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MoFo Reenforcement

The Enforcement Blog

FinCEN Issues Convertible Virtual Currency Guidance and Advisory

Posted in Enforcement Actions, Regulatory Developments

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently issued a guidance, Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Certain Business Models Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies (CVC), together with an Advisory on Illicit Activity Involving Convertible Currency. The Guidance largely summarizes FinCEN’s existing regulatory framework regarding the application of the Bank Secrecy Act to virtual currency activities. The Advisory warns financial institutions of the use by criminals and other bad actors of CVC schemes involving darknet marketplaces, P2P exchangers, foreign-located MSBs, and CVC kiosks. Our client alert provides an overview of FinCEN’s position on CVC-related AML expectations and its impact on financial institutions and CVC businesses.

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Take Two: Are You a Money Transmitter in Vermont?

Posted in Electronic Payments, Regulatory Developments

Last year, we noted that the Banking Department of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation had taken the position that its money transmission law “does not exempt a payment processor or an agent of a payee from [money transmission] licensure.” Vermont’s Governor now has signed legislation that creates a statutory exemption from the money transmission licensing law for payment processors, provided that certain conditions are met. Given the somewhat unique nature of this exemption, however, payments services companies, whether payee agents, payment processors, platforms, or marketplaces, should review their compliance approaches in light of this new exemption.

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CFPB Requests Comment on Overdraft Rule

Posted in CFPB, Electronic Payments, Regulatory Developments

On May 15, 2019, the CFPB published a Request for Comment on the Regulation E provisions that require consumers to opt in to overdraft fees on one-time debit card and ATM transactions. The Request for Comment is made under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires an agency to review rules within 10 years after their adoption.

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CFPB Proposes New Rules to Modernize Debt Collection

Posted in CFPB, Regulatory Developments

On May 7, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued proposed rules (“Proposed Rules”) under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and its authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. If finalized, the Proposed Rules will be the first substantive regulations for debt collection practices since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977. The Proposed Rules would clarify the application of the FDCPA to current market conditions, most notably by permitting the use of text messages, emails, and social media to communicate with debtors. At the same time, the Proposed Rules would address concerns about traditional means of communication, such as phone calls and voice mail messages.

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Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Amendments: CFPB Issues Two Regulation C Releases

Posted in Fair Lending, Mortgage, Regulatory Developments

On May 2, 2019, the CFPB issued two releases related to Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The CFPB released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to adjust Regulation C’s loan volume thresholds that trigger HMDA and to make other changes. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The CFPB also released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comment on whether it should propose to revise the data elements that covered institutions must report.

Comments are due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

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Could Strong Consumer Authentication Weaken Consumer Demand?

Posted in Electronic Payments, Regulatory Developments

From 14 September 2019, certain electronic and remote payments must be subjected to two-factor, or “strong customer authentication”, under regulatory standards covering the European Economic Area relating to the second EU Payment Services Directive, which took effect in January 2018. Retailers are uncertain whether these new European anti-fraud measures will cause consumers to abandon online purchases. Read our client alert for guidance on transactions that might be impacted or exempt.

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In a First, FinCEN Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Peer-to-Peer Virtual Currency Exchanger

Posted in Enforcement Actions, Regulatory Developments

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a press release announcing a civil money penalty for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act against Eric Powers, an individual who acted as a peer-to-peer virtual currency exchanger. The enforcement action is the first-ever penalty assessed by FinCEN against a peer-to-peer virtual currency exchanger. Our alert discusses this recent action by FinCEN and its implications.

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Federal Reserve Proposes New Control Regulations

Posted in Regulatory Developments

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System  released a proposed rule to revise regulations related to the determination of “control” under the Bank Holding Company Act (“BHC Act”) and the Home Owners’ Loan Act. The Proposed Rule would incorporate existing interpretations under the “controlling influence” prong of the control definition into Federal Reserve regulations and would make certain adjustments to historical Federal Reserve practice in this area.

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Banking Agencies Propose a More Tiered Approach to Large Foreign Bank Supervision

Posted in Regulatory Developments

On April 8, 2019, the federal banking agencies released two proposals which, if adopted, would further tailor the approach to supervision of large foreign banking organizations (FBOs). For FBOs with a more significant U.S. presence, the proposals would establish categories for the application of requirements based on size and certain other risk-based indicators. These categories would parallel the tailored framework proposed for the supervision of large domestic banking organizations released in November 2018.

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Federal Reserve and FDIC Issue Proposed Changes to Resolution Plan Requirements for Foreign and Domestic Banking Organizations

Posted in Regulatory Developments

On April 8 and 16, 2019, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC published proposed changes to resolution plan (or “living will”) requirements applicable to U.S. and foreign banking organizations. The regulatory changes are necessary because the 2018 Regulatory Relief Act raised the asset thresholds for applicability of the living will requirements. The proposal would apply different filing frequency and informational content requirements based on the risk a firm poses to the U.S. financial system.

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