June 3, 2022

Lawmakers in New York passed a bill to ban certain bitcoin mining operations that run on carbon-based power sources. The measure now heads to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul, who could sign it into law or veto it. If Hochul signs the bill, it would make New York the first state in the country to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.

The top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s Deputy Inspector General, Richard Delmar, regarding the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). McHenry urged Delmar to use his oversight authority to ensure SSBCI funding is not vulnerable to waste, fraud, or abuse.

A Federal Reserve survey found that U.S. crypto investors are disproportionately wealthy individuals who are unlikely to use their digital assets for payments or other financial services. The economic well-being survey, which charted the activity of roughly 11,000 Americans in late 2021, found that just 12 percent of adults had held or used crypto over the previous year. Most of those who reported holding digital assets said they were doing so for investment purposes, while just 3 percent said they had used crypto to make a purchase or payment.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission unanimously voted to release a Request for Information (RFI) to seek public comment on climate-related financial risk to better inform its understanding and oversight of climate-related financial risk as pertinent to the derivatives markets and underlying commodities markets.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury—joined by Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Social Security Administration—released the annual Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports following a meeting of the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. 

Swedish payment fintech Klarna will have to carry out financial checks on clients who want to use its Buy-Now-Pay-Later services under a compromise among EU governments on the revamped consumer credit bill. Employment ministers are set to sign off on the compromise bill on June 9 in the Competitiveness Council. Meanwhile, the European Parliament is still developing its version of the directive, dubbed CCD, but the Council is expecting MEPs to vote on the bill later this month. So-called trilogue negotiations between the institutions will then determine the final version of the legislation.

The Federal Trade Commission staff sent its annual report to the CFPB on enforcement activities related to the Truth in Lending Act, the Consumer Leasing Act, and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The report includes coverage on auto financing, payday lending, credit repair, and student lending.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule that supplements the Enterprise Regulatory Capital Framework (ERCF) by requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to submit annual capital plans to the Agency and provide prior notice for certain capital actions. The final rule also incorporates the stress capital buffer determination from the ERCF into the capital planning process. 

California’s top financial regulator issued a broad public request for information on the crypto market. California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation said that it wants input on the risks posed by crypto financial products and how it can better protect consumers from frauds and scams. The input will help the agency develop guidance, regulatory clarity and supervision of crypto financial products and services in California.  

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu discussed vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency framework and recent volatility with stablecoins in remarks at the Chamber of Digital Commerce’s DC Blockchain Summit 2022. In his remarks, the Acting Comptroller discussed the fragmented ecosystem of cryptocurrency, risk of contagion, and underdeveloped custody and ownership rights. He also emphasized the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s careful and cautious approach to cryptocurrency to ensure the safety and soundness of the federal banking system.

The CFPB announced it is replacing the Office of Innovation and Project Catalyst with its new Office of Competition and Innovation, as part of a new approach to help spur innovation in financial services by promoting competition and identifying stumbling blocks for new market entrants. The new office will support a broader initiative by the CFPB to analyze obstacles to open markets, better understand how big players are squeezing out smaller players, host incubation events, and, in general, make it easier for people to switch financial providers. The CFPB is also ceasing its No Action Letter and Sandbox program.

Tuesday, June 14th at 10:00 AM ET: The House Financial Services Committee will convene for a hybrid markup.