- Guidance on Deposit Advance Products.
On November 21st, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") separately issued guidance to the institutions they supervise that offer or may consider offering deposit advance products. The guidance is intended to ensure that banks are aware of the credit, reputational, operational and compliance risks associated with deposit advance products and have taken steps to mitigate these risks effectively. The FDIC guidance supplements the FDIC's existing guidance on payday loans and subprime lending, as well as the FDIC's guidelines on small dollar loans. FDIC Press Release. The OCC guidance states that examiners will assess credit quality, including underwriting and credit administration policies and practices; reliance on fee income; compliance with applicable federal consumer protection statutes; management oversight; third-party relationships; the adequacy of capital; and the allowance for loan and lease losses. OCC Press Release.
- Regulations Z and M Exempt Consumer Dollar Thresholds.
On November 20th, the Federal Reserve Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") announced the increase in the dollar thresholds in Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing) for exempt consumer credit and lease transactions. Transactions at or below the thresholds are subject to the protections of the regulations. Based on the adjustments, the protections of the Truth in Lending and Consumer Leasing acts generally will apply to consumer credit transactions and consumer leases of $53,500 or less in 2014, an increase of $500 from 2013. However, private education loans and loans secured by real property (such as mortgages) are subject to the Truth in Lending Act regardless of the amount of the loan. Federal Reserve Board Press Release.
- Rescission of OTS Documents.
On November 20th, the OCC issued a Bulletin rescinding certain Office of Thrift Supervision compliance documents.
- Regulatory Capital Estimation Tool for Community Banks.
On November 19th, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and OCC released an estimation tool to help community banks understand the potential effects of the recently revised regulatory capital framework on bank capital ratios. Joint Press Release.
- Banks Encouraged to Work with Those Affected by Tornadoes.
On November 18th, the OCC encouraged national banks and federal savings associations to work with customers affected by the recent tornadoes in the Midwest. The OCC has published guidance encouraging national banks and federal savings associations to work with their customers affected by natural disasters. The OCC recognizes that the effects of natural disasters on individuals and businesses are often temporary, and that prudent efforts to adjust or alter terms on existing loans in areas affected by the disasters and related problems should not be subject to bank examiner criticism. OCC Press Release.
- OCC Publishes Newsletter on Financing Business Development in Rural America.
On November 18th, the OCC published its Community Developments Investments newsletter entitled "Financing Business Development and Expansion in Rural America." The newsletter looks at how banks are helping rural businesses grow and presents examples of banks helping to finance projects that expand manufacturing and bring services, goods, and jobs to rural communities. The newsletter also discusses the recent changes to the Interagency Community Reinvestment Act Questions and Answers that will provide banks greater flexibility to serve rural communities that are outside their assessment areas, but are in the broader statewide or regional area that includes their assessment areas. OCC Press Release.