Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on proposed changes to Regulation II regarding network availability for card-not-present debit card transactions and publishes a biennial report containing summary information on debit card transactions in 2019

Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on proposed changes to Regulation II regarding network availability for card-not-present debit card transactions and publishes a biennial report containing summary information on debit card transactions in 2019

Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on proposed changes to Regulation II regarding network availability for card-not-present debit card transactions and publishes a biennial report containing summary information on debit card transactions in 2019

Read more / Original news source: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20210507a.htm

Michael J. Hsu to Become Acting Comptroller of the Currency May 10, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that Michael J. Hsu will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 10, 2021, pursuant to 12 USC 4 as designated by Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that Michael J. Hsu will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 10, 2021, pursuant to 12 USC 4 as designated by Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2021/nr-occ-2021-51.html

CBA, financial industry groups ask OCC to withdraw 2020 Community Reinvestment Act Rule

A group of financial industry trade groups, including the Consumer Bankers Association, are calling on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to withdraw its June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Rule or delay its January 2023 compliance date.© Shutterstock The organizations said the rule should be withdrawn or delayed due to changes […]

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A group of financial industry trade groups, including the Consumer Bankers Association, are calling on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to withdraw its June 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Rule or delay its January 2023 compliance date.

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The organizations said the rule should be withdrawn or delayed due to changes in Administration and the OCC leadership.

“To date, most banks have conducted preliminary preparations to implement the June 2020 Rule; they have not yet dedicated the full scope of resources that will be needed to create the technological infrastructure necessary to comply with the Rule and its new data reporting requirements,” the associations wrote to Acting Comptroller Blake Paulson.

The letter was signed by the American Bankers Association, Association of Military Banks of America, Bank Policy Institute, Community Development Bankers Association, Housing Policy Council, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association for Affordable Housing Lenders, and National Bankers Association.

“However, as budget season and the 2023 compliance date draw near, CRA personnel will be required to allocate significant funds and other resources to begin building new technology systems, hiring consultants, assembling project management teams, and retooling CRA programs. These will be significant expenditures that will be wasteful if the OCC significantly modifies the Rule as part of a future interagency rulemaking,” the letter continued.

Through the CRA, the organizations point out that banks are currently investing nearly $500 billion annually into communities across the country. Modernizing CRA will give banks more clarity as to which investments will count, allowing them to do more. Further, it will help ensure CRA investments reach communities that are most in need.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/cba-financial-industry-groups-ask-occ-to-withdraw-2020-community-reinvestment-act-rule/

Federal Reserve Board to hear public comment on fintech proposal

The Federal Reserve Board is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services at Federal Reserve Banks from non-bank organizations or financial technology companies, or fintechs. © Shutterstock In recent years, new financial products and delivery mechanisms for traditional banking services have emerged, most of them leveraging emerging technologies. […]

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The Federal Reserve Board is seeking public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services at Federal Reserve Banks from non-bank organizations or financial technology companies, or fintechs.

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In recent years, new financial products and delivery mechanisms for traditional banking services have emerged, most of them leveraging emerging technologies. Some are from fintechs or other non-bank organizations with novel types of banking charters to support these innovations.

Some of these institutions have requested access to the payments system offered by Federal Reserve Banks. Thus, to provide a transparent and consistent process for all access requests, the Fed is proposing Account Access Guidelines for the reserve banks to evaluate such requests. These guidelines consider the Fed Board’s legal authority and reflect an analysis of its policy goals.

“With technology driving rapid change in the payments landscape, the proposed Account Access Guidelines would ensure requests for access to the Federal Reserve payments system from novel institutions are evaluated in a consistent and transparent manner that promotes a safe, efficient, inclusive, and innovative payment system, consumer protection, and the safety and soundness of the banking system,” Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee, supports the idea.

“I’m glad that the Fed is seeking comment on how best to include financial technology firms in their payment systems,” McHenry said. “Institutions are finding new and creative ways for technology to help traditionally underserved communities and consumers gain access to capital. Today’s announcement by the Fed is a welcome step that recognizes the important role innovation is playing in the way Americans access, utilize and interact with the financial system. I look forward to working with regulators and stakeholders to ensure our regulatory structure continues to support this kind of growth rather than suppresses it.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/federal-reserve-board-to-hear-public-comment-on-fintech-proposal/

Lawmakers advocate anti-money laundering initiative

A group of lawmakers recently encouraged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to implement a beneficial ownership reporting system as a means of addressing money laundering and international corruption.© Shutterstock Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently forwarded comments to FinCEN personnel regarding the Corporate Transparency Act […]

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A group of lawmakers recently encouraged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to implement a beneficial ownership reporting system as a means of addressing money laundering and international corruption.

