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06/14/2021

Other agency agendas

Other agencies also published their Spring 2021 Regulatory Agendas.

The Federal Reserve and FinCEN plan to issue a final rule in September that would apply information collection requirements to domestic and cross-border transactions involving cryptocurrencies.

FinCEN intends to issue a final rule in November to impose BSA recordkeeping and identity verification requirements to transactions involving convertible virtual currency or digital assets with legal tender status.

The Fed, FDIC and OCC continue to work toward modernization of their CRA regulations.

06/14/2021

CFPB spring 2021 rulemaking agenda

The Bureau has published its Spring 2001 Regulatory Agenda, which is part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Bureau's agenda lists the regulatory matters that, to further its consumer protection mission and mandate, the Bureau is currently pursuing under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent Director.

COVID-19 pre-foreclosure review period. The CFPB expects to issue a final rule by the end of June amending Regulation X to help ensure that borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have an opportunity to be evaluated for loss mitigation before the initiation of foreclosure. The Bureau issued proposed amendments on April 5 that would prevent initial foreclosure actions until after December 31, 2021.

Extension of FDCPA rules.The Bureau expects to finalize its April 7 proposal to extend by 60 days the effective date of two recent final rules issued to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for third-party collectors.

Small business lending data. The Bureau expects to issue a notice in September 2021 of proposed rulemaking to implement section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information about credit applications by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

Availability of consumer financial account data. The Bureau continues to review comments from its November 2020 advance notice of proposed rulemaking to implement section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act to address the availability of consumer financial account data in electronic form.

Standards for Automated Valuation Models (AVMs). The Bureau is pursuing an interagency rulemaking with the Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations to implement the amendments made by the Dodd-Frank Act to FIRREA concerning appraisals. The FIRREA amendments require implementing regulations for quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs).

Transition from LIBOR. The Bureau expects to issue a final rule in January 2022 amending Regulation Z to lessen the financial impact to consumers and facilitate creditor compliance by providing examples of replacement indices that meet Regulation Z requirements.

06/14/2021

New American Rescue Plan FAQs from IRS

The IRS has announced it has posted two new, separate sets of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) to assist families and small and min-sized employers in claiming credits under the American Rescue Plan (ARP):

  • Child and dependent care credit - For 2021, the ARP increased the maximum amount of work-related expenses for qualifying care that may be taken into account in calculating the credit, increased the maximum percentage of those expenses for which the credit may be taken, modified how the credit is reduced for higher earners, and made it refundable.
  • Paid sick and family leave credits - The FAQs include information on how eligible employers may claim the paid sick and family leave credits, including how to file for and compute the applicable credit amounts, and how to receive advance payments for and refunds of the credits. Under the ARP, eligible employers, including businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, may claim tax credits for qualified leave wages and certain other wage-related expenses (such as health plan expenses and certain collectively bargained benefits) paid with respect to leave taken by employees April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

06/14/2021

Non-profits and private firms compete for SBA funding

The SBA has announced that non-profit organizations and private sector firms are now eligible to compete for funding of up to $500,000 to deliver federal procurement training to veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. The application period began on Friday and runs thru through July 12, 2021. Awards will be made for a base project period of 12 months, with three option periods of 12 months each. Funding will be used to cover the costs of educating veterans and service-disabled veterans who intend to pursue, or are already engaged in, federal procurement.

Eligible organizations must submit applications for the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 12, 2021, through Grants.gov. Search for opportunity number SB-OVVT-21-001. Applications not submitted via Grants.gov will not be evaluated.

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development will host a conference call on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 2 p.m. EDT to answer questions related to the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program grant announcement.

06/11/2021

FHFA seeks guidance on exec compensation

the Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a Request for Input on executive compensation at the regulated entities: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. The information that FHFA is requesting will enhance the Agency's oversight of executive compensation as required by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

The RFI asks 25 questions designed to enhance the FHFA's ability to ensure that the regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner and fulfill their statutory missions while limiting executive officers to reasonable and comparable compensation, considering relevant factors including their status as government-sponsored enterprises, their public missions, and their obligation to operate and carry out their activities in the public interest. The last time FHFA reviewed executive compensation at the Enterprises was in 2012.

The FHFA will accept comments on the RFI submitted electronically or by mail through August 9, 2021.

