Cresco Labs grants cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois

Branded cannabis products wholesaler Cresco Labs granted two adult-use dispensary licenses in Illinois as part of its SEED initiative, which supports social equity groups.© Shutterstock The license awards went to Parkway Dispensary and Navāda Labs. They are part of the 185 new licenses recently issued by the state. “We’re thrilled for all new Illinois cannabis […]

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Branded cannabis products wholesaler Cresco Labs granted two adult-use dispensary licenses in Illinois as part of its SEED initiative, which supports social equity groups.

© Shutterstock

The license awards went to Parkway Dispensary and Navāda Labs. They are part of the 185 new licenses recently issued by the state.

“We’re thrilled for all new Illinois cannabis business owners who finally have the opportunity to get their businesses up and running. We’re also incredibly proud of our Cresco Labs team members who—through our SEED Community Business Incubator—assisted social equity groups with their license applications,” Cresco Labs CEO and Co-Founder Charlie Bachtell said. “The issuance of an additional 185 retail licenses is the result of years of hard work and patience and marks a game-changing moment for inclusiveness and social justice in cannabis.”

Bachtell said this historic initiative will help to further diversify the cannabis industry, provide more customers with access to top quality cannabis products, and serve as a catalyst for the continued industry growth.

SEED’s Community Business Incubator will continue to provide essential services and support to Parkway Dispensary, Navāda Labs and other social equity groups issued licenses through Cresco’s Illinois Cannabis Education Center.

Seminars, workshops and networking events featuring subject matter experts will aid social equity groups with business plan refinement as well as enactment of business plans, site construction and launch operations.

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Rep. Waters leads group of Democrats asking regulators to end redlining in CRA update

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), as chairwoman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, is leading 76 Democrats in urging federal banking regulators to put an end to the practice of “modern day redlining” in their proposal to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).© Shutterstock Redlining refers to a discriminatory practice that puts financial services, […]

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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), as chairwoman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, is leading 76 Democrats in urging federal banking regulators to put an end to the practice of “modern day redlining” in their proposal to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

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Redlining refers to a discriminatory practice that puts financial services, as well as other services, out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race or ethnicity. In a letter to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Democrats said the regulators should carefully consider comments from civil rights and community groups in CRA modernization proposal.

“We are heartened by your agencies’ efforts to put forward a new proposal to modernize the CRA, which represents a once in a generation opportunity for federal bank regulators to end redlining and its present-day manifestations. The CRA became law in 1977 and the last time your agencies came together to reform CRA rules was in 1995, nearly three decades ago. Significant changes in the financial marketplace have taken place since that time…[m]any of those changes have contributed to less effective CRA rules,” wrote the lawmakers. “We appreciate your agencies’ joint efforts to work together to advance a much-needed update to CRA rules. As you work to finalize the rule, we urge you to consider our recommendations as well as those from civil rights groups, consumer advocates, and other affected stakeholders.”

Among their suggestions, they recommend that CRA exams take into account bank activities that impact communities of color as well as low-and-moderate income communities. They also say banks should only get CRA credit when they make meaningful investments in communities, and that CRA exams should become more rigorous.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/rep-waters-leads-group-of-democrats-asking-regulators-to-end-redlining-in-cra-update/

SEC proposes rule to improve governance at clearing agencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week proposed new rules that seek to improve the overall governance at registered clearing agencies and reduce conflicts of interest.© Shutterstock Specifically, the proposed rule would establish new governance requirements on board composition, independent directors, nominating committees, and risk management committees. Further, the rule would require new policies […]

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week proposed new rules that seek to improve the overall governance at registered clearing agencies and reduce conflicts of interest.

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Specifically, the proposed rule would establish new governance requirements on board composition, independent directors, nominating committees, and risk management committees. Further, the rule would require new policies and procedures regarding conflicts of interest, board obligations to oversee relationships with service providers for critical services, and a board obligation to consider stakeholder viewpoints. In addition, it would establish new requirements for clearing agencies to identify, mitigate, or eliminate conflicts of interest and document those actions.

