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  • FDIC Chairman Speaks About Financial Inclusion

    Federal Issues

    On November 7, the Chairman of the FDIC, Martin J Gruenberg, addressed the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in New York, New York regarding financial inclusion and expanding economic opportunity for the underbanked. In his speech, Gruenberg discussed the agency’s most recent report, FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, which found that nearly 27 percent of American households are unbanked or underbanked.  Gruenberg also highlighted the initiatives the agency has undertaken to address the results of this report, including (i) creating access to “Safe Accounts,” which are electronic transaction accounts with low costs; (ii) conducting research on mobile financial services and how technology can lead to more sustainable banking relationships; and (iii) continuing financial education initiatives with a particular focus on youth savings.

    Federal Issues FDIC Consumer Finance Mobile Banking Consumer Education

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  • Federal Banking Agencies Seek Comments on Proposal to Further Streamline Call Reports

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 2, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and OCC (agencies)—all members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)—issued a joint notice and request for comment on a proposal to further streamline the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Reports) in an effort to reduce data reporting requirements and regulatory burdens for financial institutions. The proposal would modify Call Reports applicable to banks with (i) domestic offices only and less than $1 billion in total assets (FFIEC 051); (ii) domestic offices only (FFIEC 041); and (iii) domestic and foreign offices (FFIEC 031). The proposed revisions, which would eliminate or combine several data items and revise certain existing reporting thresholds, would take effect as of the June 30, 2018, report date. Comments on the proposal are due within 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

    Previous requests for proposed burden-reducing Call Report revisions were submitted by the agencies in August 2016 and June 2017. (See InfoBytes’ coverage of the August request here.)

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Reserve FDIC OCC FFIEC Call Report Federal Register

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  • FDIC Releases List of Enforcement Actions Taken Against Banks and Individuals in September 2017

    Federal Issues

    On October 27, the FDIC released a list of 23 orders of administrative enforcement actions that it has taken against banks and individuals in September, as well as one consent order termination issued in August. Civil money penalties were assessed against two banks, including one citing violations of the Flood Disaster Protection Act and the National Flood Insurance Act for (i) failing to obtain flood insurance during loan origination or to obtain “adequate” flood insurance, and (ii) failing to provide written notice in a timely fashion—or at all—to borrowers that the property securing the loan was in a special flood hazard area.

    Consent orders were issued against eight institution-affiliated parties related to unsafe or unsound banking practices and breaches of fiduciary duty concerning their actions when supervising a Pennsylvania bank’s mortgage division. Also on the list are five Section 19 orders, which allow applicants to participate in the affairs of an insured depository institution after having demonstrated “satisfactory evidence of rehabilitation,” and three terminations of consent orders, among others.

    There are no administrative hearings scheduled for November 2017. The FDIC database containing all 24 enforcement decisions and orders may be accessed here.

    Federal Issues FDIC Enforcement Flood Insurance

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  • VA Extends Foreclosure Moratorium Following Hurricane Disasters; Federal Agencies Issue Appraisal Exceptions; Freddie Mac Extends Temporary Selling Requirements Related to Wildfire Areas

    Federal Issues

    Hurricane Relief. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending the foreclosure moratorium on properties affected by the recent hurricanes. For disaster areas impacted by Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the VA is updating the original circulars to change the 90-day moratorium to 180 days (a complete list of change notices can be found here).

    On October 24, the FDIC, Federal Reserve, National Credit Union Administration, and the OCC issued a temporary exception to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) appraisal requirements for areas affected by the recent hurricanes. More specifically, the FDIC's Financial institution Letter states that the agency will not require financial institutions to obtain appraisals for affected transactions, if (i) the properties involved are located in areas declared major disasters; (ii) there are binding commitments to fund the transactions within 36 months of the date the areas were declared major disasters; and (iii) the value of the real properties support the institutions' decisions to enter into the transactions.

    California Wildfire Relief. On October 25, Freddie Mac released Guide Bulletin 2017-24 extending the temporary selling requirements applied to hurricane disaster areas to eligible disaster areas impacted by the California wildfires. As previously covered by InfoBytes, Freddie Mac is requiring servicers to suspend foreclosure sales and eviction activities and has agreed to reimburse sellers for certain property inspections for property located in eligible disaster areas.

