Former Regulator, Industry Experts Analyze Potential Threats, Trends & Controversial Issues Facing Banks

April 15, 2021
Allison Heimberg

 

Former Regulator, Industry Experts Analyze Potential Threats, Trends & Controversial Issues Facing Banks

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Consumer Bankers Association hosted its first-ever CBA Washington Forum on Wednesday where lawmakers and industry experts weighed in on where the industry is now and where banking could be headed in “the new Washington, DC.”

 

The second half of our program featured a former regulator and top industry experts offering unparalleled insights on what a new Administration, new majority in Congress and major shift in regulatory leadership could mean for banks.

 

During the second half of yesterday’s event, attendees heard from:

 

  • Jonice Gray Tucker, Partner, Buckley LLP
  • Tony Alexis, Partner, Goodwin Proctor LLP; Former CFPB Head of Enforcement
  • Andrea Mitchell, Managing Partner, Mitchell Sandler LLP
  • Amy Matsuo, Principal, KPMG LLP
  • Tony Hadley, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Experian
  • Bobby Thomson, Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Government Engagement, Visa

 

Key excerpts from the discussions are below and video highlights linked. More information about the event is available here.

 

On what to expect from the CFPB related to supervision, enforcement and fair lending matters:

 

Tony Alexis"From the CFPB's perspective, there's hundreds of things that they can go after in the mortgage servicing space." ... "Fair lending is going to be an incredible priority for all federal agencies."

 

Jonice Gray Tucker"We are going to see [disparate impact] used as a lever." ... "[Redlining] is an issue that didn't go away." ... "It's about the only fair lending issue that the Trump Administration continued to hit hard."

 

Andrea Mitchell"[Mortgage activity] volume was completely out of bounds - not to mention people were working remotely." ... "Banks & other finance companies need to really look hard & understand their data & why it's different."

 

On trends and hot topics in Washington:

 

Amy Matsuo [Climate Risk]: "I think there is a general acceptance at this point now." ... "The need to drive climate risk across all of your risk disciplines & embed it."

 

Tony Hadley [Credit Reporting]: "The benefits of risk-based pricing are quite far-reaching - companies use data, including internal data, third party data & analytics to actually determine the risk of an individual loan or a group of loans within a portfolio.”

 

Bobby Thomson [Payments Policy]: “On the idea of a public banking option: “When you look at how strong the banking system has been at delivering these payments, it begs the question – why do you need that?”

 

Bobby Thomson [Digital Currencies]: "[Digital currencies] have to be done in partnership through financial institutions. That is really the way you are going to get trust, credibility & confidence in the use of those alternative payment methods."

 

In Case You Missed It… Lawmakers and regulators made news yesterday at CBA’s Washington Forum, weighing in on the biggest bank policy questions.

 

As media outlets reported:

On unbanked / underbanked“What we’ve seen is a healthy banking sector,” Tester said. “We should talk about how to get more un- and under-banked folks access to financial services…. But quite frankly, I think to pull off the post offices or the Federal Reserve banking policies – I don’t think it’s going to have much life.” – Tester shoots down Brown's plan for Fed-run bank accounts, POLITICO, April 14, 2021

On CRAThe 1977 law designed to combat discriminatory lending practices by banks is expected to be an early focus for regulators in the Biden administration, including whoever is named as comptroller. “So we do intend to try to buy them some time and some space to bring in their own ideas and think about what they want to do,” Paulson said at an event hosted by the Consumer Bankers Association. The longtime OCC official, who took the helm of the agency in mid-January, said that was one reason the agency made the supervisory move to halt data collection efforts that were supposed to inform the calibration of yet-to-be-determined CRA metrics. “It was clear that was going to be a really significant resource and time effort for banks during the pandemic, and we thought it was best to just hold off on that piece for now,” Paulson said.” – Acting OCC head leaving room for new comptroller to shape CRA overhaul, POLITICO, April 14, 2021

On the banking systemAsked what she would change about the banking system if handed “a magic wand" during a virtual conference hosted by the Consumer Bankers Association, FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams zeroed in on the potential for cumbersome software and outdated internal processes to impede bank business and even threaten the sector’s resilience. “There are several things I would like to see done differently within the banking system, but I will say No. 1 is something that concerns me on a longstanding basis, which is the legacy systems,” McWilliams said. – FDIC chief cites legacy systems as 'No. 1' concern for banks, American Banker, April 14, 2021

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About the Consumer Bankers Association:

The Consumer Bankers Association represents America’s leading retail banks. We promote policies to create a stronger industry and economy. Established in 1919, CBA’s corporate member institutions account for 1.7 million jobs