“I was pleased to support this proposal because, if adopted, it would enhance governance standards for all registered clearinghouses, particularly with regards to conflicts of interest,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said. “I think these rules would help to build more transparent and reliable clearinghouses. This in turn would help ensure our markets are more resilient, protecting investors and building trust in our markets.”

If adopted, the proposed rules would increase transparency of the decision-making process on clearing agency boards and committees, reduce conflicts of interest, increase the role of independent directors in board decision-making processes, and help promote fair representation of owners and participants in the selection of directors.

The proposal will be published on SEC.gov and in the Federal Register. The public comment period will remain open for 60 days following publication of the proposal on the SEC’s website or 30 days following publication in the Federal Register, whichever period is longer.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/sec-proposes-rule-to-improve-governance-at-clearing-agencies/

Director Chopra’s Prepared Remarks at the 2022 National Association of Attorneys General Presidential Summit

Director Chopra delivered remarks on digital marketing and advertising at the 2022 NAAG Presidential Summit in Des Moines, IA.

Director Chopra delivered remarks on digital marketing and advertising at the 2022 NAAG Presidential Summit in Des Moines, IA.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/director-chopras-prepared-remarks-at-the-2022-national-association-of-attorneys-general-presidential-summit/

CFPB Warns that Digital Marketing Providers Must Comply with Federal Consumer Finance Protections

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule laying out when digital marketing providers for financial firms must comply with federal consumer financial protection law.

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule laying out when digital marketing providers for financial firms must comply with federal consumer financial protection law.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-warns-that-digital-marketing-providers-must-comply-with-federal-consumer-finance-protections/

CFPB Takes Action Against Hello Digit for Lying to Consumers About Its Automated Savings Algorithm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Hello Digit, LLC, a financial technology company that used a faulty algorithm that caused overdrafts and overdraft penalties for customers. Hello Digit was meant to save people mo…

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Hello Digit, LLC, a financial technology company that used a faulty algorithm that caused overdrafts and overdraft penalties for customers. Hello Digit was meant to save people money, but instead the company falsely guaranteed no overdrafts with its product, broke its promises to make amends on its mistakes, and pocketed a portion of the interest that should have gone to consumers.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-against-hello-digit-for-lying-to-consumers-about-its-automated-savings-algorithm/

Sen. Brown urging analysis of role of private equity in insurance industry

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging key insurance industry leaders to consider the growing role of private equity in the insurance industry. © Shutterstock Brown recently sent letters to the leaders of the Treasury Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), encouraging them to continue their analysis of changes […]

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging key insurance industry leaders to consider the growing role of private equity in the insurance industry.

© Shutterstock

Brown recently sent letters to the leaders of the Treasury Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), encouraging them to continue their analysis of changes in the insurance industry to ensure policyholders are protected from the consequences of excessive risk-taking.

“FIO should work to examine the growth of offshore reinsurance markets and increased risk-taking behavior across the life insurance industry, which could contribute to increased systemic risk across the financial system,” wrote Brown to Steven Seitz, the director at FIO. “I look forward to discussing these issues, and broader insurance industry matters at an upcoming hearing before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.”

These letters follow up on correspondences that Brown sent earlier this year to both FIO and NAIC, both of which said his inquiry would be fully considered.

“State insurance regulators are fully capable of assessing and managing the risks of these insurers, and there is nothing PE firms add to the playing field that changes this fact. It should provide you and the public comfort to know the state insurance regulatory system has already been working on many of the concerns that you and others have highlighted, and we possess the tools and resources to address these issues. State insurance regulation is constantly evolving and improving to ensure that the public trust in the insurance industry is well placed and secure,” NAIC Director Dean Cameron responded to the initial inquiry.

Brown is the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/sen-brown-urging-analysis-of-role-of-private-equity-in-insurance-industry/

Lawmakers express concerns about Equifax credit scoring system

A trio of lawmakers have forwarded correspondence to Equifax, noting concerns regarding alleged issues within the consumer credit reporting company’s credit scoring system.© Shutterstock Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) sent the letter as a means of addressing the company’s alleged failure to correctly report consumer credit scores […]

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A trio of lawmakers have forwarded correspondence to Equifax, noting concerns regarding alleged issues within the consumer credit reporting company’s credit scoring system.

