What the Recent Developments in Federal Preemption for National and State Banks Mean for Bank and Nonbank Consumer Financial Services Providers

December 21, 2023
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Providers of consumer financial services that rely on federal preemption to charge customers uniform interest rates and fees on a nationwide basis are currently facing a series of legislative and litigation challenges. In this episode, which repurposes a recent webinar, we first discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Cantero v. Bank of America on the question whether the National Bank Act preempts state laws requiring the payment of interest on mortgage escrow accounts and look at the competing arguments and preemption standards under consideration. We then look at the Dodd-Frank Act’s provisions on federal preemption for national banks and federal savings associations, OCC regulations addressing the scope of federal preemption, and federal statutes providing interest rate exportation authority for national and state-chartered banks and other institutions. We then turn to current legal challenges to rate exportation authority, focusing on state laws opting out of federal law allowing interest rate exportation by state banks, state laws defining “true lender” to target nonbank/bank partnerships seeking to take advantage of federal interest rate exportation authority, and the California trial court’s recent ruling in a very important “true lender” lawsuit. We conclude with a discussion of the potential implications of a U.S. Supreme Court override of the Chevron deference framework for OCC and FDIC regulations interpreting federal statutes on interest rate authority of national and state banks.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, leads the discussion, joined by John Culhane, Reid Herlihy, and Ronald Vaske, partners in the Group, and Mindy Harris, Of Counsel in the Group.

View the recording transcript here. 

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