Covington Financial Services

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BCFP Reaches Settlement with Small-Dollar Lender in Connection with Allegedly “Abusive” Practice

On October 24, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“BCFP” or the “Bureau”) announced that it had reached a settlement with Tennessee-based small-dollar lender and check casher, Cash Express LLC, which agreed to resolve the Bureau’s claims by paying a $200,000 fine and approximately $32,000 in restitution to affected consumers.  The consent order includes … Continue Reading

BCFP Releases Fall 2018 Rulemaking Agenda

On October 17, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“BCFP” or the “Bureau”) announced the release of its Fall 2018 semiannual update of its rulemaking agenda, which is included in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the “Unified Agenda”), published by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”). The BCFP’s … Continue Reading

The Long Wait Is Not Over, but the SEC Advances its Security-Based Swap Dealer Rules and Reopens the Comment Period for Capital and Margin Requirements for Security-Based Swap Dealers

For several years Swap Dealers registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have been awaiting action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) related to security-based swap dealers.  While the wait is by no means over, on October 11, 2018 the SEC voted 4 to 1 to reopen the comment period for proposed rules … Continue Reading

OCC Releases Bank Supervision Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 2019

On September 25, 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its bank supervision operating plan for fiscal year (“FY”) 2019, which begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.  Developed by the OCC’s Committee on Bank Supervision (“CBS”) to align with “The OCC’s Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2019-2023” and the … Continue Reading

NYSDFS Sues to Block the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

On September 14, 2018, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”) Maria T. Vullo filed a complaint in federal court against the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to block the OCC from issuing any special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charters. The OCC announced last month, after much … Continue Reading

With New CFTC Commissioners Onboard, Major CFTC Rulemakings Likely to Follow this Fall

On August 29, 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dawn Stump and Dan Berkovitz as Commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner (“CFTC” or “Commission”). Each has extensive experience in the derivatives markets. Ms. Stump, among other things, has served as Executive Director and Senior Vice President of U.S. Policy for the Futures Industry Association. Mr. … Continue Reading

CFTC Amends Requirements for Chief Compliance Officers

On August 21, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) adopted rule amendments that modify the requirements for Chief Compliance Officers (“CCO”) of swap dealers (“SD”), major swap participants (“MSP”) and futures commission merchants (“FCM”).  SDs and FCMs should review these rules in detail in order to assess the changes they will have to make … Continue Reading

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Issues Final Rule Creating an Exception to Regulation P’s Annual Privacy Notice Requirement

On August 10, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) issued a final rule implementing a December 2015 amendment to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), titled “Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion,” which created an exception to Regulation P’s annual notice requirement for financial institutions that meet certain conditions. The GLBA and Regulation P generally require … Continue Reading

Arizona Fintech Sandbox Begins Accepting Applications

Arizona recently became the first state in the U.S. to create a “regulatory sandbox” program to facilitate the development of innovative financial products and services. Such products would either incorporate new or emerging technology or reimagine uses of existing technology. The program would exempt participants from certain state financial regulations, but not federal requirements. On … Continue Reading

BCFP Enters Consent Order with Hydra Group

On August 10, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced that a federal district court in the Western District of Missouri approved a consent order in a case against a set of twenty corporate entities and two individual principals (collectively, “Hydra Group”). The BCFP alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 … Continue Reading

What To Keep in Mind For Cultural Reviews In The #MeToo Era

In the wake of the #MeToo movement and broader conversations about sexual harassment and wage discrimination, many financial institutions are wondering whether any of these issues are affecting their organizations and, if so, how to address them.  To assess this question, financial institutions are increasingly turning to internal cultural reviews. These reviews, in which investigators … Continue Reading

Square Temporarily Withdraws ILC Application

On July 5, 2018, Square, Inc. (“Square”) announced (paywall) that it had temporarily withdrawn a pending application with the FDIC to obtain deposit insurance for a proposed industrial loan company (“ILC”), in order to strengthen the application before reapplying. The company stated that a parallel application with the Utah Department of Financial Institutions for the … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit to Consider Constitutionality of the BCFP’s Structure

On July 2, 2018, All American Check Cashing, Inc., Mid-State Finance, Inc., and the president and owner of both companies (collectively, “All American”) filed a brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to find the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“BCFP” or the “Bureau”) (formerly known as the CFPB) unconstitutionally structured … Continue Reading

Judge Denies Request to Stay Payday Rule Compliance Date

On June 12, 2018, a federal judge in the Western District of Texas denied a joint motion by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“Bureau”), the Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. (“Community Financial Services Association”) and the Consumer Alliance of Texas (“Consumer Alliance”), to stay the compliance date of the substantive provisions of … Continue Reading

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Amends Timing Provisions of Federal “Know Before You Owe” Rule

On April 26, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) finalized an amendment to the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule (also known as the TILA-RESPA Rule), which it proposed in July 2017 and which we previously described in this blog. The amendment eliminates uncertainty regarding a timing restriction in the TILA-RESPA … Continue Reading

FTC Files Comments with CFPB on CID Processes

On March 26, 2018, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”) filed a comment in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Request for Information on the procedures for issuing Civil Investigative Demands. In large part, the comment summarizes the BCP’s experience with its own CID program and highlights the … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues RFI On Its Guidance and Implementation Support

On March 28, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) regarding the effectiveness and accessibility of its guidance materials and activities, including implementation support.  Specifically, the RFI asks for information about the following aspects of the CFPB’s methods of providing guidance to the public: Regulatory Inquiries Function: This function allows … Continue Reading

House Financial Services Committee Approves Bill to Exclude Attorneys from FDCPA

This week, the House Financial Services Committee (the “Committee”) approved by a vote of 35-25 a bill introduced last month by Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) that would exclude from the definition of “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) law firms or licensed attorneys engaged in litigation activities to collect a debt, … Continue Reading

Regulators Issue Report on Activities to Combat Illegal Debt Collection Practices

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a joint annual report to Congress on their activities in 2017 to combat illegal debt collection practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), for which the agencies share responsibilities. The report suggests that, even amidst other changes at the CFPB, … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Request for Information on External Engagements

On February 21, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s public and non-public external engagements, including but not limited to field hearings, town halls, roundtables, and meetings of the Advisory Board and Councils.  The Bureau intends … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Request for Information on Enforcement Processes

On February 7, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s enforcement processes. The RFI seeks public input on “how best to achieve meaningful burden reduction or other improvement” to the Bureau’s enforcement processes “while continuing to meet the Bureau’s statutory … Continue Reading

CSBS Announces Multi-State Compact to Standardize Money Transmitter Licensing

On February 6, 2018, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) – the nationwide organization representing banking regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – announced that seven states have agreed to a compact that standardizes five major areas of the licensing process for money … Continue Reading

CFPB’s Fair Lending Office Stripped of Supervision and Enforcement Powers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) has made its first major organizational change under the leadership of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The Bureau moved the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (the “Fair Lending Office”) inside the Office of the Director and stripped it of responsibility for enforcement and day-to-day oversight … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Request for Information on Administrative Adjudications

On January 31, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau” or “CFPB”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comments and information from the public regarding the Bureau’s use of administrative adjudications.  The Bureau intends to use the comments received to inform deliberations as to whether and how to revise and update the Bureau’s … Continue Reading
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