FHFA Director testifies in front of the U.S. House of Representative Committee on Financial Services

On January 27, 2015 the  FHFA Director, Melvin L. Watt, testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.  Director Watt’s testimony provided, amongst other items, an update on the financial condition of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the financial condition of the Federal Home Loan BanksRelease.

Federal Reserve Issues “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System”

On January 26, 2015 the Federal Reserve issued a multi-faceted plan for collaborating with payment system stakeholders, including large and small businesses, emerging payments firms, card networks, payment processors, consumers and financial institutions to enhance the speed, safety and efficiency of the U.S. payment systemRelease.

Michael Brickman Named Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision

On January 26, 2015 Michael Brickman was named Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision at the OCC.  As Deputy Comptroller of Special Supervision, Mr. Brickman will oversee the supervision of the OCC’s most critical problem midsize and community banks as well as the development and implementation of rehabilitation or resolution strategies for assigned banks and savings associations, including the orderly management of closings, when necessary.  Release.

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief to Certain Introducing Brokers

On January 23, 2015 the CFTC Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued no-action relief to certain introducing brokers (IBs) with respect to net capital and financial reporting requirements under Commission Regulations 1.10 and 1.17, respectively.  The conditioned relief permits foreign-domiciled IBs to file audited and unaudited form 1-FR-IBs, as applicable, using local accounting principles in effect where the IB is domiciled in lieu of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or International Financial Reporting Standards. In addition, eligible foreign-domiciled IBs will not be required to apply certain foreign currency capital charges under Regulation 1.17 and staff guidance.  Release.

Rating Agency Developments

On January 22, Fitch released its rating criteria for rating RMBS in Latin AmericaCriteria.

On January 22, Moody’s released its global methodology for rating small and medium size enterprise balance sheet securitizationsRelease.

On January 20, Moody’s released its approach to rating ABS backed by equipment lease and loansRelease.

On January 20, Moody’s released its approach to rating consumer loan backed ABSRelease.

On January 20, Moody’s released its approach to rating RMBS Using the MILAN FrameworkRelease.

On January 20, Moody’s released its global approach to rating Auto Loan- and Lease-Backed ABSRelease.

On January 20, Moody’s released its global approach to rating financial guarantorsReleaseAnnouncement.

On January 20, Moody’s released its global approach to monitoring life insurance ABSRelease.

On January 20, Fitch released its rating criteria for rating Non-Performing Loan SecuritisationsCriteria.

On January 16, Kroll released its methodology for rating single-family rentalsMethodology.

On January 15, DBRS released its methodology for rating companies in the asset management industryRelease.

Fee Rate Advisory #3 for Fiscal Year 2015

On January 15, the SEC announced that starting on Feb. 14, 2015, the fee rates applicable to most securities transactions will be set at $18.40 per million dollars.  Each SRO will continue to pay the Commission a rate of $22.10 per million for transactions occurring on charge dates through Feb. 13, 2015, and a rate of $18.40 per million for transactions occurring on charge dates on or after Feb. 14, 2015.  ReleaseOrder.

The Fed Forms Advisory Council

On January 16, the Fed announced the formation of a new advisory council that will be comprised of individuals with consumer- and community development-related expertise.  The council will meet semiannually with the Fed’s board to offer perspective on community and consumer needsRelease.

CFPB Finalizes Minor Changes to “Know Before You Owe” Rules

 On January 20, CFPB finalized two minor modifications to the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules. The changes, which were proposed in October 2014, address when consumers will receive updated disclosures after locking in an interest rate, and how consumers receive information regarding certain construction loans. The “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule, including the changes finalized today, will be effective August 1, 2015ReleaseFinal Rule.

FHFA Issues 2015 Scorecard for Fannie, Freddie and Common Securitization Solutions

On January 14, FHFA released the 2015 Scorecard​ outlining specific priorities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their joint venture, Common Securitization Solutions, LLC.  The Scorecard assesses Fannie and Freddie’s performance under FHFA’s Strategic Plan for Fannie and Freddie and furthers the goals outlined thereunder, including building a new single-family securitization infrastructure for use by the Enterprises.  ReleaseScorecardStrategic Plan.