House lawmakers continue ‘reg relief’ campaign, marking up latest laundry list of provisions

At least 17 “regulatory relief” items – including several provisions based on similar items contained in the already-House approved H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act – will be marked up by the Financial Services Committee Wednesday.

Among the key provisions to be marked up: H.R. 1264, the Community Financial Institution Exemption Act, which would exempt “insured depository institutions or credit unions” with less than $50 billion in assets from “from all rules and regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).”

Introduced by Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), the provision does allow the consumer bureau to revoke the exemption for a certain regulation – or class of institutions – “under specified circumstances” and with the written agreement of the Federal Reserve Board and other specified federal banking agencies.

Other items to be marked up affecting federal financial institution regulation include (by the agencies or issues affected):

CFPB (insurance agent exemption; lawyers’ bill collector exemption)

  • H.R. 3746, Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act of 2017, (introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) to exempt persons engaged in the business of insurance and who are already regulated by a state insurance regulator from the CFPB’s enforcement.
  • H.R. 4550, Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017, (introduced by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas), excludes from the definition of “debt collector” attorneys or law firms working in connection with a pending legal action to collect a debt on behalf of a client. The measure also would also clarify the Dodd-Frank Act to provide that the CFPB has no authority over attorneys engaged in law practice and that are not offering or providing consumer financial products for services.

NCUA, CFPB (FFIEC; extends EGRPRA to credit union regulator, consumer agency)

  • H.R. 4607, Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act, (introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.), amends the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA) to require each of the members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) – including the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the CFPB, which are not now covered under EGRPRA – to conduct at least once every seven years a comprehensive review of all their regulations issued after 2006. The aim is to “identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulations and tailor other regulations related to insured depository institutions” or any entity that offers consumer financial products or services.

TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS (TCOs)

  • H.R. 4768, National Strategy for Combating the Financing of Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) Act, (introduced by Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), requires the president to develop a national strategy to combat financial networks of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) not later than one year after enactment of the bill and every two years thereafter.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday mark-up will also consider provisions already contained (or based on provisions) in the Financial CHOICE Act (passed by the House last summer, but not yet considered in the Senate). Those provisions being marked up and affecting financial institution regulation include (by the agencies or rules affected):

OCC (rights extended to savings associations)

  • H.R. 1426, Federal Savings Association Charter Flexibility Act of 2017, (introduced by Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa.), amends the Home Owners’ Loan Act to allow certain federal savings associations to operate with the same rights and privileges as a national bank supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

FEDERAL RESERVE (stress tests, threshold for holding cos., Volcker Rule)

  • H.R. 4566, Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act, (introduced by Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine), provides the Federal Reserve with the ability to limit stress testing requirements for nonbank financial institutions it may supervise and exempts nonbank financial institutions that are not under supervision by the Federal Reserve from the Dodd-Frank Act’s stress testing requirements.
  • H.R. 4771, Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act, (introduced by Rep. Mia Love, R-Nevada), directs the Federal Reserve to raise the threshold for its Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement from $1 billion to $3 billion.
  • (Not yet numbered) The Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act (introduced by Rep. French Hill, R-Arkansas) streamlines the regulatory authority over the Volcker Rule by giving the Federal Reserve exclusive rulemaking authority and providing the primary federal banking agency for a banking entity the sole examination and enforcement authority. The Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act also exempts community banks from the Volcker Rule if the banks have $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets.

FSOC (nonbank supervision by Fed)

  • H.R. 4061, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act, (introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla.), requires the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), when determining whether to subject a U.S. or a foreign nonbank financial company to supervision by the Federal Reserve, to consider the appropriateness of imposing heightened prudential standards as opposed to other forms of regulation to mitigate identified risks to U.S. financial stability.

FDIC (OCC, FEDERAL RESERVE; call report threshold)

  • H.R. 4725, Community Bank Reporting Relief Act, (introduced by Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill.), amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to allow a reduced reporting requirement for depository institutions with $5 billion in assets or less, and that meet certain other criteria when submitting call reports for the first and third quarters.

TRUTH IN LENDING ACT (TILA)

  • H.R. 2225, Housing Opportunities Made Easier Act, (“HOME Act,” introduced by Rep. David Trott, R-Mich.), amends the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to deem mortgage appraisal services donated by a fee appraiser to an organization that is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions to be “customary and reasonable” as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • H.R. 2226, Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, (introduced by Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky.), amends TILA to allow certain mortgage loans that are originated and retained in portfolio by an insured bank or credit union with less than $10 billion in assets be considered as qualified mortgages.

Markup: House Financial Services Committee

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