Tennessee Bankers

This Week Newsletter



May 08, 2017 - Issue No. 1718


Recap of TBA's 2017 Washington Conference

A record-setting number of bankers, associate members, and TBA staff—nearly 90—attended TBA's annual Washington Conference last week. Led by TBA's Government Relations Committee Chairman Jim Rieniets, President/CEO, InsBank, highlights of the conference included hearing from FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and senior staff from the OCC, CFPB and FinCEN. Participants also visited with Tennessee's Congressmen and Senators as well as representatives from ABA and CSBS. View a photo recap of the 2017 Washington Conference.

 

The overall tone in Washington this year, much more optimistic than in years past, was encouraging for attendees who continued advocating for key regulatory relief measures and a level playing field for all financial service providers. Senator Corker told the group he would be "stunned" if meaningful financial relief for community banks doesn't happen. The same day, a bipartisan group of four Senators introduced the Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act (S. 1002), a package of financial regulatory relief measures targeted at community banks.

The Tennessee coalition also advocated for relief from the regulatory agencies, focusing on fair lending, restrictive mortgage rules, and tailored regulations.

Governor Haslam Signs TBA Legislation

Governor Haslam last Tuesday, May 2, signed TBA's priority legislation of 2017 (SB 1267 / HB 1064) to aid banks in combating elder financial exploitation. The legislation, which will take effect July 1, 2017, permits banks to delay suspicious transactions, notify a family member of suspected abuse, or refuse to accept a power of attorney.

 

The Governor also signed TBA's other key legislation this year, which was assigned Public Chapter No. 225. This will increase the interest rate under Tennessee's Credit Card State Bank Act from a maximum of 21 percent to 30 percent, effective July 1, 2017.

Financial CHOICE Act Clears House Committee

In other positive news for the industry, the House Financial Services Committee last Thursday, May 4, passed the Financial CHOICE Act, Chairman Jeb Hensarling's (R-TX) bill to reform Dodd-Frank and bring relief to community banks.  The measure passed along party lines by a vote of 34 to 26, with Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) voting for it, and only one Republican voting no.  The vote came after 24 hours of debate over a three-day period.

 

The legislation would put the CFPB under Congress' oversight and limit its enforcement authority as well as repeal both the Volcker Rule and the Durbin Amendment.  It would also allow banks to opt out of certain Dodd-Frank provisions if they met certain capital standards.

 

The CHOICE Act will now go to the full House of Representatives for debate and a final vote.

State Legislative Session Nears End

Last Friday, the House approved Governor Haslam's $37 billion state budget for the coming fiscal year, and the Senate is expected to follow suit when they reconvene Monday. By a vote of 83-2, the House approved the appropriations bill, HB511, which incorporates funds from higher fuel taxes starting July 1 and includes $892 million for capital projects along with pay raises for teachers and tax cuts on grocery food, corporate profits, and investment income. Passage of the budget clears the path for adjournment, which could occur by the end of the week.

Gonzales to Represent State Regulators on FFIEC

Tennessee Commissioner of Financial Institutions Greg Gonzales has been elected chairman of the State Liaison Committee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and will serve on the FFIEC representing the perspectives of state banking agencies. The FFIEC was created to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms for the federal examination of financial institutions, and to make recommendations to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. The FFIEC currently consists of the following six voting members: a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; the Chairman of the FDIC; the Director of the CFPB; the Comptroller of the Currency; the Chairman of the NCUA; and the Chairman of the SLC. 

TN Congressmen Call for Further Delay of Fiduciary Rule

In a letter last week to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, a group of more than 100 Republican lawmakers, including all seven of Tennessee's GOP Congressmen, called for a delay to the fiduciary rule, which expands the definition of "fiduciary" under ERISA. The implementation of the rule was recently postponed for 60 days following a White House memorandum.

Lawmakers expressed concern that the rule would affect small- and medium-sized investors' ability to access financial advice, pointing to several brokerage firms and insurance companies that have already exited business lines or scaled back product offerings as a result of the rule. Read the Congressional letter.

Shirley Hughes, President and CEO of Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank, Appointed to OCC Committee

On Thursday, May 4, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appointed Shirley Hughes, President and CEO of Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank, to its Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC). The MSAAC's role includes assessing the condition of mutual savings associations, regulatory changes or other steps the OCC may take to ensure the health and vitality of mutual savings associations, and other issues of concern to these institutions.

Treasury Names Acting Comptroller of the Currency

On Friday, May 5, Keith Noreika, was named Acting Comptroller of the Currency by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Noreika replaces Comptroller Thomas Curry, who completed his five-year term on April 9, 2017. Noreika will serve in this role until President Trump appoints and the Senate confirms a new comptroller.

 

Noreika is currently a partner and head of the financial institutions practice at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP and was a member of the Trump transition team for the Treasury Department. Throughout his career, he has focused on banking regulation, advising financial institutions on compliance-related matters including the Volcker Rule, CFPB regulations and BSA/AML rules, and representing national banks before the Supreme Court.

CRA Credit That's Worth a Lot More

Join TBA endorsed partner CRA Partners for a 30-minute complimentary webinar May 12 10:00 a.m. ET to discover how your bank can receive guaranteed CRA credit on both the lending and investment test, along with service consideration. Funded exclusively by the banking industry, the Senior Crimestoppers program is a low-risk, profitable solution that allows banks of all asset sizes and charter types to fulfill CRA requirements in the form of qualified loans, investments or grants. It is a low-risk, profitable solution for banks that worth a lot more than just checking a box. Register for the free 30-minute webinar today, or contact Sue Shaffer to learn more. 

First Tennessee to Acquire Capital Bank

Memphis, Tenn.-based First Horizon National Corp. has announced it will acquire Capital Bank Financial Corp. of Charlotte, N.C. The combined companies will have $40 billion in assets, $32 billion in deposits, $27 billion in loans with more than 300 branches in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia. In Tennessee, First Horizon will retain its First Tennessee Bank, N.A. brand. Elsewhere, it will operate as Capital Bank Corp.

TBA On the Road

  • TBA participates in the PRSA Parthenon Awards dinner for public relations excellence.

See where TBA goes while "on the road" by following @TNBankers.