As Congress gears up to question Facebook about its cryptocurrency project, House Democratic lawmakers are working on a bill that could ban it. The draft legislation aims to keep big tech companies out of the financial services industry. The discussion draft is a starting point for potential legislation and lawmakers will likely make changes as they continue examining the issue.
The depressed valuations for banks and other financial firms mean “this is the time” for acquisitions and mergers in the industry, a former CEO of Wells Fargo said Monday. “Anytime you have high regulations in any industry, you get concentration, and banks are cheap,” Richard Kovacevich said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell. ” “So if you’re going to acquire, this is the time to acquire financial institutions.”
CUNA supports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) conducting regular, robust reviews of its regulations with an eye toward reducing burden, it wrote to the CFPB Monday in response to the agency’s review plan as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The act requires agencies to conduct a review of a rule ten years after final action, focusing on the rule’s economic impact on small entities. According to the CFPB’s plan, it intends to initiate its review approximately one year before the 10-year deadline, and although not required by statute, the CFPB will also solicit feedback from stakeholders via public comment on the rule under review.
Fintech regulation is getting a lot of scrutiny lately, especially as large, well-known entities want to enter the emerging industry. Just a couple of weeks ago, I testified before a House Financial Services Committee task force as chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) committee to discuss the role of state regulators in fintech oversight. While Congress and others may know how we supervise the 79% of the nation’s banks which are state-chartered, there have been a lot of questions about how we license and enforce compliance for fintech companies. That is because the current intersection between financial services and technology has accelerated change in the industry.
Carriers have been slow to address the growing robocall problem, but the Federal Communications Commission may be about to force their hand. In a letter to fourteen US carriers, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks today called out the confusing and often ineffective options available to consumers for fighting automated spam calls, and threatened regulatory action if the carriers do not improve. “Despite historically clamoring for new tools, it does not appear that all providers have acted with haste to deploy opt-out robocall blocking services,” Starks told the carriers. “The Commission spoke clearly: we expect opt-out call blocking services to be offered to consumers for free. Reviewing the substance of these responses, by and large, carriers’ plans for these services are far from clear.”