Financial Services Blog

Showing 48 posts in Current Developments / Legislation.

New Cybersecurity Regs Will Not be Limited to New York: Extra-Territorial Application for the Insurer and its 3rd Parties

August 28, 2017 marks the first of several rapidly approaching implementation deadlines for “covered entities” subject to the new cybersecurity regulations promulgated in March by the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”). With a few limited scope exemptions based on size, revenue, assets, and structure, 23 NYCRR Part 500 establishes minimum cybersecurity requirements for approximately 4,500 DFS regulated licensees, and the sweeping new rules will de facto extend to third-party service providers and authorized users beyond the Empire State’s borders. Read More ›

2017 Shaping Up to be a Busy Year for State-Level Blockchain Legislation

The first states to officially begin regulating blockchain technology and business did so in 2014, when a guidance document[1] from the Texas Department of Banking excluding blockchain activity from the state’s money transmitter laws kicked off a chain of similar opinions in other jurisdictions. Since then, at least 26 states—ranging from Alaska to West Virginia—have either introduced or enacted legislation regulating blockchain in some manner. The past seven months have seen the marked growth of legislative activity in the blockchain space, and at least sixteen bills have been enacted or proposed so far this year.[2]

[1] Texas Department of Banking, Supervisory Memorandum 1037, Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Texas Money Services Act (April 3, 2014), available at http://www.dob.texas.gov/public/uploads/files/consumer-information/sm1037.pdf.

[2] As of July 27, 2017. Read More ›

SEC Addresses ICO Bubble, But Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

Yesterday’s flurry of releases from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission leaves open the question of whether any individual initial coin offering (ICO) represents the sale of securities under applicable U.S. law. Read More ›

West Virginia Legislature Amends Consumer Credit and Protection Act

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has signed two bills (SB 344 and SB 563) into law that make significant changes to the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, (“WVCCPA”). Both bills will go into effect on July 4, 2017. Read More ›

Conference of State Bank Supervisors Sues U.S. Comptroller over Non-Bank Charter Rule

On Wednesday, April 26, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (the “CSBS”) filed suit against the Office of the Comptroller and Currency and its Comptroller Thomas J. Curry (collectively, the OCC”) over Curry’s December 2016 announcement that the OCC has created a new national bank charter for non-bank companies (the “Non-Bank Charter Rule”). This Non-Bank Charter Rule, the complaint alleges, will pull chartered non-bank companies into the national banking regulatory system, and will preempt and replace state-based banking regulation, licensing, and supervisory responsibility of state authorities. Read More ›

What Prepaid Accounts Are Subject to the New Prepaid Rules? What you need to know to be ready.

Prepaid cards are increasingly popular—they are frequently used instead of traditional bank accounts to shop, withdraw cash from ATMs, pay for healthcare costs from health savings accounts, distribute natural disaster aid, and pay wages. Read More ›

A Cautionary Tale for Money Service Businesses: How Violating the Bank Secrecy Act Could Cost Millions

On February 27, 2017, The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) fined Merchants Bank of California (“Merchants”) $7 million for what it called “egregious” violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency simultaneously assessed a $1 million civil monetary penalty against Merchants because it violated two previous consent orders. Merchants is a community bank located in Carson City, California. The Bank had a large portfolio of Money Service Businesses (“MSBs”) customers. MSBs are generally recognized by federal regulators to include: (1) currency dealers or exchangers; (2) check cashers; (3) issuers of traveler’s checks, money orders, or stored value; (4) sellers or redeemers of traveler’s checks, money orders, or stored value; and (5) money transmitters. In Merchants’ case, it had 165 check-cashing and 44 money-transmitter customers, who often operated at great distances from the Bank. Compounding the situation was the fact that Bank insiders owned or managed a number of the MSB customers. Read More ›

Fintech Companies are No Longer in “Uncharted” Territory

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a subset of the U.S. Treasury Department, recently announced that it will create a special purpose national bank charter specifically for financial technology (fintech) companies. This announcement comes on the heels of the rapid rise in fintech and in the number of companies that use such technology. An official charter aims to supervise the more than 4,000 fintech companies more closely and provide a framework for new companies to operate in the financial services industry.  Read More ›

The Medieval Economics of Cryptocurrency

Medieval kings have something in common with cutting-edge software developers forking new applications off the blockchain. Read More ›

It’s EZ as 1, 2, 3 . . . Disclosure, limited liability and periodic statements required for prepaid accounts under the CFPB’s new Prepaid Rule amending Regulations E and Z

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a final rule, the “Prepaid Rule,” amending Regulations E and Z. The Prepaid Rule affects issuers of prepaid personal, household or family accounts by expanding the applicability of Regulations E and Z as of October 1, 2017. It brings “prepaid accounts” into Regulation E’s definition of “account” and broadens the reach of Regulation Z’s overdraft credit features. While this rule applies to digital wallets and P2P payments, the CFPB did not extend this rule to virtual currency. Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

Christopher C. Tieke is an associate in Frost Brown Todd's Louisville office, focusing his practice on business litigation. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, with magna cum laude honors; served as an Associate Member of the University of Cincinnati Law Review; and participated in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.

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