Regulatory Compliance Update January 2016

Regulatory Compliance Update

By: Hickman Beckner, Vice President

The closing months of 2015 have seen little regulatory activity.

The CFPB has adjusted the “safe harbor” maximum fee amounts for credit cards. The guidelines apply to many fees imposed on credit card customers and many banks follow the guidelines for other accounts. The safe harbor fee guidelines apply to:

  • Late payments
  • Returned Payments
  • Over Limit
  • Declined advances
  • Account Inactivity
  • Account Closing

Starting January 1, 2016, the guidelines are:

$27 for the first violation
$37 for subsequent violations of the same type within the next 6 billing cycles.

The CFPB has also adjusted the dollar thresholds for Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). The new trigger points are:

Loan Amount $ 20,350
Total Points and Fees: $1,017

These thresholds do not affect loan servicing but are enforced in the loan application process.

The CFPB has also adjusted the fee amounts for determining if a mortgage is a “Qualifying Mortgage” for regulatory purposes.

Significant Dates:

July 1, 2016 – Effective date of the IRS’ temporary regulations that remove the automatic extension for filing W-2 forms.

Emerging Issues

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed new rules that would change the definition of materiality. In the past information would be deemed material if it could influence decisions made by users of financial statements such as shareholders or loan officers.

The new standard would change the definition to information that a reasonable person would see as significantly altering their perception of the company.

Materiality has always been an accounting judgement. The new rules would allow other points of view to also be included. The rules could allow institutions to exclude certain disclosures while expanding requirements in other areas.

Shaw Systems will monitor the FASB rulemaking and will be issuing modifications to comply with the new rules.