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Top Story Compliance Related

03/30/2020

FDIC updates steps to protect banks and continue operations

FDIC FIL-29-2020, issued Friday, updates the steps announced on March 16, 2020, to protect banks and consumers and to continue operations. Highlights:

  • All FDIC employees in all FDIC facilities are now engaged in mandatory telework through at least April 12.
  • Supervisory and other FDIC activities at financial institutions will be conducted off-site for an additional two weeks through April 12, and staff has individually contacted institutions with ongoing or upcoming examination activities about their communication preferences during this period.
  • The FDIC will evaluate the necessity of continuing off-site work as we approach April 12.
  • The FDIC recognizes that institutions may have operational or staffing challenges associated with the pandemic that limit the ability of management to respond to normal supervisory requests. Institutions faced with these challenges should contact their Examiner-in-Charge or Regional Director to coordinate the timing of any response so it does not inhibit critical operations at the institution at this difficult time.
  • Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus, the FDIC remains prepared to carry out its mission to insure deposits, promote financial stability, protect consumers, and ensure the safe and sound operation of FDIC-supervised institutions.

03/30/2020

FDIC to accept annual reports delayed by COVID-19

The FDIC has issued FIL-30-2020 to provide additional information and guidance to insured depository institutions (IDIs) subject to Part 363 of the FDIC's regulations that have been affected by COVID-19. Highlights of the statement: As noted in the statement, the FDIC:

  • Recognizes that an IDI may not be able to file its Part 363 Annual Report in a timely manner due to the effects of COVID-19.
  • Provides that the FDIC will not take supervisory action against any IDI for submitting its Part 363 Annual Report or its written notification of late filing as long as the annual report or notification of late filing is submitted within 45 days of the 90- or 120-day report filing deadline.
  • Encourages IDIs to contact the FDIC in advance of the official filing date if the IDI anticipates a delayed submission.
  • Affirms that the staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the state banking regulators have confirmed the FDIC's treatment of the annual report required by Part 363.

03/30/2020

Regulators' actions to support lending

On Friday, the federal bank regulatory agencies announced to actions to support the U.S. economy and allow bankign organizations to continue lending to households and businesses:

  • Allowing early adoption of a new methodology on how certain banking organizations are required to measure counterparty credit risk derivatives contracts; and
  • Providing an optional extension of the regulatory capital transition for the new credit loss accounting standard.

The "standardized approach for measuring counterparty credit risk" rule, also known as SA-CCR, was finalized by the agencies in November 2019, with an effective date of April 1. It reflects improvements made to the derivatives market since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, such as central clearing and margin requirements. To help improve current market liquidity and smooth disruptions, the agencies will permit banking organizations to early adopt SA-CCR for the reporting period ending March 31. UPDATE: Published at 85 FR 17721 on 3/31/2020 as an interim final rule, with a comment period ending 5/15/2020..

Additionally, the agencies issued an interim final rule that allows banking organizations to mitigate the effects of the "current expected credit loss," or CECL, accounting standard in their regulatory capital. Banking organizations that are required under U.S. accounting standards to adopt CECL this year can mitigate the estimated cumulative regulatory capital effects for up to two years. This is in addition to the three-year transition period already in place. Alternatively, banking organizations can follow the capital transition rule issued by the banking agencies in February 2019. UPDATE: Published at 85 FR 17723 on 3/31/2020

The changes will be effective immediately and the agencies will accept comments on the CECL interim final rule for 45 days following publication.

03/27/2020

CFPB offers flexibility to financial companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it is providing needed flexibility to enable financial companies to work with customers in need as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau is postponing some data collections from industry on Bureau-related rules to allow companies to focus on responding to consumers in need and making changes to its supervisory activities to account for operational challenges at regulated entities. The Bureau will not expect quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders as required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Regulation C. The Bureau also will not expect the reporting of certain information related to credit card and prepaid accounts under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z, and Regulation E.

The Bureau is also postponing data collections for:

  • a survey of financial institutions that seeks information on the cost of compliance in connection with pending rulemaking on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and
  • a survey of firms providing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to consumers for the purposes of implementing Section 307 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

03/27/2020

FDIC issues COVID-19-related FILs

The FDIC issued four COVID-19-related Financial Institution Letters yesterday.

  • FIL-25-2020: Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response Efforts
  • FIL-26-2020: Statement encouraging responsible small dollar lending to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19
  • FIL-27-2020: Temporary alternative procedures for sending supervision-related mail and email to FDIC
  • FIL-28-2020: 30 day grace period for First Quarter Call Report

03/27/2020

Regulators encourage making small-dollar loans in response to COVID-19

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve, CFPB, FDIC, NCUA, and the OCC issued a joint statement encouraging banks, savings associations and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19. The statement of the agencies recognizes that responsible small-dollar loans can play an important role in meeting customers' credit needs because of temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income disruptions during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries. Such loans can be offered through a variety of structures including open-end lines of credit, closed-end installment loans, or appropriately structured single payment loans.

In addition to yesterday's statement, the agencies are working on future guidance and lending principles for responsible small-dollar loans to facilitate the ability of banks, credit unions, and saving associations to more effectively meet the ongoing credit needs of their customers, members, and communities.

03/27/2020

OFAC designates networks of officials and companies in Iraq and Iran

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has designated 20 Iran- and Iraq-based front companies, senior officials, and business associates that provide support to or act for or on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) in addition to transferring lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq such as Kata’ib Hizballah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq. For identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

03/27/2020

Bureau extends comment period on FDCPA proposal

On March 3, 2020, the CFPB published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment on a proposal to amend Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to require debt collector to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts (see our earlier Top Story). The comment period was set to close on May 4, 2020. The Bureau has published a notice in the March 27, 2020, Federal Register extending the comment period through June 5, 2020.

03/26/2020

IRA and HSA/MSA deadlines extended to July 15

The IRS has posted an FAQ on Filing and Payment Deadlines that reflects revised deadlines in accordance with IRS Notice 2020-18. The answers to questions 17 and 21 indicate that the deadline for contributing money to an IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA) or Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA) for tax year 2019 follows the deadline for filing returns for 2019, which was postponed to July 15.

03/26/2020

SEC extends exemptions due to COVID-19

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday that it is extending the filing periods covered by its previously enacted conditional reporting relief for certain public company filing obligations under the federal securities laws, and that it is also extending regulatory relief previously provided to funds and investment advisers whose operations may be affected by COVID-19. In addition, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued its current views regarding disclosure considerations and other securities law matters related to COVID-19.

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