March 25, 2020

MBA Conference Call With Regulators Now Available

A recording of the conference call that MBA hosted with regulators regarding the coronavirus pandemic is now available online. To access this recording requires a password to MBA’s website. Representatives from the Missouri Division of Finance, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines participated in the call.

MBA To Host COVID-19 Conference Call With Luetkemeyer

MBA will host a conference call at 9 a.m. Friday, March 27, with Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. He will discuss several critical issues for banks regarding the coronavirus crisis, including the following.
  • key elements of the CARES Act and the anticipated impact on consumers and businesses
  • CECL provision included in the CARES Act
  • role of banks in SBA loan programs (funded at $350 billion for small businesses) outlined in CARES Act
To participate in this call, please register online or call 573-636-8151 by 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Please note that a limited number of lines are reserved for this call. Dial-in instructions for the call will be emailed to registrants Thursday afternoon. 

To facilitate questions during this call, please submit your questions in advance to MBA. You may submit your questions here by 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26.

Secretary of State’s Office Open for Business Despite Building Closure

Despite the building being closed to the public, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft reminded Missourians that the office continues to conduct daily business. He encouraged customers to use online services and email to promote social distancing and the health and safety of customers and staff members working during the building closure due to the spread of COVID-19.

The Securities Division continues to conduct registrations, examinations, enforcement actions and other tasks that are vital to the finance and regulatory industry. Banks, financial institutions and securities firms — both large and small — are open for business, and your funds are secure and accessible. Please call the office at 573-751-4136 with questions or email

Ask the Regulators Webinar Addresses Working With Customers Affected By Coronavirus

The federal financial institution regulatory agencies and the state banking regulators will host an interagency webinar at 1 p.m. Friday, March 27. This interagency Ask the Regulators session is designed to help clarify the interagency statement issued on March 22, which encourages financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and provides additional information regarding loan modifications, including when such modifications would not result in accounting for troubled debt restructuring designation. Participations are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email at Webinar materials will be archived for future viewing.

St. Louis Fed Conversations Focus On COVID-19 Pandemic

To maintain consistent two-way communications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Louis Fed is launching a weekly teleconference series for all state member banks in the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District. The first call is 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 27. Subsequent calls will be offered every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Calls are being limited to 30 minutes to maximize participation each week.

To join the weekly call, please use the conference bridge number below and add the invitation to your calendar
Conference Bridge: 1-888-625-5230
Participant Code: 754 730 45#

In each session, staff members with the Fed will discuss current regulatory guidance related to the pandemic and answer your questions and share its thoughts on questions that it receives directly from its member banks. To make sure each session meets your needs, we’re asking that you send us your questions in advance of each session at Questions will be accepted during the live call but questions submitted in advance will receive priority.

Please be aware that this call is not intended to replace any of the day-to-day communications between the St. Louis Fed’s supervision team and our state member banks. It is only meant to supplement existing communications. The archive of each call will provide you with a reference resource in case issues we discuss on a Conversations call arise in the future.

This teleconference will be offered as part of the St. Louis Fed’s Conversations with the St. Louis Fed program. Leadership from the St. Louis Fed’s Supervision Division will participate in the call each week. All calls will be archived as downloadable audio files on the Conversations website.  

MBA Podcast Offers Outlook On Expected GDP Performance

In the latest episode of Our Two Cents with MBA podcast, KC Matthews, chief investment officer for UMB in Kansas City, provides an outlook on expected GDP performance for the remainder of 2020 and discusses the impact of both coronavirus and oversupply of oil on the global economy. He also comments on Fed actions and the rate environment in the coming months.

Our Two Cents with MBA podcast is available on iTunesApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify. 

MBA, State Organizations Urge Missourians To Do Their Part In COVID-19 Crisis

MBA joined numerous state organizations, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Hospital Association, in issuing a statement urging all Missourians to respond to the call to help slow the COVID-19 chain of transmission. It said that because “testing is still very limited, social distancing when in public and staying at home as much as possible are important tools in our efforts to limit COVID-19 spread. Every Missourian has a role to play during this emergency. We urge all Missourians to do their part.”

