The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report April 27 summarizing strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion in the mortgage industry.
The report highlights the business case for diversity along with current approaches and practices used in the mortgage industry, such as establishing buy-in from top leadership, integrating principles of inclusion in recruiting and hiring, and the importance of data in assessing the impact of diversity on keeping organizations competitive. The report is the result of the CFPB’s collaboration with the financial services industry to raise awareness about the importance of strengthening diversity and inclusion within organizations.
To read the full report, click here.
Same Day ACH testing scheduled by the Federal Reserve
Federal Reserve Financial Services issued a notice April 18 announcing that FedACH customer testing will be conducted beginning in early summer 2017. The testing will verify readiness for receipt and processing of Same Day ACH debits, which are scheduled to be processed live via the ACH beginning Sept. 15.
To learn more about the testing, click here.
CFPB releases spring issue of Supervisory Highlights
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released its Spring 2017 issue of Supervisory Highlights.
The report identified recent supervisory observations reported in the areas of mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, student loan servicing and fair lending. CFPB examiners found some mortgage servicers did not deliver the required foreclosure protections to borrowers seeking to save their homes, mishandled escrow accounts, and sent incomplete bills to borrowers. The report also found some student loan servicers failed to refund charges imposed on borrowers who had been wrongly denied the right to defer payments while enrolled in school. The report announced non-public supervisory activities have led to the recovery of about $6.1 million for 16,000 consumers harmed by auto loan originators.
The full report is available by clicking here.
2016 Fair Lending Report released to the public
On April 14, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its fifth Fair Lending Report for 2016. The CFPB reports that in 2016 it:
• Engaged in significant outreach with industry, civil rights advocates, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to ensure a diverse set of viewpoints are incorporated into its work to protect consumers and better understand issues facing lenders;
• Protected consumers by working with other government regulators and agencies to ensure companies reimbursed harmed consumers and put tools and processes in place to protect consumers; and
• Encouraged lenders to find ways to expand access to credit in responsible ways, including to consumers with limited proficiency in English.
To view the full report, click here.
NCUA offers new learning service for credit unions
Credit union boards, staff and volunteers can get valuable training through a new portal by the National Credit Union Administration’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.
The Learning Management Service gives users access to training courses as well as information beneficial to credit union operations. The service, provided at no cost to credit unions, offers education in five categories including how the credit union system works; how credit unions are governed; credit union operations; products and services; and building community partnerships.
The new service requires users to create an account to track their training progress. The service is in its first phase of development and new course materials will be added over time.
To learn more about the new service, click here.
Credit union applications for CDFI certification accepted through May 26
Federally insured credit unions can apply for certification as community development financial institutions through a streamlined process established by the National Credit Union Administration and U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Applications for the second round of the NCUA’s program of CDFI certification will be accepted through May 26.
Credit unions certified as CDFIs are eligible to apply for awards through a variety of competitive programs administered by the CDFI Fund.
To learn more about the CDFI application process, click here.
More compliance news
CFPB finalizes extension of prepaid accounts rule
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on April 20 released a final rule, delaying by six months the general effective date of its rule governing prepaid accounts. The final rule will now take effect on April 1, 2018.
The CFPB also reported it would revisit at least the following two substantive issues in the prepaid accounts rule through a separate notice and comment rulemaking process:
• The linking of credit cards to digital wallets that are capable of storing funds; and
• Error resolution and limitations on liability for prepaid accounts that cannot be registered, have not yet been registered, or for which consumers have attempted but have not successfully completed the registration process.
More information about the rule extension is available by clicking here.
FTC proposes changes to COPPA Safe Harbor program
On April 19, the Federal Trade Commission announced it is seeking comments on proposed changes to the TRUSTe’s guidelines under the safe harbor provision of the agency’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. Comments on the proposed rule changes will be accepted through May 24.
The official notice, which was published in the Federal Register, details proposed changes to the safe harbor program, including the addition of a new requirement that participants conduct an annual internal assessment of third-parties’ collection of personal information from children on their websites or from other online services. Among the questions the FTC is seeking comment on is whether the mechanisms used to assess compliance with the proposed modified program requirements are effective.
To read the Federal Register about the proposed rule changes, click here.
CFPB updates ex parte policy on rulemaking
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced April 18 it is updating its 2011 policy governing ex parte presentations. The policy generally requires public disclosure of ex parte communications made to the CFPB’s decision-making staff about pending rules.
Based on public feedback and the CFPB’s own implementation experiences, some updates have been made to ensure the policy continues to foster fairness and transparency in rulemaking proceedings while also encouraging candid input from state entities. Key updates include a new state entity exemption and procedural improvements.
The revised policy was published in the Federal Register on April 21 and becomes effective on May 22.
To learn more about the updated policy, click here.