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Jun 2, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. Fed hires former insurance regulator to help oversee AIG, Prudential

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve has hired a former state insurance commissioner to help it oversee non-bank financial firms that a council of regulators identified for tougher scrutiny last year.

Thomas Sullivan, who led the Connecticut Insurance Department from 2007 through 2010 and later worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, starts as a senior adviser on June 9.

May 29, 2014

BlackRock rejects U.S. concerns on securities lending agreements

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – BlackRock pushed back
on Thursday against a U.S. report that raised concerns about
asset managers and securities lending, arguing in a paper sent
to regulators that its activities do not pose outsized risks.

At issue are transactions in which entities lend stocks and
bonds in exchange for cash or other collateral. Mutual funds
often lend securities to hedge funds to generate extra income,
for example.

May 29, 2014

U.S. probing 15 banks, payment processors for fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors have opened criminal and civil probes into at least 15 banks and payment processors as part of a wide-ranging consumer fraud investigation, according to documents released on Thursday by a congressional committee.

The Justice Department’s investigation, known as “Operation Choke Point,” is more than a year old and aims to crack down on fraud by going after firms that handle and move money for various suspect businesses.

May 28, 2014

U.S. regulator to rotate bank examiners, move some out of firms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. regulatory agency that drew criticism for being too cozy with banks ahead of the 2007-09 financial crisis said on Wednesday that it will now rotate examiners at big U.S. banks every five years, with fewer examiners housed at banks.

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) also said it will devote more resources to multi-bank analyses conducted by special experts, separate from standard exams.

May 20, 2014

U.S. consumer bureau slow to fix age, minority bias -union leader

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) – U.S. consumer bureau
officials were slow to fix performance reviews that were unfair
to minority and older employees, despite complaints, a union
leader will tell lawmakers on Wednesday.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has
admitted that black and Hispanic employees, workers over the age
of 40 and others were more likely to receive ratings below the
top score in reviews used to set merit raises in 2012 and 2013.

May 20, 2014

Consumer bureau slow to fix age, minority bias: union leader

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer bureau officials were slow to fix performance reviews that were unfair to minority and older employees, despite complaints, a union leader will tell lawmakers on Wednesday.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has admitted that black and Hispanic employees, workers over the age of 40 and others were more likely to receive ratings below the top score in reviews used to set merit raises in 2012 and 2013.

May 8, 2014

Fed’s Tarullo calls for re-think of some new bank rules

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – A top U.S. Federal Reserve official on Thursday called on regulators to revamp a variety of new bank rules, including the way capital minimums are set for big firms and exempting mid-sized banks from some rules.

Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, the Fed’s point person on financial regulation, said a “rationalization” of some rules would reduce costs for banks but still achieve the goals of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street oversight law.

May 7, 2014

Insight: Washington delays big banks from writing wills before a collapse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Almost six years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, U.S. regulators still haven’t given Wall Street banks individual feedback on how to improve so-called “living wills” that detail how to go bankrupt without spending taxpayer dollars or causing a market panic.

The banks have already had to submit two versions of the documents, neither of which were up to the standards of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Federal Reserve. With the next draft of the documents due in July, banks say they can do little to improve the plans if there are no detailed instructions from the government, sources familiar with the process say.

May 7, 2014

U.S. risk council warns about asset managers, mortgage servicers

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. financial risk
council on Wednesday raised red flags about new, potentially
risky practices by asset managers and nonbank mortgage
servicers, which they said are not regulated as carefully as
banks.

The sectors were highlighted by the Financial Stability
Oversight Council in a report that is expected to be published
later on Wednesday, a government official who worked on the
study said during a public meeting.

May 7, 2014

U.S. financial risk council adopts new transparency measures

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. financial risk
council adopted new transparency measures on Wednesday, after
critics raised concerns the group was too secretive about its
decision-making process.

In a unanimous vote, the Financial Stability Oversight
Council agreed to give the public seven days’ notice about
upcoming meetings and agenda items. It also said it would start
publishing “read-outs” from closed-door sessions.