Archives: Enforcement

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Financial Agencies Release Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

On December 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) (collectively, “agencies”) released a joint statement on innovative efforts to combat money … Continue Reading

OCC Risk Report Trumpets Strong Bank Performance, But Warns of Emerging Risks

On December 3, 2018, the National Risk Committee (“NRC”) of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2018. The report analyzes the condition of the federal banking system using data reported by national banks and federal savings associations as of June 30, 2018. The analysis covers … Continue Reading

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

State Securities Regulators Step Up Scrutiny of Cryptoassets and ICOs

On October 10, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”)—an association of state, provincial, and territorial securities regulators in the United States, Mexico, and Canada—released its annual Enforcement Report (the “Report”). The Report demonstrates that, while stepped-up enforcement activity has been observed at the federal level with respect to cryptoasset markets, state regulators are increasingly … 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

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

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

Market Trends 2017/18: Securities Regulation and Enforcement

The enforcement and regulatory priorities of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have begun to come into focus now that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has been in office for over a year. Courts have also issued decisions that will significantly impact securities enforcement moving forward. This practice note discusses the Supreme Court’s recent decision holding that … 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

The CFTC’s Active Week: Virtual Currencies in Focus

This past week has been an especially active one for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). On Monday, in a speech to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), CFTC Chairman Giancarlo announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation between state securities regulators and the CFTC — particularly with respect to prosecuting … Continue Reading

Australia and Malta Adopt Different Approaches to Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulation

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (“AUSTRAC”) recently implemented a new regulation for digital currency exchange providers operating in Australia called the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Digital Currency Exchange Register) Policy Principles 2018.  AUSTRAC is Australia’s financial intelligence agency and is responsible for the enforcement of Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act … Continue Reading

SEC Proposal Dives Into Long-Standing Debate About the Duties of Investment Professionals

On Wednesday, April 18th, the SEC introduced a much-anticipated package of proposed rules and formal guidance concerning the standards of conduct for financial professionals. The more than 1,000-page proposal, which emerged eight years after Congress required the agency to conduct a study on the topic, addresses whether investment advisers and broker-dealers should have identical or … 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

Treasury Releases Recommendations to Reform CRA Framework

On April 3, 2018, the Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) released its much-anticipated recommendations to reform the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”). The report, which is addressed to the federal banking agencies, outlines a number of proposed regulatory and administrative changes to (i) the CRA’s performance evaluation criteria, and (ii) the federal banking agencies’ approach to … 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 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

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

CFPB Issues Request For Information on Civil Investigative Demands

On January 24, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on its civil investigative demand (“CID”) process. This is the first in a series of planned RFIs on the Bureau’s activities. In the RFI, the CFPB recognizes that “responding to a CID can impose burdens on … Continue Reading

CFPB Dismisses Suit Against Tribal Lenders

In a surprising turn of events, the CFPB on Thursday dismissed its ongoing litigation against Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc.  The Bureau’s case was predicated on a controversial theory that turned alleged violations of state law into alleged violations of the Dodd-Frank Act, … Continue Reading

CFPB Requests Public Comment on Bureau Activities

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced today a planned series of Requests for Information on the Bureau’s activities and how those activities impact consumers and covered entities. According to the press release, the goal of issuing these Requests for Information is to “ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect … Continue Reading

CFPB Acting Director Institutes Suspension of Data Collection, Reveals Plans to Bring in More Political Appointees, and Announces Review of Pending Enforcement Matters

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney made three important announcements this week.  First, on December 4, he announced a suspension of the agency’s collection of consumers’ personal information due to concerns about cybersecurity. Mulvaney, who said he is taking data security “very, very seriously” according to The Wall Street Journal report (paywall), explained that the Bureau … Continue Reading
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