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  • OCC Updates Comptroller’s Licensing Manual to Provide Revised Guidance on Branching and Relocation Procedures

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 15, the OCC released Bulletin 2017-54 announcing a revised version of its “Branches and Relocations” booklet (replacing the booklet of the same title issued in October 2009), which includes updates related to procedures and requirements for national banks and federal savings associations submitting branch or relocation applications. The booklet, which is part of the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual, covers:

    • policies and criteria of general applicability, including the application and approval process; and
    • specific policies and requirements unique to national banks and those unique to federal savings associations.

    Reflected in the newly revised booklet are updates to procedures and regulations that have been implemented since 2009, including the integration of the Office of Thrift Supervision into the OCC and the issuance of revised regulation 12 C.F.R. § 5 that went into effect July 1, 2015.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC Licensing

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  • OCC Updates Comptroller’s Licensing Manual to Provide Revised Guidance on Business Combination Applications

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 14, the OCC released Bulletin 2017-53 announcing a revised version of its “Business Combinations” booklet (replacing the booklet of the same title issued in December 2006), which includes updates related to regulations addressing applications for national banks and federal savings associations proposing to execute a business combination. The booklet, which is part of the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual, covers:

    • policies and decision criteria that the OCC considers when evaluating applications from banks seeking to execute business combinations, including mergers, consolidations, certain purchase and assumption transactions, and reorganizations;
    • the application process, including the pre-filing, filing, review, decision, and post-consummation phases;
    • guidance on application requirements and circumstances under which a streamlined business combination is granted; and
    • references and links to informational resources for applicants to use during the filing process.

    Reflected in the newly revised booklet are updates to procedures and regulations that have been implemented since 2006, including the integration of the Office of Thrift Supervision into the OCC and the issuance of revised regulation 12 C.F.R. § 5 that went into effect July 1, 2015.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC Licensing

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  • CFPB Requests Comments on Overdraft Disclosures; CFPB Announces Final Language Access Plan; Holds Ceiling at $12.00 for Allowable FCRA Charges

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 15, the CFPB published a request for comment on a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct online testing of point of sale/ATM (POS/ATM) overdraft disclosure forms. In the request, the Bureau invited comments on, (i) “[w]hether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility”; (ii) “[t]he accuracy of the Bureau’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used”; (iii) “[w]ays to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected”; and (iv) “[w]ays to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.” Comments must be received by January 16, 2018.

    On November 16, the CFPB released the final version of its Language Access Plan (Plan) to provide non-English speaking persons access to its programs and services. The Plan highlights two key language access functions of the Bureau: offering translated consumer-facing brochures and handling complaints from consumers in multiple languages. The Bureau originally proposed the Plan in 2014 (covered previously by InfoBytes). The final Plan is current as of November 13, 2017.

    CFPB also announced on November 16 that the maximum allowable charges for certain disclosures under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) will remain at the current level. Each year the original amount referenced in the FCRA must be readjusted (and rounded to the nearest fifty cents) based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The amount for 2018, based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-U, remains unchanged at $12.00.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FCRA CFPB Consumer Finance Federal Register Consumer Education

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  • OCC Updates Policies and Procedures to Clarify Impact of CRA Ratings on Licensing Applications

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 8, the OCC issued Bulletin 2017-51, updating guidance related to its approach when evaluating certain licensing applications from OCC-supervised banks that have “less than satisfactory” Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) ratings, either overall or in one or more particular geographic region. The revised Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM 6300-2) provides clarity on the OCC’s scrutiny of a bank’s CRA performance when an application is submitted to participate in a covered transaction such as (i) establishing or relocating a branch or main or home office; (ii) participating in a Bank Merger Act filing; (iii) converting from a state to a federal charter; and (iv) converting between federal charters. The revisions also allow applicants to document for the OCC how participating in such a transaction would “help the bank to achieve its CRA objectives” and “meet the credit needs of the community it serves, consistent with its safe and sound operation.”