06/11/2021

OFAC sanctions smuggling network

Yesterday, OFAC designated members of a smuggling network that helps fund Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and the Houthis in Yemen. OFAC's action was taken under the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended. The IRGC-QF was designated under E.O. 13224 in 2007 for support to numerous terrorist groups.

OFAC and the Department of State also lifted sanctions on three former Government of Iran officials, and two companies formerly involved in the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of Iranian petrochemical products. These delistings are a result of a verified change in behavior or status on the part of the sanctioned parties,

For details on the parties affected by OFAC's actions, see the June 10, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

06/11/2021

FDIC guidance on recovery after Louisiana storms

The FDIC has issued FIL-40-2021 with guidance and steps to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Louisiana affected by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding May 17–21..

06/11/2021

Fed publishes proposed Reg J amendments

The Federal Reserve Board published its proposal to amend Regulation J to govern funds transfers over the Federal Reserve Banks' FedNow℠ Service at 86 FR 31376 in Friday's Federal Register. Comments on the proposal are due by August 10, 2021.

06/10/2021

New Western Balkans Executive Order

OFAC has reported that the president has issued a new Executive Order,"Blocking Property and Suspending Entry into the United States of Certain Persons Contributing to the Destabilizing Situation in the Western Balkans."

06/10/2021

CFPB Reg E FAQs on unauthorized EFTs

The CFPB has posted a series of eight FAQs on unauthorized electronic fund transfers and error resolution under Regulation E on a new Electronic Fund Transfers compliance resource webpage. The FAQs address these topics:

  • Fraudulent inducement to share account access information
  • Consumer negligence and liability for unauthorized EFTs
  • Modification or waiver of Regulation E protections
  • Regulation E and private network rules
  • Conditioning error investigations on police reports, etc.
  • Requiring a consumer to contact the merchant before starting an investigation
  • Determining consumer liability for unauthorized EFTs

06/10/2021

OFAC sanctions Nicaraguan officials

The Treasury Department has reported that OFAC has designated four individuals who support the Ortega regime in Nicaragua. The individuals sanctioned on June 9 are Camila Antonia Ortega Murillo, the Coordinator of the Creative Economy Commission and daughter of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega; Leonardo Ovidio Reyes Ramirez, President of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN); Edwin Ramon Castro Rivera, a deputy of the Nicaraguan National Assembly (NNA); and Julio Modesto Rodriguez Balladares, a Brigadier General of the Nicaraguan Army and Executive Director of the Military Social Welfare Institute (IPSM).

Yesterday’s action, taken under the authority of Executive Order 13851, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua,” targets individuals who are officials of the Government of Nicaragua or who have served as officials of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007.

As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by such individuals are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

For identification information on the four designated individuals, see the June 9, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

06/10/2021

Reserve Banks released two outstanding CRA evals in May

The Federal Reserve Banks released two CRA evaluations rated Outstanding in May 2021. We congratulate:

The Reserve Banks also released 13 CRA evaluations in May with Satisfactory ratings.

06/10/2021

2.3M more EIP3 payments disbursed

The IRS has announced it has disbursed more than 2.3 million additional Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan. The announcement covers the most recent two weeks of the effort. That brings the total disbursed so far to more than 169 million payments. They represent a total value of approximately $395 billion since these payments began rolling out to Americans in batches on March 12.

06/10/2021

FTC sends $30M in refunds to schools scam victims

The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $30 million in refunds to people tricked by agents working on behalf of Career Education Corporation (currently operating as Perdoceo Education Corporation), the operator of several post-secondary schools. CEC’s lead generators tricked consumers into providing their information and enrolling at CEC schools using a variety of deceptive methods, including pretending to be U.S. military recruiters, or affiliated with the military, and falsely promising to provide assistance with job placement and various public benefits, according to the FTC’s complaint. CEC’s lead generators tricked consumers into providing their information and enrolling at CEC schools using a variety of deceptive methods, including pretending to be U.S. military recruiters, or affiliated with the military, and falsely promising to provide assistance with job placement and various public benefits.

The FTC mailed approximately $30 million to more than 8,000 recipients yesterday. The average refund is more than $3,700 per person, the largest per person average in the agency’s history.

06/10/2021

SEC updates PAUSE list

The SEC has announced that it has updated its Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 55 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and five bogus regulators.

06/09/2021

IRS reminder of estimated tax deadline

The IRS has issued a reminder that taxpayers who pay estimated taxes of the June 15 deadline to make their estimated tax payment for the second quarter of tax year 2021 without penalty. Individual taxpayers can use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant online to see if they are required to pay estimated taxes. They can also see the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, for more details on who must pay estimated tax.

