June 24, 2022

The Office of Management and Budget released the Biden Administration’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions that include:

  • CFPB rulemakings including consumer access to financial records ((Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) section 1033)), small business lending data collection under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (DFA section 1071), Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs)
  • FinCEN rulemakings including implementation of the Travel Rule for digital asset transactions and the implementation of a No-action Letter program
  • IRS rulemakings including returns of information of brokers in virtual currency transactions. 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said that it “continues to engage on an interagency basis to analyze various crypto-asset use cases,” according to the agency’s Semiannual Risk Perspective released on Thursday. It is also looking to “provide further clarity on legal permissibility, as well as safety and soundness and compliance considerations related to crypto-assets.” 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Consumer Finance Institute published a discussion paper based on a survey of consumer adoption and attitudes toward use of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) for retail purchases. The paper discusses the definition of BNPL and the complications that arise from definition creep; how respondents reported their use of and satisfaction with a variety of payment tools, including credit cards, debit cards, person-to-person (P2P) payments, and BNPL; an examination of BNPL users in detail by demographic segment and by the intensity of their BNPL adoption, including their reasons for choosing the product; a comparison of the attitudes of BNPL non-users toward the product, particularly the large discrepancies in their assumptions about how and why people would choose to use it; and a review of self-reported information about missed BNPL payments. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of future work on the topic. It notes that the adoption of BNPL among its respondents appears to be largely experimental, with most users reporting three or fewer uses over the previous 12 months. It also found that BNPL users did not cite lack of credit access as a primary reason for choosing BNPL as a payment option.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a statement to provide clarity to banks on how to apply a risk-based approach to conducting customer due diligence (CDD) on independent automated teller machine (ATM) owners or operators, consistent with the requirements set out in FinCEN’s 2016 CDD Rule. 

Carole House, Director of Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation at the National Security Council, spoke about the White House’s work on the digital assets Executive Order and acknowledged that the “White House is leading an assessment on the technology needs and capacity needs for a U.S. CBDC.” See a write up of her comments here.

A report commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and executed by technical security assessment and advisory services provider Trail of Bits on how decentralized blockchains are found, among other things, that centralization of internet service providers (ISPs) could potentially exposing some users to the danger of censored transactions as they try to access the Bitcoin blockchain and others.

In an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked for information on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ 2010 immunity provision for excessive late fees that allows credit card companies to escape enforcement scrutiny. The CFPB is seeking data about credit card late fees and late payments, assessing whether those fees are “reasonable and proportional.”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Inter-Agency Working Group on Treasury Market Surveillance (IAWG) published a request for information (RFI) to solicit public feedback on additional post-trade data transparency in the Treasury securities market.

The House Appropriations Committee released the report accompanying the fiscal year 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.

The Federal Reserve said that all of the largest banks passed this year’s stress tests and they could withstand a severe downturn, as they have enough capital to absorb more than $600 billion in losses and keep lending.

From the stage of the ‘Consensus 2022,’ House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) called for passage of bipartisan stablecoin legislation this year. McHenry said a bill should start in the House which could be sent to the Senate for end of the year (November/December) action. He concluded this would have to be done with the leadership of HFSC Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). Finally, McHenry, who shared the stage with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Pat Toomey (R-PA), said the more difficult questions about market structure and product regulation outside of stablecoins would need to wait for next year. He will make this legislation a priority if he chairs HFSC next Congress.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public comment on questions relating to the implementation of a no-action letter (NAL) process. Read our Summary of the ANPRM here.

The House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee Bill. Read our summary here.

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing discussing reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Read our summary here

The Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a hearing reviewing the 2023 fiscal budget requests for the Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intellegence (TFI) and the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Read our summary here.

D-Wave hosted a webinar discussion on the evolution of cryptocurrency where they presented a project that Multiverse Computing did with the Bank of Canada to model the evolution of future financial networks where cryptocurrency may play a part. Read our summary here

House Financial Services Committee:

Tuesday, June 28 @ 12:00PM –  “Where Have All the Houses Gone? Private Equity, Single Family Rentals, and America’s Neighborhoods” 

Wednesday, June 29 @ 12:00 PM –  “Boom and Bust: Inequality, Homeownership, and the Long-Term Impacts of the Hot Housing Market”

Thursday, June 30 @ 12:00 PM –  “Combatting Tech Bro Culture: Understanding Obstacles to Investments in Diverse-Owned Fintechs”