SDBA eNews

November 12, 2020

With Presidential Race Called, ABA Releases 2020 Election Analysis

With major media outlets calling the 2020 presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris over the weekend, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols congratulated Biden and Harris. “We look forward to working with the new administration and the new Congress to address the nation’s challenges,” he said. “ABA and our member banks stand ready to work with the Biden administration and lawmakers from both parties to bolster the economy, increase opportunity and create a brighter future for all Americans.”

The ABA on Monday issued a 2020 election analysis prepared by its government relations and political engagement teams. The analysis covers what to expect from the Biden administration, as well as expectations for Congress, where control of the Senate will be determined by Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia. The ABA members-only analysis also covers results of ABA’s political engagement efforts during the campaign.

With Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) expected to chair the Senate Banking Committee should Republicans retain the Senate majority, the analysis covers potential policy areas the committee might work on, including housing finance reform. With Rep. Maxine Waters (R-Calif.) expected to remain chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, the analysis highlights areas where ABA has worked closely with committee Democrats, including anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act reform and cannabis banking.

Meanwhile, a recording of ABA’s free bankers-only webinar on the election results is now available for viewing. Recorded last Friday and reflecting the election results as known at that time, the webinar featured insights from Nichols, ABA Chief Political Strategist Rob Engstrom, ABA Chief Policy Officer Naomi Camper and ABA EVP James Ballentine.

ABA, Industry Groups Launch Campaign for Struggling Mortgage Borrowers

With some Americans experiencing difficulties paying their mortgage due to COVID-19, the ABA on Tuesday joined a broad coalition of mortgage industry stakeholders and consumer groups to launch a new national campaign to help raise awareness about consumers' forbearance options. This effort is intended to augment the successful outreach efforts already underway by mortgage servicers and housing counseling groups nationwide and is supported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As part of the "COVID Help For Home" campaign, ABA is making creative materials available to member banks to help them reach borrowers who may have missed one or more mortgage payments due to the pandemic and who may be eligible for assistance under the CARES Act or other mortgage payment relief. The national ad campaign also targets borrowers whose forbearance plans are ending and may need to request an extension or additional assistance. Banks participating in the campaign can access a downloadable toolkit that includes customizable communications materials and templates that can be adapted for social media and other advertising platforms.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial stress for millions of individuals and families across the country, and America’s banks are here to help,” said ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols. “ABA is pleased to join this broad coalition of partners in this campaign to let distressed borrowers know that there is help for those struggling to pay their mortgage.” Learn more

Regulators Exploring Relief for Banks Participating in COVID-19 Programs

Regulators are exploring additional ways to provide temporary relief to banks that may be approaching regulatory asset thresholds that could trigger additional compliance requirements as a result of participation in COVID-19 relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks said that regulators are working on an interagency basis “on a set of rules that would relieve for a period of time certain asset thresholds being tripped that would trigger heightened scrutiny and heightened compliance requirements at different levels.” Brooks signaled that this relief would “cap out at $10 billion, most likely, based on current conversations.”

FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams added that “small banks have done a disproportionate amount of lending to their proportion of the banking industry share” and that “it’s only appropriate that we look at these thresholds . . . and accommodate them.” The FDIC last month approved an interim final rule providing relief from auditing, internal control and audit committee requirements that would have resulted from the rapid inflow of assets and deposits from the coronavirus pandemic.

Court Orders Disclosure of All PPP, EIDL Loan Recipients by Nov. 19

A federal judge last Thursday ordered the Small Business Administration to release the names, addresses and precise loan amounts for all Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients and all COVID-19-related Economic Injury Disaster Loan recipients. SBA must release the information by Nov. 19.

The judge found that SBA’s claimed exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act do not cover the PPP data sought by two news organizations. It was not clear whether SBA would appeal the ruling.

Earlier this year, SBA released less specific information about PPP loans to protect the personal financial information of borrowers and their employees. For loans totaling $150,000 and higher, SBA released the names and addresses of borrowers but provided a range for loan totals; for smaller loans, it released the exact amount and name of the lender but not the identity of the borrower.

