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Richard's Rapid Fire - December 18, 2015
Thankfully Congress Wraps Up 2015
Earlier this month, Congress chose political expediency over sound policy by voting to pay for the highway bill with a tax on banks, rather than gasoline. Many of us were hopeful cooler heads would prevail and this policy would be walked back in this week's final, year-end spending package, also known as the omnibus. Congress also had the opportunity to advance reasonable financial regulatory relief proposals, many of which enjoy broad bipartisan support. Disappointingly, neither of these came to fruition this week. The reality is there simply was no appetite to support any bank provisions in this political climate regardless of how commonsensical.
One glimmer of hope in the omnibus package was the inclusion of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). This bill would establish a "portal" for cyber threat information sharing between the government and the private sector, provide liability protections, and require private companies to scrub personal information. It should also be noted that a CFPB Commission, new CFPB study on arbitration, a TRID implementation delay, and a Fed dividend fix were all debated thoroughly, even though they did not make it into the final package.
After Nearly a Decade, Fed Raises Rates
Though this could go down as the most anticipated rate increase in history this week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Admittedly, a 0.25 percent increase is small, but rising interest rates are an indication of a strengthening economy, so we welcome the move.
CFPB Adds General Counsel But Key Positions Still Remain Vacant
The Bureau appointed Mary McLeod as its new General Counsel. McLeod, who currently heads the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, will begin work in 2016, replacing the departing Meredith Fuchs, who also has been acting Deputy Director. We still do not know how the Bureau will handle the Deputy Director vacancy, a position whose importance cannot be overstated. Whoever fills the Deputy Director role becomes acting Director (with all the powers of a director) if Richard Cordray departs, and serves until a new director is confirmed by the Senate. In addition to this vacancy, the CFPB is still trying to fill a number of other key positions.
CBA Launches New Risk Committee
After meeting in person in October of 2015, the CBA Risk Working Group became a formal committee of CBA. The purpose of the Committee is to address the increasing importance placed on risk management by the prudential regulators. Top priorities include sharing best practices in developing the first and second lines of defense and understanding the risk framework issues common to peer institutions. Thanks to all the bankers who helped us launch this Committee.
Visiting Our Member Banks
This week, Team CBA made a quick trip down to Atlanta to visit SunTrust. Thank you to Brad Dinsmore, Corporate Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking Executive, Bill Andryusky, Senior Vice President, Consumer Loan Operations Executive, Lynn Woosley, Senior Vice President, Fair and Responsible Banking Compliance Officer, and Jeremy Greenstein, Senior Vice President, Branch Banking Service and Operations Executive; and Kirby Thompson, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, for taking time to discuss branch consolidation, the lending environment, rising interest rates and the changing economy, risk and compliance, and what's to come in 2016. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with former CBA Team member Tom Crosson, Corporate Communications, Wholesale Banking at SunTrust.
Three Things to Know to Be In the Know
California Investigates Marketplace Lenders
Washington Post names Elizabeth Warren one of its 'biggest Pinocchios of 2015'
Movie Theater Apps to Bypass the Popcorn Lines
Peter Biggs, Vice Chairman and Chief Retail Officer, Bank of Hawaii is retiring in 2016. Peter first joined Bank of Hawaii in 2000 and has been a member of the bank's Managing Committee since 2006. Peter has been an active and engaged member of CBA and was a founding member of the CBA Mid-Tier Retail Executive Forum.
Congratulations to Scott Dillon on being named Chief Technology Officer at Wells Fargo.
Congratulations to Mark Shifke on being named Chief Financial Officer of Green Dot Bank.
Best of luck to Kevin Rhein who announced his retirement as Chief Information Officer of Wells Fargo.
Regina M. Pisa and Peter Smyth were appointed to Citizen Bank's Citizens Commercial Banking Advisory Board.
Ellen Costello and Renee James were appointed to Citigroup's Board of Directors.
CBA Executive Banking School faculty members (L ot R) Paul Leventhal, Ted Brauch, Jim Fugitte, Mike Allen and Melissa Cabocel (not pictured) met in Cincinnati this week to discuss a formal Body of Knowledge for CBA Advanced Education initiatives.