Bills address entrepreneurial empowerment

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced two pieces of legislation designed to empower entrepreneurs in underserved communities.© Shutterstock Cardin said the Closing the Credit Gap Act and the Unlocking Opportunities in Emerging Markets Act would enable entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, build successful companies, create jobs and ensure the Small Business Administration (SBA) is coordinating […]

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Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced two pieces of legislation designed to empower entrepreneurs in underserved communities.

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Cardin said the Closing the Credit Gap Act and the Unlocking Opportunities in Emerging Markets Act would enable entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, build successful companies, create jobs and ensure the Small Business Administration (SBA) is coordinating and meeting the objectives of its diversity initiatives.

The Closing the Credit Gap Act would make the SBA’s 7(a) Community Advantage Pilot Program (CA) permanent, providing stability and certainty for existing lenders and attracting new lenders focused on underserved markets.

Officials noted the Unlocking Opportunities in Emerging Markets Act would establish an Office of Emerging Markets (OEM) within SBA’s Office of Capital Access to ensure SBA’s access to capital initiatives address the specific needs of entrepreneurs in underserved domestic emerging markets in a coordinated way.

“Capital is the lifeblood of small businesses and for too many minority, women and veteran entrepreneurs, the inability to access capital is what prevents them from pursuing their dreams and ideas,” Cardin, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship ranking member, said. “With these two bills, we will build on the Community Advantage program’s demonstrated ability to get capital into the hands of underserved entrepreneurs, and we will empower a senior level official to oversee Community Advantage and other targeted efforts.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/bills-address-entrepreneurial-empowerment/

CFPB Extends Comment Period for Debt Collection Proposal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it is extending the comment period on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The comment period will be extended from …

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it is extending the comment period on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The comment period will be extended from August 19, 2019, to September 18, 2019. 

Read more / Original news source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/bureau-extends-comment-period-debt-collection-proposal/

Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City

Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City

Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City

Read more / Original news source: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20190801a.htm

Capital One data breach exposes need for better cybersecurity, lawmakers say

Lawmakers said this week that more needs to be done to protect banks and financial services firms from hackers following a massive data breach at Capital One that impacted some 100 million customers.© Shutterstock “This data breach shows that it’s not just big technology companies and credit reporting agencies like Equifax that are vulnerable to […]

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Lawmakers said this week that more needs to be done to protect banks and financial services firms from hackers following a massive data breach at Capital One that impacted some 100 million customers.

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“This data breach shows that it’s not just big technology companies and credit reporting agencies like Equifax that are vulnerable to hacking and data breaches – big banks are vulnerable targets as well. As this is not the first incident in which Capital One’s customer data was exposed, we need to understand what bank regulators have been doing to ensure that this bank, and other banks, have strong cybersecurity policies and practices. We must also understand what bank regulators are doing to ensure strong oversight of third-party technology providers that banks work with,” Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said. “As we learn more about this incident, I plan to work with my colleagues and take action in the Financial Services Committee on legislation to improve oversight of the cybersecurity of financial institutions.”

The breach, which occurred on July 19, affected approximately 100 million Americans and about 6 million Canadians. Capital One reported that less than 1 percent – or about 140,000 Social Security numbers – were comprised. Further, about 80,000 linked bank account numbers of credit card customers were impacted. No credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised. The person responsible for the breach has been arrested. Capital One believes it is unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated.

“While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened,” Richard Fairbank, chairman and CEO at Capital One, said. “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”

The largest category of information accessed was on consumers and small businesses that applied for credit cards from 2005 through early 2019. This information included personal information on credit card applications, including names, addresses, zip codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and income.

“This massive data breach also underscores how important it is that the consumer credit reporting bills that the Financial Services Committee recently passed become law so that any consumer affected by a data breach is not further harmed. Among other things, the bills the Committee passed ensure that consumers can get a free copy of their credit score, provide better tools for victims of fraud, and make it easier for consumers to get errors on their reports corrected,” Waters added.

