The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued its final rules amending threshold amounts in Regulations C and Z. For Regulation C, the asset-size exemption threshold remains unchanged at $44 million. For Regulation Z, the exemption threshold, effective Jan. 1, 2017, is increased from $2.052 billion to$2.069 billion. Even Trained Creditors with assets of less than $2.069 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2016, are exempt.
This asset limit also will apply during a grace period, in certain circumstances, with respect to transactions with applications received before April 1, 2018. The adjustment to the escrows exemption asset-size threshold also will increase a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages.
To learn more about Regulation C, click here.
To learn more about Regulation Z, click here.
Agencies make annual CRA threshold changes
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced on Dec. 29, 2016, the annual adjustment to the asset-size thresholds used to define small bank, small savings association, intermediate small bank and intermediate small savings association. The annual adjustments are required by Community Reinvestment Act rules. The changes are as follows:
• A “small bank” or “small savings association” is an institution that, as of Dec. 31 of either of the prior two calendar years, had assets of less than $1.226 billion.
• An “intermediate small bank” or “intermediate small savings association” is an institution with assets of at least $307 million and less than $1.226 billion as of Dec. 31 of either of the prior two calendar years.
The FDIC also is amending the manner in which it will receive public comments regarding these adjustments.
To learn more, click here
To reduce the regulatory burden on national banks and federal savings associations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released its final rule Dec. 15, 2016, to remove or amend outdated provisions of certain rules. Some of the changes include the following:
• Removes notice and approval requirements for certain changes in permanent capital involving national banks;
• Removes certain financial disclosure requirements for national banks;
• Removes certain unnecessary regulatory reporting, accounting and management policy requirements for federal savings associations; and
• Revises certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and federal savings associations, including increasing the asset size limit for mini-funds.
For details on the regulation updates, click here.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network assessed a $500,000 civil money penalty on Dec. 15, 2016, against Bethex Federal Credit Union in New York City, for violations of anti-money laundering regulations. Bethex was liquidated by the National Credit Union Administration in 2015 as insolvent with no prospects of returning to viability. Among other violations, Bethex failed to timely detect and report suspicious activity to appropriate authorities, according to FinCEN.
For details, click here.
More compliance news
CFPB reveals fair lending focus areas for 2017
On Dec. 16, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the key areas on which its fair lending team will focus in 2017. These include the following:
• Redlining. The CFPB will continue to evaluate whether lenders have intentionally avoided lending in minority neighborhoods.
• Mortgage and Student Loan Servicing. The CFPB will determine whether some borrowers who are behind on their mortgage or student loan payments may have more difficulty working out a new solution with the service because of their race or ethnicity.
• Small Business Lending. Congress expressed concern that women-owned and minority-owned businesses may experience discrimination when they apply for credit and has required the CFPB to take steps to ensure their fair access to credit.
To learn more, click here
CFPB spotlights debt collection complaints
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released on Dec. 27, 2016, its monthly consumer complaint snapshot. The report shows the most common complaint about debt collection concerns attempts to collect on a debt the consumer says is not owed. The report also highlights trends in complaints coming from Arizona, a majority of which are from the Phoenix area.
For a link to the report, click here.