New rules on debit-card processing start to pinch small banks and credit unions

From: The Washington Post/On Small Business

By J.D. Harrison

Community banks and credit unions are reporting lower debit-card processing revenue as a result of financial reform laws, sparking concerns that they may be forced to impose new fees on customers to offset their losses.

Their experience stood in contrast to new reports published by the Federal Trade Commission and the Government Accountability Office, which suggest that a provision meant to protect small banks from debit-card reform has indeed shielded them from any significant losses in revenue. The provision exempted small financial institutions from reducing their card processing fees (or “swipe fees”) but capped them for large banks. Regulators said the change prompted credit-card companies to create a two-tiered pricing system in which small banks can continue charging customers higher rates each time they use their debit cards.

INTERVIEW: Volcker Rule, derivatives in U.S. business lobby’s sights for new year

From: Reuters

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in contesting U.S. regulators’ implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawsuits challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the justification for the rules have stopped some rules in their tracks and forced the regulators to hire more economic analysts.

With a new Congress due to start on January 3, Compliance Complete sat down with three senior officials at the Chamber to discuss their priority issues for 2013. These include the Volcker rule banning risky trading by banks, exemptions for non-financial users of derivatives, the role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in money-market fund reform.

Federal Trade Commission to data brokers: Show us your data

From: Los Angeles Times

By Jessica Guynn

SAN FRANCISCO — Data brokers who collect vast amounts of information on Americans will be the ones turning over information this time.

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered nine data brokerage companies to tell the agency how they harvest and use data on consumers, toughening its stance toward the multibillion-dollar industry.

The FTC said it plans to use the information it collects to study the industry’s privacy practices. The nine data brokers are Acxiom, Corelogic, Datalogix, EBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, Peekyou, Rapleaf, and Recorded Future.

The messy killing of too big to fail

From: Business Spectator

by Stephen Bartholomeusz

Four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers destabilised the global financial system while highlighting its interconnectedness banking regulators are still trying to develop plans to deal with a similar crisis in future.

Overnight the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England released a paper outlining their agreed approach to dealing with the failure of banks deemed too big to be allowed to fail.

Chinese companies caught in SEC crossfire

From: Financial Times

By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing and Paul J Davies in Hong Kong

The Big Four auditors have been caught in the crossfire of a US-China  regulatory dispute, but the biggest casualty could be Chinese companies listed  in the US.

The US  Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused the Chinese affiliates  of the Big Four – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC – plus one other  firm, BDO, of breaking securities laws after they refused to produce paperwork  related to investigations into accounting fraud at nine Chinese companies.