    Here is a complete list of InfoBytes disaster relief coverage.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief Department of Veterans Affairs Freddie Mac Mortgages Lending FDIC FIRREA

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  • FinCEN Encourages Communication from Financial Institutions Affected by the California Wildfires; FDIC Offers Regulatory Relief; FHA Extends Foreclosure Moratorium

    Federal Issues

    California Wildfire Relief. On October 19, FinCEN announced that financial institutions affected by the California wildfires should contact FinCEN and their functional regulator regarding any delays in their ability to file Bank Secrecy Act reports and to keep FinCEN and the regulators apprised of subsequent changes in their circumstances.

    On October 20, the FDIC announced steps to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of California affected by recent wildfires. The FDIC is encouraging banks to work constructively with borrowers affected by the wildfires, including extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans, or easing terms for new loans. The FDIC noted that financial institutions may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration in support of disaster recovery and will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.

    Hurricane Relief. On October 20, HUD issued an additional 90-day extension of the initial disaster foreclosure moratorium for FHA mortgaged properties located in specified areas impacted by the recent hurricanes. The foreclosure moratorium applies to the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process. The new extended dates are as follows: February 21, 2018 for Hurricane Harvey, March 9, 2018 for Hurricane Irma, and March 19, 2018 for Hurricane Maria.

    As previously discussed in InfoBytes, several federal agencies have announced regulatory relief for victims of recent natural disasters.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief FinCEN Bank Secrecy Act FDIC FHA Foreclosure Mortgages HUD

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  • FDIC Chairman Delivers Remarks Concerning the Strengths and Challenges Facing Community Banks

    Federal Issues

    On October 23, FDIC Chairman, Martin J. Gruenberg, spoke at an event hosted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors about the important role community banks play in the U.S. financial system. Gruenberg noted that comparing the performance of community banks to noncommunity banks in the post-crisis period can be instructive. For instance, “community bank loans have grown faster than loans held at noncommunity banks in: 1- to 4-family mortgages, commercial real estate loans, and commercial and industrial loans.” In fact, Gruenberg stated, “[i]n each of the past three years, annual growth in community bank net income has equaled or exceeded growth at noncommunity banks.” Further, community banks continue to provide more credit for small business and banking services in general in non-metro areas.

    Gruenberg went on to highlight some of the challenges facing community banks: (i) fewer resources for burdensome regulatory compliance; (ii) appraiser availability and shortages, especially in rural areas; (iii) complex capital requirements; (iv) the ability to effectively respond to information technology challenges, such as maintaining strong cybersecurity programs; and (v) succession planning and staff recruitment. Beyond agency efforts to address these concerns through advisors and proposed changes, Gruenberg spoke about the FDIC’s Community Banking Initiative, which offers resources and tools to help community banks stay informed of regulatory changes and manage costs.

    Federal Issues FDIC Community Banks CSBS

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  • CFPB Updates HMDA Implementation Materials; Federal Regulatory Agencies Release Key Data Fields

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On October 17, the CFPB published a new reference chart titled “Reportable HMDA Data: A Regulatory and Reporting Overview Reference” designed to be used as a reference tool for required data points to be collected, recorded, and reported under Regulation C. The chart takes into account HMDA rules issued on August 24, which generally take effect January 1, 2018. (See previous InfoBytes coverage here.) The CFPB noted that the reporting reference chart “does not itself establish any binding obligations” and is not intended to be viewed as a “substitute for the regulation or its official commentary.”

    Separately that same day, in a measure to promote efficiency and consistency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC identified 37 key data fields that examiners will typically use to test and validate the accuracy and reliability of data collected under the new HMDA requirements beginning in 2018. In certain circumstances, however, examiners may find it necessary to review additional HMDA data fields as appropriate. OCC Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika noted in a statement that these actions should help ensure the accurate collection of HMDA data without creating “needless burden” on community banks surrounding the full resubmission of data “simply because of a few minor errors.”

