The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower received 5,282 reports in fiscal 2018, an 18% increase compared with fiscal 2017, according to an SEC report to Congress. The agency paid $168 million to 13 whistleblowers in fiscal 2018, up from almost $50 million to 12 individuals in fiscal 2017.
The Volcker rule provision that keeps banks from investing in venture capital funds is regulatory overreach that does nothing to further the objectives of the law and should be changed, writes Charlotte Savercool of the National Venture Capital Association. NVCA has proposed two solutions that would allow banks to invest in VC funds while implementing the objectives of the Volcker rule, she writes.
Banks in areas hit by California's wildfires will not be penalized for missing reporting requirements, state and federal regulators say. Regulators also agreed that banks could ease some loan terms to help borrowers.
Michelle Bowman has been confirmed by the Senate to the Federal Reserve Board's community banking seat. Bowman, who served as chief bank regulator in Kansas and was an executive at Farmers & Drovers Bank, is expected to advocate for changes to the Dodd-Frank Act.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has filed for cloture for consideration of Kathy Kraninger's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If confirmed, Kraninger will take over for Mick Mulvaney, who has served as acting director since Richard Cordray resigned last year.
Health savings accounts can be valuable retirement-savings vehicles if money is allowed to build up tax-free over time. However, a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute suggests many people aren't investing funds for the long term or maximizing contributions.
Organizational changes such as mergers or the addition of new team members can cause "tremors" in the corporate culture, writes Scott Cochrane. Preserve unity in these situations by seeking to align values, goals and strategies, he writes.
Charlotte, N.C., has regained its position as the No. 2 city in the country in banking assets and loans, edging out San Francisco by what one analyst calls a "rounding error almost." The change comes as Bank of America increases assets and as Wells Fargo works to emerge from scandal.
The Federal Reserve will review strategies to reach its goals of maximum employment and price stability. The review will begin next year and will include a research conference in June.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants regulators to discuss how to address the leveraged-loan market, which she compares to the subprime-mortgage market before 2008. Warren has written regulators and has requested a response by Dec. 11.
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