FDIC Updates Videos on Interest Rate Risk

On February 3, the FDIC issued FIL-10-2016 announcing the release of updated videos on interest rate risk. The new videos are intended to provide directors, management, and staff of financial institutions with a better understanding of interest rate risk and how to manage it. The FDIC previously released an interest rate video made specifically for directors, and a series of more technical videos tailored to management and staff responsible for interest rate risk management. The FDIC’s updated videos (i) reflect recent industry data and expand on relevant topics; (ii) emphasize the FDIC’s expectation that institutions prudently manage interest rate risk; and (iii) address industry trends, board and management responsibilities, types of interest rate risk, various risk measurement systems, key modeling assumptions, internal controls, and independent review. Finally, according to the FDIC, “[f]inancial institution balance sheets continue to reflect a heightened mismatch between asset and funding maturities that, coupled with tighter net interest margins, have left financial institutions more vulnerable to rising interest rates.”

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FDIC Issues Winter 2015 Supervisory Insights

On February 1, the FDIC published its Winter 2015 issue of Supervisory Insights to promote sound principles and practices for bank supervision. The most recent issue of Supervisory Insights focuses on the following four areas: (i) cybersecurity, highlighting the importance of maintaining a cybersecurity awareness training program and ensuring that a bank’s “executive management and Board of Directors (board) play a key role in overseeing programs to protect data and technology assets and establishing a corporate culture consistent with the bank’s risk tolerance”; (ii) marketplace lending, emphasizing associated risks, such as third-party arrangements, and the significance of examining the overall marketplace lending model to ensure that it is aligned with the bank’s business strategy; (iii) an assessment of the lending landscape for banks, describing current lending conditions and the risks reported in the FDIC’s Credit and Consumer Products/Services Survey; and (iv) an overview of recently released regulations and supervisory guidance, including the revised interagency examination procedures for the new TRID rule.

The FDIC’s marketplace lending guidance comes after the California Department of Business Oversight’s December inquiry into the industry, requesting that 14 firms provide information on their business models and online platforms.

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FDIC Announces RMBS-Related Settlement with New York-Based Financial Institution

On February 2, the FDIC announced a settlement for more than $62 million with a New York-based financial institution to resolve “federal and state securities law claims based on misrepresentations in the offering documents for 14 RMBS [residential mortgage-backed securities] purchased by three failed banks.” The FDIC, as the receiver of the three failed banks, filed four lawsuits from February 2012 to January 2014 against the financial institution and other defendants for their alleged involvement in the sale of the RMBS to the three failed banks. These lawsuits are four of the 19 RMBS-related lawsuits that the FDIC has filed, as of December 31, 2015, on behalf of eight failed institutions.

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POSTED IN: Banking, Federal Issues, Mortgages

FDIC Issues Quarterly Banking Profile for Third Quarter 2015

The FDIC published its most recent Quarterly Banking Profile, summarizing the latest financial results for the banking industry. According to the FDIC’s findings, community banks reported net income of $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2015, up 7.5% from the previous year. The Profile’s featured article – Financial Performance and Management Structure of Small, Closely Held Banks – indicates that closely held banks are outperforming widely held banks in operational efficiency and financial performance. The FDIC’s research suggests that management structures in which a bank’s managers are members of the ownership group or ownership insiders prove beneficial in that principal-agent problems are minimized because the “manager can be expected to act in the interests of the owners because the manager is an owner.” Although the Profile comments on the disadvantages of the organizational form of closely held banks, including succession issues and difficulty in raising capital, the researchers conclude that the “favorable comparisons between closely held and widely held community banks suggest that the closely held organizational form is by no means an impediment to performance, and may well be one of the keys to the success of closely held banks.”

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FDIC Seeks Comments on Revised Proposed Rule That Would Amend How Small Banks are Assessed for Deposit Insurance

On January 21, the FDIC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would amend how FDIC-insured banks with less than $10 billion in assets are assessed for deposit insurance. Specifically, the proposed rule would “update the data and revise the methodology that the FDIC uses to determine risk-based assessments for these institutions to better reflect risks and to help ensure that banks that take on greater risks pay more for deposit insurance than their less risky counterparts.” The proposal, which is intended to be revenue neutral, revises an initial June 2015 proposal to, among other things, (i) use a brokered deposit ratio, as opposed to a core deposit ratio, to calculate assessment rates; (ii) remove the existing brokered deposit adjustment for established small banks; and (iii) revise the one-year asset growth measure. The comment period will be open for 30 days upon publication in the Federal Register.