One of those bills is the Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit and Protecting Consumers Act, introduced by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). This bill would establish the right to free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services if a consumer is a victim of identity theft, fraud, or a related crime.

“The Capital One data breach is a stark reminder of the need for stringent data security standards for financial institutions, third-party service providers, and any other entity with access to personally identifiable information,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ranking member on the committee, said. “In this instance, tokenization and encryption helped protect some sensitive data, but it’s vital that we continue to modernize and innovate. I’ve long advocated for legislation that would help end our reliance on stagnant identifiers like Social Security numbers. It’s time to develop technological and regulatory systems that do a better job of keeping American consumers safe from growing cybersecurity threats.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/capital-one-data-breach-exposes-need-for-better-cybersecurity-lawmakers-say/

FDIC releases annual banking risk publication

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has published its 2019 Risk Review, which officials said highlights emerging risks and exposures in the banking system. © Shutterstock “The FDIC is committed to transparency and accountability, and the publication of our 2019 Risk Review provides an opportunity for us to communicate data and our analysis on key […]

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has published its 2019 Risk Review, which officials said highlights emerging risks and exposures in the banking system.

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“The FDIC is committed to transparency and accountability, and the publication of our 2019 Risk Review provides an opportunity for us to communicate data and our analysis on key risks facing the banking system,” FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said.

Financial institutions, policymakers, analysts and regulators will find the publication of particular interest, the FDIC said, adding the most recent edition of Risk Review provides a summary of conditions in the U.S. economy, financial markets, and banking industry while also presenting critical risks to banks in two broad categories: credit risk and market risk.

The credit risk areas discussed in the document are agriculture, commercial real estate, energy, housing, leveraged lending and corporate debt and nonbank lending while the market risk areas discussed are interest rate risk and deposit competition and liquidity.

The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s banks and savings associations, totaling 5,362 as of March 31, 2019, and promotes the safety and soundness of institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/fdic-releases-annual-banking-risk-publication/

OCC Consolidates Supervision Support Functions, Announces New Units

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced realignment of approximately 150 staff members to create two new units, consolidating bank supervision support, risk analysis, and oversight of national trust banks and significant service p…

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced realignment of approximately 150 staff members to create two new units, consolidating bank supervision support, risk analysis, and oversight of national trust banks and significant service providers.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2019/nr-occ-2019-84.html

OCC Consolidates Supervision Support Functions, Announces New Units

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced realignment of approximately 150 staff members to create two new units, consolidating bank supervision support, risk analysis, and oversight of national trust banks and significant service p…

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced realignment of approximately 150 staff members to create two new units, consolidating bank supervision support, risk analysis, and oversight of national trust banks and significant service providers.

Read more / Original news source: https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2019/nr-occ-2019-84.html?utm_source=RSS_feed&utm_medium=RSS

IRI urges Massachusetts to delay implementation of state fiduciary rule

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is urging the Massachusetts Securities Division to delay action on a proposed state regulation governing professional financial advice to consumers.© Shutterstock The Massachusetts Securities Division is seeking comment on a regulation to apply a fiduciary conduct standard on broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives when dealing with customers […]

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The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is urging the Massachusetts Securities Division to delay action on a proposed state regulation governing professional financial advice to consumers.

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The Massachusetts Securities Division is seeking comment on a regulation to apply a fiduciary conduct standard on broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives when dealing with customers and clients. The standard requires that recommendations and advice be made in the best interest of customers and clients without regard to the interests of the broker-dealer or advisory firm. It allows for the payment of transaction-based remuneration.

It is similar to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, which was overturned and replaced with the SEC Regulation Best Interest. State officials say the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest fails to define the key term “best interest,” and sets ambiguous requirements for how conflicts in the securities industry must be addressed under the new rule. They say it also fails to indicate whether some of the most problematic practices in the securities industry would be prohibited under the new rule.