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance HMDA Mortgages Regulation C CFPB Federal Reserve FDIC OCC

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  • Federal Agencies Offer Consumer Relief Measures Following Recent Natural Disasters


    On October 13, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released two circulars (here and here) describing measures mortgagees may employ to provide relief to VA home loan borrowers affected by recent California wildfires and Hurricane Nate. Referencing the VA’s guidance on natural disasters, the VA’s recommendations include: (i) extending forbearance to distressed borrowers; (ii) establishing a 90-day moratorium on initiating foreclosures on affected loans; (iii) waiving late charges; (iv) suspending credit bureau reporting with the understanding that servicers will not be penalized by the VA; and (v) extending “special forbearance” to National Guard members who report for active duty to assist recovery efforts.

    Separately, on October 17, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, National Credit Union Administration, and OCC released a joint notice under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act that temporarily eases appraisal requirements for real estate-related financial transactions in areas impacted by recent hurricane disasters. The four agencies will allow appraisal exceptions, provided that financial institutions determine, and obtain documentation related to, the following: (i) the property involved is located in a major disaster area; (ii) there exists a binding commitment to fund the transaction within 36 months of the date the area was declared a major disaster; and (iii) “the value of the real property supports the institution’s decision to enter into the transaction.” The expiration date for exceptions in each area covered by the notice is three years after the date the President declared the area to be a major disaster area.

    As previously discussed in InfoBytes, several federal agencies have announced regulatory relief for victims of recent natural disasters.

    Lending Disaster Relief Mortgages Foreclosure FIRREA Federal Reserve Department of Veterans Affairs FDIC NCUA OCC Consumer Finance

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  • FDIC Chairman Discusses Role of Research in Preventing Consumer Harm

    Federal Issues

    On October 13, FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg spoke at the Seventh Annual FDIC Consumer Research Symposium in Arlington, Virginia. In prepared remarks, Gruenberg discussed his views on the importance of engaging with the independent research community to better understand “consumers’ capabilities, knowledge, and preferences for financial services, as well as their experiences in the financial services market.” According to Gruenberg, the FDIC’s current supervisory approach focuses on methods to “identify, address, and mitigate the risk of consumer harm” at supervised financial institutions, and include the following: (i) an examination process to evaluate whether an institution minimizes the risk of consumer harm by having appropriate policies and procedures and other measures in place to ensure its products and services are compliant with applicable law; (ii) a process to identify how consumers use the information in the context of a given product when establishing which disclosures to prioritize in a risk-based exam; and (iii) a system to analyze data collected through Call Reports, HMDA, and the Community Reinvestment Act designed to identify potential areas of risk and gain insight into supervised institutions’ operations.

    Additionally, Gruenberg noted that research helps the FDIC identify opportunities to expand consumers’ access to mainstream financial services. According to recent FDIC data, 7 percent of households are unbanked and an additional 19.9 percent are underbanked—in total, 90 million Americans, or about 27 percent of households. The data, Gruenberg emphasized, “is regularly cited by financial institutions, non-profit organizations, and public officials as providing a basis for understanding the scope of economic inclusion challenges in their communities and as a starting point for considering approaches that can enhance economic inclusion.”

    Federal Issues FDIC Consumer Finance Bank Compliance

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  • Federal Banking Agencies Issue Request for Comment on Proposed Combined Dodd-Frank Stress Test Report

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On October 6, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed), the FDIC, and the OCC (agencies)—all members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)—issued a joint notice and request for comment on a proposal to combine the agencies’ three separate, identical stress test report forms into a single new FFIEC report (FFIEC 016) under the Dodd-Frank Act. In addition to replacing the Fed’s FR Y–16, the FDIC’s DFAST 10–50, and the OCC’s DFAST 10–50B, a limited number of revisions would be made to align FFIEC 016 with “recent burden-reducing changes to the FFIEC 031 and FFIEC 041 Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income and the Fed’s FR Y–9C Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies.” Under the proposal, institutions who have a Legal Entity Identifier will also be asked to include it on the report form.

    FFIEC 016 respondents are depository institutions and holding companies with at least $10 billion but less than $50 billion in total consolidated assets. The proposed FFIEC 016 will impact stress test reports with an as-of date of December 31, 2017, and have a submission deadline of July 31, 2018. Comments on the joint notice and request for comment must be received by December 5, 2017.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FFIEC Federal Reserve OCC FDIC Dodd-Frank Stress Test

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