This blog post lays out the pros and cons that boards and senior management of regional and community banking organizations should consider in light of the Zions decision to shed its bank holding company.[1]  Some have suggested that directors of BHCs now have a fiduciary duty to consider shedding … Read More

As we leave summer behind and head into the mid-term election season, we have updated our brief deck summarizing the leadership and staffing changes among federal financial regulators, including announced nominations, confirmations, resignations and expiring terms.  The first slide summarizes the state of play for the agencies’ principals; the later … Read More

Financial services regulatory reform in 2018 continues to evolve.  As we leave summer behind, here is the Fall Focus edition of our reference tool, which provides context and summarizes current developments across a range of key regulatory areas, agencies and actors.  We will continue to track these issues and will … Read More

After a several month lull that led some to question the SEC’s focus on crypto enforcement, this week saw a spate of enforcement activity involving crypto assets: several SEC enforcement actions, an SEC trading suspension order, the first FINRA cryptocurrency enforcement action, and a preliminary court decision consistent with the … Read More

Guidance is guidance, and rules are rules.  This straightforward statement was reiterated by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting in separate Congressional hearings earlier this year.[1]  Nevertheless, for at least the past ten years, the failure to … Read More

The FTC is expanding its enforcement efforts for fintech, particularly in the areas of online and small-business lending, payments, and cryptocurrencies.  At a recent event in Washington, D.C., the FTC’s Director of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, stated, “Commissioners are really interested in [fintech].  Finance will be a steady part of … Read More

In response to feedback from financial institutions, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Ruling granting exceptive relief (the Ruling) on September 7, 2018 to covered financial institutions from certain obligations under its beneficial ownership regulation, 31 C.F.R. § 1010.230 (the … Read More

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted conditional approval to digital-banking startup Varo Bank (previously Varo Money) of its application to form a de novo national bank.  Varo Bank, N.A. would become the first mobile-only national bank in United States. This is an interesting … Read More

Last week, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“DSIO”) issued time limited no-action relief to a regional commercial bank holding company and its insured depository institution (“IDI”) subsidiaries from having to count certain loan-related swaps toward its swap dealer de minimis threshold.  Currently, … Read More