On May 3, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the agencies) released a guidebook aimed at assisting community banks in managing risks associated with third-party relationships (the TPRM Guide). The TPRM Guide builds upon the principles introduced in the third-party risk management guidance for banking organizations issued by the agencies in June 2023 (the June 2023 Guidance, discussed here) as well as the agencies’ community bank guide for conducting due diligence on fintech companies from October 2023 (discussed here) but does not displace or substitute that prior guidance.

Kevin Petrasic and Matthew Bornfreund Enhance Firm’s Bank Regulatory Practice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kevin Petrasic and Matthew Bornfreund, two highly regarded financial services partners with a focus on bank regulation, have joined Troutman Pepper in Washington, D.C. Arriving from Davis Wright Tremaine, where they spearheaded the bank regulatory and financial institutions advisory practice, Petrasic and Bornfreund bring a wealth of experience representing U.S. banks and bank holding companies, foreign banks in their U.S. regulatory needs, including those with multifaceted governance issues and transactions, and payments companies in their bank relationships.

Yesterday, the Texas Bankers Association, the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the Longview Chamber of Commerce, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas Revenue Based Finance Coalition (collectively, the plaintiffs) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (collectively, the agencies) Final Rule modernizing how they assess lenders’ compliance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). In their complaint, the plaintiffs asked the court to vacate the Final Rule and provide a preliminary injunction that would pause implementation of the Final Rule while the court decides the case.

We are pleased to share our annual review of regulatory and legal developments in the consumer financial services industry. With active federal and state legislatures, consumer financial services providers faced a challenging 2023. Courts across the country issued rulings that will have immediate and lasting impacts on the industry. Our team of more than 140 professionals has prepared this concise, yet thorough analysis of the most important issues and trends throughout our industry. We not only examined what happened in 2023, but also what to expect — and how to prepare — for the months ahead.

On December 7, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published the fall edition of its Semiannual Risk Perspective, which discusses key issues facing banks. From the OCC’s perspective, the overall strength of the banking system remains sound and recessionary pressures appear to be easing. The OCC notes that, while many economists had predicted a decline, gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter of 2023, slowing just slightly from the first quarter’s 2.2% pace. However, the OCC also emphasized that inflation remains elevated and a slowing labor market, declining savings, and higher interest rates could cause financial stress to borrowers.

Background

Under Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Congress expanded protections for whistleblowers reporting possible violations of federal securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).[1] Specifically, the statute established certain financial incentives and confidentiality guarantees for whistleblowers reporting potential violations of securities laws. In 2011, the SEC implemented rules (as subsequently amended) regarding the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. Under SEC Rule 21F-17(a), no person may take an action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the SEC about possible securities law violations, including by enforcing or threatening to enforce confidentiality agreements with respect to such communications (subject to certain limited exceptions).