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Compliance News

The latest compliance news items. Past months’ news items are found under the specific Compliance Topic page related to the news item.

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December 2018 | January 2019

January News

  • CFPB Issues Analyses of Qualified Mortgage Rule (1/11/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its assessment of the ability-to-repay/Qualified Mortgage rule, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. While the report addressed matters relating to the costs and benefits of each segment of the rule, as well as overall impact on credit, it did not include a cost-benefit analysis. The bureau noted that it is considering whether to include such analyses in future assessments and reports. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba.
  • CFPB Releases Report on 2013 Servicing Rule​ (1/11/19)
    The CFPB released a report assessing its 2013 RESPA mortgage servicing rule. The five-year assessment, which, was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, found that certain elements of the rule were quite costly to implement, while others were less so. ABA staff are closely reviewing the 300-page report. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba or Audrey Decker. ​
  • Fed Proposes Rule to Harmonize Company-Run Stress Testing Requirements with S. 2155 (1/10/19)
    The Federal Reserve issued a proposed rule that would make changes to its framework for company-run stress tests to conform with Section 401 of the S. 2155 regulatory reform law. Consistent with the law, the rule would raise the minimum asset threshold for state member banks to conduct their own stress tests from $10 billion to $250 billion. It would also generally require firms above $250 billion to conduct company-run stress tests once every other year rather than annually. Finally, it would eliminate the hypothetical “adverse” scenario from the test. Banks would still be required to rest themselves against the “severely adverse” scenario, and the “severely adverse” scenario will also remain a part of supervisory stress test, the Fed noted. Comments on the proposal are due Feb. 19.
  • HMDA Filing Period for Data Collected in 2018 Now Open​ (1/8/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that the filing period for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data collected in 2018 is open as of Jan. 1, 2019. Financial institutions may begin using the HMDA platform to begin the filing process for their HMDA data, and may continue to provide feedback on their experience or direct any questions to HMDAHelp@cfpb.gov.
  • ABA Updates Enforcement Action Database (1/7/19)
    ABA recently updated the enforcement database to include three enforcement actions issued by the bureau in December. The bureau issued a consent order based on a bank’s violation of the Federal Credit Reporting Act in furnishing, obtaining, and using consumer reports. In the second enforcement action, the bureau entered into a stipulated final judgment and order with a company and ordered the company to pay a $260,000 CMP and $268,869 restitution fine for violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. Lastly, FinCEN assessed a $14.5 million civil money penalty against a company for violations of Section 312 of the USA Patriot Act. Contact Teshale Smith​ for more information.
  • Senate Confirms Starks to FCC Commissioner Seat (1/7/19)
    Prior to adjournment of the 115th Congress, the Senate confirmed by voice vote Geoffrey Starks to the Democratic seat on the Federal Communications Commission that was vacated when Mignon Clyburn resigned last summer. Starks will complete Clyburn’s five-year term, which runs from July 2017 to July 2022. Prior to his nomination, Starks served as an Assistant Bureau Chief with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and earlier held positions in the Justice Department during the Obama Administration and with a Washington, D.C. law firm. The Senate also confirmed by voice vote FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to a new five-year term ending in June 2023.
  • CDIA Issues Guidance for Consumer Reporting Agencies During Shutdown (1/3/19)
    With many government employees going without paychecks as the government shutdown persists, the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) has issued guidance for reporting forbearance information to consumer reporting agencies during a protracted shutdown. CDIA reminded institutions that they may reference FAQ 45 of the Credit Reporting Resource guide for guidance on furnishing forbearance data to consumer reporting agencies in the Metro 2 format. For more information, contact ABA's Nessa Feddis​.
  • ABA Updates SCRA Staff Analysis ​ (1/3/19)
    ABA last week updated our Staff Analysis on Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) compliance to include the changes made under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), signed on May 24, 2018, which made permanent the one-year period of protection from foreclosure that is afforded a service member under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018. We also described new provisions, effective September 2018, that allow a bank to accept a letter from the service member's commanding officer or use the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) database to determine military status. 
  • CFPB Issues Policy Guidance on HMDA Data Release (1/2/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act loan-level data it plans to release publicly in 2019. Significantly, in response to concerns raised by ABA about the need to protect consumer privacy, the bureau announced that it would not release property addresses, applicants’ credit scores or automated underwriting results. As expected, the CFPB will release “certain information with reduced precision,” including borrower ages, loan amount and number of units in the dwelling. Read ABA's Staff Analysis . For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba​. ​​
  • FDIC Updates Bank Secrecy Act Technical Assistance Video (1/2/19)
    The FDIC released an updated technical assistance video on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, and the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions programs. The updated video provides an overview of current BSA/AML and OFAC requirements for directors of FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations. The video reflects the new beneficial ownership and customer due diligence requirements and related examination procedures as described in FIL 26-2018 dated May 11, 2018.
  • ABA Recommends Revisions to FDIC Unbanked Survey (1/2/19)
    In a comment letter filed before the holidays, ABA voiced support for the FDIC's National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households and offered recommendations for ways the survey questions could be improved in 2019. ABA agreed with the FDIC's inclusion of prepaid cards in a survey question about consumers' experiences with bank accounts, noting that "functionally, prepaid accounts vary little from checking accounts." ABA also recommended the addition of two questions to uncover the primary reasons customers use and value branches. Such questions would help "identify opportunities to expand banking service options, especially for those who lack convenient access to branches," ABA said. Contact Nessa Feddis​ for more information.
  • After ABA Advocacy, FEMA Reverses Decision on Flood Insurance During Shutdown (1/2/19)
    Effective immediately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will allow operations of the National Flood Insurance Program to resume, even while the government remains partially shut down, the agency announced on December 28. The move was retroactive to December 21, ultimately leaving no lapse in NFIP availability.
  • ABA Calls for Efficiency, Transparency, Accountability in CFPB’s Data Collection Activities​ (1/2/19)
    In a comment letter, the American Bankers Association urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to operate transparently in its collection and use of data and to adopt safeguards to ensure it does not order the production of data that is overly broad, voluminous or duplicative. The letter was submitted in response to the bureau’s request for information on its data collections and data governance program — the latest RFI in the CFPB’s feedback initiative. Contact Jonathan Thessin​ for more information.

