- The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 became law on December 27, 2020, including certain COVID-19 relief and response measures such as reactivating the PPP and terminating certain FRB emergency credit programs.
- SBA released interim final rules and other guidance to implement reactivation of the PPP; more guidance is yet to come.
- Congress voted to override the President’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, enacting provisions that comprehensively amend the BSA/AML/CFT frameworks, including reporting and data repository requirements for beneficial ownership information.
- A CFPB Taskforce on Consumer Financial Law published a report of 100 recommendations for improving consumer protections, including one suggestion that the CFPB license non-depository financial companies; OCC released a statement agreeing that fintech firms require a national charter but stating the OCC should be the licensing agency.
- Focus on digital assets seen in releases from OCC, SEC, and FinCEN.
- Shift to the Biden Administration and Democratic control of Congress will likely focus financial services regulators on increased enforcement, climate risk-related policies, and expanded access to the financial system; rulemakings not yet effective may be halted or delayed, and the Congressional Review Act may be used to nullify rulemakings finalized in the last few months.
Financial services regulatory and policy news
- Federal banking agencies (FRB, OCC, FDIC):
- Extended temporary relief under Regulation O and the FDIC’s Part 363 for extensions of credit to certain investment funds
- Affirmed the Countercyclical Capital Buffer at the current zero percent level
- Published guidance on the FDIC’s reservation of authority to require compliance with Part 363 when asset growth is related to mergers and acquisitions
- Requested comment on the custody of digital asset securities by special purpose broker-dealers
- Proposed amendments to Rule 144 and Form 144 to reduce risk of unregistered distributions
- Adopted a modernized marketing rule for investment advisors
- Announced the creation of the security-based swaps joint venture, led by the Divisions of Examination and Trading and Markets
- Proposed an AML rule that would establish reporting, recordkeeping, and verification requirements for certain convertible virtual currency and digital asset transactions
- Extended the COVID-19 multifamily forbearance though March 2021
- Released a whitepaper on the looming “eviction cliff” in New York City
Industry news headlines
- Tax hikes, tough regulators: What Democratic sweep may hold for banks (American Banker)
- Incoming Dem chair says banking panel will put 'workers' over Wall Street (American Banker)
- Businesses race for a Democratic Congress (WSJ)
- Biden White House to issue memo to halt or delay midnight regulations on January 20 (CNN)
- Fed's Evans calls for possible revamp of U.S. financial regulation (Reuters)
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