Fed: Banks Are the 'Shock Absorbers' of Real Economy as Pandemic Continues

The nation’s banks have been the “shock absorbers” for the real economy as the pandemic causes turmoil in financial markets, the Federal Reserve said in its supervision and regulation report released Friday. The Fed noted that banking organizations have been a source of strength, rather than strain, to the economy, entering the pandemic with substantial capital and liquidity and improved risk management and operational resiliency since the 2008 crisis.

The Fed highlighted that banks have provided access to lines of credit for corporate borrowers and played a significant role in supporting small businesses via the Paycheck Protection Program. The report noted that banks took a number of actions to maintain financial and operational resiliency and as a result, capital levels remain robust—“indeed, they have actually increased during the COVID event”—aided by timely policy response and capital preservation measures.

“Despite a great deal of turmoil in financial markets, the solvency of the banking system has not been in question. Banks have increased lending, absorbed a surge of deposits and worked constructively with borrowers,” the Fed said in the report, adding that “despite operational challenges, both banks and examiners have generally transitioned to a largely remote work environment without significant disruption to the provision of financial services. Bank branches have begun to reopen in line with local conditions and relevant guidelines.” Read the report.

Podcast: 'Banking Is Not a Commodity. It's a Necessity'

For many small businesses, whose owners spend on consumer credit cards and put up personal assets as collateral, the distinction between retail and business banking is blurry. Detra Miller, a veteran of M&T Bank’s retail side, noticed this when working with female and non-white entrepreneurs.

On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast’s latest episode, Miller discusses how she pitched M&T Bank on creating a team focused on outreach to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the Baltimore-Washington area, building bridges to these entrepreneurs and helping them understand banking and access credit.

At a moment when the national focus is on financial inclusion, Miller’s work has resonated with its target audience—and been recognized by ABA with the 2020 George Bailey Distinguished Service Award. Listen to the episode.

What You Need to Know About CSBS Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool

Ransomware attacks are at an all-time high, and unfortunately, there's no sign of these attacks slowing down. On Oct. 13, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) released another tool to utilize in your arsenal to combat this potentially devastating cyber attackthe Ransomware Self Assessment Tool (R-SAT). The R-SAT is designed to help financial institutions mitigate risks associated with ransomware and identify gaps for increasing your ability to protect, detect and recover from a ransomware attack.

The Graduate School of Banking-Wisconsin will hold the hot topic webinar "CSBS Ransomware Self Assessment Tool (R-SAT)What You Need to Know" on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. CST. The webinar will discuss the CSBS R-SATthe pros, the cons, who will be "required" to complete the tool and how you can put the R-SAT to work for you.

The target audience is information security officers, IT managers and risk officers. The price for the webinar is $179, and the recording will be available through Feb. 19, 2021. Learn more and register.

Community Banking in a COVID, Post-Election Environment

It is likely that a new presidential administration will mean a significant shift in several policies affecting banking in 2021. This uncertainty, combined with the existing pressures of the pandemic environment, calls for community bank leaders to be as informed as possible on critical issues facing banks in the next three to six months. 

The Graduate School of Banking at Colorado will hold a one-hour panel discussion "Community Banking in a COVID & Post-Election Environment" on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. CST. Discussion topics will include COVID and changing economic conditions, election results: tax and economic implications, PPP forgiveness, loan forbearances and foreclosures, and the current regulatory environment. Learn more and register.

 Compliance Alliance

Compliance Alliance offers a comprehensive suite of compliance management solutions. To learn how to put them to work for your bank, call 888.353.3933 or email and ask for our Membership Team.

For timely compliance updates, subscribe to Bankers Alliance’s email newsletters.

  SDBA eNews Archive
View past issues of the SDBA eNews

Advertising Opportunity
Learn more about sponsoring the SDBA eNews.

Contact Alisa Bousa, SDBA, at 605.224.1653 or via email.