Banking News

Hensarling Welcomes Republican Members to the Financial Services Committee November 21, 2014

WASHINGTON - Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced the following members have been recommended for appointment to the Financial Services Committee in the 114th Congress by the Republican Steering Committee.

“I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to pass laws that help grow the economy from Main Street up, not Washington down,” said Chairman Hensarling. “Our committee will continue to focus on promoting sensible solutions that help create jobs and hold both Washington and Wall Street accountable to the American people."

The list includes new Republican members as well as Republicans who previously served on the committee and will be returning:

  • Rep.-Elect Bob Dold (R-IL)
  • Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta (R-NH)
  • Rep.-Elect French Hill (R-AR)
  • Rep.-Elect Mia Love (R-UT)
  • Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)
  • Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO)
  • Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX)

FDIC Finalizes Changes to Assessments November 18, 2014

The FDIC board has approved a final rule that would incorporate the Basel III capital rules into the assessments system. The final rule aligns capital evaluations for deposit insurance assessments with the prompt corrective action capital thresholds in the interagency Basel III rules.

The final rule also lowers custodial banks’ deductions from the assessment base. The final rule also allows low-risk, liquid assets — securitization exposures with a standardized risk weight of 20 percent — to be included in the assessment base deduction for custodial banks.

The final rule also requires “highly complex” banks to measure counterparty exposures using Basel III’s standardized approach. Responding to ABA’s comments, the FDIC elected to allow — in certain limited circumstances — cash variation margin to reduce over-the-counter derivative exposures. Click here to read the final rule.

FDIC’S Norton Challenges European Influence on Bank Regulation November 7, 2014

FDIC Director Jeremiah Norton has questioned the outsized influence of European policymakers on the Financial Stability Board. Norton noted in comments at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. that the FSB includes representatives from only three U.S. regulators – the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission – compared to 20 from Europe. “It’s twenty to three. Who’s driving the policy decisions?” he asked.

“In these discussions, when there [are] 20 people from Europe and they have one financial system, and there’s three from the U.S. -- and by the way, the three don’t always get along -- you get a policy process that is convoluted,” Norton added.

Federal Judge Rejects HUD Rules on ‘Disparate Impact’ November 4, 2014

“Disparate impact” claims of discrimination are not recognized under the Fair Housing Act, according to a ruling by a federal judge. In the case -- American Insurance Association et al. v. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- two insurance trade groups challenged HUD’s 2013 rulemaking providing for discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act even if no discriminatory intent is present.

Chiding HUD for seeking to end-run ongoing Supreme Court litigation on disparate impact, D.C. District Judge Richard Leon argued that the statute’s text and legislative history do not permit disparate impact claims. The text does not include the kind of language explicitly authorizing disparate impact claims that appears in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Moreover, Leon found, “the fact that Congress chose not to amend the FHA in 1988 to include clear effects-based language -- while doing so at the same time for two similar anti-discrimination statutes -- clearly illustrates that it never intended for claims of disparate impact to cognizable under the FHA.”

The Supreme Court is expected to address whether disparate impact claims are enforceable under the Fair Housing Act when it hears the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project later in this term. It will be the third case in as many years that the court has agreed to hear regarding disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act -- the others were settled before the court decided -- and is thus expected to be closely watched. Click here to read the ruling.

Agencies Release Preliminary Observations of Cyber Assessment November 4, 2014

The financial regulators yesterday released the initial results of their cybersecurity assessment of 500 banks and credit unions with less than $1 billion in assets. The assessment began in June and will not affect ratings at the participating institutions, the agencies said.

The assessment “reinforces the need for engagement by the board of directors and senior management” on several issues, the agencies said, including understanding their institutions’ risks and monitoring potential threats, establishing a “dynamic control environment,” effectively overseeing third party relationships and developing and testing plans for business recovery and continuity after a cyber attack.

The agencies also urged all financial institutions to join the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a centralized resource for sharing and disseminating information about cyber threats and responses. Click here to read more.

Read more Bank Industry News

With consumer sentiment the highest it’s been since the recession, shoppers are expected to open their wallets a bit wider this year. Will holiday spending leave shoppers in the red? Not if they plan wisely and some common sense tips from the ABA.

 Click here to download our 7 Helpful Holiday Spending Tips.

2015 NCCB Conference

The 2015 National Conference for Community Bankers will be held February 8-11, 2015, in Boca Raton, FL.

 This event will include sessions and speakers on topics such as interest rate risk, cybersecurity, non-interest income, industry issues and trends, legislative and regulatory updates, management strategies, the economy and more.

Click here for details.

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