United States: March And April 2017 Developments


Donald Trump has made this newsletter obsolete. This covers two months and there are almost no new or even proposed rules. In fact, I am covering developments that in the past were deemed so picayune that I would have left them out. The CFPB has published 30 pages of corrections and elaborations to a rule that was "finalized" in 2015—will it ever end.

Prepaid Accounts under Electronic Funds Transfer and Regulation Z

The final rule will not be effective until April, 2018, instead of October 1, 2017, to give the industry more time to comply. In the Prepaid Accounts Final Rule, the Bureau extended Regulation E coverage to prepaid accounts and adopted provisions specific to such accounts, and generally expanded Regulation Z's coverage to overdraft credit features that may be offered in conjunction with prepaid accounts. See the extension at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-03-15/html/2017-05060.htm


The CFPB is doing an assessment of its remittance rules as required under Dodd-Frank. They are requesting comments from the public and will be doing research themselves to assess the rule's effectiveness. See the request at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-03-24/html/2017-05681.htm

FFIEC Report to Congress on Regulatory Reform

On March 30, 2017, the FFIEC sent its report to Congress on efforts by the banking regulators to review regulations to identify unnecessary regulatory requirements. This contains a rule-by-rule summary of thoughts on rule changes. See the report at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-03-30/pdf/2017-06131.pdf

BCFP Collection of Racial Information under Regulation B

On April 4, 2017, the BCFP proposed amendments to Regulation B to provide flexibility in compliance introduce new model forms and amended its commentary regarding collecting data on sex, ethnicity and race of mortgage applicants. Regulation B implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and, in part, prohibits a creditor from inquiring about the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of a credit applicant except under certain circumstances. One of those circumstances is a requirement for creditors to collect and retain certain information about applicants for certain dwelling-secured loans under Regulation B. See the proposal for how the BCFP will treat this issue going forward. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-04/html/2017-06195.htm

BCFP Special Report on Consumer Reporting

On April 4, 2017, the BCFP published a special summary of its examination findings on consumer reporting. The report covers a wide range of issues and highlights areas where providers of consumer information and users may improve compliance. The CFPB has concern about the lack of resources that furnishers in particular have devoted to this important function and the resulting violations of law. Issues exist at furnishers on data governance, monitoring, accuracy and dispute resolution. See the report at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-06/html/2017-06904.htm

Fed Rules on Discount Window Advances and Interest on Reserves Balances

On April 18, 2017, the Fed published a final rule to state the increase in interest rates on Fed advances. This has not happened in some time. At the same time the Fed revised the rate of interest paid on reserve balances—an increase of one-quarter of a percent. See the changes at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-18/html/2017-07742.htm and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-18/html/2017-07743.htm

CFPB Technical Corrections to Regulation C Home Mortgage Disclosure

On April 25, 2017, the CFPB published proposed amendments to Regulation C to correct and clarify the Regulation. It is evident given that the corrections are dozens of pages long that the rules are overly complicated and over lawyered. My sympathies to the financial institutions that operate in this area—their only solace is that the government is keeping out any potential competitors with this regulatory thicket. See the changes to the changes to the changes at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-25/html/2017-07838.htm

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