February 11, 2022

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Acting Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg announced on his first day the agency’s priorities for 2022:

  • Strengthen Community Reinvestment Act (CRA);

  • Address Financial Risks Posed by Climate Change;

  • Review Bank Merger Process;

  • Evaluate Crypto-Asset Risks; and

  • Finalize Basel III Capital Rule.

The Justice Department announced it seized more than $3.6 billion in bitcoin allegedly stolen as part of a 2016 hack of Bitfinex. 

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen convened a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). The council heard an update from Treasury staff on its 2021 priorities and new priorities for 2022, including climate-related financial risks, nonbank financial intermediation, Treasury market resiliency, and digital assets. The Council voted unanimously to approve a statement highlighting the importance of recent interagency efforts to identify and respond to potential financial stability risks arising from nonbank financial intermediation, and expressing support for regulatory reforms that would mitigate those risks. 

Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) spoke about consumer protection and competition in the financial sector in an interview with The Washington Post. Read the transcript here

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in an interview that Congress should weigh an overhaul of the U.S. Federal Reserve Regional Bank system and consider consolidating regional banks that are “wandering” into issues such as climate change. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering proposing an amendment to Regulation ATS that would require trading services that connect buyers and sellers of securities — known as communication protocol systems — to register with the SEC as exchanges or broker-dealers. Though the rule makes no mention of cryptocurrency, some crypto advocates are raising concerns given SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s broad view on what digital assets qualify as securities. Industry groups like the Global Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Association and the Association for Digital Asset Markets, both of which count crypto trading platforms and investment firms among their members, have filed comment letters asking the agency to extend its 30-day comment period to allow for more time for review. The SEC largely framed the rule at issue as being targeted at Treasury trading platforms when it was revealed late last month.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced proposed amendments to its rule governing beneficial ownership reporting under Exchange Act Sections 13(d) and 13(g).

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offered a Tennessee couple a refund on income taxes paid for unsold Tezos network staking rewards as part of what appears to be a settlement in an ongoing legal fight – a move industry experts say signals an important shift in the way the IRS views crypto staking.

The FDIC and National Bankers Association announced a new joint series of podcasts that will showcase public- and private-sector efforts to preserve and promote Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and advance diversity and inclusion across financial services.

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on stablecoins, to consider their impact on the financial system and discuss potential regulation. Read our hearing summary here

The FDIC Board of Directors – FDIC Acting Chair Martin Gruenberg, Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu, and CFPB Director Rohit Chopra – approved the selection of three new corporate officers: Kymberly Copa as Deputy to the Acting Chairman and Chief of Staff; Daniel Bendler as Deputy to the Acting Chairman and Chief Operating Officer; and Harrel Pettway to the position of General Counsel.

The Bank of England is reportedly “highly unlikely” to develop a retail-facing wallet for storing and spending digital currency. However, the Bank plans to publish a consultation paper setting out its assessment of the merits of what some have dubbed the ‘Britcoin’ later this year. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston named Dr. Susan M. Collins, Ph.D., as their new President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Collins will be the first Black woman to lead one of the 12 regional reserve banks within the Federal Reserve system.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing entitled “Examining Digital Assets: Risks, Regulation, and Innovation.” Read our hearing summary here

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released the findings of their initial technological research into a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC). The published research describes a theoretical high-performance and resilient transaction processor for a CBDC that was developed using open-source research software, OpenCBDC. 

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the nominations of the Honorable Sarah Bloom Raskin to be Vice Chairman for Supervision and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Dr. Lisa DeNell Cook to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Dr. Philip Nathan Jefferson to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Read our full hearing summary here

February 18 at 11:40 AM MST: Partner John Collins will speak at ETHDenver. 

February 20th-22nd: Partner John Collins will speak at the Conference for Community Bankers. 

February 24th: Senior Advisor Amy Friend will speak on a panel for the Alliance for Innovative Regulation’s webinar entitled “Make Money Green: Climate, ESG and Financial Regulation.” 

February 15 at 10:00 AM ET: The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing entitled “Examining the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets Report on Stablecoins.”