Fed To Adjust Reduce Exam Activities As It Focuses On Coronavirus Response

The Federal Reserve will “temporarily reduce” its bank examination activities as it pivots to focus on responding to the immediate challenges posed by the coronavirus, the agency said Tuesday evening. All regular examination activity will be suspended until at least the last week in April at institutions with less than $100 billion in total consolidated assets, the Fed said, “except where the examination work is critical to safety and soundness or consumer protection, or is required to address an urgent or immediate need.”   For larger institutions with more than $100 billion in assets, the Fed will defer “a significant portion” of planned examination activity. However, firms required to submit plans under the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review exercise should still submit their capital plans by Monday, April 6.
The Fed also will grant institutions an additional 90 days to remediate existing supervisory findings, except under specific circumstances where “more timely remediation would aid the firm in addressing a heightened risk or help consumers.” In addition, the agency reminded banks of previous guidance stating that banks who work constructively with borrowers facing challenges because of the virus will not be subject to regulatory criticism.
During this protracted period of uncertainty, bank supervisors will be directed to increase their focus on monitoring bank activity, specifically bank operations, capital, liquidity, asset quality and the effects of the virus on consumers. For large banks, supervisors also will monitor operational resiliency and the risks to overall financial stability, the Fed said.

Fed Expands Stimulus Measures, QE; Will Support Corporate Credit

In its most sweeping move yet to prop up the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic and public health response, the Federal Reserve unveiled several new facilities to support the flow of up to $300 billion in financing to households and businesses and committed to quantitative easing “in amounts needed” to support market functioning.
“The coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world,” the Fed said. “While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate.”
New efforts announced include the following. 
  • two new facilities to support credit to large employers, including a Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility to bond and loan issuance to investment-grade companies with four-year bridge financing, facilitating continued payments to employees and vendors
  • also supporting large employers, a Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility to provide liquidity for outstanding investment-grade corporate bonds
  • a Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, to suppose issuance of securities backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card debt and Small Business Administration-guaranteed loans
  • Federal Open Market Committee purchases of commercial mortgage-backed securities along with agency MBS as part of its previously announced round of quantitative easing, which will expand as needed to support smooth market functioning
  • expansions to previously announced facilities, allowing the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to accept municipal variable rate demand notes and bank CDs as collateral, allowing the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to accept high-quality, tax-exempt commercial paper as eligible securities and lowering prices on the CPFF
The PMCCF, SMCCF, TALF and CPFF will be supported by equity infusions from the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund. Companies expected to receive aid under pending legislation are not eligible for PMCCF and SMCCF participation. The Fed said it would soon announce a “Main Street Business Lending Program,” complementing SBA efforts, to support loans to small and midsize businesses.
These efforts come atop other Fed actions, including liquidity facilities for commercial paper, money market funds and primary dealers; expansion of central bank liquidity swap lines; efforts to promote use of the discount window; elimination of reserve requirements; and guidance encouraging banks to be flexible with customers affected by COVID-19.

Senators, White House Strike Deal For $2 Trillion Relief Bill‌

In the early hours of the morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced on the Senate floor that they had reached a deal with the Trump administration for a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief and economic rescue bill. The bill is expected to clear Congress as early as today.‌

Luetkemeyer, Meeks Join Chorus For CECL Suspension, Delay

In a bipartisan letter, Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., joined the chorus of voices, including FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, calling for the Financial Accounting Standards Board to suspend and delay its Current Expected Credit Loss standard amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is simply too much uncertainty at this time to implement a foundational change to our financial accounting system,” wrote Meeks and Luetkemeyer, who are chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions. “As our country once again faces a potentially deep economic crisis, we call on FASB to suspend CECL implementation, and allow for further study on the economic implications of this new accounting standard.”
Meeks and Luetkemeyer specifically expressed concern about how lenders will be expected to model future credit losses from a pandemic that “remains poorly understood by scientists” and whose economic effects are highly uncertain and dependent on a wide array of variables out of lenders’ control. 