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December News

  • FTC Requests Comments on ID Theft Rule (12/18/18)
    The Federal Trade Commission on December 4 released a request for comment on its Identify Theft Rules as part of its systematic review of all current FTC regulations and guides. The FTC is soliciting comment on, among other things, the economic impact and benefits of the Identity Theft Rules, possible conflict between the Identity Theft Rules and state, local, or other federal laws or regulations, and the effect of the Identity Theft Rules of any technological, economic, or other industry changes. The FTC lists a number of questions and requests information about costs and supporting evidence for assertions, though it makes clear comments are not limited to those questions. Comments are due by Feb. 11, 2019. For more information, contact Nessa Feddis​.
  • FHFA Proposes New Requirements for Validating, Approving Credit Score Models (12/14/18)
    As directed by regulatory reform law S. 2155, the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a proposed rule to establish new requirements for the validation and approval of credit score models by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Under the proposal, the GSEs would use a four-phase process to validate and approve credit score models. Comments on the proposal are due in 90 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information, contact ABA's Joe Pigg.
  • Data Security, Privacy to Be Early Focus of Bureau's Kraninger (12/14/18)
    Newly sworn-in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Director Kathy Kraninger will focus on data security and privacy in her early days in office, she said at a press briefing on her first day at the Bureau. The Bureau collects a significant amount of consumer data in the form of surveys, consumer complaints and expanded Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reporting. “Data security and data privacy [are] going to be a big focal point in terms of what the bureau collects, how it’s used, how long it’s stored,” Kraninger said. “We absolutely will put consumers first in the decisions I make.”
  • OCC Releases Mortgage Metrics Report (12/14/18)
    The share of current and performing first-lien mortgages in the third quarter of 2018 was 95.4 percent, up from 94.8 percent a year ago, according to the Mortgage Metrics Report by the OCC. The report is generated from data from seven large national banks representing 32 percent of all outstanding residential mortgages. ​​​​​
  • FCC Adopts Reassigned Number Database with Safe Harbor (12/12/18)
    The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to create a database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual, something that ABA has long called for. At ABA’s urging, the FCC also provided a safe harbor from liability for any calls to reassigned numbers caused by database error. In prior comments, ABA explained that a safe harbor was necessary to ensure that banks are not discouraged from placing important calls to their customers and do not face liability for inadvertently calling a reassigned number despite consulting the database. The FCC also voted to continue to permit voice service providers to apply filtering measures to block messages that are likely spam. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin​.
  • CFPB Proposes Updates to 'No-Action Letter' Policy (12/11/18)
    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is proposing changes to its so-called no-action letter policy and proposing to establish a regulatory sandbox that would encourage banks to test new, innovative financial products. The revised policy would seek to improve the no-action letter process by eliminating several redundant or burdensome elements, streamlining the Bureau’s processing and review of the applications and expanding the types of relief available, among other things. ABA called on the Bureau to revisit the policy in a comment letter earlier this year. Comments are due by Feb. 11. For more information, contact ABA's Virginia O’Neill.
  • ABA Offers Feedback on Federal Reserve Faster Settlement Proposal (12/11/18)
    In a comment letter to the Federal Reserve, ABA offered feedback on potential Fed actions to accelerate interbank settlement of faster payments, including the idea of the Fed banks developing a 24/7/365 real-time settlement service and a liquidity management tool to support this service. ABA's comments reflected input received from a number of member bankers that participated in the association's Faster Payments Working Group. For more information, contact ABA's Steve Kenneally​.
  • Bureau Releases Beta Version of HMDA Platform for 2018 Data (12/11/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched the beta version of its Home Mortgage Disclosure Act platform for data collected in 2018. The beta release allows banks an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the platform and ensure their sample loan/application registers (LARs) data complies with reporting requirements. Banks may test and retest their data files as often as desired during the beta period. ​
  • OFCCP Issues New Directives on Opinion Letters, Compliance Evaluations (12/10/18)
