Insight

Washington Report 360 | March 12, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law, and the FRB issued supervisory guidance related to LIBOR

Amy S. Matsuo

Amy S. Matsuo

ESG and Regulatory Insights Lead, KPMG LLP

Key Highlights

  • President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, providing approximately $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus to facilitate recovery in the U.S. from the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. Housing assistance and small business provisions will directly and indirectly impact financial services companies.
  • The FRB published supervisory guidance directing examiners to assess institutions’ progress toward transitioning away from LIBOR and to consider issuing supervisory findings and other supervisory actions if a firm is not ready to stop issuing LIBOR-based contracts by December 31, 2021.
  • New Interagency CRA FAQs provide guidance on activities in response to COVID-19 including SBA PPP loans, retail banking services and retail lending activities provided to low- and moderate-income individuals, and community development services conducted virtually.
  • SEC published a statement on ESG disclosures outlining considerations for keeping pace with investor and market developments.
  • Reversing earlier issuances, CFPB rescinded it policy statement on abusive acts or practices and DOL announced it would not enforce rules on ESG investments and proxy voting.

Financial services regulatory and policy news

Banking

  • Federal banking agencies (FRB, OCC, FDIC):
  • Announced an interim final rule amending regulatory capital to facilitate investments by Treasury in MDIs and CDFIs through its Emergency Capital Investment Program
  • Published five FAQs supplementing guidance on CRA consideration for COVID-19-related activities
  • Proposed 24 new Interagency Questions and Answers on private flood insurance  
  • FRB:
  • Issued examiner guidance for reviewing institutions’ progress transitioning away from LIBOR
  • Published guidance on its Partnership for Progress Program for MDIs
  • Will extend the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) through June 2021 
  • CFPB
  • Rescinded the policy statement on abusive acts or practices
  • Clarified ECOA and Regulation B prohibitions against sexual discrimination include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Capital Markets

  • SEC:
  • Solicited comments on a NASDAQ proposed rule for diversity on boards
  • Published a statement on ESG disclosures keeping pace with investor and market developments
  • Requested feedback on regulatory requirements for investment company cross trading
  • FINRA:
  • Adopted rules addressing brokers with a history of misconduct  
  • Posted a podcast on current and emerging industry priorities and threats related to cybersecurity

Other

  • Congress:
  • Passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021  
  • Senate confirmed: 
  • Marcia Fudge as HUD Secretary
  • Merrick Garland as DOJ Attorney General 
  • FinCEN
  • Issued guidance on the antiquities and art trade pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, passed as part of the NDAA 
  • SBA
  • Provided updates on the Administration’s changes to the PPP
  • FHFA:
  • Further extended certain loan flexibilities through April 2021
  • NY DFS:
  • With ten other states, requested the Secretary of Education reverse two policies
  • DOL:
  • Announced it will not enforce recent rules on ESG investments and proxy voting by employee benefit plans
  • BIS:
  • Published Bulletin No. 38 on effects and trade-offs of dividend restrictions during COVID-19 

Insurance

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