March 2020 Legislative Update

March 2020 Legislative Update

Federal & State Financial Regulators Issue Guidance/Info on COVID-19

Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning

PURPOSE: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) on behalf of its member agencies1 are issuing guidance to remind financial institutions that business continuity plans should address the threat of a pandemic outbreak and its potential impact on the delivery of critical financial services. Click here to read the FFIEC Guidance.

Joint Press Release: Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System; CFPB; FDIC; OCC; NCUA; CSBS: Agencies Encourage Financial Institutions to Meet Financial Needs of Customers and Members Affected by Coronavirus

Federal financial institution regulators and state regulators today encouraged financial institutions to meet the financial needs of customers and members affected by the coronavirusThe agencies recognize the potential impact of the coronavirus on the customers, members, and operations of many financial institutions and will provide appropriate regulatory assistance to affected institutions subject to their supervision.  Click here to read the Joint Press Release.


State Legislature Changes Due to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19. Governor Wolf closed the Pennsylvania State Capitol to anyone but employees effective last Friday, March 13th.  The state legislature was previously scheduled to return to session on March 16th.

The House met for Session on Monday, March 16th to pass a series of internal rules changes that will allow the 203-member chamber to continue to conduct its business remotely during the course of the outbreak.

The Senate cancelled their Monday and Tuesday Session, but met briefly on Wednesday to pass a resolution regarding temporary emergency rules, to allow the Senate to pass legislation remotely.

The House and Senate will operate under a “12-hour call time,” meaning members should be prepared to vote remotely if called upon.

These rules will be in effect until Governor Wolf ends the coronavirus disaster declaration.

House and Senate Republican and Democrat Legislators are committed to helping Governor Wolf’s efforts to combat the coronavirus.


PA Department of Banking & Securities COVID-19 Resources

Click here and here to Read All PA DOBS COVID-19 Resources


Federal Regulator COVID-19 Response

Federal Banking Agencies Provide Banks Additional Flexibility to Support Households and Businesses

The federal bank regulatory agencies today announced two actions to support the U.S. economy and allow banks to continue lending to households and businesses. They are:

  • A statement encouraging banks to use their resources to support households and businesses; and
  • A technical change to phase in, as intended, the automatic distribution restrictions gradually if a firm’s capital levels decline.

Read the press release here.

FDIC

Read all Responses to COVID-19 from FDIC here

FDIC Issued a Financial Institution Letter on Working with Customers Affected by the COVID-19

Highlights:

  • The FDIC encourages financial institutions to work with customers and communities affected by COVID-19 in a prudent manner.
  • The FDIC understands that this unique and evolving situation could pose significant temporary business disruptions and challenges.
  • The FDIC encourages financial institutions to work with all borrowers, especially borrowers from industry sectors particularly vulnerable to the volatility in the current economic environment and small businesses and independent contractors that are reliant on affected industries.
  • A financial institution’s prudent efforts to modify the terms on existing loans for affected customers will not be subject to examiner criticism.
  • The FDIC will work with affected financial institutions to reduce burden when scheduling examinations, including making greater use of off-site reviews, consistent with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
  • The FDIC’s staff stands ready to work with financial institutions that may experience challenges fulfilling their regulatory reporting responsibilities and will act expeditiously if institutions need to temporarily close facilities.
  • The FDIC has launched a COVID-19 webpage on its public website to provide useful information to bankers, consumers, and others. Financial institutions that have questions about guidance in the statement are encouraged to contact their FDIC Regional Office

Read the FDIC FIL here.

OCC

Read all Responses on COVID-19 from OCC here

Pandemic Planning: Working With Customers Affected by Coronavirus and Regulatory Assistance

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recognizes the potential for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also referred to as COVID-19) to adversely affect the customers and operations of banks.1  The OCC encourages banks to take steps to meet the financial services needs of customers adversely affected by COVID-19-related issues. The OCC will provide appropriate regulatory assistance, as warranted, to banks affected by COVID-19-related issues.

Read more from OCC here.

Federal Reserve

Read all responses to COVID-19 from the Federal Reserve here.

The federal bank regulatory agencies released a statement encouraging banks to use the Federal Reserve’s “discount window” so that they can continue supporting households and businesses.

The discount window provides short-term loans to banks and plays an important role in supporting the liquidity and stability of the banking system. By providing ready access to funding, the discount window helps depository institutions manage their liquidity risks efficiently and avoid actions that have negative consequences for their customers. Thus, the discount window supports the smooth flow of credit to households and businesses.

Read more the Federal Reserve here.


PACB Legislative Lobby Day 2020: Temporarily Suspended

With the health and safety of our bankers being PACB’s paramount concern, we have decided to temporarily suspend our Legislative Lobby Day until further notice.

For more information contact Allison Coccia at allison@pacb.org or 518-265-7429.