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New York State Department of Financial Services again sues OCC over bank charter for fintechs

On September 14, 2018, New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) Superintendent Maria T. Vullo filed a lawsuit against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) in connection with the OCC’s recent decision to begin accepting applications from nondepository financial technology companies (“fintechs”) for special purpose national bank charters (the OCC’s “Fintech … Continue Reading

CFPB finalizes GLBA privacy rule exemption

On August 10, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) announced that it had finalized amendments to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”) regulations implementing a statutory change that provides an exemption for certain financial institutions from the GLBA requirement to deliver an annual privacy notice to their customers. As discussed in our post from … Continue Reading

New York State finalizes regulation requiring registration of consumer credit reporting agencies

On June 25, 2018, New York State announced adoption of final Department of Financial Services (DFS) regulations that require consumer credit reporting agencies to register with the DFS. Our blog post on the regulations as proposed last fall can be found here. There were some clarifying changes to the requirements but the basic objectives of registration, … Continue Reading

New security requirements issued for credit card payments on mobile devices

On January 24, 2018, the governing body for credit and debit cards, known as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council, announced a new set of security requirements designed to address an increasingly popular way that merchants offer to consumers to pay for purchases: smartphones and tablets. Our colleague Susan Ross has written a … Continue Reading

Celebrity Endorsements, Cryptocurrencies, and Initial Coin Offerings

On November 1, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) joined the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in warning celebrities about social media endorsements. SEC Warning The SEC issued both a public statement and an investor alert regarding celebrity endorsements of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). We published a blog post in August regarding the … Continue Reading

2016 Election is focus of next Norton Rose Fulbright New York briefing

Following up on our inaugural session on November 2, the Norton Rose Fulbright New York office’s second 40-minute financial services briefing is set for this Thursday, December 1. Each month, Norton Rose Fulbright’s senior practitioners will provide interested in-house counsel and professionals with an insightful discussion on current regulatory trends within the financial services sector. … Continue Reading

New York State grants another BitLicense

On June 13, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NY DFS”) announced that it had issued a BitLicense to XRP II, LLC (“XRP”), an affiliate of Ripple Labs, Inc. (“Ripple”). This approval follows the NY DFS approvals in May 2015 of itBit Trust Company and October 2015 Gemini Trust Company, both limited … Continue Reading

Not just banks affected by proposed CFPB ban on arbitration agreements prohibiting class action suits

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “CFPB”) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “NPRM”) that, if adopted, will have two primary effects on the providers of certain consumer financial products and services that use arbitration clauses in their consumer contracts. Products and services that would be subject to the proposed rule include … Continue Reading

FinCEN finalizes AML “beneficial ownership” identification requirements

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. agency tasked with issuing anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, recently finalized long-pending regulations that would require that banking organizations, securities broker-dealers, mutual funds, futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities (“covered financial institutions”) identify the beneficial owners of their legal entity customers. The final rule also requires … Continue Reading

OCC and “responsible innovation” in fintech

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which charters and supervises national banks and federal savings associations (“banks”), recently issued a whitepaper setting forth its guiding principles on how it will support responsible innovation by its banks with respect to new financial technology products, services and processes (collectively, “fintech”). With this whitepaper, … Continue Reading

Department of Labor publishes conflict of interest rule

Today, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its much anticipated and highly controversial Conflict of Interest Rule regarding imposition of a fiduciary standard on advisors providing recommendations for retirement accounts.  Norton Rose Fulbright previously reviewed industry criticism of the anticipated rule as well as measures firms were already taking in anticipation of the rule, including … Continue Reading

Customer identification requirements for prepaid card customers

Along with cash, checks, credit cards, and debit cards, prepaid cards have become a common method of payment for goods and services in the United States. Prepaid cards can be used at one merchant only, or multiple merchants, or for more general purposes such as funds transfers. They also can be used to dispense wages … Continue Reading

CFTC retires Form TO – and most other requirements for end-users regarding trade options

The CFTC recently issued Final Rules eliminating the requirement that commercial end-users of derivatives file an annual Form TO for reporting certain information about their use of commodity trade options. The agency confirmed that, in light of the Final Rules, the Form TO that was due by April 1, 2016, with respect to trade option … Continue Reading

Proposed Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule nears finalization

The US Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently submitted its final fiduciary rule to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for clearance, one of the last steps required to implement the controversial proposal. Under the proposed rule, financial advisers of retirement accounts would owe investors a fiduciary duty and must put their clients’ best interest … Continue Reading

SEC publishes 2016 exam priorities

On January 11, 2016, the SEC published its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ (“OCIE”) 2016 exam priorities.  The exam priorities address issues involving a variety of financial institutions, including investment advisers, broker-dealers, transfer agents and clearing agencies.  OCIE selected its priorities after discussions with the SEC’s Commissioners, the SEC’s policy divisions and regional offices, … Continue Reading

Relief from annual privacy notice contained in FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed HR 22 into law (now Public Law 114-94).  Although HR 22’s official name is Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”), the 490-page law contains some provisions of particular importance to banks and other financial institutions, including providing an exception to the annual privacy notice requirement under the … Continue Reading

New US Department of Education rules will affect banks

On October 27, 2015, the US Department of Education issued final regulations regarding certain banking relationships between banks and college students. The regulations are effective July 1, 2016, with compliance dates for various sections stretching out to 2017. These rules add yet another regulator to the plethora of US and state government agencies regulating banks. … Continue Reading

CFPB proposes to limit consumer arbitration requirements

On October 7, 2015, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced a proposal to prohibit financial services companies from using certain types of arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. The CFPB has proposed prohibiting financial services companies from using arbitration clauses to prevent consumer class action proceedings in court, but would continue to permit arbitration in … Continue Reading

New York State approves first BitLicense

On September 22, 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NY DFS”) announced that it had issued the first BitLicense under its recently finalized virtual currency rules. Boston-based Circle Internet Financial announced that it will be able to use the BitLicense to offer mobile payment services involving bitcoins, in addition to US dollars. … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Board clarifies “transaction monitoring costs” in its interchange fee rule

On August 10, 2015, the Federal Reserve Board issued a clarification on its reasoning for including “transaction monitoring costs” in the debit card interchange fee standard rather than the separate fraud prevention adjustment. This clarification was issued at the direction of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia which included the requirement … Continue Reading

US Treasury Department seeks comments on online marketplace lending

Noting the boom in online lending platforms, on July 20, 2015, the US Treasury Department published a “Request for Information” (RFI) seeking comments on the services, products and operational structure of online marketplace lending, which the RFI defined as small business and consumer lending through the use of “investment capital and data-driven online platforms.” The … Continue Reading

Banks restricted in robocalls and texts to customer cell phones without prior consent

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a 105 page omnibus declaratory ruling and order (“Order”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) that, among other things, permits banks and other financial institutions to call consumers on their wireless telephones using autodialer equipment and pre-recorded messages (“robocalls”) and also send texts without … Continue Reading

US Labor Department seeks public comment on conflict of interest and fiduciary proposal

On April 14th, the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a release requesting comment on a proposed rule designed to mitigate the effects of conflicts of interest by advisers to IRA and 401(k) accounts — the principal types of US self-directed retirement plans. The comment period for the proposal ends on July 6, 2015, and … Continue Reading

CFPB proposes payday lender regulation

The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the US federal consumer finance agency, is considering proposing regulations to govern certain types of short-term loans to better protect consumers from falling into an ever-increasing,  seemingly never-ending, cycle of debt. The proposals under consideration would cover short-term credit with payment in full due within 45 days. These … Continue Reading
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