Today's Headlines

    Arizona AG confirms for AFSA’s Inaugural Law & Compliance conference

    AFSA Staff

    The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) is pleased to announce that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich will address the first-ever AFSA Law & Compliance Symposium during the opening luncheon on January 30, 2018.

    Brnovich has served as Arizona’s attorney general since 2015 and is the current chairman of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG).

    In September, Brnovich announced the launch of a “regulatory sandbox initiative” for fintech companies to open Arizona to innovation in the financial services industry. In October, Brnovich joined a group of other state AGs and called on Congress to rein in federal regulators, particularly rulemaking through guidance documents.

    Brnovich will provide insight into Arizona’s regulatory sandbox initiative and his term as chairman of CWAG. Brnovich will be joined by Cozen O’Conner’s Jerry Kilgore, the former attorney general of Virginia, who will speak about his own time in office and discuss with Brnovich how state AGs approach financial services issues.

    Don't miss the opportunity to hear these perspectives from a sitting attorney general about legal and regulatory issues facing the financial services industry.

    New Member Welcome

    AFSA welcomes the following two new members to the association.

    Launcher Solutions, LLC is a technology product and services company based in Jacksonville, Fla., specializing in the subprime/near prime automotive lending industry. Products include a loan origination system, customer self-service and communication solution, dealer relationship management system and a paperless document retention system.

    LPFA, LLC is the finance company subsidiary of the Landis Corvettes dealership in Shillington, Pa

    Court throws out New York regulator's suit against OCC fintech charter

    American Banker, John Heltman (December 12, 2107)

    New York District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald threw out a lawsuit brought by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) that sought to block the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC ) from developing a federal charter for nonbank fintech companies. The judge noted in her decision that “Since the OCC has not reached a final ‘fintech charter decision,’ defendants’ … motion is granted as plaintiff has suffered no injury in fact … and because plaintiff’s claims are not ripe.”

    The judge dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that NYDFS can sue again if the OCC creates the charter in the future.

    Former OCC Comptroller Thomas Curry, in an attempt to level the playing field between banks and financial technology firms, particularly startups, announced that the OCC would develop the charter. NYDFS head Maria Vullo filed suit earlier in 2017.

    Former acting Comptroller Keith Noreika and current Comptroller Joseph Otting have expressed ambivalence about moving the charter forward at all. Vullo was heartened by that caution noting that she hopes, “given the OCC’s statements since DFS filed this suit, we hope that the OCC will abandon its pursuit of the chartering of nondepository institutions.”

    The Conference of State Banking Supervisors (CSBS) also brought suit against the NYDFS over the charter. While the case between the OCC and NYDFS does not immediately impact CSBS’, the decision could influence any future rulings.

    Buyer’s Guide Improvements on the Way

    Whether the services we provide or the resources we produce, AFSA is always looking for ways to improve the value of membersip. The association is fortunate to have an engaged group of members and business partners who provide the feedback that guide’s AFSA’s initiatives.

    AFSA’s Buyer’s Guide is a one-of-a-kind digital marketplace that allows members to shop for products and services provided by business partners. Over the past several months, AFSA has received plenty of feedback that it’s time for a facelift to the guide.

    Working with AFSA members, AFSA staff has designed and developed a brand new Buyer’s Guide to showcase AFSA’s more than 150 business partners. The new Buyer’s Guide will feature:

    • Updated keywords and search functions to make finding the service you need easier;
    • Brand new categories to better organize the guide;
    • More space for Business Partners to highlight their collateral;
    • A fresh design;
    • ;And more!

    The Buyer’s Guide will be going dark in the next few days. We look forward to launching our brand new Buyer’s Guide in mid-January.

    AFSA Submits Comment on CFPB Debt Collection Quantitative Disclosure Testing

    AFSA Staff

    On Monday, AFSA submitted a comment letter to Mick Mulvaney, the Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on its proposed “Debt Collection Quantitative Disclosure Testing.” The bureau is requesting approval from the OMB to conduct a web survey of 8,000 individuals as part of the Bureau’s research on debt collection disclosures. The AFSA letter asks that the OMB deny the CFPB’s request for approval.

    The letter noted that, “The CFPB should hold off on conducting the survey until a new CFPB director is confirmed and can evaluate the CFPB’s rulemakings to determine if the survey is necessary. AFSA does not believe that the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, nor will it have practical utility.”

    The survey would explore consumer comprehension and decision-making in response to debt collection disclosure forms.

    Former Federal Reserve economist Tom Durkin wrote regarding the survey that he “…does not expect that this project will prove to be a worthwhile expenditure of the taxpayers’ resources.”

    Privacy Notice Bill Clears House on Bipartisan Vote

    AFSA Staff

    Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2396 the Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act by a vote of 275-146. Forty-four Democrats voting in favor of the bill.

    H.R. 2396 would significantly ease the annual notification burden on vehicle finance companies. AFSA has been a strong advocate for the bill and is pleased to see its passage. The legislation was introduced in May by Reps. Dave Trott (R-Mich.) and Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), along with six other bipartisan cosponsors.

    The legislation provides an electronic delivery mechanism for annual privacy notice disclosures. Rather than annually mailing a privacy notice containing policies that have not changed, a vehicle finance company can make the policy available on the company’s website. A consumer can receive the notice by mail upon request in writing or by telephone. The company must also provide information on each billing statement about where to locate procedures to opt-out.