    The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is establishing a process for issuing Opinion Letters, which will provide authoritative guidance in response to institution-specific or industry-wide questions, under one of three new directives OFCCP recently issued. Under the directives, OFCCP will also provide additional compliance assistance and guidance through publicly available and searchable Help Desk questions and answers; establish Early Resolution Procedures to resolve violations through conciliation without issuing adverse agency action; and rescind a 2011 directive that had established Active Case Enforcement procedures. See ABA's Staff Analysis .
  • Kathy Kraninger Confirmed as Bureau Director (12/7/18)
    The Senate by a vote of 50 to 49 confirmed Kathy Kraninger to a five-year term as director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Kraninger is currently an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget. ​​
  • Bureau Report Highlights Fair Lending Activities in 2017 (12/6/18)
    The Bureau recapped its efforts in 2017 to fulfil its statutory mandate to ensure consumers are protected from discrimination in its sixth annual Fair Lending Report. The agency noted that it prioritized redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing and small business lending in its fair lending enforcement activities throughout 2017. The report also highlights the Bureau's activities related to Equal Credit Opportunity Act enforcement, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting, guidance and rulemaking, interagency coordination and outreach.
  • ABA Issues Staff Analysis on Proposed Amendments to Reg CC  (12/4/18)
    ABA issued a summary on the agencies' proposed changes to Regulation CC related to: the calculation methodology for implementing a statutory requirement to adjust the dollar amounts in the Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFT Act) every five years to adjust for inflation; extension of the EFT Act’s coverage to American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam; a statutory requirement to clarify the regulation’s application to ATMs “located in the U.S”; and technical amendments to Regulation DD (Truth in Savings Act). The agencies are also asking for any additional comments to proposed amendments issued in March 2011 to Subpart B (the consumer-facing provisions). Comments are due 60 days after the proposal's publication in the Federal Register. Contact Nessa Feddis for more information.
  • ABA Comments on the FDIC's Request for Information on FDIC Communication and Transparency (12/4/18)
    In a comment letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, ABA urged the FDIC to improve its communications methods by clearly distinguishing critical information and eliminating duplication, to make its communications more effective, streamlined, and clear. The FDIC solicited comments on its communications practices and asked how the agency could improve communications with insured depository institutions. ABA also recommended that the FDIC limit the use of FILs so that they serve to announce only important supervisory and regulatory information, as well as updates to the FDICconnect platform and other data reporting. For questions, contact Diana Banks.
  • Banking Agencies Issue Joint Statement Encouraging Innovative Industry Approaches to AML Compliance (12/3/18)
    The banking agencies, along with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, issued a statement encouraging banks to consider, study and — where appropriate — implement innovative approaches to anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance. The statement was unveiled by Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker at the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference​ in National Harbor, Md., who emphasized that “we in the government are committed to helping you in those efforts.” ABA welcomed the statement and Mandelker's remarks.
  • Recording of Bureau's Symposium on Credit Visibility Now Available (12/3/18)
    The Bureau last week announced the availability of a recording of the Bureau's symposium on credit visibility held on September 17 at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Headquarters. On the day of the symposium, the Bureau also released a new research report on the geography of credit invisible consumers. The report provides a closer look at the relationship between geography and credit invisibility.
  • Bureau Ombudsman Releases Annual Report (12/3/18)
    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Ombudsman Wendy Kamenshine last week released its FY2018 Annual Report. The report includes information on systemic issues reviewed in 2018, individual inquiry analysis, and the Bureau's inreach (internal engagement) and outreach activities, as well as an update on the Ombudsman terminology project.
  • ​Congress Averts NFIP Lapse (12/3/18)
    With authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire at midnight on November 30, both houses of Congress last week passed a seven-day extension of the program through December 7. The Senate also passed a six-month extension bill. A longer-term NFIP reauthorization is expected to be attached to a spending bill that must be passed by December 7 to keep the government open. ABA continues to advocate for a long-term NFIP reauthorization that would provide greater certainty to the mortgage market.

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