“In many instances, it appears that the mitigation of conflicts required under the SEC Regulation Best Interest can be accomplished through disclosure, including disclosure via the new Customer Relationship Summary,” MSD officials state. “This approach contradicts years of data gathered by studies and reports on disclosure and the conduct standards applicable to broker-dealers.”

IRI, which represents the retirement income industry, said the state should wait to see if the new Regulation Best Interest rule leaves any gaps in investor protections. IRI asserts that Regulation Best Interest will address the state’s concerns. Further, IRI called the Massachusetts proposal inconsistent and incompatible with the SEC rules. Further, the group called the proposal “misguided,” adding that it could make it more difficult for some financial services firms to do business in the state.

“For the Division to create a separate regulatory structure that destroys the distinction between brokerage and advisory services is, at its best, misguided, and at worst, contrary to and incompatible with the Final SEC Rules,” Jason Berkowitz, IRI chief legal and regulatory affairs officer, wrote in a comment letter to the Mass Securities Division. “By rejecting the SEC’s approach, the Division threatens to create a regulatory labyrinth for broker dealers (BDs) offering services in Massachusetts. BDs will not only have to comply with the Final SEC Rules but also the Division’s more expansive and inconsistent rules.”

Berkowitz added that there are several vague and confusing elements to the rule.

“The proposed rule includes a number of open-ended, ill-defined and unworkable provisions would make it nearly impossible for broker-dealers to know with any degree of certainty that they are complying with the rule,” Berkowitz said. He added that the proposal’s duty of loyalty provision creates an “impossible” standard” for broker dealers and should be revised. Also, he called the duty of loyalty provision “among the most problematic and unworkable aspects of the proposal.”

IRI also warned that the Massachusetts rule could be pre-empted because it is in direct conflict with the SEC’s regulation best interest.

“The Proposal would undermine the SEC’s attempt to create a federal standard for broker-dealers to follow when making personalized investment recommendations to retail customers,” Berkowitz said. “Allowing each state to promulgate separate and potentially inconsistent standards for broker-dealers would create a patchwork regulatory structure that would be detrimental to investors and to the industry.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/iri-urges-massachusetts-to-delay-implementation-of-state-fiduciary-rule/

Bill addresses FHA mortgage foreclosure

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has introduced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2019, requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address FHA mortgage foreclosure actions.© Shutterstock “The Federal Housing Administration is critical to our housing market and helps to promote homeownership for underserved borrowers, including first-time and minority homebuyers,” Waters, […]

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has introduced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2019, requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address FHA mortgage foreclosure actions.

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“The Federal Housing Administration is critical to our housing market and helps to promote homeownership for underserved borrowers, including first-time and minority homebuyers,” Waters, chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, said. “Unfortunately, we continue to see significant problems with the servicing of FHA loans that unnecessarily put homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2019 would ensure that FHA servicers help families experiencing financial hardship avoid foreclosure so that they can remain in their homes.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate this week.

“As Nevada’s Attorney General during the housing crisis, I held the big banks and mortgage companies accountable for trying to take away the homes of hardworking families in the Silver State,” Cortez Masto said. “Lenders must follow the law before foreclosing on borrowers, and that includes communicating transparently and doing everything possible to avoid eviction. Yet loan servicers and mortgage companies are still not following the law when it comes to helping homeowners, which is why my legislation is so important. This bill ensures lenders put consumers first and take every step possible to keep struggling homeowners in Nevada and across the country in their homes.”

Both measures are supported by the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) on behalf of its low-income clients.

The FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2019 (H.R. 3958) would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase its oversight of FHA mortgage lenders to strengthen compliance with the FHA’s loss mitigation requirements. This bill would also establish a robust complaint and appeals process to provide borrowers the ability to voice their concerns about unfair treatment adequately. Ultimately, this bill seeks to ensure that FHA borrowers have a fair opportunity to become current after defaulting on their loan.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/bill-addresses-fha-mortgage-foreclosure/