Regulation

CFPB Spotlights Director’s Six-Month Mark

CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This past week saw the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offer up highlights of Kathleen Kraninger’s six-month tenure as director.

In recounting its accomplishments under her leadership, the CFPB said the bureau became a coordinating member of the Global Financial and Innovation Network; published a request for information concerning the need for and of scope of exceptions under the Remittances Rules; and issued new standards to be used to meet obligations under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to review rules and their burdens on small businesses. In addition, the CFPB published proposed rules to delay implementation and reconsider Mandatory Underwriting Provisions of the small dollar rule.

Kraninger, as noted by ACA, will host a symposium series “aimed at stimulating a proactive and transparent dialogue in the policy development process”, the agency said, with the first to be held on June 25.

“Congress charged the bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions,” Kraninger said. “We will continue to look for ways to release innovative financial education tools and partner with public and private sector entities engaged in consumer financial education to maximize the reach of these tools.”

Separately, at the state level, in California, a number of certified public accountants (CPAs) are calling for an industry watchdog to clarify the standards in place for cryptocurrency-related accounting. The group of accountants sent a letter to the Financial Accounting Standards Board that has requested a task force to address “lack of clarity” in accounting standards. The letter from the California Society of CPAs Committee (CalCPA), the letter said it has identified “clients in the technology and not-for-profit industries that have elected to accept and/or hold cryptocurrency.”  Those same CPAs said that they expect corporate use of cryptocurrencies to “continue to expand in both volume and new fields of application.”

Regulations Abroad

Beyond the confines of the United States, Latvia’s parliament has passed a new regulation that seeks to strengthen the ongoing efforts in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. As reported in this space previously, the move comes ahead of a review slated to be made public by Moneyval, an international money laundering standards watchdog.

The new standards offer a framework for the Financial and Capital Market Commission, and delineate that the board of the commission will be appointed by Parliament, which also has the authority to fire members.

“These ambitious reforms are a big step forward in our fight against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and arms proliferation,” an e-mailed statement to Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said. “These measures demonstrate our unbending political will to make further changes in the financial sector as quickly as possible and to become a leader in transparency and governance in EU.”

The new standards come in the wake of fines levied two years ago against two Latvian banks that were fined the equivalent of $3.2 million for allowing transactions and clients to violate sanctions against North Korea.  Last year the third biggest bank in  Latvia, ABLV, was shut down amid money-laundering allegations.

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