Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB sued a mortgage broker and lender for deceptive advertising.
At the beginning of February, the CFPB took action against a mortgage broker and lender based in Maryland for false reverse mortgage advertisements, citing the 2011 Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule. The Bureau alleges that mailings by the broker/lender imitated U.S. government notices and misrepresented that the FHA-insured reverse mortgage program was “time-limited or had a deadline.” The CFPB argues that claims made by the broker/lender were inaccurate and blatantly misleading.
More information on the complaint can be found here.
The CFPB announced a proposal to help facilitate access to credit in rural areas.
Opening for comment last month, the CFPB announced a proposal for more changes to mortgage rules in order to better serve rural and underserved areas. The proposal, according to the CFPB’s press release, would extend provisions to cover more community banks, credit unions, and other creditors. The proposed amendments would expand the definitions of “small creditor” and “rural,” among other changes. Comments close on March 30, 2015.
The full list of proposed amendments can be found here.
The CFPB ordered a subprime credit card company to refund millions for charging illegal credit card fees to consumers.
At the beginning of February, the CFPB ordered a subprime credit card company based in Delaware to refund approximately $2.7 million to 98,000 consumers who were charged illegal credit card feeds. The CFPB alleges that the company misrepresented certain fees, leading to the illegal charges. The company was also required to pay a civil penalty of $250,000.
More information on the order can be found here.
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
The OCC participated in a consumer protection event on Capitol Hill to promote consumer awareness and engagement.
During the February 20th National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) event in Washington D.C., OCC representatives distributed HelpWithMyBank booklets, Consumer Advisories, and other materials, in English and Spanish, to help promote awareness of consumer protection resources. NCPW is held every year to encourage consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights.
The materials can be found on the NCPW Web site.
The OCC released a list of enforcement actions and terminations taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and more for February.
On February 20, the OCC released new enforcement actions taken against different institutions. The list includes all Cease and Desist Orders, Civil Money Penalty Orders, and Removal/Prohibition Orders. This list can be found here.
The federal bank regulatory agencies requested comment on inter-agency efforts to reduce the regulatory burden.
The OCC, along with the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, requested comment on a set of regulatory categories as part of their review to identify outdated or unnecessary financial regulations. This is part of a requirement by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA), which requires institutions including the FFIEC, OCC, FDIC, and Federal Reserve to review their regulations at least every 10 years.
Comments on regulations in banking operations, capital, and Community Reinvestment Act categories are being accepted until May 14, 2015. More information can be found here.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The SEC has submitted for comment a proposed rule concerning amendments to Regulation SBSR - Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information.
Regulation SBSR (Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information) contains several rules relating to regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transactions. The rule was re-proposed in 2013 as part of the Cross-Border Proposing Release, which proposed rules and interpretations regarding the application of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act to cross-border security-based swap activities, according to the proposal published by the SEC.
The SEC is now proposing new amendments, including:
- Requiring a platform to report to a registered swap data repository (SDR) a security-based swap executed on such platform that will be submitted to clearing.
- Requiring a registered clearing agency to report to a registered SDR any security-based swap to which it is a counterparty
- Prohibiting registered SDRs from charging fees for or imposing usage restrictions on the users of the security-based swap transaction data that they are required to publicly disseminate
The full proposal can be found here.
The SEC won a summary judgment against an individual for his role in a wide-ranging fraud scheme violating several sections of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
In December 2014, a man was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for his role in a wide-ranging fraud scheme. Based on that conviction, summary judgment was awarded in the SEC’s favor on the Commission’s claims that sections of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 were violated. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California imposed “permanent injunctions, officer and director bars, a penny stock bar, a civil penalty of $5,378,581.61, and disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $6,076,415.52” against the individual in question.
More information on the civil action can be found here.
The SEC charged a former Fortune 500 company executive with insider trading charges.
On February 19, the SEC announced insider trading charges against a former Fortune 500 company executive and his brother-in-law. Those allegedly tipped by the former executive made nearly $1 million in combined illicit profits. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana also announced criminal charges against the former executive, while his alleged cohorts agreed to pay disgorgement and penalty charges.
