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Washington Report 360 | March 30, 2018

Washington Report 360 | March 30, 2018

In this issue...


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Key Highlights

  • FRBNY President William Dudley recently spoke about the influence of incentives on bank culture and employee behavior, stating that strong regulation and supervision cannot substitute for deficiencies in bank culture in a timely manner. He promoted the use of industry-wide employee surveys to get a picture of how well banks are strengthening their cultures.
  • Potential changes to the Community Reinvestment Act continue to be highlighted by the Federal banking agencies, most recently by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal K. Quarles who noted how fintech is changing the delivery of financial services to consumers and communities and spurring regulatory re-thinking of the CRA.
  • In light of continued high profile data privacy breaches, the FTC reiterated its commitment to protect the privacy of consumer’s data stating it ill take action against firms for violating privacy agreements or the FTC Act prohibitions on unfair or deceptive acts or practicesThe 
  • CFPB released the tenth in its series of Requests for Information, this time seeking comment on the effectiveness and accessibility of its guidance materials and activities.

Financial services policy news

Speaking on the relationship between consumer protection, credit accessibility, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal K. Quarles discussed how fintech has changed the way financial services are delivered to consumers and banks lend to communities, spurring the potential for change to the current supervisory and regulatory framework of the Community Reinvestment Act.

William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, discussed the need to monitor the incentives that influence firm and employee behavior and how bank culture, as a complement to regulation and supervision, can reinforce a resilient financial system. He said it was especially important in large firms where “the scale of such firms magnifies the impact of bad incentives on the financial system and the economy” and suggested that bank leaders could better understand where improvements in culture are needed through industry-wide surveys.

FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig outlined his vision of regulatory reform, cautioning against easing capital requirements for large banks, but arguing that community and regional banks are better positioned for regulatory relief from certain capital and liquidity requirements.

The Bank for International Settlements published a working paper that found that a sectoral countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) may be a useful complement to both the Basel III CCyB and existing macro prudential tools.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council updated the status of its Examination Modernization Project, which is intended to improve the safety-and-soundness examination processes for community banks, indicating they will focus on examiner communication, technology leveraging, risk tailoring, and secure data transfer.

Financial services legislative and regulatory news

In response to a recent data privacy breach, the FTC issued a statement reiterating its commitment to protecting the privacy of consumer data, including taking enforcement actions against companies that fail to comply with the EU-US Privacy Shield or violate the FTC Act prohibitions against unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

The CFPB released the tenth in a series of Requests for Information, this time seeking comment on the effectiveness and accessibility of its guidance materials and activities, including its Regulatory Inquiries Function, compliance guides, rule summaries, interpretive rules, frequently asked questions.

FINRA requested comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of FINRA Rule 4311 (Carrying Agreements), which governs requirements applicable to members when entering into agreements for the carrying of customer accounts.

The Basel Committee proposed revisions to the minimum capital requirements for market risk, including changes to the measurement of the standardized approach and revisions to the assessment process of a bank's internal risk management models.

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