September 12, 2018

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has announced that it would grant relief from beneficial ownership requirements for certificate of deposit rollovers and loans that renew automatically; loans where the renewal, modification or extension does not require underwriting; and safe deposit box renewals. The exception applies to rollovers, renewals, modification or extensions occurring on or after May 11, 2018.
FinCEN earlier this year granted temporary exceptive relief to CD rollover and automatically renewing loans in response to concerns raised by the banking industry. FinCEN has worked with industry advocates to make the changes permanent. This relief would help banks - particularly community banks - better serve their customers without undermining anti-money laundering efforts. 
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) introduced a bill that would amend the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to codify existing data breach notification standards for the financial services industry, including insurance providers. These standards would preempt state-by-state requirements.
The bill differs significantly from draft bipartisan legislation circulated earlier this year by Luetkemeyer and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would have established broad standards for data protection across industries. 
The Bill  >> 
President Trump issued an executive order requiring the Treasury and Labor Departments to consider amendments to rules affecting retirement accounts, including employer plans and individual retirement accounts. Specifically, the order directs DOL and Treasury to consider changes to required retirement plan disclosures that would make them more understandable and useful for participants and beneficiaries while reducing the costs and burdens on employers and others responsible for their production and distribution.
The order also directs Treasury to review the required minimum distribution tables for retirement plans and determine whether and how often updates should be made to reflect current mortality data. Finally, it asks Treasury to consider liberalizing regulations and guidance governing multiple employer plans to expand access to this type of arrangement, especially for smaller employers.
The Order  >> 
State and federal bank regulatory agencies continue to evaluate the perceived shortage of state certified and licensed appraisers in certain areas across the country. Various industry stakeholders consistently note that appraiser shortages impact the timeliness of appraisals - extending rate locks, impeding credit availability and delaying closings for many borrowers. Recently, Congress also acknowledged with the passage of section 103 of S. 2155, the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act" that appraiser availability in rural areas is an issue and that relief is needed. Research and outreach sessions with state regulators and other industry members shows that while more options are available to remedy appraisal shortages in certain marketplaces, more can and still needs to be done.
Key Observations of the report:
  • Some rural and underserved areas do not have enough appraisers. 
  • The National Registry of Real Estate Appraisers does not accurately reflect local shortages of appraisers.  
  • The Title XI waiver process is unclear, lengthy, and underutilized. 
  • Congress acknowledged with the passage of the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act" that obtaining appraisals for certain rural transactions are an issue and that an avenue for relief is needed.   
  • Appraiser licensing and credentialing processes create barriers to entry. 
This is not the first time state regulators have expressed concern about the lack of appraisers in rural communities. In 2017 and earlier this year , CSBS sent letters supporting limited appraisal waivers for certain communities. And this August, North Dakota was the first state to request a real estate appraisal waiver that would allow local banks to make valuation assessments on their own.
The Report  >> 
Marking the 10th anniversary of the conservatorship of housing GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) circulated draft legislation that would repeal the GSEs' federal charters and direct Ginnie Mae instead to guarantee privately insured mortgage-backed securities.
The bill is designed to employ Ginnie Mae's existing mechanisms, directing the agency to establish a new program called Ginnie Mae Plus that would help preserve the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on current conventional terms. Ginnie Mae would take over the mortgage guarantee function currently served by Fannie and Freddie, but with an explicit, fully paid government guarantee that kicks in after private capital. The bill also seeks to enhance small lenders' access to the secondary market and expand the role of private capital.
The plan differs from a legislative approach long favored by Hensarling that would eliminate the government mortgage guarantee altogether. He acknowledged in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today that "comprehensive market-based reform isn't achievable now" and that "the prudent move is to shift toward a more rational system that puts private capital first and disperses risk."
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