On December 21, 2023, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) published guidance (the Guidance) to assist regulated institutions in assessing and managing their climate-related financial and operational risks.

This is a follow up to DFS’s previous letter published in October 2020, which highlighted the impact of risks from climate change on its regulated institutions.… Continue Reading

On February 6, 2024, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Todd M. Harper spoke at a Brookings Institution event to outline his regulatory agenda and supervisory priorities for 2024. His prepared remarks addressed the 90th Anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act, credit union performance in third quarter of 2023, risks posed by third party service providers, liquidity management, and consumer financial protection.… Continue Reading

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Patriot Bank (Patriot or Bank) has agreed to pay $1.9 million to resolve allegations that the Bank engaged in a pattern or practice of redlining majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee from 2015 to at least 2020, in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).… Continue Reading

In November 2023, S.B. 668 was introduced in the Wisconsin Senate. S.B. 668 would make sweeping changes to the state laws governing financial service providers. The bill creates a pathway for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) to expand use of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) across license types, modernizes money transmission laws, and revises the regulation of consumer lenders, collection agencies, check sellers, payday lenders, community currencies exchanges, sales finance companies, adjustment service companies, and insurance premium companies.… Continue Reading

Throughout the past few years, the CFPB has sought input from a range of stakeholders, including community-based organizations and financial institutions, for feedback about how it can improve consumer financial products and services for consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP).  As a part of these efforts, the CFPB has taken the following actions: in 2020, it published a Request for Information regarding challenges faced by LEP consumers and hosted a roundtable to discuss these challenges with stakeholders; in 2021, it published a statement providing compliance principles and guidelines on assisting LEP consumers. … Continue Reading

Recently the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a proposed consent order with Ameris Bank to resolve allegations of redlining from 2016 through 2021 in majority Black and Hispanic areas in the Bank’s Jacksonville, Florida assessment area under both the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Fair Housing Act. In conjunction with the announcement of the proposed consent order, Attorney General Merrick Garland provided an update on the DOJ’s Combating Redlining Initiative that was launched in October 2021.… Continue Reading

On October 19, 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its Combating Redlining Initiative has resulted in over $107 million in relief for communities adversely affected by lending discrimination by mortgage lenders. This comes on the same day DOJ announced its $9 million settlement with Ameris Bank, it’s most recent redlining case.… Continue Reading

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) is scheduled to host a public hearing on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. The upcoming hearing on appraisal bias will focus on how residential appraisals are developed and reviewed, the process for reconsiderations of value, and processes for conducting appraisals in rural areas.… Continue Reading

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement with Washington Trust Company, of Westerly (WTC) to resolve claims that WTC redlined majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Rhode Island.

In its complaint against WTC, DOJ alleged that the following practices were used to discriminate against Black and Hispanic borrowers from 2016 to at least 2021:

  • WTC located and maintained all of its Rhode Island branches and loan officers outside of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods (WTC designated all five counties in Rhode Island as its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) assessment area);
  • WTC never had a branch in a majority-Black and Hispanic census tract despite the significant presence of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and census tracts throughout Rhode Island;
  • WTC did not assign a single mortgage loan officer to conduct outreach, market, advertise, or generate loans from majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods;
  • WTC failed to conduct outreach, marketing, and advertising of mortgage services in majority-Black and Hispanic areas;
  • WTC received only 2.4% of its mortgage loan applications from residents of, or for properties located in, majority-Black and Hispanic areas in its CRA assessment area, compared to 9.5% for its peer lenders, and on average 46.5% of the applications generated by WTC in those areas were from White applicants, compared to 25% for its peers.
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