January 22, 2021

5 things to know this week

capitolNAFCU's widely-read NAFCU Today is credit union leaders' go-to source for the latest on issues impacting the credit union industry. For those short on time, here's a roundup of this week's top need-to-know news related to leadership at the CFPB, new suspicious activity reporting FAQs, and more. 

Acting CFPB, FCC leadership chosen

Following Kathy Kraninger's resignation as CFPB director, the White House Wednesday announced President Joe Biden has appointed Dave Uejio as acting director of the bureau. Uejio will serve in the role pending Senate confirmation of Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra's nomination.

According to reports, Uejio has worked at the CFPB for nine years and was most recently the bureau's chief strategy officer.

Chopra helped launch the CFPB following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and served as an assistant director at the bureau, overseeing its student loan agenda, and was also appointed to serve as the bureau's student loan ombudsman.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year determined that the bureau's single-director structure was unconstitutional, but the bureau could continue to operate so long as the director is subject to removal by the president at will. NAFCU works closely with the CFPB to ensure credit unions are not overly burdened by rules that are intended to stop bad actors.

Relatedly, President Biden Thursday appointed Jessica Rosenworcel as acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair. Former chairman Ajit Pai announced his resignation earlier this year, leaving one vacancy on the commission. Rosenworcel will serve in an acting capacity until a permanent chair is nominated and confirmed.   

NCUA, FinCEN release new SAR FAQs

The NCUA, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and other federal banking regulators have released new FAQs on suspicious activity reporting and other anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.

The FAQs, developed in response to recent bank secrecy act (BSA) advisory group recommendations, seek to clarify the regulatory requirements related to suspicious activity reporting and assist financial institutions with their compliance obligations.

The resource addresses questions on several issues, including:

  • maintaining accounts at the request of law enforcement;
  • suspicious activity report (SAR) filing and the receipt of grand jury subpoenas or other law enforcement inquiries;
  • maintaining customer relationships;
  • SAR filing and monitoring on negative media alerts;
  • data fields; and
  • the SAR narrative and character limits.

Compliance Blog breaks down NCUA's 2021 supervisory priorities

In today's post on the Compliance Blog, NAFCU Regulatory Compliance Counsel Loran Jackson details what credit unions need to know about the NCUA's recently released 2021 supervisory priorities, which includes several items remaining from last year's initial and revised priorities. 

In the blog Jackson outlines the NCUA's areas of focus and highlights that the agency has indicated that due to the ongoing pandemic it will continue to conduct exams offsite for the foreseeable future and will notify credit unions before returning to onsite exams.

Of note, in light of the pandemic and the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) additional delay of the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard compliance date, the NCUA has stated that it "will not be assessing credit unions' efforts to transition to the CECL standard until further notice."

NAFCU to HUD: Include compliance aid language in flood insurance rulemaking

In response to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) notice of proposed rulemaking related to the acceptance of private flood insurance on Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages, NAFCU encouraged the agency to adopt existing compliance aid language or provide clarifying language to reduce ambiguities.

In a letter sent Thursday, NAFCU Senior Regulatory Compliance Counsel Kaley Schafer highlighted existing compliance aid language included in the federal financial regulators interagency rule.

"Inclusion of the proposed compliance aid assists credit unions with the review of a private flood insurance policy to ensure it is compliant with the FHA’s regulations," wrote Schafer. "Compliance aids are particularly helpful to smaller credit unions who may lack the resources or technical experience to adequately review flood insurance policies."

NAFCU also urged HUD to provide a discretionary acceptance provision to ease operations and minimize delays in the homebuying process and enhance consumer choice.

Trump admin permits DACA recipients to apply for FHA mortgages

The Trump administration Wednesday, before leaving office, issued a HUD bulletin to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage lenders updating a section of the FHA handbook that had created confusion on whether those living under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, could qualify for loans. Through the waiver, effective Jan. 19, DACA recipients are eligible to apply for mortgages back by the FHA.