exercise visitorial authority. Moreover, banks are not required to comply with such requests, and are further encouraged to contact their OCC examiner regarding any state and local requests. State and local officials are likewise encouraged to contact the OCC with any information or questions.
District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking issues bulletin to certain insurance companies
On April 23, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking issued a bulletin to insurers, captives, and risk retention groups regarding modified regulatory filing requirements during the public health emergency. While companies are still required to make all required electronic filings with the NAIC based on modified filing deadlines, if applicable, the department will allow insurers an additional 30 to 60 days, depending on the filing, to complete filings upon a request to the department on or before the normal deadline. The bulletin sets forth the filings eligible for 30- or 60-day extensions. The bulletin also provides guidance regarding electronic filings and signatures. Further, while the department will not conduct any on-site examination work during the stay-at-home order, the department may still request certain electronic records to track trends arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
On April 13, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued Notice #2020-10 addressing obligations of domestic insurance companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. The notice details (i) extensions of 30 or 60 days for various regulatory filing deadlines; (ii) waivers of the hard copy, original signature, notarization and other in-person related filing requirements; and (iii) adjustments for remote examinations.
On April 9, the Wisconsin DFI’s Office of Credit Unions issued a resource guide to answer questions and enable credit unions to continue to conduct business during the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics addressed include the holding of annual meetings, Bank Secrecy Act compliance, board meetings, call report deadlines, and examination protocols, among others.
Florida Office of Financial Regulation issues guidance regarding steps taken to keep staff and stakeholders safe
In April, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) provided information regarding its staff and stakeholders. The guidance provides that OFR is closed to the public and staff are teleworking. Further, registration staff are continuing to process registration applications and examination staff are conducting streamlined, remote examinations using phone and email correspondence.
On April 1, the CFPB published a statement which assured that the Bureau will continue to perform examinations and other supervisory work during the Covid-19 pandemic, reinforcing the Bureau’s mission to protect consumers. The statement explains that the Bureau is taking advantage of technology to fulfill its examination duties and to stay in communication with supervised entities. Additionally, the statement suggests that the Bureau will consider individual circumstances and good faith efforts to comply when performing examination and supervisory work.
In March, the NCUA issued a release expanding its March 16 off-site policy by extending off-site examinations through May 1. In the release, the NCUA outlined its top three priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic, which include: (i) “credit unions experiencing significant financial or operational problems”; (ii) outreach by examiners to all credit unions regarding “the institution’s operational and financial status” during the pandemic; and (iii) the continuation of off-site examinations. The NCUA added that “[i]f credit unions are occupied with addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations, employees, and members, they should not be required to address an offsite examination request unless it is a serious or time-sensitive matter.”
On March 30, the Securities Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department announced that its offices are closed and it will be conducting examinations remotely. The Division also announced that licensing staff continue to process applications and that its enforcement staff will be vigilant to detect and prevent securities fraud and illegal securities sales.
Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services issues FAQs for Consumer Finance Licensees and Registrants
On March 27, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (Department) issued FAQs for Consumer Finance Licensees and Registrants. The FAQs provide responses to questions regarding examinations, the Department’s reduction of services, scams, and working with consumers such as waiving or reducing late fees, offering payment accommodations, and adjusting or modifying terms on existing loans where possible.
On March 27, the FDIC announced an update to guidance it issued on March 16 regarding “steps to protect banks and consumers and to continue operations.” Among the updates, the agency (i) extended telework for all FDIC employees from March 30 until at least April 12; (ii) expanded the period of time the agency will conduct “[s]upervisory and other FDIC activities” off-site through April 12; and (iii) encouraged institutions to communicate with their “Examiner-in-Charge or Regional Director” if they anticipate delays in responding to “normal supervisory requests.”
- Hank Asbill to discuss "The federal fraud sentencing guidelines: It's time to stop the madness" at a New York Criminal Bar Association webinar
- Daniel P Stipano to moderate "Digital identity: The next gen of CIP" at the American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference