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COVID-19 and Your Financial Institution

 

COVID-19 and Your Financial Institution

The current situation our nation faces is unprecedented and something no one alive has seen in their lifetime. Considering that, it’s important for financial institutions to understand that the new coronavirus, COVID-19, is a very serious matter from a health standpoint foremost, but also from a financial standpoint as Americans lose work, businesses are shuttered or limited and most people, by order of the government or by their own good sense, stay at home over the next few weeks.

You are probably well aware that this virus has affected the entire world and that most governments, including U.S. local governments and the U.S. federal government, are restricting travel, business and more in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and stave off an unmanageable influx of patients to hospitals. This has put a serious strain on the financial industry in many ways and some financial institutions are likely feeling the pressure much more acutely.

The federal financial regulatory agencies that govern banking laws in the U.S. have released a statement encouraging all financial institutions to work with customers and borrowers as much as possible, particularly by granting loan modifications in a prudent and proactive manner. These federal regulators are working with institutions to ease some of the strain as much as possible with careful changes to some regulations and reporting requirements, keeping up with this changing situation as much as possible.

The National Credit Union Association is also making urgent needs grants available to low-income credit unions that may be particularly struggling at the moment. The grants give these institutions up to $7,500 to buy vital equipment used to service customers, consulting services to aid affected businesses and marketing materials to reassure credit union members.

As this situation develops, there may be more changes to regulations meaning it would be prudent for institutions to keep abreast of developments.

It’s also a good idea to limit risk to yourself, institution employees and customers by being careful, limiting exposure and following the CDC’s guidance for how to handle this situation at work and properly clean and disinfect your institution.

The Edcomm team is weathering this storm with you and are here to help you keep abreast with the best way to handle this situation. Keep an eye on our blog for the latest information and contact us if you have questions about compliance training for your institution.

 

 

  

 

 

March 2020 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Releases Report on Administration of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Extends Comment Period

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued their yearly report on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report focuses on laws enforcement, consumer education, public outreach, policy proposals and other joint efforts of the CFPB and FTC to end illegal debt collection practices. The CFPB also announced an extension of the public comment period on its proposed rule that implements the FDCPA, which will now go to June 5, 2020.

 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

OCC Makes Changes to Short-Term Investment Fund Rule

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced an interim final rule to change a short-term investment fund (STIF) rule that allows the OCC to grant banks the ability to extend maturity limits of these funds for a limited time. The hope is to alleviate stress on banks trying to operate in compliance with maturity limits in our current unprecedented situation.

 

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Extends Filing Periods Included Under Conditional Reporting Relief in Federal Securities Laws

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced an extension of filing periods previously outlined by the conditional reporting relief obligation of certain public companies under federal security laws. It will also extend relief on regulations formerly provided to funds and investment advisers affected by COVID-19.  


 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

The FDIC and Other Regulatory Agencies Issue Statement Encouraging Institutions to Work with Borrowers Affected by COVID-19

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other federal regulatory authorities and state banking regulators issued a joint statement urging financial institutions to work with borrowers during the current situation with the new coronavirus. The agencies are asking institutions to provide prudent and proactive loan modifications for costumers affected by COVID-19.

 

National Credit Union Administration

NCUA Makes Urgent Needs Grants Available to Financial Institutions Affected by COVID-19

The National Credit Union Association has made urgent needs grants of up to $7,500 available to low-income credit unions for hardware, software and equipment used to service customers, consulting services to assist businesses affected, marketing materials to reassure members that their insured deposits are safe. 

February 2020 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB and U.S. Department of Education Coordinate to Better Serve Student Loan Borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education announced that the two entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to better serve student loan borrowers. The MOU states that the two agencies will share information about borrower complaints and hold quarterly meetings to discuss the complaints and the resolution of those complaints.

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) 

 

FDIC and OCC Extend Comment Period for CRA Rule Changes

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a thirty-day extension to the comment period for proposed rule changes regarding the Community Reinvestment Act, which will now end on April 8th. The rule changes hope to increase banking activity in areas where credit, responsible lending and better access to banking services are more greatly needed.

 

FDIC Asks for Public Input on Updating Signage and Advertising Requirements

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Announced that it would be seeking public comment on ways to modernize the current regulations regarding signage and advertising. The idea is to better reflect the current operations of the industry and how customers use banking services, given that the last update was made in 2006 and the industry has changed dramatically since then.

 

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Proposes Modernization of Key Market Infrastructure

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a proposal to modernize infrastructure used to collect, consolidate and distribute market data for exchange-listed national market system (NMS) stocks. To better serve investors in today’s equity markets, this proposal would expand NMS data and update the contents.


 

Federal Reserve Board (FRB)

FRB Releases Hypotheticals for 2020 Stress Tests

The Federal Reserve Board announced the release of the 2020 hypothetical scenarios that would be used for stress test exercises. These tests ensure that large banks have the resources to continue serving their customers and communities even if there is a severe recession. The most sever of these hypotheticals includes a global recession and increased stress on corporate debt markets and commercial real estate.

January 2020 - Compliance Alert

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Announces Actions Against Fraudulent Debt Relief Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed charges against several companies and individuals associated with illegal student debt relief practices. These companies and individuals were illegally obtaining consumer reports, charging illegal advance fees, and engaging in fraudulent conduct. These actions were filed against Chou Team Realty, LLC, which does business as Monster Loans, Land Tech Loans, and Docu Prep Center Inc.

 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

OCC and Other Agencies Announce Annual CRA Asset-Size Threshold Adjustments for Small and Intermediate Small Institutions

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the other federal banking regulatory agencies announced the annual adjustments to the thresholds that are used to define which institutions are a small bank, small savings association, intermediate small bank, and intermediate small savings association. These definitions are based on asset-size thresholds set in the CRA, which requires they be adjusted each year.

 

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Proposes Improved Market Data Plan Governance

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a plan to modernize the governance of National Market System (NMS). The proposed order would require equities exchanges and FINRA to file a new NMS plan with the SEC to increase transparency and reduce conflicts of interest. The SEC is seeking public comment on this proposal.

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The FDIC Updates Money Smart for Small Business Curriculum

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the US Small Business Association announced updates to the Money Smart for Small Business curriculum, which focuses on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their relationship with their bank and how it can help them reach their goals. The updates focus on banking and credit and are now available.

 

 

Federal Reserve Board (FRB)

FRB Releases Preliminary Treasury Data for 2019

The Federal Reserve Board announced preliminary data showing that in 2019, Reserve Banks made approximately $54.9 Billion in payments to the US Treasury. The final financial statements for the 2019 audit of Reserve Banks will be published in March. The data released in March may adjust these preliminary figures. 

 

Compliance Alert - December 2019

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB Announces NPRM About Remittance Rule

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would change the Remittance rule. The new changes would allow certain financial institutions to give estimates rather than exact disclosures where exact disclosures might be economically illogical. The CFPB is also proposing an increase to the safe harbor threshold that currently determines if an entity makes remittance transfers during normal business, making it subject to the rule.

Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC)

OCC and FDIC Announce Proposal to Update CRA

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in cooperation with The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), announced proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). It’s hoped that the proposed changes will increase banking activity in low to moderate-income communities where credit, responsible lending, better access to banking products, and infrastructure improvements are greatly needed.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC Proposes Rule to Require Reporting of Payments Made to Governments by Resource Extraction Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it was proposing rules that would mandate the reporting of payments that resource extraction issuers made to both the US Federal Government and foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

FDIC Issues Brokered Deposit Restrictions Rule

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced proposed rulemaking updating its brokered deposit regulations. The proposed rule would update the current regulatory framework, making it better suited to the current state of the industry by removing penalties for offering customers deposit accounts by other means.

 

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

NCUA and Other Regulators Issue Statement Regarding the Use of Alternative Data in Credit Underwriting

The National Credit Union Association and four other financial regulators released a statement that marks the benefits for consumers, such as broadening credit access, when banks and credit unions use information not typically in a consumer’s credit report and other alternative data for underwriting.

 

 


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