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Friday, December 2, 2016

House Passes ABA-Advocated SIFI Designation Bill

The House has passed, by a bipartisan vote of 254 to 161, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act, a bill strongly advocated by ABA and the state bankers associations. Introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), the bill eliminates the automatic designation of banks as systemically important based solely on asset size and directs regulators to develop a formal process for making SIFI designations that considers variations in banks’ asset size, business model and risk profile. Twenty Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols applauded the passage of the bill. He said
This bill recognizes that size-only regulation is needlessly burdensome, increases costs and reduces products and services available to bank customers. The most effective and value-added supervision system is one that is risk-based and individually tailored, taking into account a wide variety of factors relevant to a bank’s size, business model, complexity and other areas.

Read Nichols' statement.

CFPB Updates Mortgage Servicing Compliance Guide

The CFPB has published an updated version of small entity compliance guide for mortgage servicing. The revised guide incorporates the changes to Regulation X and Regulation Z that were made as a result of the bureau’s servicing final rule issued earlier this year.

Read the guide.

OCC Releases 2017 Assessment Schedule

The OCC has released its 2017 assessment schedule. Assessments are due March 31 and Sept. 30, based on Call Report information as of Dec. 31 and June 30, respectively, the OCC said. Marginal assessment rates were adjusted to 1.2% for 2017 due to inflation. Fees assessed on independent trust banks and independent credit card banks were also adjusted for inflation. The schedule continues to include a surcharge for national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks that require increased supervisory resources.

Read more.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Curry: OCC ‘Should Consider’ Separate CEO, Chairman Roles

The OCC may examine whether national banks should separate the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said at an industry event. “The OCC’s heightened standards require that a percentage of national banks board members be independent. This is one area that may require further work.”

He pointed out that “some national banks have split the roles of board chairman and chief executive officer to clearly delineate roles and governance of the institution and eliminate potential conflicts of interest that exist when the same individual serves in both roles,” adding that “we should consider whether this structural change by some national banks makes sense for all federally supervised banks, or at least the largest most complex ones.”

Read more.

CFPB Monthly Complaint Snapshot: Other Financial Service Complaints

The CFPB complaint snapshot for November highlighted debt settlement, check cashing and other financial service complaints. When consumers submit a complaint that falls outside one of the Bureau’s major complaint categories, their complaint is listed under the category “other financial service”. The types of complaints that make up this category include debt settlement, check cashing, credit repair, and money orders.

The report shows that consumer complaints about these types of financial services generally revolve around issues of fraud or problems with reliable customer service. The majority of complaints were related to fraud or scam. These complaints generally had to do with consumers dealing with debt settlement companies. Consumers also complained of trouble redeeming money orders.

As of Nov. 1, 2016, the Bureau had handled approximately 4,500 complaints about these types of financial services. The report also took an in depth look at consumer complaints from Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City metro area.

Read the report.

Trump Picks Banker Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate banker Steven Mnuchin to serve as treasury secretary. Mnuchin served most recently as Trump’s campaign finance chairman.

Early in his career, Mnuchin was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs for 17 years. He was later a hedge fund investor and a leader of the team that purchased failed bank IndyMac in 2009. He was chairman and CEO at the new bank, which was renamed OneWest Bank, and later sold to CIT Group.

“Our most important priority is sustained economic growth,” he said in an appearance this morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” arguing that the economy can return to consistent 3-4 percent GDP growth and that the administration’s first effort to that end will be tax reform. Mnuchin added that “we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending [as] the number one priority on the regulatory side.”

Speaking about Wilbur Ross — an investor and banker specializing in leveraged buyouts whom Trump named secretary of commerce — Mnuchin said that “we’ve been in the business of regional banking and we understand what it is to make loans. That’s the engine of growth to small- and medium-sized businesses.”