06/09/2021

Rural Housing Service proposes loan program amendments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service has published [86 FR 30565] a proposed rule that would amend the current regulation for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) at 7 CFR 3555 to update the requirements for Federally supervised lenders, minimum net worth and experience for non-supervised lenders, approved lender participation requirements, treatment of applicants with delinquent child support payments and builder credit requirements.

The changes are being proposed to promote an efficient and robust management and oversight structure of lenders in the SFHGLP, strengthen underwriting practices by denying loan guarantees for applicants who are subject to administrative offset to collect delinquent child support payments, and streamline requirements for screening builder-contractors by lenders.

Comments on the proposal are due by August 9, 2021.

06/08/2021

Consumers misled by rent-to-own provider getting refunds

The Federal Trade Commission is returning more than $172 million to consumers who overpaid for merchandise they purchased using rent-to-own plans provided by Progressive Leasing. More than two million consumers will receive refund checks.

The FTC’s August 2020 complaint against the company alleged that Progressive misled consumers about the true price of items purchased through its plans. Consumers who visited retailers to buy items such as furniture, jewelry, or cellphones frequently were told that Progressive’s payment plans were “same as cash” or “no interest” – leading consumers to believe they would not be charged more than an item’s sticker price. Instead, the complaint alleged, consumers paid more than the sticker price, and frequently paid approximately twice the sticker price if they made all their scheduled payments.

The FTC also alleged that Progressive was aware of consumers’ confusion about the terms of their plans through tens of thousands of consumer complaints, with more than 15,000 complaints received just in one 15-month period.

More than two million consumers are receiving refunds, averaging $85 each.

06/08/2021

Freddie Mac updates 2nd home and investment property requirements

Freddie Mac has posted Bulletin 2021-21 and Guide Bulletin 2021-21 announcing a new cap structure on the sale of mortgages secured by second homes and/or investment properties.

For Sellers that sell more than five loans secured by second homes and/or investment properties, such loans may not be more than 6.5% of total monthly unpaid principal balance (UPB) for July sales, and thereafter not more than 6%.

This new policy will help Freddie Mac manage to the acquisition limit that the amended and restated Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (PSPA) has placed on Freddie Mac. The amended PSPA requires Freddie Mac to limit its purchases of mortgages secured by second homes and/or investment properties to 7% of total purchases. This is measured by funded UPB on a rolling basis using the prior 52-week period.

This cap is intended to be temporary and may be revised as needed.

06/08/2021

Federal Reserve consumer credit data

The Federal Reserve has posted April 2021 G.19 Consumer Credit data indicating that consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.3 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7.6 percent.

06/08/2021

Fed bank stress test results due June 24

The Federal Reserve Board announced on Monday that results from its bank stress tests will be released on Thursday, June 24, at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Stress tests help ensure that banks have adequate capital to absorb losses so that they can lend to households and businesses even in a severe recession. For the 2021 stress tests, the resilience of large banks is being tested against a hypothetical recession featuring a severe global downturn with substantial stress in commercial real estate and corporate debt markets.

Banks with more than $100 billion in total consolidated assets are subject to the Board's stress tests. The smaller banks among those subject to the Board's stress test are only required to participate every other year with all firms participating last year. For this year's test, four firms voluntarily opted-in: BMO Financial Corp., MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, RBC US Group Holdings LLC, and Regions Financial Corporation.

06/08/2021

IRS letter to families eligible for Child Tax Credits

The Internal Revenue Service reportsd it has started sending letters to more than 36 million American families who, based on tax returns filed with the agency, may be eligible to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments starting in July. The expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March.

The letters are going to families who may be eligible based on information they included in either their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return or who used the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment. Families who are eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment, which begins July 15.

Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. The payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17. The other scheduled dates for these payments are August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15 and December 15.

Most families do not need to take any action to get their payment. Normally, the IRS will calculate the payment amount based on the 2020 tax return. If that return is not available, either because it has not yet been filed or processed, the IRS will instead determine the payment amount using the 2019 return. The IRS urges individuals and families who haven't yet filed their 2020 return – or 2019 return – to do so as soon as possible so they can receive any advance payment they're eligible for.