More information on the action can be found here.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The FDIC has added educational material on mortgage rule requirements.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has released three technical assistance videos as part of its Technical Assistance Video Program to help financial institution employees and directors alike to meet regulatory requirements, particularly in light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new mortgage servicing requirements. The videos cover the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgages, Loan Originator Compensation Rule, and, most recently, Small Servicers.
The FDIC reported insured institutions earned $36.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014.
On February 24th, a press release was issued that stated that FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions “reported aggregate net income of $36.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, down $2.9 billion (7.3 percent) from earnings of $39.8 billion that the industry reported a year earlier.” The decline in earnings was attributed to the increase in litigation expenses for a few large banks. The full report can be found on the FDIC’s website, including the increase in community bank earnings. Learn more here.
The FDIC issued a list of state nonmember banks evaluated for CRA compliance.
At the beginning of February, the FDIC issued its list of state nonmember banks that have been evaluated for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance. Copies of each individual bank’s CRA evaluation are available directly from the banks, which they are required to make available upon request. More information can be found on the FDIC’s website.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
The NCUA Report announced the 2015 NCUA webinar schedule.
The February NCUA Report announced the NCUA’s 2015 webinar schedule. There will be one webinar a month for the rest of the year, and two in April, covering topics such as opportunities in the underserved market, membership expansion, new products and services, auto lending, mortgage lending, and more. More information can be found on the NCUA’s website.
The NCUA launched its Small Business Lending Resource Center for credit unions.
On February 20th, the NCUA released a webpage containing information about member business lending. According to the press release from the NCUA, “the Small Business Lending Resource page provides detailed information about NCUA’s member business lending rules and regulations, supervisory guidance, links to the Small Business Administration’s loan programs and related articles from The NCUA Report, NCUA’s flagship publication.”
The resource can be found here.
For American and Military Saves Week, the NCUA released information and savings tips on its website.
During America Saves and Military Saves Week, from February 23rd to the 28th, consumers can visit the NCUA’s MyCreditUnion.gov website for savings tips and tricks. The online resource has information for credit unions and members alike, including how to join or start a credit union, tips for preventing identity theft, and other financial tools and resources.
More information can be found here.
Federal Reserve Bank
The results of the Federal Reserve's floating-rate offering of term deposits are in.
According to the FDIC press release, the Federal Reserve conducted a “floating-rate offering of term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility.” The results were announced on February 19th; awarded deposits settled on the same day, and maturation is expected on March 12th.
More information can be found here.
The Federal Reserve and the FDIC announced the extension of a resolution plan submission deadline for three financial institutions.
On February 18th, the Federal Reserve along with the FDIC announced that they were extending the resolution plan submission deadline for three organizations. The financial institutions are now required to submit their second annual plans by December 31st, 2015 rather than July 1st. The extension is consistent with other extensions granted to similar firms in previous years.
More information can be found here.
Several federal bank regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, requested comment on a set of regulatory categories.
The Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the OCC issued a request for comments on February 20th concerning a second set of regulatory categories as part of their review to identify “outdated or unnecessary regulations applied to insured deposit institutions.” The review is mandated by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA). Comments are being accepted until May 14, 2015.
For more information, see the press release here.
Other Regulatory Bodies
The FTC issued its annual ECOA report to the CFPB.
On February 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provided its annual report on enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to the CFPB. The letter outlines the progress the FTC has made on ECOA policy issues, as well as business and consumer educational efforts the Commission has made. The announcement and more details can be found here.
The FFIEC issued a revised Business Continuity Planning Booklet.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) issued a revised Business Continuity Planning Booklet (BCP Booklet) at the beginning of February. The update consists of the addition of a new appendix, entitled Strengthening the Resilience of Outsourced Technology Services. The appendix addresses the relationship with third-party service providers and the financial institution.
More information on the update can be found here.
HUD issued guidance on home lending and placement for transgender persons in homeless shelters.
On February 23rd, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance on home lending and placement that better serves LGBT Americans. The guidance helps to clarify the Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule, better known as the Equal Access Rule, which was published in 2012.
The full press release can be found here.