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The Examiner

“Be thankful for what you have, and you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never ever have enough.”
- Oprah Winfrey

Senators Unveil Bi-Partisan Regulatory Relief Bill

On Monday, a group of bipartisan senators, led by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R- Idaho), unveiled a legislative package designed to curb Dodd-Frank rules and provide regulatory relief to community banks.

The legislative package would ease several mortgage rules and prudential regulations for community, mid-sized and regional banks, as well as enhance consumer protections for veterans, seniors and homeowners. Specific provisions include providing QM status to loans held in portfolio at banks and credit unions under $10 billion (a proposal developed and championed by CSBS), expanding the upper limit for banks eligible for the 18-month exam cycle from $1 billion to $3 billion, and raising the upper limit for applicability of the Fed’s Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement from $1 billion to $3 billion.

See the committee’s section by section breakdown of the bill .

Regulator Shuffle

At the federal level, there were several developments this week regarding federal financial regulators.

The Senate confirmed Joseph Otting to be Comptroller of the Currency, replacing interim head Keith Noreika. At the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Director Richard Cordray said he will be leaving the agency by the end of the month. And FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, whose term officially ended this week, said he will stay on until a successor is confirmed by the Senate; no nomination has been made yet.

Meanwhile, the Senate Banking Committee soon will begin the confirmation process to elevate Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to become chair, succeeding Janet Yellen. Nominations have yet to be made for three other vacancies at the Federal Reserve.

CSBS supports the Powell nomination, given his deep knowledge of community lending and state supervisory matters. In 2016, Governor Powell addressed the CSBS-Federal Reserve community bank research conference, where he explored the historical performance of community banking.

Lastly, Bill Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, recently announced that he will retire in mid-2018.

FinCEN: Beware Disaster-Related Fraud and Venezuelan Money Laundering

FinCEN issued advisories this week warning financial institutions of disaster-related fraud in the wake of recent hurricanes and wild fires as well as widespread political corruption in Venezuela.

FIN-2017-A007 warns of benefits, charities and cyber-related fraud and advises financial institutions that suspect fraud to alert federal authorities.

FIN-2017-A006 provides red flags to help financial institutions identify potential money laundering schemes used by corrupt Venezuelan officials, including the abuse of government contracts, wire transfers from shell corporations, and real estate purchases in the South Florida and Houston regions.   

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving. We will pick back up Dec. 1.