Filing soon will also ensure that the IRS has their most current banking information, as well as key details about qualifying children. This includes people who don't normally file a tax return, such as families experiencing homelessness, the rural poor, and other underserved groups.

For most people, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is by using the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.

The IRS has created a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page at IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021, designed to provide the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments.

In the next few weeks, the page will also feature other useful new online tools, including:

  • An interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility tool to help families determine whether they qualify for the Advance Child Tax Credit payments.
  • Another tool, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will initially enable anyone who has been determined to be eligible for advance payments to unenroll or opt out of the advance payment program. Later this year, it will allow people to check on the status of their payments, make updates to their information, and be available in Spanish. More details will be available soon about the online Child Tax Credit Update Portal.

06/07/2021

Credit union performance data released

The NCUA has released credit union financial performance data for the first quarter of 2021. The NCUA's Quarterly Data Summary Report indicates that federally insured credit unions reported net income growth of $11.3 billion, or 134.9 percent, over the year ending in the first quarter of 2021. The increase in net income was due in large part to strong growth in other operating income and a decline in the provisioning for loan, lease, and credit loss expenses. Insured shares and deposits rose $286 billion, or 22.4 percent, to $1.56 trillion over the same period.

06/07/2021

IRS sending over 2.8M refunds to unemployment comp recipients

The IRS has announced it is sending more than 2.8 million refunds this week to taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation that new legislation now excludes as income. IRS efforts to correct unemployment compensation overpayments will help most affected taxpayers avoid filing an amended tax return.

So far, the IRS has identified 13 million taxpayers that may be eligible for the adjustment. Some will receive refunds, which will be issued periodically, and some will have the overpayment applied to taxes due or other debts. For some there will be no change. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) excluded up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation per taxpayer paid in 2020. The $10,200 is the maximum amount that can be excluded when calculating taxable income; it is not the amount of refunds. The IRS plans to issue the next set of refunds in mid-June. The review of returns and processing corrections will continue during the summer as the IRS continues to review the simplest returns and then turns to more complex returns.

Taxpayers will receive letters from the IRS, generally within 30 days of the adjustment, informing them of what kind of adjustment was made (such as refund, payment of IRS debt payment or payment offset for other authorized debts) and the amount of the adjustment.

06/07/2021

FOMC sets tentative 2022 meeting schedule

The Federal Open Market Committee has announced its tentative meeting schedule for 2022.

06/07/2021

OCC releases CRA evaluations made public in May

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has released a list of 18 Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations of OCC-supervised institutions that became public in May 2021. Eleven of the evaluations listed were rated Satisfactory. We congratulate the seven institutions that received evaluation ratings of Outstanding:

  • Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, Georgia
  • Presidential Bank, FSB, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Riverwood Bank, Baxter, Minnesota
  • The Vinton County National Bank, McArthur, Ohio
  • First National Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Texas National Bank, Mercedes, Texas
  • Hilltop National Bank, Casper, Wyoming
  • 06/04/2021

    New Executive Order on Chinese Military-Industrial complex

    The president has signed new Executive Order 14032, "Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Certain Companies of the People's Republic of China," and OFAC has issued new, and revised existing, FAQs. OFAC also added a new Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List (using the label "CMIC-EO") and added a number of entities to that list.

    For details, see the June 3, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update

    Updated 6/7/2021 to add EO number.

    06/04/2021

    CFPB adds FAQs on escrow accounts

    The CFPB has added to its Mortgage Servicing FAQs webpage a set of 23 new FAQs that discuss selected topics relating to escrow accounts under Regulation X. The new FAQs provide a general overview of the escrow account provisions in Regulation X and address topics such as deficiencies, shortages, and surpluses. They were added under four topic groups:

    A current print-friendly version of the Mortgage Servicing FAQs is also available.

    06/04/2021

    Former personal banker banned from industry

    The Federal Reserve Board has announced it has executed a consent order of prohibition against Jennifer Bradford, formerly a personal banker at BBVA USA, Birmingham, Alabama, upon findings that she had misappropriated funds from the bank and one of its customers.

    06/04/2021

    FDIC releases June list of CRA evaluation ratings

    The FDIC has released its June 2021 List of Banks Examined for CRA Compliance. Of the 86 banks listed, 81 received Satisfactory ratings, one received a Needs to Improve rating, and these four banks received Outstanding ratings:

    06/04/2021

    FHFA extends multifamily forbearance thru 9/30

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners through September 30, 2021, subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic. This is the third extension of the programs, which were set to expire June 30, 2021.

