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Change ahead in D.C.: What’s Up For Grabs; How Will it Affect the Industry?

Winds of change are blowing in Washington, D.C. The election of Republican Donald J. Trump as president, combined with a Republican-controlled U.S. House and Senate has the potential to usher in widespread change, and much of it could affect the payments industry. As eventful as 2016 was, it might pale in comparison with 2017. We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest regulatory and legislative issues to watch in the weeks and months ahead.


Second Circuit Denies DOJ’s Request for Rehearing on Amex Anti-Steering Rules

In the latest development in ongoing anti-trust litigation dating back to 2010, on Jan. 5, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed American Express a major victory when it denied a Department of Justice (DOJ) request to rehear an earlier decision clearing American Express of certain alleged anti-trust violations.


Class Action over Bank of America Overdraft Fee Moves Forward

On Dec. 19, 2016, a federal district court judge for the Southern District of California denied Bank of America’s request to dismiss a putative class action over a fee charged by Bank of America in relation to overdrafts by its deposit accountholders. The case may have implications for issuers charging similar fees in relation to their deposit accounts.


Food and Nutrition Service Issues Final Rule on SNAP Photo EBT Cards

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued a final rule updating regulations for states choosing to add photos to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income families.


Ramirez to Resign as FTC Head

Federal Trade Commission Chair Edith Ramirez will resign from the agency, effective Feb. 10, 2017. Ramirez became Chair in March 2013 and has served as an FTC commissioner since April 2010, following her appointment by President Obama.


OCC Reports on Top Threats to Banks

Product development, cybersecurity threats and BSA/AML compliance are among the most pressing issues facing U.S. banks, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The agency’s latest Semiannual Risk Perspective, which covers the first six months of 2016, found that the financial system was relatively stable over that period, with overall bank revenue, net income and return on equity all within a few percentage points of those figures from the first half of 2015.


Bipartisan Report Focuses on Beefing up Terrorist Financing Defenses

The 115th Congress may turn its attention to how terrorists launder money and otherwise use financial systems to further their aims. That’s because a bipartisan group from the U.S. House of Representatives is backing a series of bills designed to shut down those cash flows.


FINRA Enforcement Chief Bennett Steps Down

J. Bradley Bennett has stepped down as chief of enforcement for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority—a role he’s held since January 2011—to return to private practice.

data breach fraud

New York Offers Some Wiggle Room on Cybersecurity Rule

A widely watched bank cybersecurity proposed rule out of New York has been revised, and its deadline pushed back to March 1, giving the state’s financial industry a bit more wiggle room when it comes to compliance.


CFPB’s Annual Report to Congress Details Consumer Redress, Budget

In the CFPB’s annual report to Congress, the bureau reported that during FY 2016, the bureau’s supervisory actions resulted in financial institutions providing more than $58 million in redress to more than 516,000 consumers. In addition, the CFPB announced orders through enforcement efforts for approximately $247 million in total relief for consumers, along with more than $83.7 million in civil money penalties.

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