Financial Regulatory Report

Updates and insights on issues in financial services regulation, compliance, enforcement and litigation

On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Travis Nelson, a partner in Reed Smith’s Financial Services Regulatory Group, will present a lecture at the 2018 New Jersey Bankers Association’s Compliance University on two hot topics in bank regulation.  In the area of Cannabis Banking, the current political and regulatory environment has left many banks and their legal and compliance departments dazed and confused over whether or not they may serve this rapidly emerging industry.  This issue is…
At the recent Annual Meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Travis Nelson was re-elected Chair of the Banking Law Section. Travis, a partner in the firm’s Princeton and Philadelphia offices, previously served as Vice Chair and Secretary of the Banking Law Section.  Upon his re-election, Travis noted: “Over the course of the past year, we have increased the size of our Section’s leadership team, added new junior attorneys to help usher-in the next…
The 2018 National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Presidential Initiative, “Protecting America’s Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse,” has come to a close with a summit held April 17-18 in Manhattan, Kansas, capping off an eight-month campaign during which state AG offices have augmented and sharpened their tools for investigating exploitation of this vulnerable population. The initiative, selected by current NAAG president  Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General, has brought AGs from around the country…
Recently, I came across an article written by Senator Elizabeth Warren entitled “Don’t Make Bad Bill on Bank Deregulation Worse.”  In this article, the Senator warned against efforts by the House to add additional deregulation measures to the bill that was approved by the Senate (S-2155, “The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act”), opining that such efforts, if successful, would make the Senate bill even more dangerous than it already was.…
On March 27, 2018, the New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir S. Grewal, announced the appointment of Paul R. Rodriguez to be the new Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.  Mr. Rodriguez, a New Jersey native, previously served as Acting Council for New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and a member of his senior management team.  Before that, he was an associate at Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett, LLP in New York City. …
The CFPB recently issued a formal invitation (a Request for Information [RFI] for you to do just that, as well as to comment about any of the new regulatory authorities given to the CFPB by the Dodd-Frank Act.  In its March 14 press release about the RFI, the CFPB indicates that the RFI’s purpose to assist the CFPB in considering whether it should amend any rules it has issued since its creation or issue rules…
The City of Berkeley, California will be the first U.S. city to explore blockchain-based financing to tackle social issues such as affordable housing.  Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Councilmember Ben Bartlett are collaborating with the UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab and San Francisco-based financial startup Neighborly for the Berkeley Blockchain Initiative (“BBI”) to develop a tokenized municipal bond.  According to Forbes, Berkeley had a similar idea twenty years ago with a local currency called “Berkeley Bucks.”  This…
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Director Mick Mulvaney spoke to the National Association of Attorneys General winter meeting in D.C. on February 28, addressing the agency’s priorities under his leadership. He emphasized the different role that the CFPB will be playing under the Trump Administration, focusing mostly on targeting clearly illegal acts rather than making new law or policy, and said that he will be relying more on the states to take the lead in…
On February 9, 2018, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) released a statement which, among other things, informs the marketplace that the SFC sent letters to seven Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchanges warning against listing instruments that qualify as “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (“SFO”) without a required license.[1]  Additionally, the SFC sent letters to seven crypto token issuers inquiring about compliance with the securities laws. In response to the…
On Tuesday February 6, 2018, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a speech before the House Financial Services Committee, offered some insights into how the Treasury Department may respond the growing area of marijuana banking. As we reported in a January 5th client alert, the Justice Department rescinded Obama-era policies that provided guidance to federal prosecutors on marijuana enforcement in states where the distribution of marijuana is legal under state law. Those Obama-era policies…