Randy Benjenk

Randy Benjenk

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OCC Releases Proposal to Allow Federal Savings Associations to Exercise National Bank Powers

On September 10, 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released a proposed rule to implement section 206 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, codified in section 5A of the Home Owners’ Loan Act (“HOLA”).  Section 5A permits a federal savings association with total consolidated assets of $20 … Continue Reading

Banking Regulators Issue Joint Policy Statement Downplaying the Role of Supervisory Guidance in Enforcement

On September 11, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”, and, collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a statement “clarifying the role of supervisory guidance.” The release … Continue Reading

House Committee Agrees on JOBS Act 3.0

On July 16, 2018, Republican and Democratic leadership of the House Financial Services Committee announced that they have reached agreement to advance a package of financial services reforms known as the “JOBS Act 3.0,” consisting of 32 pieces of legislation that have passed the Committee or the full House with bipartisan support. While much of … Continue Reading

FSB Develops Framework for Monitoring Crypto Risks

On July 16, 2018, the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) issued a report to the G20 Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors summarizing the work that the FSB and other international standard-setting bodies have undertaken regarding crypto-assets.  The FSB notably reported that it has developed a framework for monitoring financial stability risks related to crypto-assets, … Continue Reading

Hiring of Administrative Law Judges to Change

A recent United States Supreme Court case and new executive order will change the way federal agencies hire administrative law judges (“ALJs”), and together are expected to increase ALJs’ accountability to the heads of their agencies. On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission that the … Continue Reading

Regulators Propose Revisions to the Volcker Rule

On May 30, 2018, the Federal Reserve Board approved a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at simplifying regulations implementing section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1851), also known as the “Volcker Rule” (or the “Rule”).  Enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act following the financial crisis of 2008, the Volcker Rule … Continue Reading

FSOC to Consider First Case Under Dodd-Frank’s Hotel California Provision

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”) has announced that on Thursday, April 12, 2018, it will consider a “potential application” from a bank holding company or its successor to be de-designated as a systemically important financial institution under section 117 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Sometimes known as the “Hotel California” provision,[1] section 117 of Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Releases Regulatory Agenda

Today the Federal Reserve issued its semiannual regulatory flexibility agenda for fall 2017, which lists regulatory matters the agency anticipates having under consideration during the period from November 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018. The agenda is notable in two respects.  First, the Federal Reserve anticipates issuing, together with the Office of the Comptroller of … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Eliminates SOSA Rating and Proposes New Standards for FBO Daylight Overdraft Capacity

On December 7, 2017, the Federal Reserve announced that it will eliminate the use of the Strength of Support Assessment (or “SOSA” rating) as a supervisory tool.  The SOSA rating measures the extent to which a foreign banking organization (“FBO”) is in a position to provide support to its U.S. branches, agencies, and subsidiary banks, … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Proposes to Increase Stress Test Transparency

On December 7, 2017, the Federal Reserve released three proposals that would increase the transparency of its stress test exercises, including the Dodd-Frank Act Stress Tests (“DFAST”) and Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (“CCAR”).  The proposals are comprised of: (1) enhancements to the Federal Reserve’s disclosures regarding its stress test models, (2) amendments to the … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Guidance on CRA Ratings Downgrades for Consumer Compliance Violations

On October 12, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a Policies and Procedures Manual (“PPM”) outlining the framework to be used by examiners to determine whether an OCC-regulated bank should receive a downgrade of its Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) performance rating based on evidence of discriminatory or other illegal credit … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues its First No-Action Letter

On September 14, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or the “Bureau”) issued a no-action letter for the first time, after having finalized its no-action letter policy in February 2016.  The Bureau’s letter grants a request by Upstart Network, Inc. (“Upstart”), an online lender that uses both traditional and non-traditional credit scoring data, … Continue Reading

OCC Permits Programs for Higher LTV Mortgage Lending in Distressed Communities

On August 21, 2017, the OCC issued guidance permitting national banks and federal savings associations to establish programs to offer mortgages with loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratios exceeding 100 percent in communities that have been officially targeted for revitalization by a federal, state, or municipal governmental entity or agency, or by a government-designated entity. Under existing supervisory … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Issues Proposal on Supervisory Expectations for Boards of Directors

On August 3, 2017, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve”) released a proposal regarding its supervisory expectations for the boards of directors of bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, state member banks, U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, and non-bank systemically important financial institutions supervised by the … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Request for Information on the Volcker Rule

This morning, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released a Request for Information (“RFI”) to determine how regulations implementing the Volcker Rule should be revised to better accomplish the purposes of the statute. The OCC’s release notes that the information the agency is soliciting could support revisions to the regulation that are consistent … Continue Reading

SEC Permits All Companies to File Certain Registration Statements Confidentially

On June 29, 2017, the Division of Corporate Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it will permit all companies to submit drafts of certain registration statements to the Division on a confidential basis, expanding a popular privilege that was made available to emerging growth companies under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (known … Continue Reading

Federal Banking Agencies Propose Changes to Call Reports

On June 27, 2017, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the “Agencies”) proposed revisions to their Call Report forms for insured depository institutions.  The proposed changes are intended to align Call Reports with a recent accounting change and … 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

Financial Regulators to Reassess Volcker Rule

Federal financial agencies are taking steps to reevaluate the Volcker Rule as part of the Trump Administration’s review of financial regulations.  In a May 8, 2017 meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly directed the five agencies responsible for the Volcker Rule – the Board of Governors of the Federal … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Bills Providing Regulatory Relief to Community and Midsize Banks Emerge in Senate

Senators Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., introduced a bill today (S. 1139) that would raise the threshold for a banking organization to be subject to Dodd-Frank Act Stress Tests (DFAST) to $50 billion in total consolidated assets from the current $10 billion threshold.  The bill, titled the Main Street Regulatory Fairness Act, would … Continue Reading

CHOICE Act 2.0: House Financial Services Committee Revises Regulatory Reform Bill

On April 19, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee released a new discussion draft of the Financial CHOICE Act, its comprehensive regulatory reform bill.  The Committee released the first version of the CHOICE Act in June 2016.  Buoyed by the election of a Republican president, and following several months of public and industry outreach, Committee … Continue Reading

Governor Tarullo Outlines Path to Regulatory Relief in Final Speech as Federal Reserve Board Member

On April 4, 2017, Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel K. Tarullo gave his final speech as a governor before his departure from the Board the next day.  Governor Tarullo, widely considered the “most influential Wall Street regulator” during his term as governor, took the lead for the Federal Reserve in developing the agency’s most significant … Continue Reading
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