On January 22, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued the “Government Securities Act” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. This new booklet, part of the Securities Compliance series, consolidates certain guidance from the Comptroller’s Handbook for Compliance, “Securities Activities” booklet, issued in September 1991, and the Comptroller’s Handbook booklet “Investment Securities,” issued in March 1990. The new booklet also replaces section 563, “Government Securities Act,” issued in May 1998, as part of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Examination Handbook for the examination of federal savings associations (FSAs).
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On January 20, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized two minor modifications to the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules. The changes, which were proposed in October 2014, address when consumers will receive updated disclosures after locking in an interest rate, and how consumers receive information regarding certain construction loans.

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On December 16, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a state banking watchdog group, released a draft model regulatory framework on virtual currency (Draft Framework) that is less stringent than the originally released BitLicense proposal from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). 
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On December 18, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky delivered remarks on the revised BitLicense framework at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC. If adopted, the proposed BitLicense framework would regulate and license companies performing virtual currency business activities. Superintendent Lawsky explained that the changes to the BitLicense framework were intended to provide additional flexibility to virtual currency firms while maintaining consumer protection. 
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On January 30, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published two administrative rulings (Administrative Rulings) clarifying that certain participants in the Bitcoin economy (and other convertible virtual currency economies) do not constitute money services businesses (MSBs) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).  The Administrative Rulings elaborate upon guidance issued by FinCEN on March 18, 2013 (Guidance), which excluded from the definition of MSB “users” (Users) that obtain convertible virtual currency and use such convertible virtual currency to purchase real or virtual goods or services. In the Guidance, FinCEN established that Users are not MSBs since they are not engaged in money transmission services (i.e., “accepting” and “transmitting” currency, funds or other value).
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On January 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a final rule (ATR Rule) to implement provisions related to the ability to repay (ATR) standards and the definition of a “qualified mortgage” (QM) as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act). The final rule becomes effective in January 2014.


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On September 12, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a financial institution advisory letter related to effective credit risk management practices for purchased loan participations (Advisory). The Advisory applies to all FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations, including community institutions.

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On August 8, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “Banking Agencies”) announced an extension to the comment period with respect to three notices of proposed rulemaking (originally released on June 7) that would revise and replace current