March 29, 2024

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published their 2023 ​​Consumer Response Annual Report. The report found increased complaints in credit reporting, widespread reports of fraud, issues with debt collection practices, and problems with student loan payments resumption. In the report, the CFPB encourages the use of the complaint data as a  tool for improvements and suggests that integrating the feedback into  operational review processes can help companies in quickly identifying and resolving issues.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is issuing a request for information (RFI) related to existing requirements for banks under the Customer Identification Program (CIP) Rule to collect a taxpayer identification number (TIN) from a customer prior to opening an account. This RFI will inform FinCEN’s understanding in this area and evaluate the risks, benefits, and safeguards if banks were permitted to collect partial SSN information from a customer and subsequently use reputable third-party sources to obtain the full SSN prior to account opening. Comments to the RFI will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also issued an advisory to reemphasize the requirements under the Customer Identification Program (CIP) Rule as it relates to collecting identifying information from customers. The advisory reminds institutions of the information required to be collected from the customer prior to account opening. 

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) Annual Report to Congress on the agency’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) programs and initiatives for fiscal year 2023. The report also outlines the agency’s efforts in ensuring fair and inclusive business practices and assessing its regulated entities’ diversity policies and practices.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending $2.8 million in refunds to consumers who were harmed by DK Automation and its owners, Kevin David Hulse and David Shawn Arnett, who used claims of big returns to entice consumers into moneymaking schemes involving Amazon and Walmart business packages, business coaching, and cryptocurrency. According to the FTC’s November 2022 complaint, the company and its owners promised consumers that they could “generate passive income on autopilot” when few consumers ever made money from the  schemes.

The FTC released its Privacy and Data Security Update for 2023 that highlights the FTC’s work to protect consumer privacy and respond to the evolving ways that companies use consumer data such as in the development of artificial intelligence models and misuse of health data. The publication highlights the FTC’s privacy and data security work in the last few years.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Caroline Pham published a statement regarding the CFTC’s complaint regarding KuCoin earlier this week. Commissioner Pham stated that while she commends the Division of Enforcement’s vigilance in protecting markets, the CFTC’s action appears to assert that fund shares held by investors can themselves constitute leveraged trading, failing to distinguish between an investment in a fund and the trading activities of a fund. Because of this, Commissioner Pham expressed concerns that the CFTC’s approach may infringe upon the SEC’s authority.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has begun disseminating individual transactions in active U.S. Treasury securities at the end of the day. The information is available on a same-day basis for FINRA members and other professionals who subscribe to the new data product. It is also publicly available and free of charge on FINRA’s website for non-professionals’ personal, non-commercial use on a next-day basis. Starting April 1, FINRA will also begin offering historical data on a six-month delay.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement in response to the disbandment of the U.S. House Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) as a result of the recently passed 2024 spending bill. Rep. Waters stated that she is “deeply disappointed and disheartened” by the decision.

Financial regulatory agencies from 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia ordered Sigue Corp. to cease engaging in any further money transmission activities as the company can no longer responsibly serve customers due to its declining financial position.

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation published a consumer resource on Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) products, warning that BNPL plans are loans, carry the same obligations and risks that loans do. 

President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.2 trillion spending package, keeping the U.S. government funded through a fiscal year that began six months ago. President Biden described the package, which Congress overwhelmingly passed in the early hours of Saturday, as investing in Americans as well as strengthening the economy and national security. President Biden urged Congress to pass other bills stuck in the legislative chambers. The Democratic-majority Senate passed the spending bill with a 74-24 vote. Key federal agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury, which houses the Internal Revenue Service, will remain funded through Sept. 30.

Need to catch up on what happened earlier this week? Check out our March 27th Midweek Update here