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FDIC Issues Letter Announcing Nationwide Seminars for Bank Officers and Employees

On January 19, the FDIC issued FIL-6-2016 announcing that, between February 23, 2016 and December 5, 2016, it will conduct six identical live seminars regarding FDIC deposit insurance coverage for bank employees and bank officers. In addition to the live seminars, the FDIC posted to its YouTube channel three separate seminars, entitled (i) Fundamentals of Deposit Insurance Coverage; (ii) Deposit Insurance Coverage for Revocable Trust Accounts; and (iii) Advanced Topics in Deposit Insurance Coverage. Both the live seminars and the seminars readily available on the YouTube channel will provide bank employees and officers with an understanding of how to calculate deposit insurance coverage.

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FDIC Scott Strockoz to Serve as Acting National Director of Minority and Community Development Banking

On January 15, the FDIC announced that Robert W. Mooney, national director for Minority and Community Development Banking, retired at the end of 2015. Scott D. Strockoz will serve as acting national director for Minority and Community Development Banking. Strockoz currently serves as deputy regional director in the New York Region and oversees examination activities regarding financial institutions’ compliance with consumer protection, fair lending, and community reinvestment laws and regulations. Strockoz “holds examiner commissions in both risk management and consumer protection and has additionally served as review examiner, field supervisor, acting regional director, and acting associate director, Compliance and Consumer Protection.”

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Agencies Release CRA Asset-Size Threshold Adjustments

On December 22, the Federal Reserve, the OCC, and the FDIC jointly announced the adjusted thresholds for asset-size used to define small and intermediate small banks and savings associations under the Community Reinvestment Act. Effective January 1, 2016, a small bank or savings association will be defined as an institution that, as of December 31 of either of the past two calendar years, had assets of less than $1.216 billion. An intermediate small bank or intermediate small savings association will be defined as an institution with at least $304 million and less than $1.216 billion in assets as of December 31 of either of the past two calendar years. The agencies published the annual adjustments in the Federal Register on December 29, 2015.

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FDIC and Federal Reserve Announce Settlement with Connecticut-Based Financial Aid Company Over Deceptive Practices

On December 23, the FDIC announced separate settlements with a Connecticut-based financial aid company and an affiliated Utah-based bank for alleged deceptive practices in violation of the FTC Act. Separately, the Federal Reserve announced a settlement solely with the Connecticut-based company for allegedly violating the FTC Act by employing deceptive practices. The company provides financial aid disbursements to higher education institutions for its students. According to the agencies, the company omitted material facts about its financial aid disbursement business, such as: (i) details about alternative disbursement methods available to students; (ii) a full and complete fee schedule; and (iii) information regarding the locations of fee-free ATMs. In addition, the agencies alleged that the company prominently displayed school logos, suggesting to students that schools had endorsed its refund product.

The FDIC’s orders against the company and the bank require each to pay a civil money penalty of $2.23 million and $1.75 million, respectively. In addition, the company and the bank together will pay approximately $31 million in restitution to roughly 900,000 consumers. Under the terms of the Federal Reserve’s order, the company will: (i) pay approximately $24 million in restitution to an estimated 570,000 consumers; (ii) pay a civil money penalty of more than $2 million; (iii) adopt a consumer compliance risk-management program; and (iv) refrain from future violations of section 5 of the FTC Act.

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FDIC Announces Final Rule Amending the Filing Requirements and Procedures for Changes in Control

On December 16, the FDIC issued Financial Institution Letter FIL-60-2015 announcing the final rule amending filing requirements and processing procedures for notices filed under the Change in Bank Control Act. The final rule applies to all FDIC-supervised institutions, including those with assets under $1 billion. Some of the changes brought by the rule, effective January 1, 2016, include (i) consolidating and conforming the change-in-control regulation of state savings associations and rescinding prior regulation and guidance transferred from the Office of Thrift Supervision; (ii) adopting presumptions of acting in concert with the other federal banking agencies;  (iii) defining terms that were previously undefined, such as “voting securities”; (iii) establishing reporting requirements for stock loans held by foreign banks and their affiliates, and for a CEO and bank director following a change of control; and (iv) subject to waiver, requiring a person who was approved to and has acquired control of a covered institution to file a second notice if that person’s ownership, control, or power to vote will increase to 25% or more of any class of voting securities.