“CECL implementation is likely to prove pro-cyclical, deepening the curtailment of credit in an economic slowdown or contraction, including in particular for borrowers with marginal credits and underbanked communities,” they added. Read the letter.

ABA, Industry Groups Call for Unified Approach to Mortgage Relief During Pandemic

The American Bankers Association joined several financial and mortgage industry trade associations in a letter to the Federal Reserve, HUD, FHFA, the CFPB, the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House to provide the industry’s view on responding to the many challenges COVID-19 poses to the mortgage markets and to borrowers.
The groups emphasized the importance of producing a single model forbearance program that produces the same outcomes for consumers across lending programs. They also called for additional universal program guidance from the government-sponsored enterprises and government agencies and highlighted the need to waive certain policies and practices that may add unnecessary delays and friction to forbearances and loan modifications.
“The mortgage industry is committed to ensuring that households in need receive help immediately through payment forbearance that could extend from ninety days to twelve month,” the groups said. “This assistance would be followed by an appropriate loan modification, with programs that allow consumers to simply resume their previous mortgage payments, without additional costs or penalties, as the first and best option for most, but complemented by programs that can provide more substantial payment relief through changes to the rate and term of the mortgages, as necessary, also without additional costs or penalties.” 

New IRS FAQs Address Filing Extension, Clarify IRA, HSA Contribution Due Dates

The IRS issued a set of frequently asked questions related to the delay in filing dates for tax returns and certain tax payments. The new filing deadline for individuals and corporations is July 15. No interest or penalties will be assessed on taxpayers that follow these revised deadlines. Included in the FAQs is guidance that the due date for making contributions to IRAs and HSAs, normally required to be made by April 15, has also been extended to July 15. 

CFPB Offers Coronavirus Response Resources

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a coronavirus resource page to help financial institutions and consumers as they face challenges related to the pandemic. The bureau has made available several resources, including those focused on credit reporting, debt collection and financial caregiving.

ABA Webinar To Address SBA Programs To Help Amid Pandemic

The American Bankers Association will host a free webinar for its members at noon Thursday, March 26, to help banks learn how to employ Small Business Administration programs to help their commercial customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.   Experts from the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance and SBA Office of Capital Access will discuss:
  • Emergency Injury Disaster Loans and their use nationwide in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • SBA loan products and access to capital to help small business clients
  • an update on plans to expand SBA programs in response to COVID-19
This is the first of a two-part series; a second webinar will follow after Congress enacts its latest coronavirus response package.

FHLB Des Moines Outlines Action Steps To Support Banks

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is committed to working with financial institutions as they adjust and adapt to the changing needs of your borrowers in these unusual times. FHLB Des Moines is currently taking new steps to better assist you in this changing economic environment.
Accommodating Modifications to Pledged Loan Collateral 
FHLB Des Moines is adjusting its eligibility guidelines on pledged collateral to align with its member financial institutions that are implementing loan modifications, such as deferments and forbearances, for their borrowers. 

In addition, some banks are using electronic signatures to safely process loans and loan modifications. Assuming loans meet all other eligibility guidelines FHLB Des Moines will temporarily allow electronic signatures in order to: 

  • maintain the eligibility of the existing pledged loan 
  • allow the eligibility of new loan originations
It is anticipated new loans and/or modifications and extensions of existing loans transacted with electronic signatures may be required to be replaced with wet-ink signatures upon notice from FHLB Des Moines to remain eligible once we return to business as usual. If your institution needs to use these available adjustments for your eligible loan collateral, email or call 800-544-3452, ext. 2500. 

Supporting Your Funding Needs 
Although volatility continues to test the resiliency of financial markets and institutions across the country, the need for liquidity is becoming increasingly important. As a reliable and stable source of funding through all economic cycles, FHLB Des Moines is here to help your bank navigate through the uncertainty. 

With the recent interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, short-term FHLB Des Moines advances are at their lowest level in years. Take advantage of the following tools and resources when considering your funding options. 
*The dividend adjusted rate is an approximation based off of current stock requirement and current dividend payment. It is an approximation only. FHLB Des Moines does NOT project dividend payments.

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