On January 20, 2017, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum (the “Priebus Memo”) to the heads of executive departments and agencies instructing them to stop the regulation issuing process for a period of time.
OK. So what does the Priebus memo mean to Compliance Geeks? It is not completely clear at the moment, but time will tell.
Does the Priebus Memo apply to bank regulations?
The memo is directed to executive departments and agencies. The fifteen Executive Departments and Agencies include, for example, Treasury (OCC), Homeland Security (FEMA) and HUD.  The FDIC, FRB and the CFPB are not executive departments or agencies. The Priebus Memo does not reach out to the agencies outside of the executive level and ask them join the moratorium.
If the Priebus Memo does apply what is its impact?
The memo does not repeal anything. It requests that the executive departments and agencies:

  • Stop submitting regulations for publication in the Federal Register until those regulations have been approved by a Trump-appointed principal;
  • Withdraw regulations that have been submitted to the Federal Register but not yet published; and
  • Where possible, postpone the effective date of published but not yet effective regulations by 60 days.

We believe the pendulum is swinging in the direction of lighter regulation. New regulations that have been discussed but not proposed, such as overdrafts, may not see the light of the day. We suspect that certain proposed rules such as TRID and private flood insurance will proceed since they provide needed industry clarification or consumer benefits. But nothing is certain these days.
We all need to be observant and deal with each development as it presents itself. In times of change there is always opportunity.
A copy of the Priebus Memo is available at: