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Fed ends savings '6 per month' limits

The Federal Reserve Board has announced an interim final rule to amend Regulation D (Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions) to delete the six-per-month limit on convenient transfers from the "savings deposit" definition. The interim final rule allows depository institutions immediately to suspend enforcement of the six transfer limit and to allow their customers to make an unlimited number of convenient transfers and withdrawals from their savings deposits at a time when financial events associated with the coronavirus pandemic have made such access more urgent.

Because the Board no longer intends to use reserve requirements as a tool in monetary policy, the Board no longer considers it necessary to distinguish between transaction accounts and savings deposits with respect to reserve requirements.

The Board has also updated its Savings Deposits Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Questions 4 and 5 make it clear that depository institutions may continue to report accounts as "savings deposits" on their FR 2900 reports (this report will continue to be required), or report them as "transaction accounts." Question 10 explains that a depository institution may suspend enforcement of the limits on a temporary basis. Question 11 makes it clear that an institution's imposition of a fee for exceeding a transaction limit is not directly affected by the change.

The interim final rule is effective on publication in the Federal Register

BOL's John Burnett will present a special one-hour webinar, "Limits on Savings Account Transfers—An Update." on Monday, May 18, 2020.


Credit card money launderer pays $6.75M

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a Canadian company, RevenueWire, and its CEO, Roberta Leach, will pay $6.75 million to settle charges they laundered credit card payments for, and assisted and facilitated, two tech support scams previously sued by the FTC. RevenueWire entered into contracts with payment processors to obtain merchant accounts to process credit card charges for its own sales of eBooks and software. The contracts prohibited RevenueWire from submitting third-party sales through its merchant accounts. In reality, however, RevenueWire used its accounts to process credit card charges and collect payments from consumers on behalf of ICE and Vast, two companies that allegedly used tech support scams to bilk consumers out of millions of dollars.


Regulators announce changes to Interim Final Rule

Yesterday, the OCC, Fed, and the FDIC announced a final rule that makes technical changes in the interim final rule that the agencies announced on March 27, 2020. The interim final rule allows certain banks to delay the estimated impact on regulatory capital stemming from the implementation of Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, "Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments" (CECL2). The changes:

  • Specify that Category III banking organizations that elect to use the CECL transition in the interim final rule can adjust total leverage exposure when calculating the supplemental leverage ratio.
  • Clarify that for purposes of calculating the modified CECL transitional amount and modified adjusted allowances for credit losses transitional amount under the interim final rule, the CECL transitional amount, deferred tax assets transitional amount, and adjusted allowances for credit losses transitional amount can be either a positive or negative number.


FDIC guidance and relief for Mississippi storm and flooding damage

The FDIC has issued FIL-47-2020 announcing a series of steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Mississippi affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on April 12.


Contact OFAC regarding deadline delays due to COVID-19

OFAC has posted a reminder encouraging persons, including financial institutions and other businesses, affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic to contact OFAC as soon as practicable if the person believes it may experience delays in its ability to meet deadlines associated with regulatory requirements administered by OFAC. This includes requirements related to filing blocking and reject reports within ten business days as required by 31 C.F.R. 501.603 and 501.604, responses to administrative subpoenas issued pursuant to § 501.602, reports required by general or specific licenses, or any other required reports or submissions.


Temporary Reg O change for PPP loans

The Federal Reserve Board has announced an interim final rule to bolster the effectiveness of the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The change will temporarily modify the Board's Regulation O so that certain bank directors and shareholders can apply for PPP loans for their small businesses. The SBA recently clarified that PPP lenders can make PPP loans to businesses owned by their outside directors and certain shareholders, subject to certain limits and without favoritism. The Board's change will allow those individuals to apply for PPP loans, consistent with SBA's rules and restrictions. The change only applies to PPP loans. The rule change is effective immediately upon publication and will be in place through June 30, 2020.

UPDATE: Published at 85 FR 22345 on 4/22/2020, with comments on the interim final rule due by June 8, 2020.


Final rule raising data reporting thresholds under HMDA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced a final rule raising the loan-volume coverage thresholds for financial institutions reporting data under the Home Mortgage Reporting Act (HMDA).

The final rule, amending Regulation C, increases the permanent threshold for collecting and reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans from 25 to 100 loans effective July 1, 2020. The final rule will also amend Regulation C to increase the permanent threshold for collecting and reporting data about open-end lines of credit from 100 to 200, effective January 1, 2022, when the current temporary threshold of 500 of open-end lines of credit expires. In October 2019, the Bureau extended the temporary open-end threshold until January 1, 2022. But for today’s final rule, the open-end threshold would have reverted to 100 open-end lines of credit upon the expiration of the temporary threshold.

An Executive summary of the final rule includes guidance for institutions transitioning from being reporting institutions to excluded institutions for closed-end mortgage loans effective July 1, 2020.

KATHLEEN BLANCHARD will present a Live Webinar on the New HMDA Changes on May 29, 2020. REGISTER NOW!

The final rule was published at 85 FR 28364 on May 12, 2020.


FDIC postpones modification of signage and ad requirements

The FDIC has announced it will temporarily postpone its efforts to modify its signage and advertising requirements. The agency remains committed to modernizing these rules at a future date to better reflect how banks and savings associations are transforming their business models to take deposits via physical branches, digital, and mobile banking channels.


New FFIEC calculation tools announced

The Federal Institutions Examination Council has announced the availability of two FFIEC federal disclosure computational tools: the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Computational Tool and the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Computational Tool. These web-based tools facilitate supervision of financial institutions with regard to applicable laws and regulations and assist financial institutions in their efforts to comply with those laws and regulations. The OCC has discontinued use of its Annual Percentage Rate Calculation Program for Windows (APRWIN) and Annual Percentage Yield Calculation Program for Windows (APYWIN) in favor of the FFIEC Federal Disclosure Computational Tools. The OCC's APRWIN and APYWIN are no longer available for download.


OSA Annual Servicemember Affairs Report for 2019

The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) has posted its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019.The report is a review of OSA’s activities in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities over the course of FY19, which covers the period from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. Of note to financial institutiions is section 3 of the report, which addresses military consumer complaints. As in past years, the leading complaint subjects were:

  • Credit or consumer reporting
  • Debt collection
  • Mortgages
  • Credit card
  • Checking or savings accounts


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