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End of Week Regulatory Roundup – July 2nd 2021

In our weekly regulatory roundup we give a brief overview of the most recent regulatory news and developments in the financial services sector. Courtesy of our partner firm, RegAlytics.ai.

RegAlytics US Alerts – 6/30/2021
 

Personal Privacy Oversight Commission – Utah
Governor Spencer J. Cox, State Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, and State Auditor John Dougall today announce their respective appointments to the newly created Personal Privacy Oversight Commission. The Commission was created by the Legislature during the most recent legislative session (see HB 243). The purpose of the 12-member Commission is to develop guiding standards and best practices with respect to government privacy. The Commission will also recommend minimum privacy standards for governmental entities for the Legislature to consider codifying into statute.

CT: EV Purchase, Lease Incentives
Governor Ned Lamont today announced a suite of improvements to the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program – the state’s successful consumer rebate program for electric vehicles (EVs) – that will provide more Connecticut residents with more affordable access to purchase or lease an EV. The CHEAPR program provides a cash rebate for any Connecticut resident who purchases or leases an eligible EV costing up to $42,000. EVs covered by CHEAPR include battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Since early 2020, CHEAPR has been administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and guided by input from the CHEAPR Board. Connecticut needs approximately 125,000 to 150,000 EVs by 2025 and 500,000 EVs by 2030 to meet the state’s statutorily mandated greenhouse gas reduction target.

PA: 1000th EV Station
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania just installed their 1,000th Electric Vehicle Charger in the state.
The chargers have been installed in more than 300 locations, spread across 39 counties in Pennsylvania. The installation of these chargers is to provide more options for Pennsylvania residents with electric cars to charge on the go, as well as those visiting or driving through. More available charging stations leads to more electric cars on the road, which leads to less pollution and cleaner air.

Treasury, FinCEN: Need Resources
Janet Yellen testified Before Congress and voiced concern, similar to some of the other financial regulators, that the budgets aren’t meeting the expectations.
“Our Administration has released its formal budget, and there are several critical areas where funding is needed. For instance, the FinCEN is tasked with building a massive database that collects and secures beneficial ownership information, but Congress has not yet provided any funding to do it. Then there are the Community Development Financial Institutions. Congress has dramatically expanded funding for CDFIs with supplemental appropriations. The IRS is in need of additional resources, too. Over the next ten years, the American people could see roughly $7 trillion dollars fall through the cracks of our tax system. Why? Because many of the country’s wealthiest taxpayers do not pay their full tax bill, and the IRS is not nearly staffed up enough to ensure compliance. Today, the IRS has fewer auditors than at any time since World War II. Our proposal would give the IRS the funding it needs. For FY 2022, it includes $13.2 billion from discretionary appropriations, plus $417 million for the first year of a program integrity allocation adjustment as part of the multi-year American Families Plan.”

FATF Guidance: Virtual Assets, Proliferation Finance and More
Today the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) advanced its core work on virtual assets, proliferation finance, digital transformation, and peer member assessments. 1. The FATF finalized and adopted guidance on how to implement the October 2020 revision to the FATF standards, an initiative launched under the U.S. Presidency of the FATF, requiring the assessment and mitigation of proliferation financing (PF) risks. 2. The FATF completed its second 12-month review to determine how well jurisdictions and the private sector are implementing the revised FATF standards on virtual assets and virtual assets service providers (VASPs). The first 12-month review conducted by FATF was released in July 2020. 3. Report on the Financing of Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism: This report was led by the United States and Germany and will be published in the coming weeks. This is the first comprehensive assessment of how REMVEs raise, move, and use funds. It also identifies challenges in disrupting the financing of these groups, as well as opportunities for further action. 4. Report on Money Laundering Risks From Conservation Crimes: The FATF finalized and agreed on a report that delves into conservation crimes and the wide range of associated activities as a source of revenue for criminal enterprises. This report is a culmination of input from over 40 countries and identifies good practices, red flags and recommendations to help countries address money laundering from illegal logging, illegal mining, and waste trafficking.

MAS: CBDC Challenge
In the global race on central bank digital currencies, The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced the launch of a global challenge for CBDC solutions. They are working alongside the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations and the OECD. The goal is to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.

In this video recording, Hyun Song Shin discusses how central bank digital currencies are moving from concept to practical design, renewing the institution of money for the digital age, as outlined in Chapter III of the BIS Annual Economic Report.

NCUA, FDIC Announce Conferences on Economic Inclusion

The National Credit Union Administration will host credit union leaders, credit union trade and support organizations, and diversity and inclusion professionals during the NCUA’s second Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit. This three-day event will take place virtually Nov. 2–4, 2021. The NCUA’s 2021 DEI Summit will provide credit union industry professionals who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion a forum to share best practices, address challenges to advancing diversity, and learn how the NCUA can support the industry in its efforts. To address today’s most pressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, the theme of this year’s event is “From Intention to Action.”

Fed: COVID Hurt Minority Borrowers More
The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minorities in the United States extends beyond the public health realm and the labor market to home ownership and the mortgage market. In a new report, economists from the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia find that minority homeowners, particularly Black homeowners, also have fared worse than their white counterparts during the pandemic. The authors find that Black homeowners were much more likely to miss mortgage payments and much less likely to refinance to take advantage of very low interest rates. The report notes that 44% of Black homeowners who began missing payments after January 2020 – at the onset of the pandemic – were still past due in October 2020. Meanwhile, only 35% of white homeowners with past-due payments had failed to “cure” their loans by resuming payments or paying off the loans.

CME: 1M Micro Bitcoin Futures Contracts
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced that Micro Bitcoin futures volume surpassed 1 million contracts on Friday, June 25. “We continue to see strong customer demand and rapid uptake in our new Micro Bitcoin futures contract since their introduction a little more than a month ago,” said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products. Micro Bitcoin futures are cash-settled to the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Micro Bitcoin futures are listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

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We’ll be updating the blog on July 24th with our regulatory updates. Stay connected to learn more.