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Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) sent the letter as a means of addressing the company’s alleged failure to correctly report consumer credit scores and delays in informing lenders and consumers of problems.

The lawmakers allege the inaction resulted in consumers being denied or charged higher interest rates for auto loans, mortgages and credit cards. Also, they are requesting that Equifax be responsible for mistakes in its credit scoring system.

“This is a deeply troubling allegation, raising questions about the impact your opaque practices may have on America’s financial institutions and on individual borrowers, who may be stuck paying higher costs for loans, credit cards, cars and houses,” the legislators wrote. “Your company owes the public a clear and transparent explanation for why and how it made such grievous errors, the scope of the errors and why you have failed to notify affected consumers of these errors.”

The lawmakers have requested answers to questions regarding inaccurate credit score reporting, the impact on consumers, and their plans to notify and compensate impacted consumers by Aug. 19, 2022, per authorities.

Equifax possesses credit scores of over 200 million domestic consumers and delivered more than 2.8 billion consumer credit card files to lenders last year.

The lawmakers cited a report that said from March 16, 2022, to April 6, 2022, Equifax sent incorrect credit scores for hundreds of thousands of consumers to lenders, resulting in higher interest rates and denied applications.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/lawamkers-express-equifax-credit-scoring-system-concerns/

Lawmakers condemn FDIC appeals process

House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Republicans have forwarded correspondence to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) leadership regarding the agency’s examinational appeals process.© Shutterstock Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) joined 22 colleagues in signing off on the letter to FDIC Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg, maintaining the appeals process is politicized and retaliatory. While the FDIC conducts […]

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House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Republicans have forwarded correspondence to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) leadership regarding the agency’s examinational appeals process.

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Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) joined 22 colleagues in signing off on the letter to FDIC Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg, maintaining the appeals process is politicized and retaliatory.

While the FDIC conducts examinations of the financial institutions under its supervision as a means of ensure regulatory compliance, in 1994 Congress required the FDIC to establish an independent process protecting financial institutions from bias and retaliation by FDIC staff if the financial institution seeks to revisit an FDIC examination.

The lawmakers assert the FDIC instead established the Supervision Appeals Review Committee (SARC), staffed it with political insiders and maintained the SARC was underutilized by supervised entities for fear of later retaliation from FDIC examiners.

“The FDIC knew that their choice to revert to a partisan appeals process would be met with concern from legislators and stakeholders alike,” Emmer said. “Nevertheless, they chose to abandon an independent, apolitical body without even asking for public comment. The American people deserve answers on how and why this previously nonpartisan body was abandoned and how the FDIC made their decision to return to cronyism.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/lawmakers-condemn-fdic-appeals-process/

Senate passes bill that would impose tax on stock buybacks

A bill that would impose a 1 percent excise tax on the repurchase of stock by publicly traded companies passed the U.S. Senate this week.© Shutterstock The Stock Buyback Accountability Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), was passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, […]

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A bill that would impose a 1 percent excise tax on the repurchase of stock by publicly traded companies passed the U.S. Senate this week.

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The Stock Buyback Accountability Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), was passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said the legislation seeks to incentivize big corporations to invest in their workers rather than investors and shareholders via stock buybacks.

“Rather than investing in their workers, mega-corporations used the windfall from Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts to juice their stock prices and reward their wealthiest investors and their executives through massive stock buybacks,” Wyden said. “Even as millions of families struggled through the pandemic, corporate stock buybacks once again hit all-time highs. Stock buybacks are currently heavily favored by the tax code, despite their skewed benefits for the very top and potential for insider game-playing. My proposal with Senator (Sherrod) Brown simply ends this preferential treatment and encourages mega-corporations to invest in their workers.”

Stock buybacks are just that, cases where public companies repurchase their own shares on the market, usually in down markets when prices are lower. Wyden said they are used by public companies to juice their stock prices and reward investors. Corporate stock buybacks set at an all-time high in 2018, then broke that record in 2021.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/senate-passes-bill-that-would-impose-tax-on-stock-buybacks/