Ashley Halvorsen

Associate

Los Angeles


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Ashley Halvorsen is an associate in the Structured Finance group in the Los Angeles office.

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Posts by: Ashley Halvorsen

Financial Regulators Modify Volcker Rule

 

On June 25, financial regulatory agencies modified the Volcker rule’s prohibition on banking entities investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds, known as covered funds. The final rule permits banking entities to offer financial services and engage in other activities that fall outside of the issues that the rule was intended to address, and it streamlines the covered funds portion of the rule. The rule will be effective as of October 1. Release. Final Rule.

Agencies Finalize Amendments to Swap Margin Rule

 

On June 25, federal agencies finalized a rule that updates margin and capital requirements for banks and other entities with significant swap activities. The updated rule no longer requires entities that are part of the same banking organization to hold a specific amount of initial margin for uncleared swaps with each other, such swaps being known as inter-affiliate swaps. The changes to the swap margin rule also provide additional flexibility to allocate collateral internally. The final rule is intended to facilitate risk management and maintain existing safeguards. Release. Final Rule.

Rating Agency Developments (June 18 – June 30)

 

On June 30, Fitch published its criteria for Covered Bonds RatingCriteria.

On June 30, DBRS Morningstar published its updated methodology for U.S. ABS General RatingsMethodology.

On June 26, Moody’s published its updated methodology for Catastrophe Bonds. Methodology.

On June 26, KBRA published a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­release titled KBRA Assigns Ratings to BANK 2020-BNK27. Release.

On June 25, KBRA published a report titled Public Finance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Unemployment Improves in All but Six States. Report.

On June 24, Moody’s published its revised methodology for rating Credit Card Receivables-Backed Securities. Methodology.

On June 24, Moody’s published its revised methodology for rating Credit Tenant Lease and Comparable Lease Financings. Methodology.

On June 19, Fitch published its revised criteria for rating Future Flow Securitizations. Criteria.

On June 19, Fitch published its revised criteria for rating CMBS Large Loans. Criteria.

On June 19, Moody’s published its revised methodology for rating Floorplan Asset-Backed Securities. Methodology.

On June 19, Moody’s published its revised methodology for rating Repackaged Securities. Methodology.

On June 18, Moody’s published its revised methodology for rating Covered Bonds. Methodology.

Rating Agency Developments (April 23 – May 6)

 

On May 6, Fitch published its updated Future Flow Securitization Rating. Criteria.

On May 4, DBRS Morningstar published its updated Assessing U.S. RMBS Pools Under the Ability-to-Repay Rules. Methodology.

On May 1, Moody’s published its updated Tobacco Settlement Revenue Securitizations. Methodology.

On May 1, Moody’s published its updated US Tax Lien-Backed Securitizations. Methodology.

On April 28, KBRA published an article entitled Coronavirus (COVID-19): CMBS Special Servicing and Watchlist Trends. Report.

On April 27, DBRS Morningstar published an updated version of Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds. Methodology.

On April 27, DBRS Morningstar published an updated version of Rating and Monitoring Covered Bonds Addendum: Market Value Spreads. Methodology.

On April 27, Moody’s published its updated Structured Settlement Securitizations. Methodology.

On April 24, Moody’s published its updated Non-Performing and Re-Performing Loan Securitizations. Methodology.

On April 23, Fitch published its updated Credit Card ABS Rating. Criteria.

On April 23, KBRA published an article entitled Coronavirus (COVID-19): Private Corporate Credit Market Poised for Resiliency. Report.

FHFA Extends Loan Processing Flexibilities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Customers

 

On May 5, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) extended loan origination flexibilities offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until at least June 30th. The extended flexibilities aim to help borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic by facilitating loan closings and include: (1) alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans; (2) alternative methods for verifying employment; and (3) expanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations. Release.

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Modify Liquidity Coverage Ratio for Banks Participating in Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility

 

On May 5, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced an interim final rule to facilitate the flow of credit to households and businesses from banking organizations participating in the Federal Reserve’s Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility. The rule neutralizes the impact of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio rule associated with the funding provided by these facilities. Release. Rule.

Treasury Releases Final Regulations to Reform National Security Reviews for Certain Foreign Investments and Other Transactions in the United States

 

On January 13, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued two final regulations that aim to modernize the investment review process to address national security issues posed by certain foreign investments and real estate transactions. The regulations implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) and broaden the authority of the CFIUS to review even non-controlling foreign investments into U.S. businesses that are involved in critical technology, infrastructure, or personal data. Release.

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Issue Final Rule on Treatment of High Volatility Commercial Real Estate

 

On November 19, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) implemented a final rule addressing high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE).  The rule aims to clarify the definition of HVCRE exposure and the treatment of credit facilities financing one- to four-family residential properties and land development. Banking institutions will have the option to maintain their current capital treatment for acquisition, development or construction loans originated between January 1, 2015 and the effective date of the final rule on April 1, 2020. FDIC ReleaseFRB ReleaseOCC Release.

Agencies Finalize Changes to Supplementary Leverage Ratio as Required by EGRRCPA

 

On November 19, the OCC, the FDIC and the FRB finalized changes that affect a capital requirement for banking organizations performing custodial activities under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA). The EGRRCPA allows banking organizations performing custodial activities to exclude qualifying deposits at certain central banks from their supplementary leverage ratio, with the primary aim to fortify financial stability within the banking system. The rule will be effective on April 1, 2020. FDIC ReleaseFRB ReleaseOCC Release.

 

 

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Finalize Rule to Update Calculation of Counterparty Credit Risk for Derivative Contracts

 

On November 19, the OCC, the FDIC and the FRB published a final rule that implements a “standardized approach for measuring counterparty credit risk,” that banking organizations must follow with respect to derivative contracts. This methodology is intended to better reflect the current derivatives market. The final rule will be effective on April 1, 2020. FDIC ReleaseFRB ReleaseOCC Release.