Finance & Banking
Since its inception in 2010, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has garnered its fair share of criticism and controversy. The regulator was created by the Dodd-Frank legislation to curb the practices and risks, which brought about the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The CFPB is often criticized by the banks and firms it regulates, but now a fellow federal regulator is casting doubt on the CFPB’s new rule concerning mandatory arbitration clauses found in contracts for commonly used banking products, such as checking accounts and credit cards. The rule is also opposed by Congress, which is working on measures to repeal the rule, and several financial industry and lobbying groups who are suing the CFPB.
Captive insurance companies, insurance companies owned by persons related to the insureds, have long served as an important risk management tool for businesses as varied as Sears and The New York Times. In recent years, there has been an explosion of “micro-captive” insurance companies, companies with premiums that do not exceed $1.2 million in a year. Until 2017, $1.2 million was the allowable maximum amount of premiums for an insurance company to elect favorable tax treatment under I.R.C. § 831(b), allowing the small insurance company to be taxed only on its investment income. The IRS believes that these “831(b)” micro-captives are often used as tax-shelters rather than for legitimate business purposes.
In September 2017, United States economic markets implemented swap-regulating rules to reduce risk to U.S. investment firms. Signed into law in 2016, this regulation curbs the risk associated with swap derivatives in the United States. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the “Agencies”), constructed a joint rule requiring taxpayer-insured banks and financial institutions to collect greater collateral and provide greater transparency when involved in swap derivative agreements.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (“Reg SCI”) to strengthen the technology infrastructure of the U.S. securities markets by imposing new regulatory requirements on SCI entities. The term “SCI entity” includes self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”) such as stock and options exchanges, registered clearing agencies, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”); certain alternative trading systems; disseminators of consolidated market data, such as the Consolidated Tape Association; and certain exempt clearing agencies. The regulatory requirements were designed to reduce the occurrence of systems issues, improve resiliency when systems problems do occur, and to enhance the SEC’s oversight and enforcement of securities market technology infrastructure.
In 2016, Congress introduced a bill to reform the National Flood Insurance Program. Proponents of the bill saw it as necessary reform to a debt-ridden and ineffective program, while opponents saw it as an attack against a necessary safeguard for coastal Americans. The National Flood Insurance Program was set to expire at the end of September 2016, until Congress extended the program through December 8, 2017. As Americans rebuild from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Congress contemplates reform and seeks to keep the program funded past December.
On August 30, 2017, Trump signed Proclamation 9632 declaring September 2017 as National Preparedness Month, encouraging “all Americans… take action to be prepared for disaster or emergency by making and practicing their plans,” also citing that fewer than half of American families report having an emergency response plan. While it is important to have a disaster plan in place for your family to take care of their physical needs, it is also vital to be prepared for the possibility of scams and fraudulent activity in the wake of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey.
During his first 67 days in office, Mr. Trump signed 19 executive orders. One such action designed to roll back regulations from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act (“Act”) received little to no media attention but may have long lasting ramifications in the financial industry.
Gilbert Carrillo Executive Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2017 The state of New York is in the process of implementing a new rule requiring some financial U.S. and foreign institutions, with New York offices, to prove that their transaction monitoring and sanctions filtering programs for catching criminal activity do in fact …
Ed Tyrrell Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2018 President Donald J. Trump wasted no time in nominating Jay Clayton, Partner at Sullivan Cromwell, as his pick for the chairman of the SEC. Clayton, a veteran Wall Street attorney, is renowned for his expertise in public and private mergers, acquisitions transactions, …
Lauren Rushing Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2018 In the span of one week, two financial services companies paid penalty fees to the Securities and Exchange Commission for intentionally undercutting the Whistleblower Program. Impeding whistleblower communication is averse to quashing misconduct in the marketplace, which is the program’s main goal. …