Friday's News

 

December 6, 2019

 

Even with the shadow of impeachment advancing in the House this week, the Financial Services Committee conducted business as usual. Here at home, NYBA members and staff continued meeting with State lawmakers to discuss credit union legislation expected to re-emerge next session.

Federal Legislative Developments

  • For a second time, a usury cap bill has been tabled by the House Financial Services Committee. H.R. 5050, the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act, was not listed on the Committee’s agenda for consideration at next week’s meeting. While a bill establishing usury ceilings could come back, it appears that the banking industry’s voice, including NYBA’s, is being heard by Committee leaders.
  • A bill to stop illegal robocalls by telemarketers passed the House by a vote of 417-3. The bill grants the Federal Communications Commission greater enforcement powers and directs the Commission to devise a way for banks and other businesses to use other options if their calls are blocked. Importantly, the bill does not include liabilities for businesses that call customer numbers that have been reassigned to other consumers.
 

Federal Regulatory Developments

  • Four federal agencies in conjunction with the state bank regulators issued a clarification of the legal status of hemp growth and production and related requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks that serve hemp-related businesses. The guidance clarifies that banks are no longer required to file suspicious activity reports (SARS) for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In a press statement, NYBA President and CEO Mike Smith said “The banking industry commends the federal regulators for clarifying banks’ reporting responsibilities as they relate to providing services to licensed hemp producers. Uncertainty about the legal status of hemp has left the industry with questions about reporting requirements. Banks take their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act very seriously, and today’s regulatory action adds greater certainty to the compliance process.”
  • The use of alternative data in the credit underwriting process was the subject of a joint statement by the federal regulators this week, and included a warning to maintain robust compliance management and that lenders using such data must understand the risks and must perform “a thorough analysis of relevant consumer protection laws.”
  • The CFPB has issued a proposal making permanent a temporary authorization for depository institutions to give remittance customers an estimate of certain fees and exchange rates. The temporary authorization expires in July 2020. The proposal would also raise the threshold from 100 to 500 remittances at which an institution is considered a “remittance transfer provider.”
  • Under newly released Treasury Department proposals implementing the 2017 tax reform law, U.S.-based multinational corporations will have less minimum tax exposure to GILTI (Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income). The IRS also released its final regulations on BEAT, the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax.
 

State Legislative Developments

  • A.3320 (Zebrowski)/S.727A (Montgomery), which amends the Banking Development District (BDD) program to allow credit unions into the program with authority to accept municipal deposits in BDD branches only, was sent to the Governor for his signature earlier today. Consistent with its policy, NYBA strongly opposes any effort to allow non-tax paying credit unions the ability to take public deposits. NYBA will be submitting a letter to the Governor urging him to veto this legislation. 
  • Governor Cuomo recently signed into law A.3168 (Ortiz)/S.4931 (Sanders), which requires posting public notice of the Department of Financial Services’ toll-free consumer's hotline telephone number in the same location as other public notices from the Department are found. This new requirement takes effect on February 26, 2020
  • Governor Cuomo signed A.2224 (Paulin)/S.4777(Kaminsky), enacting the Nuisance Call Act, which requires live telemarketers to give consumers the option to be added to the seller's do-not-call list. It also requires telemarketers to have a consumer's written consent before sharing or selling their contact information.
 

Local Developments

  • The New York City Council finalized amendments to Int. 1281, which would ban cashless businesses in NYC, thereby setting the legislation up for passage as early as this month. Critics of the cashless trend say such businesses discriminate against customers without credit cards or banking relationships. They also raise concerns about data security and privacy.
 

Resources

  • FinCen has noted a troubling increase in the number and severity of financial scams committed against the elderly.
  •  Cornell University has developed tools New York farmers can use to help manage new mandatory overtime wages. Please visit https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/overtime to download these tools and to learn more.

 



Questions? 

Contact Mike Smith at (212) 297-1699 or msmith@nyba.com, or Clare Cusack at (212) 297-1664 or ccusack@nyba.com.
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Questions?

Karen Armstrong, Senior Vice President, Communications and Political Action
karmstrong@nyba.com

Duncan McCausland
, Marketing and Communications
dmccausland@nyba.com