On 20 April 2022, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published its Policy Statement PS 22/3 on disclosures regarding diversity and inclusion targets for the boards and executive committees of UK-listed companies. These measures reflect the growing importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) considerations, and have gained particular traction in the financial services sector,
OCC Issues Draft Principles for Climate Risk Management
On December 16, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued draft principles (the “Proposal”) on the identification and management of climate-related financial risks by OCC-supervised banks with more than $100 billion in total consolidated assets (“covered banks”). The Proposal is intended to provide a high-level framework for the safe and sound…
Federal Banking Agencies Issue Proposed Guidance on Third-Party Risk Management
On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the “Agencies”) invited public comment on proposed interagency guidance on managing risks associated with third-party relationships (the “Proposed Guidance”). By harmonizing for the first time the…
Second Circuit Rejects New York State Department of Financial Services’ Lawsuit Against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
On June 3, 2021, in Lacewell v. OCC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”) dismissed the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (“DFS”) lawsuit against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”). DFS challenged the OCC’s decision to commence accepting applications for special-purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charters from financial technology companies (“fintechs”) that do not accept deposits. The Second Circuit ultimately decided the case on justiciability grounds, holding that DFS lacked standing and that its claims were constitutionally unripe without reaching the merits of DFS’s claims.
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Rescissions of Policy Statements Illustrate Continued About-Face at CFPB
On March 31, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) rescinded a range of policy statements issued under the leadership of former Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. These rescissions concerned one policy statement governing communications between institutions subject to CFPB supervision and their examiners, and seven policy statements issued during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide regulatory…
OCC to Reconsider June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act Final Rule
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced that it will reconsider its June 5, 2020 final rule (“final rule”) overhauling its regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”). The final rule, which applies only to national banks, federal savings associations, and insured federal branches (“OCC-regulated banks”), made the first major revisions to CRA regulations in nearly twenty-five years and would have established new general performance standards based on more quantitative measures of CRA performance than the tests set forth in existing CRA regulations. Our client alert summarizes key aspects of the final rule.
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FDIC Issues Request for Information on Digital Assets
On Monday, May 17, 2021, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) issued a request for information and comment (“RFI”) regarding the current and potential digital asset activities of insured depository institutions (“IDIs”). The RFI is intended to inform the FDIC’s understanding of digital asset activities, including associated risk and compliance management issues. Comments on the RFI are due by July 16, 2021.
The RFI categorizes digital asset activities into five use cases and solicits comments based on this framework. The five use cases are (i) technology solutions, such as token-based systems and distributed ledgers; (ii) asset-based activities, such as investments and margin lending; (iii) liability-based activities, such as deposit services and reserves; (iv) custodial services; and (v) other activities, which could include market-making and decentralized financing. The RFI requests comment on whether additional use cases should be included within this framework and which use cases have the greatest demand in the marketplace. The RFI also requests that commenters provide more detailed information about the use cases that IDIs currently conduct or are considering conducting.…
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Federal Banking Regulators Issue Proposal on Income Tax Allocation Agreements
On April 22, 2021, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and OCC (the “agencies”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require banks that file tax returns as part of a consolidated tax filing group to enter into income tax allocation agreements with their parent companies and other members of the consolidated group that join in the filing, and would set forth specific requirements for the contents of those agreements. The proposal would apply to all insured depository institutions and OCC-chartered uninsured institutions that are not registered as Subchapter S corporations (collectively, “covered institutions”).
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CFPB Rescinds Abusiveness Policy Statement
On March 11, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or “Bureau”) announced it was rescinding its “Statement of Policy Regarding Prohibition on Abusive Acts or Practices” (the “2020 Policy Statement”). The rescission is the latest in a series of actions under Acting Director David Uejio that demonstrate a recalibration in the Bureau’s regulatory…
CFPB Issues Interpretive Rule Clarifying that ECOA’s Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Sex Extends to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
On March 9, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) issued an interpretive rule clarifying that the Equal Opportunity Credit Act (“ECOA”) and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The CFPB made clear that this prohibition also extends to “actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other association.” Specifically, the Bureau found that, under ECOA and Regulation B:
- (1) “sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination necessarily involve consideration of sex”;
- (2) “an applicant’s sex must be a ‘but for’ cause of the injury, but need not be the only cause”; and
- (3) “discrimination against individuals, and not merely against groups, is covered.”…
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