On March 31, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) rescinded a range of policy statements issued under the leadership of former Director Kathleen L. Kraninger.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
CFPB Issues Rule Targeted at Preventing Illegal Evictions
On April 19, 2021, the CFPB issued an interim final rule (“rule”) aimed at preventing illegal evictions. This measure is intended to support an eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), which prevents landlords from evicting tenants for failing to pay rent when the tenant is unable to afford full payments and would likely be driven into homelessness or a shared living setting by the eviction. The rule applies to debt collectors—as defined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”)—who are collecting debts for landlords. Under the rule’s terms, such collectors must disclose the existence of the CDC moratorium and may not misrepresent tenants’ eligibility for protection under the moratorium.
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CFPB Releases FDCPA Report to Congress Covering Debt Collection Activities in the Previous Year
On March 23, 2021, the CFPB submitted its report to Congress covering its administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) during 2020. Because the CFPB shares responsibility for enforcing the FDCPA with the FTC, the report also describes the FTC’s activities relating to debt collection. Notable developments include the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the debt collection industry and a description of the CFPB’s recently issued final debt collection rules.
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Federal and State Regulators Issue Interagency Guidance Regarding Assessing Safety and Soundness During COVID-19
On June 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, NCUA, and state financial regulators (“the agencies”) issued guidance outlining the supervisory principles for assessing the safety and soundness of institutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance highlights that while examiners will consider the unique stresses caused by COVID-19 on financial institutions, the agencies will continue to assess institutions in accordance with existing policies and procedures and may provide supervisory feedback, or downgrade institutions’ composite or component ratings under the applicable rating system when conditions have deteriorated. Although an assessment may result in a lower rating, in determining the appropriate supervisory response, examiners will consider whether weaknesses were caused by external economic problems related to the pandemic or by intrinsic risk management and governance issues. Overall, the guidance suggests that while examiners will take into account the unique impact of the pandemic on financial institutions, ratings will depend on each individual institution’s ability to assess and manage risk appropriately, including taking appropriate action in response to stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Temporary SLR Relief Extended to Banks, With Condition
On May 15, 2020, the federal banking agencies issued an interim final rule to permit depository institutions to exclude from their supplementary leverage ratio (“SLR”) denominators through March 31, 2021 the balance sheet value of U.S. Treasury securities and funds on deposit at a Federal Reserve Bank, subject to restrictions on capital distributions. The interim final rule complements a similar interim final rule that the Federal Reserve issued in April, which excluded the same set of assets from the SLR denominator of bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, and intermediate holding companies of foreign banking organizations subject to the SLR (the “Holdco Rule”).
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Federal Reserve Announces Further Details on TALF
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced additional details regarding the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”). The TALF is a financial crisis-era liquidity facility designed to help meet the credit needs of consumers and businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities (“ABS”).
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LCR Effects of PPPLF and MMLF Participation Neutralized
Today, May 5, 2020, the federal banking agencies released an interim final rule to neutralize the effect of participating in the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (“PPPLF”) and Money Market Liquidity Facility (“MMLF”) on a banking organization’s Liquidity Coverage Ratio (“LCR”).
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Federal Reserve to Disclose Information on Borrowers of Emergency Lending Programs
On April 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board (“Board”) announced that it will provide “extensive” public information on the borrowers, interest rates, and loan amounts pertaining to the funding from the coronavirus emergency lending programs.
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Federal Reserve Announces Main Street Lending Program and Other Facilities to Provide Credit to Businesses, States, and Municipalities Impacted by COVID-19
Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced the creation of four new liquidity facilities and the expansion of three previously announced liquidity facilities to provide credit to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the previously announced programs primarily targeted certain financial markets and their participants (such as the markets for…
CFTC Announces Fourth Wave of No-Action Relief in Response to COVID-19
On March 31, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) announced the release of a targeted, temporary no-action letter aimed at foreign affiliates of futures commission merchants (FCMs). This relief is meant to ease regulatory burdens in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In short, the relief relaxes restrictions on CFTC registrants’ affiliated foreign brokers by allowing them to address the needs of the registrants’ U.S.-based customers without having to register as introducing brokers. The CFTC has now issued four waves of no-action relief. It issued the first two waves on March 17, 2020, and a third wave three days later.
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