Regulatory changes

CFPB proposes revisions to international money transfer rules

The CFPB proposed revisions on Tuesday to its international remittance rule as part of an effort to ensure financial institutions have adequate time to provide the required disclosures. “It is critical that we are able to protect consumers who send money abroad and that we preserve access to such services,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray... Read More...

House begins debate on bill to reform CFPB

The U.S. House of Representatives began debate last week on legislation introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) that would implement a number of reforms to the CFPB, including replacing the director with a five-member panel. The legislation—the Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act—was introduced after reports surfaced... Read More...

Reserve Bank of India considers rule changes to promote financial inclusion

The Reserve Bank of India recently released a report outlining recommended changes to the country’s banking system to promote financial inclusion in India, in which the adoption of mobile payments has been hindered by regulation. The report—released by the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income... Read More...

CFPB releases updated origination, servicing exam procedures

The CFPB released on Monday updated mortgage origination and servicing exam procedures related to the agency’s new mortgage rules, which took effect last week. The updates are intended to align existing exam procedures with revised interagency procedures based on the new rules. Released in 2011, the CFPB Supervision and Examination Manual... Read More...

European Commission extends non-SEPA payments acceptance period by six months

The European Commission adopted a proposal last week intended to ensure the acceptance of non-SEPA payments in the eurozone for an additional six months. The Single Euro Payments Area allows consumers and businesses to make and receive euro payments under the same conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of location. Financial... Read More...

Fed seeks comment on proposed changes to payment system

The Federal Reserve said last week that it is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the payment system risk policy that are designed to improve the efficiency of the payment system. The proposed amendments apply largely to posting rules for automated clearing house and commercial check transactions. Since the central bank first... Read More...

NCUA approves rule to extend authority over credit union service organizations

The National Credit Union Administration approved a rule on Thursday that would extend the agency’s regulatory reach over credit union service organizations, a move opposed by some trade groups. The rule would require all CUSOs to report basic information to NCUA and state regulators on an annual basis, and organizations that engage in... Read More...

Fed, CFPB raise dollar exemption threshold under TILA, CLA

The Federal Reserve and CFPB announced on Wednesday that they would raise the dollar thresholds for consumer credit and lease transactions exempt from Truth in Lending and Consumer Leasing provisions. The changes, which will take effect on Jan. 1, are intended to reflect the annual increase in the CPI as of June 1, consistent with amendments to... Read More...

Treasury, IRS make changes to “use-or-lose” rule for flexible spending arrangements

The U.S. Treasury and IRS issued a notice last week to amend the “use-or-lose” rule for flexible spending arrangements to permit employers to allow plan participants to carry over up to $500 of unused health FSA balances at the end of the plan year. The notice is in response to public comments from individuals, employers and others who... Read More...

House passes bill to scale back Dodd-Frank swaps “push out” provision

The House of Representatives voted 292-122 last week to pass the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, which is designed to provide banks more flexibility to use swaps to hedge risk. Section 716 of Dodd-Frank requires banks to “push out” all of their derivatives operations into a non-bank entity, though banks are still able to hedge risk... Read More...

Rep. Goodlatte introduces Innovation Act to combat patent trolls

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced last week the bipartisan Innovation Act, which would attack the growing patent troll problem. The bill would target the areas of the legal system most abused by patent trolls, including the threshold for bringing a complaint, the cost for individuals defending against the suit and the liability and... Read More...

Sen. Crapo: CFPB structural changes necessary to eliminate data collection concerns

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said in a recent guest column that in order to alleviate concerns regarding reports of the CFPB’s monitoring and analysis of credit card accounts, structural changes to the agency are “essential.” Recent news reports said the CFPB is potentially monitoring up to 900 million credit card accounts and is spending... Read More...

Treasury, IRS propose rules to clarify research, experimentation tax deductions

The U.S. Treasury and IRS issued on Thursday proposed regulations that would clarify tax code policies on when firms are able to deduct expenses for research and experimentation. “Today’s proposed rules provide the tax certainty necessary to reward businesses that invest in innovation,” Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur... Read More...

