Welcome to the 2018 Year-End Report from BakerHostetler's Financial Services Industry Team. We are pleased to share our analysis of some of the key developments in the financial services industry in 2018 and our expectations for 2019. Please contact any of the team members listed at the end of this report if you have questions or would like additional information on these or other issues as they unfold in the coming months.
The significant developments from the past year we focus on in this report include the following:
- A significant victory in the Supreme Court limited the jurisdiction of federal judges to second-guess decisions made by arbitrators as to their jurisdiction to hear claims in cases where the arbitration agreement allows arbitrators to determine arbitrability.
- President Donald Trump and Congress repealed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) guidance promulgated during the Obama administration that provided that indirect auto lenders could face liability under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) for permitting and incentivizing dealer markup if such a policy led to discriminatory lending practices.
- CFPB acting Director Mick Mulvaney made his mark on the agency after taking the reins from Richard Cordray, reorienting the agency's mission and enforcement priorities, and even the agency's name.
- In the summer of 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it would begin accepting applications for national bank charters from nondepository fintech companies engaged in the business of banking.
- In 2018, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) convened by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was reconstituted in connection with the implementation of a paced transition plan for the replacement of LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) as a benchmark rate. The ARRC selected the secured overnight financing rate (the SOFR) as the recommended alternative reference rate to replace LIBOR.
- The financial services industry saw steady growth in retail and energy Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the wake of increasing competition and declining margins.
We hope that you use our analysis and first predictions of what may be ahead for 2019 to navigate what is likely to be an unprecedented year of change.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.