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Friday, May 22, 2015

ABA-ABIA Backed Reg Reform Bill Clears Senate Committee

The regulatory reform bill introduced by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) was approved by the committee yesterday. The ABA-supported bill would provide regulatory relief for community, mid-size and regional banks, tailor the regulatory structure for systemically important banks and begin restructuring within the Federal Reserve System and at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Although the bill cleared the committee on a 12-10 party-line vote, statements from committee leaders pointed to further negotiations on elements of the bill, including the asset threshold for systemically important banks. The bill keeps the $50 billion threshold in place, but changes the process the regulators use to make the determination for institutions below $500 billion. Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) signaled that he would support a higher designation level than today’s $50 billion.

ABA President and CEO Frank Keating welcomed the bill’s advance. “This bill is a significant step toward removing many of the statutory and regulatory barriers that constrain banks’ ability to serve their customers and meet the needs of their local communities,” he said. “We firmly believe that common ground exists for financial reform in this Congress. We need to seize it and move ahead together for the sake of our customers and the broader economy.”

Thursday, May 21, 2015

ABIA Hosts Compliance Webinar on Marketing Insurance Via Email and Social Media

Yesterday, the American Bankers Insurance Association (ABIA) hosted a webinar on Marketing Insurance Via Email and Social Media.  Chrys Lemon and Michael Aphibal, McIntyre & Lemon, PLLC,  discussed how the CAN-SPAM Act establishes certain requirements related to commercial e-mail messages. Additionally, social media websites often have requirements when companies use the websites to advertise or offer prize promotions. The webinar provided an overview of the requirements when sending commercial e-mail messages and when marketing on social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Download the presentation. 

Listen to the recording.  

Senate Democrats Unveil Competing Regulatory Relief Bill

Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday released a much narrower regulatory relief bill as an alternative to Shelby’s more sweeping bill. The Democratic proposal would allow mortgages held in portfolio to receive the Qualified Mortgage safe harbor, reduce the burden of unnecessary privacy notice paperwork and extend the exam cycle for more institutions.

The bill excludes other ABA priorities, including provisions adjusting the thresholds for SIFI designation and stress testing requirements, providing for a short-form Call Report and establishing an exam ombudsman.

Read a summary of the bill.

Senator Perdue Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of CFPB

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the congressional appropriations process, extending Congress’ oversight of the agency. The CFPB is currently funded directly by the Federal Reserve.

“Right now, the CFPB is a rogue agency that dishes out malicious financial policy and creates new rules and regulations at whim without real congressional oversight,” Perdue said. “The American people, through Congress, deserve a closer look at the CFPB and how its actions will impact consumers.”

Read more.

Monday, May 18, 2015

ABA and ABIA Issue Analysis of Shelby Reg Relief Proposal

ABA and ABIA on Friday issued a detailed analysis of the regulatory relief proposal from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), which is expected to be voted on by the committee later this week.

ABA and other trade groups sent a letter to the committee on Friday thanking Shelby for introducing the bill and describing it as an “important step toward addressing the statutory and regulatory obstacles that stymie banks and credit unions from more fully serving the diverse financial needs of American consumers.”

Read the analysis. 

Read the letter.