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Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently forwarded comments to FinCEN personnel regarding the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) required action.

“[T]he CTA is the product of a sensitive and painstaking legislative process, and its passage represents perhaps the most important anti-money laundering reform of the past decade,” the legislators wrote. “Despite the legislative success, this achievement can only be realized if the system works in practice. As such, we encourage FinCEN to implement a straightforward, efficient, and effective system and to do so promptly.”

The lawmakers maintain FinCEN must properly implement the system to reflect Congress’s intent while avoiding the creation of loopholes and hurdles potentially delaying law enforcement’s access to beneficial ownership information.

The legislators noted FinCEN’s failure to act would further enable global violators to abuse America’s legal and financial institutions.

Whitehouse has described the matter as a clash of civilizations between rule-of-law nations and those governed by autocracy, kleptocracy, and criminality. The circumstance is one in which rule-of-law nations aid and abet adversaries by providing sanctuary for stolen wealth.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/lawmakers-advocate-anti-money-laundering-initiative/

House committee advances legislation seeking to bolster retirement savings

The House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee has advanced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, noting the measure expands opportunities to increase retirement savings.© Shutterstock Additionally, lawmakers indicated the effort bolsters workers’ long-term financial well-being and compliments the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 signed into law […]

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The House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee has advanced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, noting the measure expands opportunities to increase retirement savings.

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Additionally, lawmakers indicated the effort bolsters workers’ long-term financial well-being and compliments the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 signed into law last Congress.

“The retirement crisis in America is real and will only get worse without easier pathways to saving and encouraging workers to start planning for retirement earlier in life,” Committee Chairman Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) wrote in a joint statement. “This legislation expands automatic enrollment, simplifies many retirement plan rules, and strengthens small businesses’ ability to offer workplace retirement plans, to make it easier for Americans to plan for their golden years.”

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) recently extended gratitude to lawmakers for advancing the bill.

“The American retirement system has helped millions of Americans prepare for a secure future,” SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. said. “SIFMA believes the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 takes important steps toward enhancing the private retirement system and increasing retirement savings, including provisions that will incentivize small businesses to offer retirement plans, enable older Americans to save more, and hold on to their savings longer, and help young people to save while paying off student loan debt.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/house-committee-advances-legislation-seeking-to-bolster-retirement-savings/

NFIB files amicus brief in Utah AG’s lawsuit over American Rescue Plan

The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in support of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ lawsuit against the federal government.© Shutterstock Reyes’ suit concerns provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act that the plaintiffs say leaves doubt as to whether states can lower their own taxes. The plaintiff’s […]

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The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in support of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ lawsuit against the federal government.

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Reyes’ suit concerns provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act that the plaintiffs say leaves doubt as to whether states can lower their own taxes. The plaintiff’s say that the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made funds available to states if they agree not to pass any laws or take any administrative actions that decrease their net revenue, whether that decrease comes through tax credits, rebates, reductions in tax credits, or new or expanded deductions.

“Our state’s sound fiscal fitness is the result of choices we correctly made and should not be put on hold by a last-minute amendment slipped into the Rescue Plan Act,” Candace Daly, Utah state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said. “More than just an issue of dollars and cents, this is an issue of Utah’s basic sovereignty to be the master of its own destiny.”

The amicus brief was filed on April 30 in a U.S. District Court in Alabama, where the case is being heard.

“The Utah Legislature recently passed $100 million in tax relief to families with children, veterans, and older residents receiving Social Security. But that relief is now at risk because the American Rescue Plan Act potentially denies states the ability to cut taxes … we joined in this lawsuit against the Administration in addition to an earlier joint letter asking Secretary Yellen to confirm that the Act will not prohibit Utah and other states from providing much-needed tax relief,” Reyes said back on March 31.

Reyes is joined by 12 other state attorneys general in the Alabama case. Arizona, Missouri, and Ohio have filed similar lawsuits.

“Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to relieve some of the financial pressure caused by the pandemic, but a provision that blocks Utah and other states from cutting taxes is eroding state sovereignty and hurts local businesses. NFIB believes the court should block this unprecedented tax mandate and grant the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, said.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/nfib-files-amicus-brief-in-utah-ags-lawsuit-over-american-rescue-plan/

CFPB, FTC urge landlords to adhere to moratorium on evictions

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter are reminding the nation’s largest apartment landlords that federal protections remain in place to keep tenants in their homes and stop the spread of COVID-19. © Shutterstock Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) […]

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter are reminding the nation’s largest apartment landlords that federal protections remain in place to keep tenants in their homes and stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended until June 30 a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. The CDC order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenant submits that they cannot afford full rental payments and would likely become homeless or have to move into a shared living setting if evicted.

In turn, the CFPB issued an interim final rule establishing new notice requirements under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The CFPB’s interim final rule requires debt collectors to provide written notice to tenants who may have rights under the CDC moratorium. Also, it prohibits them from misrepresenting tenants’ ineligibility for protection from eviction under the CDC moratorium.

“Landlords should ensure that FDCPA-covered debt collectors working on their behalf, which may include attorneys, notify tenants of their rights under federal law. Nearly nine million households are at risk of eviction due to the economic effects of COVID-19, but no one should lose their home without understanding their rights,” Uejio said. “We will hold accountable debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions.”

The letters ask landlords to ensure they comply with the CDC Moratorium and the FTC Act and remediate any harm to consumers stemming from any such law violations.

“With millions of families nationwide at risk of eviction, it’s vital that landlords and the debt collectors who work on their behalf understand and abide by their obligations,” Slaughter said. “We are continuing to monitor this area and will act as needed to protect renters.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/cfpb-ftc-urge-landlords-to-adhere-to-moratorium-on-evictions/

Bill seeks to bolster financial transparency

Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) have introduced the Financial Transparency Act, making financial data more readily available and less opaque.© Shutterstock The legislators noted the measure would require financial regulatory agencies to improve how they organize data and make the data available online as open data. “The Financial Transparency Act will […]

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Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) have introduced the Financial Transparency Act, making financial data more readily available and less opaque.

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The legislators noted the measure would require financial regulatory agencies to improve how they organize data and make the data available online as open data.

“The Financial Transparency Act will finally bring financial reporting and transparency into the 21st Century – making information more easily accessible to both regulators and the public,” said Maloney, senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and previous chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets. “This bill is a true win-win because it helps investors, businesses, and the government. I’ve long been an advocate for structured data in financial reporting, and I’m proud to introduce this bill with Ranking Member McHenry.”

McHenry, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, said the COVID-19 pandemic has proven the critical role technology plays in the nation’s financial system.

“It just makes sense for financial regulators to use technology to make public data more easily accessible—increasing transparency and decreasing regulatory burdens,” he said. “Streamlining data sets benefits everyone from financial institutions to tech startups, and I’m glad to join Congresswoman Maloney in reintroducing this common-sense legislation.”

Each of the country’s eight financial regulators would be required to adopt a set of data collection and dispersion standards for the information they collect under current law. Additionally, all data would be made available in an open-source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk, and without license restrictions.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/bill-seeks-to-bolster-financial-transparency/

HUD announces more than $20M in funding to target housing discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has earmarked $20,229,156 for fair housing organizations nationwide as a means of combating housing discrimination. © Shutterstock “The work HUD’s fair housing partners do is critical to our efforts to ensure that every person and family that calls America home has an equal shot […]

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has earmarked $20,229,156 for fair housing organizations nationwide as a means of combating housing discrimination.

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“The work HUD’s fair housing partners do is critical to our efforts to ensure that every person and family that calls America home has an equal shot when it comes to obtaining housing,” Jeanine Worden, HUD’s acting assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said. “HUD is committed to providing these groups with the funding they need to carry out their many important activities.”

The funding allotment would address fair housing testing, education, and outreach, in addition to capacity building, provided through the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP).

Authorities noted the Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) would receive $7,223,649 to help groups develop and implement tester training and education and outreach programs; the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) has been provided $2,250,000 to assist non-profit fair housing organizations with building capacity and effectiveness to conduct enforcement related activities; and the Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) has been allotted $10,755,507 to help non-profit fair housing enforcement organizations conduct investigations and other enforcement activities regarding the prevention or elimination of discriminatory housing practices.

Funding is available to support organizations enforcing the nation’s fair housing laws and policies, in addition to educating the public, housing providers, and local governments about Fair Housing Act rights and responsibilities.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/hud-announces-more-than-20m-in-funding-to-target-housing-discrimination/