Not every significant action taken by the federal banking agencies is accompanied by great fanfare. In this spirit, the FDIC has quietly issued a Financial Institutions Letter (FIL-59-2015) announcing revisions to its Compliance Examination Manual (Manual). The changes in question reflect FDIC and interagency supervisory guidance issued primarily over the past year.

Among the changes incorporated into the updated Manual are the following:

  • New guidance about the Matters Requiring Board Attention (MRBA) section of the Report of Examination (ROE)
  • Guidance on evaluating the impact of consumer harm on examination and supervisory activities, and a new “Assessment of Risk of Consumer Harm” (ARCH) that provides pre-examination planning and scoping guidance to FDIC examination staff
  • New and detailed guidance on retail sales of nondeposit investment and insurance products
  • Revised interagency examination procedures for the Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule
  • Revised guidance on unfair and deceptive practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act
  • Updated templates providing examples of a consumer compliance ROE and a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Performance Evaluation for a hypothetical, FDIC-supervised bank

Although the Manual is published as guidance for the FDIC’s compliance examiner staff, it provides important information and insights to FDIC-supervised banks (state nonmember banks) on the FDIC’s current examination activities, priorities, and expectations regarding financial consumer protection compliance issues. Therefore, the revisions to the Manual should be required reading for these banks.