Category Archives: Federal Agencies

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CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Abruptly Resigns in Protest

In another move reflecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) shifting focus on student lending, the CFPB’s Student Loan Ombudsman announced his resignation on August 27, 2018. In his resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who served as the Student Loan Ombudsman for the past three years, criticized reforms implemented by the CFPB’s current leadership and charged the … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Levels the SEC Playing Field

In a highly anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled the practice employed for years by the Securities and Exchange Commission of choosing administrative law judges to hear SEC enforcement actions, violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court, in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, held that administrative law judges (ALJs) … Continue Reading

Financial Reform Legislation (S. 2155) Becomes Law with Industry Support

Described as “the first bipartisan banking law to be enacted in a decade” by the American Bankers Association, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law on May 24, 2018 following a vote of 258 to 159 in the House of Representatives. The act addresses a number of subjects ranging … Continue Reading

Providing Banking Services to the Legal Marijuana Industry: Mitigating Risks to Maximize Potential Rewards

Since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize marijuana (at the time, for medicinal purposes only), 28 additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some extent. Public support for legalization continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions loosen their marijuana laws, with 64 percent of Americans in favor … Continue Reading

Meltdown of the Iran Nuclear Deal—Sanctions Update

On May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would no longer participate in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear activities and sanctions imposed on Iran that was entered into in July 2015. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control quickly issued a frequently … Continue Reading

SEC Action Highlights Importance of Specific Language in Directors and Officers Insurance for Fintech and Other Startup Companies

The founder of Mozido, the fintech startup once claimed to be valued at $5.6 billion, has been named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The complaint names Michael Liberty (and others) individually and also names corporate entities related to Mozido as defendants. This action by the … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Proposes Modifications to Its Supervisory Appeals Process and Ombudsman Policy

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Federal Reserve proposed to modify its guidelines and processes that institutions may rely upon to appeal an adverse material supervisory determination. The proposal also seeks to modify the Federal Reserve’s policy for its Ombudsman. Comments regarding the proposals will be accepted through April 30, 2018. Appeals Process The Federal … Continue Reading

SEC Encourages Advisors to Self-Report Fiduciary Violations by June 12, 2018

The SEC announced a self-reporting initiative for investment advisors who admit violations of the federal securities laws relating to certain mutual fund share class election issues while promptly returning money to harmed investors. The initiative is entitled the “Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative” and is focused on those advisors who have put clients into high-fee … Continue Reading

SPEAK UP! The CFPB Wants Your Feedback

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is seeking “evidence to ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” The CFPB is expected to publish a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) in the Federal Register seeking public comments on the following areas of concern: enforcement, … Continue Reading

Will Congress Upend Credit Reporting Agencies’ Cybersecurity Regulation in Light of Recent Data Breach?

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act on January 10, 2018 in an effort to increase accountability of large Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill, drafted in response to the September 2017 Equifax data breach revelations, seeks to impose direct administrative … Continue Reading

DOJ’s FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy Creates Greater Certainty for Companies

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) makes it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. On November 29, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the addition of an FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy to the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision Provides Significant Protection to Securities Industry, Limits SEC Enforcement

In a decision previewed in an earlier post, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission that the five-year statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. section 2462 applies to SEC enforcement actions seeking the remedy of disgorgement. Resolving a Circuit split, the Supreme Court ruled that disgorgement is a “penalty” … Continue Reading

Commercial Lenders Take Note: Insurance May Not Cover Fraudulent USDA Guarantees for Business & Industry Loans

A Wisconsin federal court recently held that forged USDA loan guarantees did not trigger coverage under a bankers blanket bond held by Wisconsin-based Citizens Bank, resulting in a $15 million loss to the bank. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. issued the bankers blanket bond to provide coverage for losses stemming from certified securities or corporate, partnership … Continue Reading

FDIC Releases New, Simplified Credit-Worthiness Tool

An integral component of the Dodd-Frank statutory framework was a mandatory, comprehensive evaluation by federal agencies of “any regulation issued by such agency that requires the use of an assessment of the credit-worthiness of a security or money market instrument.” This “credit-worthiness” mandate was codified as Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Act. As part of … Continue Reading
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