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Webinar on credit risks from pandemic

The National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar on March 24 about potential areas of credit risk resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EDT and run about an hour. Topics that will be covered during the webinar include:

  • Credit markets’ status;
  • Current federal regulations;
  • What NCUA examiners look for;
  • Suggestions on reporting risk to a credit union’s management and board; and
  • Advice for proactively managing credit risks.

Online registration for the webinar is required.


New HUD Secretary sworn in

Marcia L. Fudge was yesterday officially sworn in as the eighteenth Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She leads a federal department with wide reach throughout the United States, including the Offices of Housing, Community Planning and Development, Federal Housing Administration, Public and Indian Housing, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Policy Development and Research, Field Policy and Management, Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


Federal Reserve CRA evaluations

In our review of the Federal Reserve Board's archive of Community Reinvestment Act evaluations, we found that the Fed issued 25 evaluations in the months of January and February 2021. Eighteen of those evaluations were rated Satisfactory.. One was rated Needs to Improve. We congratulate the six banks whose evaluations were rated Outstanding:


FTC guidance on bogus EIDL loans

The Federal Trade Commission has posted an article, "What to do if you're billed for an SBA EIDL Loan you don't owe." Like many other COVID-19 response programs, the EIDL program has been abused by identity thieves who have applied for loans using stolen personal or business information. The FTC's blog article touts the SBA's new guidance on reporting these frauds, and offers tips to help victims clear up any credit problems the frauds may cause.


Regulators to treat ECIP investments as capital

The federal bank regulatory agencies yesterday announced an interim final rule that supports the Treasury Department's implementation of a program established by Congress to make capital investments in minority depository institutions and community development financial institutions. Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) will support the efforts of these financial institutions to provide loans, grants, and forbearance to small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and consumers, especially in low-income and underserved communities, which may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To facilitate implementation of ECIP, the agencies are revising their capital rules to provide that Treasury's investments under the program qualify as regulatory capital of insured depository institutions and holding companies.

The rule will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication.

Publication, effective date and comment period update: Published at 86 FR 15076 and effective on 3/22/2021. Comments accepted through 5/21/2021.


CFPB interpretive rule on prohibition against sex discrimination

The CFPB has announced it has issued an interpretive rule clarifying that the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B includes sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. This prohibition also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other associations.

Publication and effective date update: Scheduled for publication on 3/16/2021, when it will also become effective.

BankersOnline has added a note about the interpretive rule to the Commentary on the definition of "prohibited basis" in section 1002.2 of Regulation B in BOL's Regulations pages.


Regulators’ CRA COVID-19 FAQs updated

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2021-12 announcing that the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC have published a newly updated version of frequently asked questions to assist financial institutions and examiners with determining Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for activities undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The update adds five new FAQs to the 13 interagency FAQs dated May 27, 2020.


JPMorgan Chase resolves HUD discrimination claim

HUD has announced it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between JPMorgan Chase Bank and an African-American woman, resolving the woman’s claim that the mortgage lender, relying on an appraisal that she believed was inaccurate, valued her home at an amount lower than its actual worth because of her race. Under the Conciliation Agreement, JPMorgan Chase Bank will pay $50,000 to the woman and provide home lending advisors and client care specialists with mandatory training on the Reconsideration of Value process and fair lending issues related to appraisals, including specifics regarding how to handle complaints of discrimination in the appraisal process.


Fed extending PPP liquidity facility

The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced it will extend its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, or PPPLF, by three months to June 30, 2021, to provide continued support for the flow of credit to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, administered by the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department.

The PPPLF extends term credit to financial institutions making PPP loans, accepting the PPP loans as collateral. The liquidity provided by the PPPLF helps eligible financial institutions fund additional PPP loans. The extension from March 31 to June 30, 2021, was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The other currently active Federal Reserve pandemic economic recovery activities —the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, and the Primary Dealer Credit Facility—have not had significant usage since last summer and will expire as scheduled on March 31.


FDIC releases three Outstanding CRA evaluations

The FDIC has released its March 2021 list of financial institutions whose Community Reinvestment Act evaluations had recently been made public. Of the 68 institutions listed, 62 received a Satisfactory rating, and three received a Needs to Improve rating. We congratulate three institutions that received ratings of Outstanding:


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