U.S. Treasury Department Issues White Paper on Online Marketplace Lending Industry

On May 10, 2016, the Department of the Treasury issued a white paper on online marketplace lending that maps the current market landscape, reviews industry insights and offers policy proposals for the road ahead.  Based on approximately 100 responses from online marketplace lenders, financial institutions, investors and other key industry figures, the Treasury, in consultation with the CFPB, FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, FTC, OCC, SBA and SEC, made several notable recommendations and observations.

The white paper explores policies that would expand regulatory oversight, including standardized representations and warranties in securitizations, pricing methodology standards, the implementation of a registry for tracking data on transactions and the reporting of loan-level performance, among others.  In addition, the Treasury mentions potential cybersecurity threats, anti-money laundering, the uneven protections and regulations in place for small business borrowers and the growth of the mortgage and auto loan markets as some of the emerging trends to monitor.  The Treasury is also considering the role of federal agencies in regulating these areas, including the formation of an interagency working group for online market place lending.  Press ReleaseWhite Paper.

FTC Announces Revised Thresholds for Clayton Act Antitrust Reviews for 2014

On January 17, the Federal Trade Commission revised the thresholds that determine whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under Section 7A of the Clayton Act, the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act.  The FTC is required to revise various thresholds set forth in the HSR Act annually, based on the change in gross national product.  For instance, for 2014, the size of transaction threshold for reporting proposed mergers and acquisitions subject to enforcement under Section 7A of the Clayton Act will increase from $70.9 million to $75.9 million. A full listing of current thresholds can be found on the FTC’s website, which will be updated once the revised thresholds are published in the Federal Register.

The revised thresholds under Section 7A will apply to all transactions that close on or after the effective date of the notice, which is 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.  Full Listing of Current Thresholds.

FTC and DOJ Final Rules on Premerger Notification

On July 7, the FTC and DOJ adopted final amendments to the Premerger Notification Rules and the Premerger Notification and Report Form under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The final amendments, in addition to other changes, require an acquiring company to submit information about “Associates“, the operations or investment decisions of which are commonly managed by the acquiring company. Acquiring companies will be required to report: (i) an Associate with voting securities and non-corporate interests greater than or equal to 5% but less than 50% of (a) the acquired entity and (b) entities having a six-digit NAICS industry code overlapping with the acquired entity; and (ii) the geographic information of any entity controlled by an Associate having a six-digit NAICS industry code overlapping with the acquired entity. The final amendments will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. FTC Release. FTC Final Rule.

Final Rules on Credit Score Disclosure Requirements

On July 6, the Fed and FTC issued final rules under Regulation V (Fair Credit Reporting) and Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity) to implement the credit score disclosure requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. The rules will be effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Fed Release. Final Rule (Reg V). Final Rule (Reg B).