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- March 16, 2016On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Semi-Annual Report to Congress featuring testimony from CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Like previous encounters, Republican members of the committee expressed considerable frustration with the Bureau and its leader throughout the hearing. Save comments from Reps...March 16, 2016On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen announced the Federal Open Market Committee did not increase the federal funds rate, keeping it at 0.25-0.5 percent. The decision means the rate remains the same as it was in December 2015. The Fed previously predicted the rate to rise by one percentage point in 2016, however, with this announcement, only expect the rate to...March 16, 2016On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The nomination of Judge Garland must be confirmed, and Senate Republicans have indicated there are no plans to continue forward with the process until after the election. "The American people may well elect...March 15, 2016On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the FDIC issued a final rule on recapitalization of its insurance fund according to the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDIC's authority under section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance (FDI) Act. Under the final rule, the FDIC imposed a surcharge on the quarterly assessments of insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more. The surcharge...March 15, 2016On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the FDIC Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a critical review of the agency’s actions several years ago in preventing three banks from offering refund anticipation loans (RAL), and establishing a policy of “moral suasion” to prevent banks from offering them. The OIG blasted the agency for its use of supervisory powers to impose “high costs” on institutions...March 15, 2016On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) released a preview of the committee’s alternative to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The financial regulatory reform plan includes increased accountability for both financial institutions and regulatory agencies, loosening of regulations for banks meeting high capital...March 14, 2016On Monday, March 14, 2016, CBA and the American Bankers Association filed a joint comment in response to the CFPB’s Request for Information (RFI) regarding the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Resubmission Guidelines. CBA urged the Bureau to consider the breadth of mortgage providers and the wide range of mortgage products they offer to meet consumers’ home finance needs. “Guidelines that are...March 4, 2016The FDIC issued, on Wednesday, March 2, 2015, a Financial Institution Letter clarifying its supervisory expectations in existing guidance for the risk-management practices when banks make the decision to discontinue foreclosure proceedings. “The FDIC continues to encourage institutions to avoid unnecessary foreclosures by working constructively with borrowers and considering prudent workout...March 3, 2016On Thursday, March 3, 2016, the CFPB incorporated feedback from CBA members and revised its Company Portal Manual for financial institutions using its consumer complaint portal. Notable changes included: A revised the definition of a “duplicate” complaint with the intention of providing more accurate overall complaint numbers. Re-categorized complaint resolution and added additional “...March 2, 2016On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, the CFPB announced an application process for areas outside of rural counties or census blocks to request rural designation. This process would allow more areas to be eligible for certain exemptions and provisions for some mortgage lenders. Applicants would provide information allowing the CFPB to evaluate the request under the parameters in the Helping Expand Lending...