Hensarling urges repeal of “incomprehensively complex” Dodd-Frank Act

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said on Monday that the Dodd-Frank Act is “is harmful to [the] floundering economy and in dire need of repeal.” Hensarling’s statement came ahead of President Barack Obama’s Monday meeting with financial regulators to discuss implementation of... Read More...

Fed issues final rule on regulatory, supervisory assessment fees

The Federal Reserve issued a final rule on Friday establishing annual assessment fees to large financial institutions to subsidize their supervision and regulation. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Reserve Board is required to collect assessment fees equal to the expenses associated with appropriate supervision and regulation of bank... Read More...

President Obama meets with top financial regulators on rulewriting

President Barack Obama met with a number of financial regulators on Monday to discuss the ongoing implementation of rules intended to strengthen and reform the financial system. Representatives from the OCC, CFPB, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve, CFTC, FDIC, SEC and National Credit Union Administration attended the meeting,... Read More...

CFPB releases second update on exam procedures

The CFPB released a second update to its exam procedures on Thursday, providing guidance to financial institutions and mortgage firms on what the watchdog will be looking for after the new rules begin to take effect in January. “We are committed to transparency around our examination process,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “So we... Read More...

NRF welcomes court pressure on Fed to discuss interim interchange rule

The National Retail Federation welcomed last week Judge Richard Leon’s insistence that the Federal Reserve proceed expeditiously on issuing an interim debit interchange rule, following the judge’s ruling last month that effectively invalidated most of the rule. “We’re very pleased to see the court light a fire under the Fed,” NRF... Read More...

Judge orders Fed to return to court on potential interim interchange rule

A federal judge established last week a strict schedule requiring the Federal Reserve to revise its debit interchange rule and return to court within a week with the regulator’s ideas on issuing an interim final rule. The Fed said it has not yet decided whether it will appeal Judge Richard Leon’s ruling on debit interchange, which... Read More...

House approves bill to limit regulations for job creators

Cosponsors of a new bill that was recently approved in the House say their legislation would provide greater certainty for America’s job creators so they can invest more in a struggling economy and create desperately needed jobs. The Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act of 2013 passed in a 411-12 vote on Wednesday. Its... Read More...

Fed’s Yellen: Work remains in bank regulation, SIFIs, shadow banking

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said during a recent speech that much work remains in addressing the bank regulatory system and the problems posed by SIFIs, as well as limiting risks in shadow banking. Yellen said the U.S. must support efforts by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to strengthen bank regulation. The... Read More...

House subcommittee examines legislation to ease regulations on investors, job creators

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets reviewed a number of proposals on Thursday that are designed to reduce the regulatory burden on investors and job creators. Dodd-Frank adds more than 400 new regulations to existing regulations. The subcommittee reviewed four bills that focus on fixes to some of Dodd-Frank’s most... Read More...

HFSC passes legislation on Dodd-Frank, JOBS Act, SEC accountability

The House Financial Services Committee passed a number of bills last week designed to address Dodd-Frank’s derivatives provision, implement the JOBS Act and promote enhanced accountability at the SEC. Many critics maintain that Dodd-Frank’s derivatives provision could have unintended consequences. Derivatives allow many businesses—known... Read More...

American Enterprise Institute paper: Dodd-Frank may exacerbate “too big to fail” problem

A recent paper from the American Enterprise Institute found that while Dodd-Frank was designed to eliminate America’s “too big to fail” problem, struggling credit unions could be put out of business, thereby exacerbating the problem. If community banks are forced to consolidate, go out of business or merge, the assets of the banking... Read More...

Sens. Warner, Toomey introduce legislation to exempt banks from Dodd-Frank regulations

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Penn.) introduced legislation on April 11 that would extend an exemption to commercial banks and savings and loan associations from Dodd-Frank measures requiring the regulation of municipal advisors. The legislation—S. 710—has been backed by the American Bankers Association, which sent a... Read More...