July 15, 2022

Michael Barr, who served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions in the Department of the Treasury in the Obama Administration and an important figure in the development of the Dodd-Frank Act, was confirmed as Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra published a blog post entitled “Promoting competition in our financial markets.” Chopra discussed President Biden’s executive order to launch a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy and the steps that the CFPB has taken to ensure markets for consumer financial products are competitive. Chopra mentioned that the CFPB is working to identify obstacles for consumers to refinance or switch providers, has launched an initiative to save consumers money from junk fees, and is looking to identify the roadblocks that small financial institutions and new entrants face when challenging dominant players. He noted that this work will continue with the help of the newly established Office of Competition and Innovation

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research has released a white paper showing how a U.S. CBDC could make banks less susceptible to systemic risks that could threaten the financial system. 

Democrat policymakers, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), pushed for quick action on the Overdraft Protection Act. The bill which was pulled from the June House Financial Services Committee mark-up is likely to be considered by the Committee at its next markup slated for July 27.

Jon Cunliffe, Bank of England’s Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, delivered remarks on the need for global regulators to take coordinated action on digital asset markets. This speech comes after last week’s Treasury statement announcing the roadmap for international coordination as directed by the March Executive Order.

The CFPB issued an Advisory Opinion to highlight the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s permissible purpose requirements. This advisory opinion explains that the permissible purposes listed in FCRA section 604(a)(3) are consumer specific, and it affirms that a consumer reporting agency may not provide a consumer report to a user under the section unless it has reason to believe that all of the consumer report information it includes pertains to the consumer who is the subject of the user’s request. 

The CFPB Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on credit card late fees and late payments, and card issuers’ revenue and expenses has been extended by 10 days until August 1, 2022. The CFPB concluded that “this extension will allow card issuers, consumer groups, and the public more time to pull together the requested information for submission.”

U.S. Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), highlighting findings from their investigation into the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining and requesting that the EPA and DOE work together to require cryptocurrency miners to report their emissions and energy use. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a statement, adding a new Question and Answer (Q&A) and updating public information on its Banker Resource Center Brokered Deposits page, to remind FDIC-insured depository institutions (IDIs) that deposits swept from broker dealers with a primary purpose exception to unaffiliated IDIs must be reported as brokered if there are any additional third parties involved that qualify as a deposit broker. 

The Department of the Treasury published in the Federal Register a Request for Comment (RFC) on digital assets that follows from the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets. Comments are due Monday, August 8.

Treasury is seeking input, data, and recommendations pertaining to the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for United States consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth. Specifically, the RFC requests information on the following topics: the adoption to date and mass adoption; opportunities for consumers, investors, and businesses; general risks in digital assets financial markets; risks to consumers, investors, and businesses; and impact on the most vulnerable populations. 

Treasury Secretary Yellen and other heads of other relevant agencies announced they delivered to President Biden a framework on digital assets for interagency engagement with foreign counterparts and in international fora as directed in the President’s March 9 Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.

Need to catch up on what happened last week? Check out our July 8th Newsletter here.

Tuesday, July 19th at 10:00 AM ET- The Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.”

Tuesday, July 19th at 2:00 PM ET- The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough: How Mass Shootings Harm Communities, Local Economies, and Economic Growth.”

Wednesday, July 20th at 10:00 AM ET- The House Financial Services Committee will convene for a hybrid hearing entitled, “Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”