Mike Nonaka

Mike Nonaka

Michael Nonaka is a partner in the firm’s Financial Institutions practice group. He represents banks and other financial institutions on a wide variety of bank regulatory, enforcement, legislative and policy issues.  Mr. Nonaka also is co-chair of the firm’s Fintech Initiative and works with a number of banks, lending companies, money transmitters, payments firms, technology companies, and service providers on innovative technologies such as big data, blockchain and related technologies, bitcoin and other virtual currencies, same day payments, and online lending.

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Federal Reserve Rationalizes Stock Buyback Rules

On July 9, 2019, the federal banking agencies released a final rule to simplify aspects of the regulatory capital rules for banking organizations that are not “advanced approaches” banking organizations, i.e., those with less than $250 billion in total consolidated assets and less than $10 billion in total foreign exposure.  Initially proposed in September 2017 … Continue Reading

FTC Proposes to Add Detailed Cybersecurity Requirements to the GLBA Safeguards Rule

On March 5, 2019 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) published requests for comment on proposed amendments to two key rules under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”).  Most significantly, the FTC is proposing to add more detailed requirements to the Safeguards Rule, which governs the information security programs financial institutions must implement to protect customer data. In … Continue Reading

Senator Crapo Signals Push for Data Protection Legislation

On January 28, 2019, Senator Mike Crapo (R.-Id.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, published a column signaling his support for data privacy and security legislation in the 116th Congress. In his column, Senator Crapo emphasizes what he sees as the “incredibly positive” developments associated with the development of technology, … Continue Reading

Overview of Fintech Regulation in the United States

Innovation in financial services continues to move at a rapid pace. The significant increase in the number of fintech companies in recent years has highlighted a burgeoning market with significant economic potential, and a commercial need to create efficiencies and modernize the provision of financial products and services. Federal and state financial services regulators remain … Continue Reading

New Guidelines to Assist in Designing Secure Platforms for Processing Payment Transactions

On January 17, 2019, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (the “Council”), a payment industry association, released a new framework for PCI software security – the PCI Software Security Framework – to assist companies in designing and maintaining secure software for processing payment transactions. The framework includes two standards: the PCI Secure Software Standard … Continue Reading

The ACM’s guidance to address competition law concerns for FinTech in the creation of technical standards

Introduction On December 3, 2018, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) published a speech from its board member, Cateautje Hijmans van den Bergh, regarding potential competition law concerns in the financial technology (“FinTech”) sector. In particular, further to the European Parliament’s study on FinTech and competition law (the “Study”) – as discussed in a previous blog post – Hijmans … Continue Reading

The OCC Will Move Forward to Accept Applications for Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced yesterday that a nondepository financial technology (“fintech”) company that engages in a core banking activity, such as paying checks or lending money, can now apply for a special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charter. This announcement followed shortly after the release of the Treasury Department’s report … Continue Reading

The GDPR and Blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise many industries; it has been said that “blockchain will do to the financial system what the internet did to media”.  Its most famous use is its role as the architecture of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, however it has many other potential uses in the financial sector, for instance in … Continue Reading

Senate Passes Dodd-Frank Reform Bill

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo that would roll back some of the regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act following the 2008 financial crisis.  The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in a 67-31 bipartisan vote, would provide notable regulatory relief to … Continue Reading

Advancing Blockchain Cybersecurity: Technical and Policy Considerations for the Financial Services Industry

Blockchain is a powerful innovation that is poised to bring substantial positive change to the financial services industry as well as many other industries.  Despite such promise, blockchain, like any emerging financial services technology, must be evaluated from the perspective of cybersecurity risk – both to an individual financial institution and to the broader and … Continue Reading

Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Reform of Regulations Related to Money Laundering and Other Illicit Financing Activities

The Senate Banking Committee held its first hearing of 2018 earlier this week to discuss potential reform of the current U.S. regulatory framework for combating money laundering and other forms of illicit financing.  Current proposals for reform include raising the mandatory reporting thresholds for currency transactions and suspicious activity, requiring the collection of beneficial ownership … Continue Reading

Kenneth Blanco Named FinCEN Director

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury earlier today, Kenneth A. Blanco has been named Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  Mr. Blanco will join FinCEN after serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Criminal Division.  He has significant expertise in money laundering and terrorist … Continue Reading

ISDA Releases Whitepaper Regarding Legal Perspectives on Smart Contracts and Distributed Ledger Technology

On August 3, 2017, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) and Linklaters LLP released a whitepaper titled “Smart Contracts and Distributed Ledger – A Legal Perspective.” The whitepaper sets out to define the terms “smart contract” and “distributed ledger,” to analyze their applications to the derivatives industry, and to highlight potential legal issues raised … Continue Reading

SEC Report of Investigation Concludes that DAO Tokens Were Securities

On July 25, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a Report of Investigation (“Report”) finding that the digital tokens offered and sold by the virtual, unincorporated organization known as “The DAO” were securities subject to the federal securities laws. The DAO sold DAO tokens in exchange for the digital currency Ether used on … Continue Reading

Treasury Issues Regulatory Reform Recommendations for Banking Industry

On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the first of a series of reports recommending regulatory reforms to the financial system consistent with President Trump’s Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System.  Treasury’s first report focuses on the regulatory framework governing the depository system.  Notably, a substantial portion of … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Draft Licensing Manual for Evaluating Charter Applications from Fintech Companies

On Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a highly-anticipated draft supplement to its Licensing Manual (the “Supplement”) for evaluating applications from fintech companies for a special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charter. The Supplement explains how the OCC will apply its existing licensing standards and requirements to these companies. The OCC … Continue Reading

FDIC Vice Chairman Hoenig’s Proposal for Regulation of Financial Holding Companies

As has been widely reported, FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig put forward in remarks to the Institute of International Bankers on Monday, March 13, a “Market-Based Proposal for Regulatory Relief and Accountability” (the “Hoenig Proposal” or the “Proposal”).  If adopted, the Hoenig Proposal would substantially change the regulation of large and complex banking organizations doing … Continue Reading

Getting Started Guide for Recovery Planning

On September 29, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued final guidance for recovery planning.  The Guidance applies to insured national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches of foreign banks with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more. We partnered with Ernst & Young LLP to prepare a getting … Continue Reading

President Trump Begins Efforts to Roll Back Financial Regulations

Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump promised to curtail financial regulations, particularly those promulgated under the Dodd-Frank Act.  President Trump argued frequently that the regulations issued under the act have proven overly burdensome and, among other things, limited job growth.  This afternoon, the President took his first formal step in implementing his deregulatory agenda.  He … Continue Reading

FDIC Issues Draft Handbook for De Novo Bank Organizers

Last Thursday, the FDIC issued a draft handbook for organizers of de novo insured depository institutions.  The handbook provides an explanation of the process for submitting an application to the FDIC in order to offer FDIC-insured deposit products.  The handbook is relevant for any person or company that is interested in a bank charter and proposing to accept … Continue Reading
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