Troutman Pepper Weekly Consumer Financial Services COVID-19 Newsletter -March 2022 #4 | Troutman pepper

Like most industries today, consumer credit services businesses are significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a COVID-19 Resource Center to guide customers through this unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this site with news and developments on COVID-19, recommendations from leading health organizations, and tools businesses can use for free.

To help keep you up to date on relevant activities, below is a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19 related events at the federal and state levels that have impacted the consumer financial services industry. last week :

Federal activities

State activities

Privacy and cybersecurity activities

Federal activities:

  • On March 17, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “Understanding the Role of Digital Assets in Illicit Finance,” which focused on whether and how Russia might using digital assets to avoid sanctions, as well as how Ukraine uses cryptocurrency to support its fight against Russia. For more information, click here.

  • On March 17, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Jack Reed, Mark Warner and Jon Tester introduced the Digital Asset Sanctions Compliance Improvement Act to ensure that Vladimir Putin and Russian elites do not use assets tools to undermine the international community’s economic sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Senators Tammy Duckworth, Debbie Stabenow, Raphael Warnock, Chris Van Hollen, Tina Smith, Catherine Cortez Masto and Bob Menendez co-sponsored the legislation. For more information, click here.

  • On March 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced changes to its oversight operations to better protect families and communities from unlawful discrimination. As part of reviewing banks and other businesses for compliance with consumer protection rules, the CFPB will examine discriminatory behavior that violates the federal prohibition against unfair practices. The CFPB will closely examine the decision-making of financial institutions in advertising, pricing and other areas to ensure that companies appropriately test and eliminate unlawful discrimination. For more information, click here.

  • On March 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an administrative complaint against an electronic payment company for allegedly opening credit card processing merchant accounts for fictitious companies in the name of a business opportunity scam that the FTC had previously sued. By ignoring the warning signs that merchants were fake, millions of dollars in consumer credit card payments were laundered to scammers from 2012 to 2013. For more information, click here.

  • On March 11, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States (collectively, the G7) announced new sanctions against Russia, including sanctions for the first time specific to virtual assets. The White House also announced that the Treasury Department would issue “new guidelines [that] will continue to make clear that the Treasury’s far-reaching actions against Russia require all American persons to comply with sanctions regulations, whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency. Later that night, the Treasury Department released another set of Frequently Asked Questions, stating unequivocally that “Russia-related sanctions extend to virtual currency.” For more information, click here.

  • On March 8, the US Federal Reserve Banks launched the FedNow Service Provider Showcase to show financial institutions and users the various services to help them implement the FedNow service. The FedNow service is an instant payment service that provides all depository institutions in the United States with access to near real-time instant payment services every day of the year, including weekends and holidays. Currently, the Fed plans to launch the FedNow service in 2023, albeit in stages. For more information, click here.

  • On March 7, following significant sanctions and other restrictions imposed by the United States and its global allies following the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an alert, advising financial institutions on how to identify and report potential attempts to evade sanctions. For more information, click here.

  • The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently issued a supplemental notice and request for comment on proposed May 2021 guidelines used by Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) to assess applications for access to Federal Reserve accounts and payment services, with the goal of ensuring that the Reserve Banks use a transparent and consistent set of factors when considering such applications. For more information, click here.

State activities:

  • On March 15, the Washington, D.C. City Council staged a raise on council bill 240357. Among other provisions, the bill “would include all consumer debt under the District Collections Act and prohibit deceptive behavior and certain threats by debt collectors” and “requirements for debt collectors initiating a cause of action against a consumer for a consumer debt”. The bill “further establishes debt collection protections during a public health emergency declared by the mayor.” For more information, click here.

  • On March 15, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued a press release, acknowledging March 13-19 as National Sun Week and reinforcing the importance of continuing to operate in an open and transparent manner for all public officials. “We take our longstanding role in championing and protecting open government in Georgia very seriously,” Carr said. “Government officials are simply the repositories of the people’s documents. Ensuring access to government records and meetings is key to keeping the public informed and holding elected officials accountable. The press release also instructed Georgian citizens on how to apply for open records. For more information, click here.

  • On March 14, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined 20 other states in filing an amicus brief with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Kentucky’s multistate coalition, challenging the mandate of the federal vaccine supplier. According to the press release, the brief “urges affirmation from the District Court, which ruled that President Biden exceeded his authority in issuing the executive order under a law passed in the aftermath of World War II.” to streamline the management of federal assets”. Additionally, the press release states that the federal vaccine contractor’s mandate “inappropriately impinges on state powers and prerogatives.” For more information, click here.

Privacy and cybersecurity activities:

  • On March 16, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a new cybersecurity how-to guide titled, Protecting Information and System Integrity in Industrial Control System Environments: Cybersecurity for Manufacturing. This guide focuses specifically on “industrial control systems,” which include the networks, devices, controls, and systems used to monitor and control industrial machinery. In the guide, NIST notes that the network integration of these systems has made them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. The guide also discusses the cybersecurity benefits associated with many commercially available technologies, including technologies that can help manufacturers monitor network traffic to these systems and prevent the installation of unauthorized software. For more information, click here.

  • On March 14, the Iowa House of Representatives passed H-8157, a comprehensive privacy law, with near unanimous consent. This law is very similar to the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), which is widely considered more business-friendly than privacy regimes adopted in other states, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). ). Notably, unlike many other state privacy laws/bills, H-8157 does not give consumers the right to correct their personal information. If passed, this legislation will take effect on January 1, 2024. The Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee is currently reviewing H-8157, with the state’s legislative session ending April 19. For more information, click on here.

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