May 26, 2023

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced the formal launch of the Cloud Executive Steering Group (CESG), a public-private partnership dedicated to bolstering regulatory and private sector cooperation. First announced as part of Treasury’s Financial Services Sector’s Adoption of Cloud Services report released in February, the multi-pronged follow-up effort aims to ensure that Treasury, financial federal regulators, and the financial sector work together to address challenges associated with the increasing trend of cloud adoption identified in the report. CESG will report to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC), and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC).

The Biden-Harris administration announced new steps intended to advance responsible artificial intelligence research, development, and deployment. The announcements include: an updated roadmap to focus federal investments in AI research and development (R&D); a new request for public input on critical AI issues; and a new report on the risks and opportunities related to AI in education. 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced revisions to its policies and procedures manual on bank enforcement actions to reflect its consideration of actions against banks that exhibit or fail to correct persistent weaknesses. Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) 5310-3, “Bank Enforcement Actions and Related Matters,” now includes “Appendix C: Actions Against Banks With Persistent Weaknesses,” which provides greater transparency and clarity about how the OCC determines if a bank has persistent weaknesses and the possible additional actions the agency may take to address them. The policy is focused on larger and more complex banks the OCC supervises.

The House Financial Services Committee passed several pieces of legislation out of Committee. The bills are intended to “advance Republicans’ capital formation agenda, increase accountability and transparency for financial regulators following recent bank failures, and reverse the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s disastrous recalibrated single-family mortgage pricing framework.” Read our summary here.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and CFA Institute released a new report, Gen Z and Investing: Social Media, Crypto, FOMO, and Family. The report examines attitudes and behaviors around investing among two Gen Z segments (ages 18 to 25) in the United States—those with and those without any investment accounts—and compares them with their investing millennial and Gen X counterparts. The report also profiles Gen Z investors in Canada, the United Kingdom and China and compares them with their counterparts in the United States. Key findings include that a surprisingly large percentage of Gen Zs in the United States invest, with cryptocurrency as their top choice; Gen Z investors in the United States use a variety of resources to learn about investing; Gen Z investors in the United States are risk-takers; Gen Zs who are not yet investing cite barriers to investing such as lack of savings and income and lack of knowledge of investing as primary reasons; and that Gen Zs around the world are also investing in large numbers.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg delivered remarks at the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) 2023 Bank On National Conference. Chairman Gruenberg discussed the FDIC’s work toward advancing economic inclusion in the banking system.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a brief arguing that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) does not preempt state privacy laws that are consistent with COPPA. The brief was filed in support of a federal appeals court’s ruling in Jones v. Google, a case in which a group of children allege that Google collected data and surreptitiously tracked their online activity in violation of state laws.

The Federal Reserve Board issued its Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022 report, which examines the financial lives of U.S. adults and their families. The report covers Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) use, expenses, employment, banking and credit, housing, retirement and investments, and student loans.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu discussed the OCC’s commitment to a fair and inclusive financial system in remarks at the Bank On National Conference. In his remarks, the Acting Comptroller discussed progress made by the CFE Fund and Bank On partners in improving access to bank accounts and how banks can further expand financial access to unbanked and underbanked populations. He also discussed the OCC’s work with diverse stakeholders to explore tools, data, and guidance that can be helpful in identifying and developing financial health vital signs for consumers.

Federal reserve Governor Christopher Waller delivered remarks at the 2023 Santa Barbara County Economic Summit. Governor Waller discussed the tight labor market, stubbornly high inflation, uncertainty about credit conditions, and implications for monetary policy.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy held a hearing discussing the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) role in the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, and oversight of the Federal Reserve. 

The House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing examining the current mortgage market. 

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittees on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy and Oversight and Investigations held hearings with former executives from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. 

The House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion held a hearing discussing stablecoin legislation. 

HFSC Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Senate Banking Committee (SBC) Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led 144 current and former Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the case of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America which seeks to challenge the constitutionality of the CFPB’s funding structure.

New York Attorney General​​ Letitia James led Attorneys General in 22 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a separate amicus brief filing to the court in support of the CFPB.

The Federal Reserve published their 2023 Supervision and Regulation Report. The report summarizes banking conditions and the Federal Reserve’s supervisory and regulatory activities, in conjunction with testimony before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee by Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr.

Need to catch up on what happened last week? Check out our May 19 newsletter here.