Urban Institute | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

"In recent years, special purpose credit programs (SPCPs) have grown in popularity as a way for policymakers to allow lenders to offer credit to borrowers of protected classes. These programs can be people based or place based, offering special purpose credit to individual borrowers or to areas where many of them live, respectively. When implemented effectively, SPCPs can build wealth, reduce housing segregation, and help close the racial homeownership gap.

But how can lenders ensure that SPCPs help the households who need it most? In partnership with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Urban Institute created this resource to help lenders document the need for SPCPs. This tool will help lenders with the first steps of the process outlined by guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), particularly assessing the need for an SPCP through a broad market analysis.

This tool offers current and historical market-specific data to make the case for SPCPs serving households of color; an interactive Excel file based on market-specific data to assess place-based versus people-based options that can be useful to program design, targeting, and goal setting; and documentation supporting the written plan."

American Banker | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finalized its proposal to cut credit card late fees to $8 from $32, part of a wide-ranging effort by the administration to crack down on unfair fees ahead of President Biden's State of the Union address later this week.

On Tuesday, the CFPB will release a final rule that is expected to save consumers $10 billion a year in credit card late fees.

'Late fees have gotten out of control,' said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra on the White House call Monday with reporters to announce the final rule to reduce credit card late fees."

Inc. | Thursday, February 29, 2024

"The Small Business Administration on Thursday launched an improved version of its Lender Match platform that's now mobile-friendly as the agency continues its work in expanding access to capital.

First launched in 2015, Lender Match is the SBA's free online tool that helps small businesses tap into new capital sources by matching founders with roughly 1,000 potential lenders. The revamped Lender Match program now features a mobile-first interface, which the SBA says should help boost access and usability of the tool. It's a step above the tool's prior iteration, which had no formal platform, and instead functioned more like an online form."

NAAHL | Thursday, February 29, 2024

"Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the indefinite extension of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Federal Financing Bank (FFB) Risk-Sharing program (FFB Risk-Sharing) as part of a fact sheet on actions to boost housing supply and lower housing costs. The National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL) strongly supports the Administration's action to indefinitely extend FFB Risk-Sharing program.

'The FFB Risk-Sharing program is a proven lever to boost the construction and preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing, which we have a national shortage of,' said Sarah Brundage, President and CEO of NAAHL. 'We commend the Administration for indefinitely extending FFB Risk-Sharing which signals to housing finance agencies the stability of this program and to fully utilize it.'"

CQ | Thursday, February 29, 2024

"Lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown after the Senate on Thursday cleared a two-step continuing resolution to allow final appropriations work to wrap up in the coming weeks.

The Senate voted 77-13 to send the short-term spending measure to President Joe Biden's desk. The House earlier Thursday passed the bill (HR 7463) on a 320-99 vote under the suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority of lawmakers present and voting. . .

The vote will set up a first tranche of full-year spending bills that the House is expected to vote on next Wednesday: the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy-Water, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD measures. Enactment of the bills will fund those agencies through Sept. 30. . .

The second batch of bills will be considered by the March 22 deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown, lawmakers have said. That package includes the Defense, Financial Services (CDBA note: Including the CDFI Fund), Legislative Branch, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education and State-Foreign Operations measures."

Office of Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez | Thursday, February 29, 2024

"Today, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Survivor Financial Safety and Inclusion Working Group Act, a bill aimed at increasing support for survivors of intimate partner violence within the financial system.

The bill would create an interagency working group comprised of the federal financial regulators and relevant stakeholders, including a representative of historically underserved communities. The working group would be tasked with collecting data on the impacts of economic abuse of survivors carried out through regulated financial institutions. The working group would also provide recommendations on how Congress and federal regulators can help financial institutions improve existing products and services and launch new ones to meet survivors' financial and safety needs."

American Banker | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

"House Democrats led by Rep. Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, are asking regulators to update their merger review procedures.

The lawmakers said they are concerned about how long the regulators are taking to update their merger guidelines in light of President Biden's executive order from 2021 ordering agencies to revamp the bank merger review process."

| Wednesday, February 28, 2024

"Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader in history who maintained his power in the face of dramatic convulsions in the Republican Party for almost two decades, will step down from that position in November.

McConnell, who turned 82 last week, announced his decision Wednesday in the well of the Senate, the chamber where he looked in awe from its back benches in 1985 when he arrived and where he grew increasingly comfortable in the front row seat afforded the party leaders."

Axios | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

"The Southeast has become distinctly more prosperous in just a few years — part of a shift in the geography of economic distress in the U.S., according to new data reported first by Axios."

Financial Services Committee | Tuesday, February 27, 2024

"To ensure the United States continues to lead the world in financial innovation, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), reintroduced the Financial Services Innovation Act. This legislation establishes federal regulatory 'sandboxes' through Financial Services Innovation Offices (FSIOs) at federal financial regulators, allowing entrepreneurs to test new products and services without sacrificing critical consumer protections."