    Property owners with Enterprise-backed multifamily mortgages can enter a new or, if qualified, modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Property owners who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must:

    • Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner's forbearance and repayment periods; and
    • Agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.

    Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods. These protections include:

    • Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;
    • Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent; and
    • Allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum.

    06/03/2021

    Fed finalizes Reg D interest on reserves rule

    The Federal Reserve Board has issued a final rule amending Regulation D to eliminate references to an interest on required reserves (IORR) rate and to an interest on excess reserves (IOER) rate and replace them with a single interest on reserve balances (IORB) rate. The final rule also simplifies the formula used to calculate the amount of interest to be paid on such balances and makes other minor conforming amendments. The rule takes effect on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

    PUBLICATION UPDATE and COMMENT: Published 6/4/2021 at 86 FR 29937. There appear to be errors in the amendatory instructions, and we have noted them in posting the amendments to the BankersOnline Regulations pages for Regulation D.

    06/03/2021

    Fed to wind down SMCCF

    The Federal Reserve Board announced on Wednesday plans to begin winding down the portfolio of the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), a temporary emergency lending facility that closed on December 31st, 2020. The SMCCF proved vital in restoring market functioning last year, supporting the availability of credit for large employers, and bolstering employment through the COVID-19 pandemic.

    SMCCF portfolio sales will be gradual and orderly, and will aim to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on market functioning by taking into account daily liquidity and trading conditions for exchange traded funds and corporate bonds. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which manages the operations of the SMCCF, will announce additional details soon and before sales begin.

    The SMCCF was established with the approval of the Treasury Secretary and equity provided by the Treasury Department under the CARES Act.

    06/03/2021

    OFAC sanctions three Bulgarians and their network

    On Wednesday, Treasury announced that OFAC had sanctioned three Bulgarian individuals for their extensive roles in corruption in Bulgaria, as well as their networks encompassing 64 entities.

    This action targets Vassil Kroumov Bojkov, a prominent Bulgarian businessman and oligarch; Delyan Slavchev Peevski, a former Member of Parliament; Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov, the former Deputy Chief of the Bulgarian State Agency for Technical Operations who was appointed to the National Bureau for Control on Special Intelligence-Gathering Devices; and the companies owned or controlled by the respective individuals.

    For identification information on the three individuals and 64 entities, see the June 2, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update.

    06/03/2021

    $35M HUD grant for Camden, NJ redevelopment

    HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge has announced a $35 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant awarded to the Housing Authority of the City of Camden and the City of Camden Cramer Hill Neighborhood. The award will be used to redevelop severely distressed housing and spur comprehensive revitalization under HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Program.

    06/03/2021

    June Beige Book released

    The June 2, 2021, edition of the Beige Book has been posted by the Federal Reserve Board. The National Summary reports that the national economy expanded at a moderate pace from early April to late May, a somewhat faster rate than the prior reporting period. Several Districts cited the positive effects on the economy of increased vaccination rates and relaxed social distancing measures, while they also noted the adverse impacts of supply chain disruptions. The effects of expanded vaccination rates were perhaps most notable in consumer spending in which increases in leisure travel and restaurant spending augmented ongoing strength in other spending categories.

    Light vehicle sales remained solid but were often constrained by tight inventories. Factory output increased further even as significant supply chain challenges continued to disrupt production. Manufacturers reported that widespread shortages of materials and labor along with delivery delays made it difficult to get products to customers.

    Similar challenges persisted in construction. Homebuilders often noted that strong demand, buoyed by low mortgage interest rates, outpaced their capacity to build, leading some to limit sales. Nonresidential construction increased at a moderate pace, on balance, even as contacts in several Districts said that supply chain disruptions pushed costs higher and, in some cases, delayed projects.

    Demand for professional and business services increased moderately, while demand for transportation services (including at ports) was exceptionally strong. Lending volumes increased modestly, with gains in both household and business loans. Overall, expectations changed little, with contacts optimistic that economic growth will remain solid.

    06/02/2021

    An alert about upcoming child tax credit payment scams

    The Federal Trade Commission has posted a blog article, "More money is coming to families…and scammers are ready," to warn American families to be alert for fraud attempts surrounding these payments.

    These payments will be sent out monthly by the IRS from July 15 through December 2021, through direct deposit, paper checks or debit cards. Unlike economic impact payments, these payments are an advance on families’ child tax credit. People who are eligible will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.