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC CRA Licensing

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  • Agencies Announce Changes to Threshold Amounts for Truth in Lending Act and Consumer Leasing Act

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 8, the CFPB and the Federal Reserve Board (Board) finalized the annual dollar threshold adjustments that govern the application of Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing Act) to credit transactions as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Each year the thresholds must be readjusted based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The exemption threshold for 2018, based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, is now $55,800 or less, except for private student loans and loans secured by real property, which are subject to TILA regardless of the amount.

    Additionally, on November 8, the OCC, along with the CFPB and the Board, finalized amendments to the official interpretations for the regulations implementing section 129H of TILA, which determines the threshold amount for a small loan’s exemption from the special appraisal requirements that apply to higher-priced mortgage loans. The threshold for 2018, based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, is now $26,000.         

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Federal Reserve OCC TILA CLA

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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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  • Trump Signs Legislation to End Arbitration Rule

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 1, President Trump signed a resolution repealing the CFPB’s embattled arbitration rule (Rule). The resolution, which passed the Senate two weeks ago, was issued under the Congressional Review Act (previously covered by InfoBytes here). Trump’s signature came two days after Richard Cordray, the Director of the CFPB, wrote to the President requesting he veto the resolution. In his letter, Cordray sought to appeal to the President’s business experience in an attempt to explain the necessity of going to court when “treated unfairly.” With Trump’s signing of the resolution, the Rule is now unenforceable. The Rule has previously come under scrutiny from federal regulators (see previous InfoBytes coverage here and here), as well as from industry trade groups (see previous InfoBytes coverage here). After the President’s signing, Keith A. Noreika, Acting Comptroller of the OCC, praised Congress and the President for vacating the rule, touting it as a “victory for consumers” because upholding the Rule would have “significantly increased the cost of credit.”

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Consumer Finance CFPB Arbitration CRA OCC

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  • CFPB Launches Beta Version of HMDA Platform

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On November 3, the CFPB announced the beta release of the new HMDA Platform. The beta version enables financial institutions to become familiar with the platform and permits entities to establish test log-in credentials, upload sample files and validate data, receive edit reports, and confirm test their test submissions. Entities can test and retest throughout the beta period, and any test data will be removed from the system when the 2017 filing period opens on January 1, 2018.

    As previously covered by InfoBytes, in November 2016 the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced that it was discontinuing its HMDA Data Entry Software and instead requiring that financial institutions file HMDA data through a new web-based interface. In August, the CFPB issued the final rule amending the 2015 HMDA Rule, with most of the revisions taking effect January 1, 2018 (see InfoBytes coverage here).

    The CFPB is requesting feedback on the platform and test experiences during the beta period time.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB HMDA FFIEC

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  • OCC Presents First National Bank Charter Since the Financial Crisis

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On October 27, Acting Comptroller of Currency, Keith A. Noreika, issued the first full-service national bank charter since the financial crisis to a banking institution in Florida. The institution is also the first de novo national bank and de novo approved for federal deposit insurance in Florida since the financial crisis. While presenting the charter, Noreika commented on the rarity of de novo banks and encouraged better efficiency in the process for their establishment in order to, “create more economic opportunity for consumers, businesses, and communities across the nation.”

    As previously covered by InfoBytes, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing in March related to the “de novo drought” and to examine the impact the Dodd-Frank Act has had on the creation of new financial institutions.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Lending OCC Bank Regulatory Federal Issues

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  • NCUA Issues Final Rules Regarding Appeals Procedures; Proposes Rule Regarding Capital Planning and Stress Testing

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On October 30, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued a final rule expanding the number of material supervisory determinations that can be appealed to the NCUA Supervisory Review Committee (SRC). Under the rule, federally insured credit unions (FICUs) may appeal examination-related determinations that may significantly affect capital, earnings, operating flexibility, or level of supervisory oversight. The effective date for the final rule is January 1, 2018.

    On October 30, the NCUA also proposed changes to rules covering capital planning and stress testing requirements for covered credit unions (see previously InfoBytes coverage on proposed changes to stress tests by other federal agencies). The proposal would allow FICUs with over $10 billion in assets to conduct their own stress tests in accordance with NCUA requirements and report the results in their capital plan submissions. The specific testing requirements are tiered and dependent on various asset size and capital planning cycles. Comments about the NCUA proposed rule must be received on or before December 29.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance NCUA Examination Credit Union Stress Test

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