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The Examiner

"I always bring out the best in men I fight, but Joe Frazier, I'll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I'm gonna tell ya, that's one helluva man, and God bless him."  

- Muhammad Ali, American Boxer
who fought Joe Frazier in the "Fight of the Century" for the heavyweight title this day in 1971.


In This Issue...


2018 Community Bank Survey Results

Every year, CSBS conducts a nationwide survey of community banks.

This survey represents valuable insight on the views and concerns of community bankers today. In 2018, 521 bankers in 37 states responded.

Here's what we learned.

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FFIEC Members Adopt Policy Statement on the Report of Examination

FFIEC members issued this week principles to promote consistency, clarity and ease of reference for the presentation of information in examination reports.  The FFIEC Policy Statement on the Report of Examination was developed as part of the FFIEC’s Examination Modernization Project, which is aimed at reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on community financial institutions.  

The federal banking agencies, consisting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), are rescinding their 1993 Interagency Policy Statement on the Uniform Core Report of Examination, and replacing it with this FFIEC policy statement.

The FFIEC was established in March 1979 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms and to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions.  It also conducts schools for examiners employed by the five federal member agencies represented on the FFIEC and makes those schools available to employees of state agencies that supervise financial institutions.  The Council consists of the following six voting members: a member of the FRB; the Chairman of the FDIC; the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); the Comptroller of the Currency; the Chairman of the NCUA; and the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee (SLC).

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In the Media

CFPB on the Hill. In a contentious oversight hearing in the House, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger made her first appearance as Director before Congress. Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), who has made oversight a priority, made an opening statement you can read here, and Kraninger’s is here.  Roll Call summed up the committee’s partisan views: “CFPB’s backers saw the agency as a bulwark against the kind of deceptive lending that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis and led to millions of home foreclosures. But the agency’s opponents viewed it as an unaccountable, heavy-handed regulator unduly burdening financial firms and reducing consumer choices.”  

CFPB on Pace. The agency submitted a noticed of proposed rulemaking on what are known as PACE loans, or energy-saving loans. (PACE is short for Properly Assessed Clean Energy.) As Politico Pro reported: “The banking deregulation law enacted last year requires the CFPB to impose regulations that could apply ability-to-pay rules currently in place for residential mortgage loans, to PACE loans while ‘account[ing] for the unique nature’ of PACE financing.” You can read the CFPB announcement here.  

Equifax Still Under Fire. The Washington Post headline sums it up: “Senators Slam Equifax, Marriott Executives for Massive Data Breaches.” The Senators on the Permanent Investigations Subcommittee and the executives agreed on one thing: cybersecurity requires constant vigilance and improvement. Last June, eight states entered into a consent order with Equifax to “dramatically improve how [the company] protects personally identifiable information.” The corrective actions will apply to Equifax’s operations nationwide and be subject to regulatory approval.  

Who’s in the Lead? Which states are taking the biggest actions to protect consumer privacy? If you guessed California, Colorado, New Jersey and Vermont as being “at the forefront of consumer privacy legislation,” you would be correct, according to American Banker, which reports on actions at the state and federal levels.  

More on Bank Regulation. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required): “Regulators dialed back a practice of publicly shaming the nation’s biggest banks through ‘stress-test’ exams, taking one of the biggest steps yet to ease scrutiny put in place after the 2008 crisis. The Federal Reserve said it would end a system of giving pass-or-fail grades to the largest domestic banks.” Meanwhile, the Journal continued, “the Financial Stability Oversight Council…said it would aim to review risky activities across financial markets rather than focus on individual nonbank firms.” And Politico Pro (subscription required) reported that “financial agencies [are] likely to toss Volker 2.0 proposal. Financial regulators are close to deciding to do their rewrite of the Volker rule.”   

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