    To avoid being scammed by fraudsters, people should remember these facts:

    • Only the IRS will be sending these payments. Anyone trying to “help” someone get their child tax credit is really after their money.
    • The government will NEVER call, text, email, or DM anyone out of the blue, asking for money or information. People should keep their money — and their Social Security, bank account, debit and credit card numbers — to themselves.
    • Nobody legit will ever demand that people pay by gift card, wire transfer through companies like Money Gram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency. That’s a scam, every time.

    06/02/2021

    FDIC guidance after severe storm damage in West Virginia

    The FDIC has released FIL-38-2021 with guidance concerning regulatory relief to financial institutions and their facilitation of recovery in areas of West Virginia affected by severe weather from February 27–March 4, 2021.

    06/02/2021

    VA COVID-19 partial claim program

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has published [86 FR 28692] a final rule to establish the COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment program (COVID-VAPCP), a temporary program to help veterans return to making normal loan payments on a VA-guaranteed loan after exiting a forbearance for financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 national emergency.

    Under the rule, which becomes effective July 27, 2021:

    • The partial claim maximum limit will be 30 percent of the unpaid principal balance of the guaranteed loan as of the date the veteran entered into a COVID-19 forbearance
    • The partial claim subordinate loan from the VA will be interest-free, and repayment will not be required until the veteran transfers title to the property or refinances or pays in full the associated guaranteed loan (payments of the subordinate loan in whole or in part, however, pay be made without penalty or charge)
    • No financial evaluation of the veteran is required and documentation requirements are minimal
    • Servicers must submit a partial claim payment request to the VA within 120 days of the termination of forbearance
    • The program is not an “option of last resort." Servicers may use the partial claim payment option even if other home retention options are feasible, provided that the partial claim payment option is in the veteran’s financial interest.
    • Applications under the program will not be accepted after the date that is 180 days after the date the COVID-19 national emergency ends under the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C.161.

    06/02/2021

    Summary of Deposits survey due by July 31

    The FDIC, in FIL-39-2021, reminded all FDIC insured institutions with branches that its annual Summary of Deposits survey must be completed and filed no later than July 31, 2021. Institutions with a main office and no branches are exempt.

    06/02/2021

    MoneyGram claims process now available

    The Federal Trade Commission has announced that consumera who lost money to fraudsters and paid through MoneyGram between 2013 and 2017 can now file a claim to get their money back. This claims process is the result of settlements with the Commission and Department of Justice charging that MoneyGram violated previous agreements with the government to crack down on fraudulent money transfers.

    In February 2021, prefilled forms were mailed to victims who had already been identified. Beginning June 1, 2021, people who did not receive prefilled forms, but were victimized through MoneyGram, may file claims online or obtain a paper claim form (referred to as a petition) at the website: www.moneygramremission.com. These claims must be submitted by August 31, 2021. The claims process is being overseen by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

    06/02/2021

    Fed proposes rule for FedNow funds transfers

    The Federal Reserve Board is inviting comment on a proposed rule that would amend Regulation J to govern funds transfers over the Federal Reserve Banks' FedNow℠ Service. The FedNow Service is a new 24x7x365 service that will support instant payments in the United States and is expected to be available in 2023.

    The proposed rule would establish a new and comprehensive set of rules governing funds transfers over the FedNow Service and set out the legal rights and obligations of the Reserve Banks and FedNow Service participants. Many of the concepts in the proposed rule are similar to existing provisions that govern the Fedwire Funds Service, which is the payments service currently operated by the Federal Reserve System. One provision of the proposed rule would require banks to make funds from FedNow payments available to their end-user customers immediately after receiving notification from the service that an instant payment had settled.

    Comments are due within 60 days of the proposal's publication in the Federal Register.

    PUBLICATION AND COMMENT PERIOD UPDATE: Published at 86 FR 31376 on 6/11/2021, with a comment period ending 8/10/2021.

    06/01/2021

    Burma sanctions published

    OFAC has published [86 FR 29197] in this morning's Federal Register Burma Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR Part 525) to implement Executive Order 14014, "Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma." OFAC intends to supplement these regulations with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses, and other regulatory provisions. The rule is effective June 1, 2021.

