May 10, 2019 NASCUS Report

NCUA’s Hood, fellow federal regulators
will offer testimony on Hill

Back-to-back appearances before two congressional committees will keep new NCUA Board Chairman Rodney Hood busy next week as he offers testimony with his fellow regulators from the banking industry.

The testimony will be the chairman’s first in his tenure, which began just last month. His first appearance, in a hearing, titled “Oversight of Financial Regulators” on Wednesday (May 15), will be before the Senate Banking Committee; it is also scheduled to include as witnesses Joseph Otting, comptroller at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Randal Quarles, vice chair for supervision at the Federal Reserve Board, and Jelena McWilliams, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board.

The second hearing the next day (May 16) gets underway at 10 a.m. before the House Financial Services Committee. While no witness list is yet posted by the committee, the lineup is expected to be the same.

Both hearings are significant for all of the regulators, including NCUA – which rescheduled the May open meeting of the agency’s board to May 23 to open the schedule for Hood’s appearance.

Report: Chairman favors more delay for RBC rule

NCUA Board Chairman Rodney Hood favors an additional delay to the agency’s regulations on risk-based capital — which (right now) are set to take effect in 2020, a date that was the result of a previous delay – according to a report this week.

Trade publication Credit Union Timesreported that – after it had gathered public, written responses by Hood to members of the Senate Banking Committee as part of the confirmation process earlier this spring – that the new NCUA chairman would support a further delay in the RBC rule.

“I would support a further delay to the implementation of the RBC Rule, so that I and my fellow Board Members can further study and assess its real effects on the credit union system,” Hood wrote in answering senators’ questions, the Timesreported. Hood’s responses, the Timesnoted, were published as part of an official Feb. 14 confirmation hearing transcript prepared by the Government Publishing Office (GPO).

Last fall, the NCUA Board adopted a final, “supplemental” rule delaying implementation of risk-based capital for federally insured credit unions, and applying the rule to fewer credit unions, to Jan. 1, 2020 (the rule had been slated to take effect this year, at Jan. 1).

The supplemental rule adopted in October also revised the asset-size threshold for “complex” credit unions – those targeted by the risk-based capital rule – from $100 million to $500 million. That change exempted an additional 1,026 insured credit unions from RBC requirements, or about 90% of federally insured credit unions. However, at the time, NCUA also noted that the rule would still cover 76% of credit union assets, as well as 85% all complex assets and liabilities in the credit union system. (By comparison, the agency says, 100% of banks are subject to federal risk-based capital rules.)

CFPB unveils proposed debt collection rule

Debt collectors would be allowed up to seven telephone-contact attempts a week with consumers about a specific debt under a proposal issued by the CFPB Tuesday.

That was one of four key points about the proposal that the bureau highlighted in a release. The proposal would implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); the number of telephone contacts per week led the list of four key items noted by the bureau in its statement.

Regarding the telephone contacts, the bureau also said the proposal would establish that once a phone conversation between a consumer and a debt collector takes place, the collector must wait “at least a week” before calling the consumer again.

Other key points about the proposal – which will be open for comment for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register – included:

  • A disclosure to consumers from debt collectors is required containing certain information about the debt and “related consumer protections.” The bureau said the information could include an itemization of the debt; how a consumer may respond to a collection attempt (in “plain-language information”) including a dispute of the debt; and inclusion of a “tear-off” consumers could use to respond to the collection attempt.
  • Clarification of how debt collectors may lawfully use “newer communication technologies” such as voicemail, email and text messages. The bureau indicated the clarification would protect consumers by allowing them to unsubscribe to future communications from collectors through those media. “The proposed rule would also clarify how collectors may provide required disclosures electronically,” the agency said. “In addition, if consumers want to limit ways debt collectors contact them, for example at a specific telephone number, while they are at work, or during certain hours, the rule clarifies how consumers may easily do so.”
  • Prohibitions on a debt collector from suing or threats of lawsuits if the collector knows or should know at statute of limitations has passed. “The proposed rule also would prohibit a debt collector from furnishing information about a debt to a consumer reporting agency unless the debt collector has communicated about the debt to the consumer, such as by sending the consumer a letter,” the bureau said.

LINK:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Regulations to Implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Summary outlines bureau’s remittances RFI

Additional details about the CFPB’s latest “request for information” – this one on rules related to remittances – are provided in the latest summary from NASCUS.

The RFI issued by the bureau last week, the summary notes, seeks feedback on possible, proposed changes to the remittance rule that would moderate the effects of the expiration of a statutory exception of the regulation for certain financial institutions, the summary notes (which ends next year). The summary also notes that the bureau is also seeking feedback related to the scope of coverage of the rule including whether to change a safe harbor threshold and whether an exception for small financial institutions may be appropriate.

The remittance rule, which took effect in 2013 and implements provisions of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), generally requires that, among other things, providers of international remittances (money transfers) for consumers disclose the exact exchange rate, the amount of certain fees, and the amount expected to be delivered to the recipient.

The summary provides more background on the development of the rule, as well as more information about the scope of the bureau’s review of the current rules.

LINK:

NASCUS Summary: Request for Information Regarding Potential Regulatory Changes to the Remittance Rule

Consumer protection bureau revamps HMDA data pages

Access to current and past research using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and more has been redesigned by the CFPB on its website, which also provides access to loan-level datasets and information about compliance and other HMDA resources, the agency said late last week.

The bureau also noted, in announcing its updated HMDA pages, that the FFIEC will publish a query tool for the 2018 data in the coming months. After the new query tool becomes available, the CFPB said it will retire its current HMDA Explorer tool and the Public Data Platform API that powers it. The bureau noted that since the 2018 HMDA data includes a number of new data points, it’s not compatible with the multi-year functionality provided by the Public Data Platform.

LINKS:

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and research page

FFIEC query tool for the 2018 data

… and more resources available on HMDA proposals

There are some additional resources available related to the bureau’s HMDA advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) announced last week. This week, the bureau issued anexecutive summary, providing an overview of the NPRM and ANPR. However, the agency advises, the summary does not contain all the information included in the NPRM and ANPR and urges readers to review the proposals in their entireties. The agency has also issued a redlined document, which the bureau said is intended to assist industry and other stakeholders in reviewing the changes that its proposal would make to Regulation C (which implements HMDA). (Click on either above to read the documents)

LINKS:

Summary of the 2019 HMDA Proposed Rule Relating to Coverage Thresholds and Partial Exemptions, and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Relating to Certain Data Points and Coverage of Certain Commercial-Purpose Transactions

Unofficial Redline of the HMDA NPRM’s Proposed Amendments to Regulation C

State AGs urge congressional action on cannabis banking

This week, 38 state attorneys general wrote to congressional leaders urging them to advance legislation that would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that serve state authorized cannabis businesses.

The attorneys general told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) that they are not endorsing the legalization of medical or retail marijuana in those jurisdictions that choose not to, but “the reality of the situation requires federal rules that permit a sensible banking regime for legal businesses.”

The law enforcement leaders’ request: “Congress advance the SAFE Banking Act or similar legislation that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions.”

“Our banking system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states and territories, with state and territorial input, while protecting the interests of the federal government,” they wrote. “This includes a banking system for marijuana-related businesses that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy.“

LINK:

Letter from state attorneys general on cannabis banking

BRIEFLY: Two state associations link with NASCUS

Two more state credit union associations have become members of NASCUS, underscoring their commitment to the state credit union system. The Nebraska Credit Union League, headquartered in Omaha (led by President and CEO Scott Sullivan) and the New Jersey Credit Union League, headquartered in East Windsor (led by President and CEO David Frankil)l are the latest to join.

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