LATEST REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
As highlighted previously, three federal banking agencies (the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) recently issued proposed risk management guidance regarding third-party relationships (Proposed Guidance). Among other things, the Proposed Guidance specifies that banking organizations should adopt third-party risk management processes that are commensurate with the identified level of risk and complexity from the third-party relationships, and with the organizational structure of each banking organization.
FINRA filed a proposed rule change with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 26, 2021 to delay the effective date of changes to FINRA Rule 4210 that were previously implemented on December 15, 2016.
The proposed guidance also identifies principles that are applicable to each stage of the third-party risk management life cycle, including: (1) developing a plan that outlines the banking organization’s strategy, identifies the inherent risks of the activity with the third party, and details how the banking organization will identify, assess, select, and oversee the third party; (2) performing proper due diligence in selecting a third party; (3) negotiating written contracts that articulate the rights and responsibilities of all parties; (4) having the board of directors and management oversee the banking organization’s risk management processes, maintaining documentation and reporting for oversight accountability, and engaging in independent reviews; (5) conducting ongoing monitoring of the third party’s activities and performance; and (6) developing contingency plans for terminating the relationship in an effective manner. The proposed guidance provides extensive details on all the above identified principles.

Congress has enacted and President Joseph Biden has signed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) “true lender” rule, which, as we previously discussed, had provided that a national bank is as a matter of law the lender on any loan for which it is the named lender or for which it provides the loan funding.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee), a committee of global central bankers and regulators, issued a Consultative Document on June 10 on the prudential treatment of cryptoasset exposures for international banks (the Proposal). The Basel Committee has asked for comments by September 10, 2021.
On April 27, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a final rule formally delaying the mandatory compliance date for the rule defining a “qualified mortgage” (QM) (the General QM Final Rule) from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022.
The OCC granted preliminary conditional approval on April 23 to an application to charter Paxos National Trust (Paxos) as an uninsured national trust bank. Paxos, which currently operates as a New York state-charted limited liability trust company regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services and has indicated in public statements that it intends to maintain both federal and state licenses, will be permitted under the OCC approval to provide “a range of services associated with digital assets,” including custody, payment, exchange, and other agent services related to cryptocurrency.
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval on March 26 that would invalidate the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) true lender final rule.
The OCC, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the FDIC (collectively, the Banking Regulators) announced an interim final rule on March 9 that revises their capital rules to facilitate implementation of the US Treasury Department’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a Statement of Policy (Statement) on March 8 making it clear that going forward it will exercise its full authority to penalize covered persons found to have engaged in abusive acts or practices, 12 U.S.C. §5536(a)(1)(B), in violation of its core consumer protection authority. In doing so, the Bureau’s acting director rescinded a January 20, 2020, Policy Statement (2020 Statement) issued by a director appointed by former President Donald Trump, in which the Bureau advised, among other things which we have previously discussed, that it would generally not seek civil penalties for “abusive conduct” unless there had been a lack of a good faith effort to comply with the law.