House Committee Asks Regulators, Financial Institutions to Report on Coronavirus Actions
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., sent a letter to Administration officials, regulators and financial services organizations (including MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, and credit reporting agencies expressing concerns about risks related to the coronavirus pandemic and steps they are taking to prevent Americans and the financial system from being harmed.
“The Financial Services Committee is taking action to respond to the serious threat that the novel coronavirus is posing to our nation,” Waters said. “The Committee will be holding bipartisan staff briefings from the Administration, regulators, market participants, economists, and stakeholders, and we will convene a full Committee hearing this month on the readiness of our financial system to weather a pandemic.”
“We are interested to learn hour your organizations and member companies are responding as prudent workout arrangements that are consistent with safe-and-sound lending practices are in the long-term best interest of the financial insitution, the borrower and the economy,” the letter said. “Such efforts should not be subject to examiner criticism.”
The letter also asks that financial institutions “proactively help your customers who may be experiencing temporary financial hardship in making payments on their existing credit obligations as a result of this crisis.”
Waters asks for a written response by Mar. 20. MBA said it will respond.
Federal Agencies Issue Statement Encouraging Financial Institutions to ‘Meet Financial Needs’ of Customers Affected by COVID-19
Also yesterday, federal agencies encouraged financial institutions to meet the financial needs of customers and members affected by the coronavirus (https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/bcreg20200309a.htm).
“The 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,” the statement said.
The statement instructs financial institutions to “work constructively with borrowers and other customers in affected communities. Prudent efforts that are consistent with safe and sound lending practices should not be subject to examiner criticism.”
The agencies noted many financial institutions may face current staffing and other challenges. “In cases in which operational challenges persist, regulators will expedite, as appropriate, any request to provide more convenient availability of services in affected communities,” they said. “The regulators also will work with affected financial institutions in scheduling examinations or inspections to minimize disruption and burden.”
The agencies include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; National Credit Union Administration; Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.