July 30, 2021
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A proposed 36% cap on all loan interest rates would leave banks "unable to adequately price for risk in order to viably offer affordable short-term credit," said David Pommerehn, senior vice president and general counsel at the Consumer Bankers Association, in testimony to the Senate banking committee. The cap would also affect reward cards and leave issues hesitant to offer them, Pommerehn testified.
Full Story: American Banker (7/29) 
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New eBook: Advanced Analytics in R&D
As digital transformation accelerates, one big opportunity for food & beverage manufacturers is applying advanced analytics to R&D. This eBook is your guide.
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The CFPB Today
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., has reintroduced a bill that would change the leadership structure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from a single-director to a five-member, bipartisan commission saying the CFPB is "being used as a political football." "Allowing one person to wield such unchecked authority over our economy is irresponsible and verges on negligence, which is precisely why many financial regulators are governed by a commission," Luetkemeyer said.
Full Story: ACA International (7/29) 
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Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., wants to know more about allegations that the Biden administration forced some Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employees out and replaced them with Biden loyalists. The actions, if verified, "may violate employment and other laws," Toomey said in a letter to Leandra English, chief of staff of the National Economic Council, who is also a former CFPB employee.
Full Story: Fox Business (7/29) 
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How banks can stay ahead of ransomware attacks
New ways of working introduce new threats. Cyber criminals have capitalized on a remote work environment with a meteoric rise in ransomware threats. Learn how to defend your financial institution against such attacks—and how to respond if the worst should happen.
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Industry News
The Small Business Administration is opening an online portal on Aug. 4 that allows smaller Paycheck Protection Program borrowers to apply directly to the SBA for loan forgiveness. "The creation of a new PPP forgiveness platform from the SBA will allow more small businesses to focus their time and resources on successfully reopening, while also providing lenders the choice to retain oversight of their customer relationships," said Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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The Alternative Reference Rates Committee has officially recommended a series of forward-looking term benchmarks tied to CME Group's Secured Overnight Financing Rate term rate as a replacement for US dollar Libor, a move that could encourage adoption and assist with the transition away from Libor. "Market participants now have all the tools they need as we enter the transition's homestretch," ARRC Chair Tom Wipf says.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29),  Bloomberg (7/29),  Financial Times (subscription required) (7/29),  Practice Insight (7/29) 
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Initial unemployment claims fell by 24,000 last week to 400,000, according to the Labor Department. While still above pre-pandemic levels, the figure has been generally falling throughout the year, and the downtrend is expected to continue.
Full Story: The Associated Press (7/29) 
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Regulatory Report
The New York State Department of Financial Services is asking banks for data regarding the diversity of their senior management and board members. The data would be published in the first quarter of 2022.
Full Story: American Banker (7/29) 
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Legislative Affairs
The House Financial Services Committee has advanced a bill sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., that would allow the Federal Reserve to ease the adoption of contracts to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. The proposed Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act of 2021 would set a legal process for automatically switching legacy financial contracts from Libor to SOFR.
Full Story: American Banker (7/29) 
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A bipartisan Senate proposal to mandate reporting of cryptoasset transactions above $10,000 to the IRS, which would result in taxes on some trades, has caused consternation among cryptocurrency exchanges, their investors and advisers. Critics say the proposal has been drafted too hastily, while advocates say it would simply level the playing field between traditional assets and digital assets.
Full Story: MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (7/29),  Bloomberg (7/29) 
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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network would receive an additional $63 million if a spending plan passed by the House gets signed into law. The agency's total budget for fiscal year 2022 would be $190 million.
Full Story: Law360 (7/29) 
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CBA Connect
Banking's must-attend conference is back August 16-18 in Orlando, Fla. With hundreds of bankers from more than 55 banks already registered, the list of attendees keeps growing by the day. CBA LIVE will offer attendees top-notch programming, expert presenters, 14 forums and an unparalleled opportunity to connect in person with retail banking's top decision-makers from across the country. Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu and CEO of Binance.US Brian Brooks will both be keynote speakers. Stay tuned for more exciting speaker announcements soon and reserve your spot today by clicking here.
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CBA partnered with the International Franchise Association (IFA), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) to launch the #SmallBusinessSpotlight - a new video series showcasing how banks and small businesses worked together to save jobs, support their communities and drive America's economic recovery forward. From neighborhood coffee shops to franchised operations across the country, the joint effort will feature videos from small business owners who were able to keep their doors open, lights on and employees on payroll through Paycheck Protection Program loans. Learn more and share your story today.
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