Insight

Washington Report 360 | March 19, 2021

No extension of temporary capital relief under SLR; FINRA firm obligations amid market volatility; SEC & CFTC climate change actions

Amy S. Matsuo

Amy S. Matsuo

ESG and Regulatory Insights Lead, KPMG LLP

Key Highlights

  • Federal banking agencies decided not to extend temporary capital relief for BHCs and institutions subject to the Supplementary Leverage Ratio.
  • FINRA outlined firm obligations during extreme market volatility, including customer order handling, margin requirements, and liquidity management.
  • SEC requested public input on climate-related disclosures.
  • SEC is also working on disclosures for how funds vote their shareholders’ proxies, including updates to Form N-PX (used by funds to disclose proxy votes and procedures) and consideration of disclosing certain Form N-PX on a website to increase transparency.  
  • CFTC created a new Climate Risk Unit, which will focus on the role of derivatives in understanding, pricing, and addressing climate-related risk; the CFTC’s action follows the recently created FRB Supervision Climate Committee and SEC Climate and ESG Task Force.
  • NY DFS announced expectations to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within NY insurance companies including setting board and senior management diversity as a strategic priority, collecting and publicizing diversity data, and incorporating a review of diversity efforts into the examination process.

Financial services regulatory and policy news

Banking

  • Federal banking agencies (FRB, OCC, FDIC):
  • Announced that temporary changes to the Supplementary Leverage Ratio (SLR) for depository institutions will expire March 31
  • FRB:
  • Announced that temporary changes to the SLR for BHCs will expire March 31
  • Provided closing remarks at a CPMI  conference on cross border payments
  • FDIC:
  • Announced a public webinar series on leveraging big data for the banking industry
  • Encouraged banks to submit voluntary self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices
  • CFPB:
  • Encouraged banks and debt collectors to allow stimulus payments to reach consumers

Capital Markets

Other

  • Senate:
  • Confirmed Isabella Guzman as SBA Administrator
  • Banking Committee conducted a hearing on financial system risks associated with climate change
  • House:
  • Passed the PPP Extension Act, which would extend the PPP application deadline to May 31; the bill now moves to the Senate
  • FS Committee conducted a hearing on using diversity data to measure diversity, equity, and inclusion commitment
  • Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on strengthening the laws to address monopoly power; FTC Acting Chair testified
  • SBA:
  • Extended the deferment period for all COVID-19 EIDL and other disaster loans
  • Updated, with Treasury, PPP forms and FAQs
  • Treasury:
  • Disbursed 90 million economic payments from the American Rescue Plan
  • NY FRB:
  • Announced it will cease regular operations to purchase Agency CMBS
  • BIS:
  • Issued a brief on regulatory approaches and policy options for big tech in finance
  • Department of Education:
  • Announced actions to streamline the borrower defense relief process; the change is expected to help 72,000 student loan borrowers receive full relief

Insurance

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