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DOJ Announces Mortgage Lending Discrimination Charges Against Massachusetts Bank

On November 30, the DOJ announced the filing of a complaint and proposed consent order against a Massachusetts-based bank alleged to have violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) by charging African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher prices for home loans than similarly situated white borrowers. From 2011 until at least 2014, the bank allegedly used a “target pricing” mortgage origination policy, assigning loan officers with a Minimum Base Price (MBP) they were expected to achieve on each home loan without regard to the borrower’s creditworthiness. According to the DOJ’s complaint, “African-American and Hispanic borrowers were served disproportionately by loan officers with higher MBPs than the loan officers serving white borrowers.” The complaint further alleges that, from April 2011 through December 2013, the bank authorized loan officers to price a loan higher than their assigned MBP, without documenting the reasons for doing so. Pending court approval, the DOJ’s proposed consent order will require the bank to (i) pay $1,175,000 as compensation to borrowers affected by its practices; (ii) establish a new loan pricing policy and a new loan officer compensation policy; (iii) provide fair lending and fair housing training to loan officers and bank employees; and (iv) establish a monitoring program designed to, at a minimum, assess loan pricing disparities.

In May 2013, the FDIC conducted a consumer compliance examination of the bank and found reason to believe that its lending practices violated the FHA and ECOA, prompting the agency to refer the matter to the DOJ on February 7, 2014.

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FDIC Issues Letter to Financial Institutions Regarding Applicability of Payday Lending Rules

On November 16, the FDIC issued FIL-52-2015 to advise financial institutions that it revised its 2005 guidance on payday lending, which established the FDIC’s expectations for prudent risk-management practices in the payday loan industry. The letter emphasizes that the 2005 payday lending guidance, as issued in FIL-14-2005, does not apply to depository institutions offering certain products and services, such as deposit accounts and extensions of credit, to non-bank payday lenders. Specifically, the letter states, “[f]inancial institutions that can properly manage customer relationships and effectively mitigate risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any category of business customers or individual customers operating in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.”

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Agencies Announce Final EGRPRA Outreach Meeting

On November 13, the OCC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve announced that the final outreach meeting to review regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act will be held on December 2 at the FDIC’s headquarters in Arlington, VA. In addition to panel presentations by bankers, consumer groups and community groups, the following persons are scheduled to attend the meeting: FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg; OCC Comptroller Thomas J. Curry; Federal Reserve Governor Daniel K. Tarullo; DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking’s Acting Commissioner, Stephen C. Taylor; and the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institution’s Commissioner, E. Joseph Face, Jr.

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FDIC Vice Chairman Elected as President of the International Association of Deposit Insurers

On October 30, the FDIC announced that Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig will serve as the President of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) and as Chairman of its Executive Council for a two-year term. The IADI sets global deposit insurance standards and promotes financial stability by facilitating international cooperation and developing best practices among deposit insurers and other parties responsible for financial safety net arrangements. Hoenig will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the FDIC.

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FDIC Adopts Proposed Rule to Increase DIF to Statutorily Required Level

On October 22, the FDIC Board of Directors adopted a proposed rule to increase the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to the statutorily required minimum of 1.35 percent. The proposed rule would impose on banks with at least $10 billion in assets a surcharge of 4.5 cents per $100 of their assessment base, after making certain adjustments. The surcharge would begin the quarter after the DIF reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent and would continue until the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent. The proposed rule would implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act requiring the DIF reserve ratio to reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020 and requiring that the FDIC offset the cost of raising the reserve ratio on banks with assets of less than $10 billion. The FDIC expects that the proposed surcharges combined with its regular assessments would raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent before December 31, 2018. The proposed rule also provides for assessment credits for banks with assets of less than $10 billion for the portion of their regular assessments that contributes to the growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15 percent and 1.35 percent.

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