LATEST REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
Driven by an increase in online and mobile app shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) market has experienced exponential growth. BNPL is a type of short-term financing that allows consumers to make purchases and pay off the balances in typically interest-free, small-dollar installments.
More than six years after it was decided, the practical consequences of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC decision continue to diminish. The decision—which held that, under some circumstances, a loan originated by a bank became subject to state usury laws once transferred to a non-bank—implicitly rejected the long-standing doctrine of “valid when made” and once threatened to upend the lending industry. It has been repeatedly narrowed and rarely expanded.

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.
We previously reported on recent mortgage rulemakings that were finalized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) late last year. Of the two final rules from the Bureau, one drastically simplifies the definition of a “qualified mortgage” (QM) (the General QM Final Rule), and the other provides an alternate pathway to QM safe harbor status for certain seasoned mortgage loans (the Seasoned QM Final Rule). Both of these final rules—with potentially major impacts on the housing market—were published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2020, with effective dates of March 1, 2021 (although the General QM Final Rule contains a mandatory compliance date of July 1, 2021).