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Washington Report 360 | March 23, 2018

Washington Report 360 | March 23, 2018

In this issue...


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Key Highlights

  • The GAO released a report recommending modifications to the Community Reinvestment Act framework that may be used as part of the anticipated proposed interagency changes to CRA.
  • The CFPB and FTC jointly issued a report on their 2017 activities to combat illegal debt collection practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • The House of Representatives passed three regulatory reform bills, including a bill that would exempt certain nonbank financial companies from stress tests. These bills must now be considered by the Senate.

Financial services policy news

The CFPB and FTC jointly issued a report on their 2017 activities to combat illegal debt collection practices under the FDCPA; these activities included fielding consumer complaints, taking law enforcement actions, banning illegal actors, and educating the public about their rights.

The GAO issued two reports directed toward financial services:

  • One report recommended modifications to the Community Reinvestment Act framework, such as revising the lending and servicing tests, expanding CRA to include all bank affiliates and nonbanks, expanding assessment areas, and incentivizing financial institutions to provide basic banking services and small-dollar, nonmortgage consumer loans in low- and moderate-income areas.
  • A second report indicated that credit and concentration risks in bank commercial real estate lending have increased over the past several years and that banks with relatively high concentrations of commercial real estate lending were subject to greater supervisory scrutiny.

The Financial Stability Board announced several items ahead of the G20 meeting, including:

  • Publishing two reports on the decline in correspondent banking relationships: a progress report on the FSB action plan to assess and address the decline; and a stocktake on access to banking services for remittance service providers.
  • Launching a survey of the trends, drivers, and potential effects of regulatory reforms on infrastructure financing.

Financial services legislative and regulatory news

The CFPB released the ninth in a series of Requests for Information, this time seeking comment on whether it should amend regulations or exercise the rulemaking authorities that it inherited from other federal government agencies, including potential updates or modifications and any aspects of the inherited regulations that should not be modified.

The House of Representatives passed and has sent the following bills to the Senate for consideration:

  • H.R. 4545, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act
  • H.R. 4263, the Regulation A+ Improvement Act
  • H.R. 4566, the Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act, which would exempt certain nonbank financial companies from the Federal Reserve’s stress test requirements.

The House Financial Services Committee approved and reported eight bills to the House of Representatives for consideration, including H.R. 4790, the Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act, which would give the Federal Reserve the exclusive rulemaking authority for the Volcker Rule and exempt banks with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets.

The D.C. Court of Appeals overturned two provisions of the FCC's 2015 Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA): the FCC's definition of an automatic telephone dialing system and the FCC's one-call "safe harbor" for calls placed to phone numbers previously assigned to a consenting individual but reassigned to a nonconsenting individual.

The FTC charged four individuals with violating the FTC Act’s prohibitions against unfair or deceptive acts or practices, alleging that they promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies.

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