    06/01/2021

    Administration proposes expanded reporting to IRS

    The Treasury Department has released the Biden Administration's Budget (the "Greenbook") for Fiscal Year 2022. Included in a section on improving taxpayer compliance is a proposal to introduce Comprehensive Financial Account Reporting by financial institutions, which would, starting in 2023, apply to all business and personal accounts at financial institutions, including deposit accounts, loans and investment accounts. A $600 de minimis gross inflow threshold would apply to reporting, and Treasury would have broad authority to issue regulations for the proposed requirements.

    06/01/2021

    Promoters of digital securities charged by SEC

    The SEC has announced it has filed an action against five individuals alleging that they promoted a global unregistered digital asset securities offering that raised over $2 billion from retail investors.

    According to the complaint filed by the SEC in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from approximately January 2017 to January 2018, BitConnect used a network of promoters, including U.S.-based Trevon Brown (a.k.a. Trevon James), Craig Grant, Ryan Maasen, and Michael Noble (a.k.a. Michael Crypto) to market and sell securities in its "lending program."

    The SEC's complaint alleges that these promoters offered and sold the securities without registering the securities offering with the Commission, and without being registered as broker-dealers with the Commission, as required by the federal securities laws. The promoters advertised the merits of investing in BitConnect's lending program to prospective investors, including by creating "testimonial" style videos and publishing them on YouTube, sometimes multiple times a day. According to the complaint, the promoters received commissions based on their success in soliciting investor funds.

    Another U.S.-based individual, Joshua Jeppesen, served as a liaison between BitConnect and promoters and represented BitConnect at conferences and promotional events.

    06/01/2021

    FDIC CRA exam schedule released

    The FDIC has issued the lists of institutions scheduled for a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination during the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2021 .

    06/01/2021

    Fed revises index of industrial production

    The Federal Reserve has revised its index of industrial production and the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization. The most prominent features of the revision are an update of the base year to 2017 for the indexes, a conversion of the industry-group indexes to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the incorporation of comprehensive annual production data for 2017 through 2019, and the incorporation of new survey utilization rate data for 2019 and 2020. Annual capacity growth is revised down about 1 percentage point, on average, from 2017 to 2019 and is little changed in 2020. After these revisions, capacity for total industry is estimated to have grown about 3 percent less between 2016 and the end of 2020 than previously estimated.

    06/01/2021

    Fed proposes changes to Payment System Risk Policy

    The Federal Reserve Board has requested public comment on proposed changes to its Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR policy) that governs the provision of intraday credit, or daylight overdrafts, to healthy depository institutions with accounts at the Federal Reserve Banks.

    The PSR policy establishes limits on the value of an institution's uncollateralized daylight overdrafts, which occur when a depository institution's Federal Reserve account is in a negative position during the business day. The Reserve Banks provide intraday balances by way of supplying temporary, intraday credit to healthy depository institutions in order to foster the smooth operation of the payment system. The PSR policy also allows institutions that might otherwise be constrained by those limits to request additional collateralized capacity. The proposal would modify the PSR policy to (1) expand access to collateralized capacity and (2) clarify the terms for accessing and retaining uncollateralized capacity. The proposal targets expanding options for higher levels of intraday credit capacity and does not propose any reductions of the current terms for providing uncollateralized access.

    Additionally, the Board proposes to modify the PSR policy and the Policy on Overnight Overdrafts to align them with the deployment of the FedNow Service and its 24x7x365 payment environment.

    Comments on the proposed changes are requested within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.

      Board press release
    • Publication and comment period update:Published on 6/3/2021 at 86 FR 29776, with a comment period ending 8/2/2021.

    06/01/2021

    FDIC releases April enforcement actions

    The FDIC has released a list of enforcement orders issued in April 2021. Among the five orders listed were two assessing civil money penalties for violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act and 12 CFR Part 339, and a removal and prohibition order.

    • Heritage Bank, Olympia, Washington, was ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $17,000
    • Bank of the West, San Francisco, California, was ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $281,000
    • Rebecca Schuyler, a former bookkeeper/lockbox specialist at First Covenant Bank, Commerce, Georgia (now First Century Bank, NA, Gainesville, Georgia), was issued a consent order of prohibition, having neither admitted nor denied that she (1) embezzled funds funds through creation of counter checks to her husband, other individuals, and entities and by creating incorrectly coded general ledger tickets to keep the transactions from being discovered; and (2) processed unauthorized transactions by using fictitious account numbers via ACH 17 times. Her actions resulted in a loss to the bank of $57,552.54.

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