UPDATED: ‘Product sandbox’ comments due; hearing eyes cannabis banking; Powell speaks; NCUA Board nominees testify; more

The coming week includes a mix of regulatory agency proceedings, congressional hearings and public remarks addressing federal financial institution regulators and their policies. First up here is the winding down of the public comment period on a “product sandbox” proposed as part of revisions to the federal consumer financial protection agency’s “no action” letter policy, with comments due Monday (Feb. 11).

The proposed no-action policy revisions were released in December by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The aim of the proposal is to: (1) streamline the application process; (2) streamline the bureau’s processing of applications; (3) expand the types of statutory and/or regulatory relief available; (4) specify procedures for an extension where the relief initially provided is of limited duration; and (5) provide for coordination with existing or future programs offered by other regulators designed to facilitate innovation. The revisions would also create a “product sandbox” intended to provide similar “no-action” relief.

The process can facilitate a safe harbor or exemptive relief from statutory or regulatory provisions. The December proposal drew almost immediate criticism from the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. (See story.)

See below for more on the week ahead.


  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome H. (“Jay”) Powell gives a speech, “Economic Development in High Poverty Rural Communities,” at the Hope Enterprise Corporation Rural Policy Forum in Itta Bena, Miss. Powell’s speech, scheduled for 12:45 p.m., will be webcast live.


  • The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Committee (FFIEC) Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) holds an open meeting at 10 a.m. ET. The agenda includes a report on delegated state compliance reviews, a subcommittee financial report, and a request for reprogramming of a fiscal 2018 grant for the Appraisal Foundation. The meeting will be held at Federal Reserve Board facilities at International Square in Washington, D.C.
  • The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions will hold a hearing on “Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.” The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Witnesses slated are Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer; Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), Baltimore City & Maryland State Police Departments, and Executive Director, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP); Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer, Maps Credit Union, on behalf of Credit Union National Association (CUNA); Gregory S. Deckard, President, CEO and Chairman, State Bank Northwest, on behalf of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA); and Corey Barnette, Owner, District Growers Cultivation Center & Metropolitan Wellness Center.


  • The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board holds an open meeting for a briefing on an interagency rule on flood insurance and consideration of a proposal for comment on credit union supervisory committee audits. (The two-member board approved the flood insurance rule by notation vote Jan. 31.) A closed meeting follows.
  • The Senate Banking Committee, also at 10 a.m., holds a hearing on federal agency nominees, with testimony from Todd Harper and Rodney Hood, both nominated by the president to terms on the NCUA Board. Also slated to testify are Mark Calabria, nominated to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Bimal Patel, nominated to be Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions.

View Fed Chairman Powell’s speech Tuesday

CFPB no-action letter/product sandbox proposal (Federal Register notice)

RR: UPDATED: ‘No-action’ letter, ‘reg  sandbox’ proposals draw fast criticism from incoming Democrat (Dec. 11, 2018)