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Bank and Credit Union Regulators' Response

to COVID-19



Updated April 20, 2020
Once it became clear that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak would have serious financial
ramifications, the federal agencies that regulate banks and credit unions-the Federal Reserve, the Office
of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (collectively referred to as the bank regulators), and the
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)-responded using existing authorities in two broad ways:
    *  taking measures to encourage banks to work with customers affected by COVID-19; and
    *  making adjustments to bank regulation.
The regulators have also issued rulemakings pursuant to Sections 1102, 4003, and 4012 of the CARES
Act. Those sections of the law are described in CRS Report R46301, Title IVProvisions of the CARESAct
(PL. 116-136); and in CRS Insight N 11341, SBA 's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans and Self-
Employed Individuals. In addition, the Federal Reserve has taken steps to provide liquidity to financial
markets, examined in CRS Insight N 11327, Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending in Response to
COVID-19.


Assisting Affected Consumers

Regulators' efforts to deal with the potential effects of COVID- 19 began in early March with attempts to
ensure that depository institutions were adequately planning for the potential risks. On March 6, 2020, the
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) updated its influcnza patidcnic guidatce to
minimize the potentially adverse effects of COVID-19. The guidance identifies business continuity plans
as a key tool to address pandemics and provides a comprehensive framework to ensure the continuation of
critical operations.
In the past month, regulators have shifted focus to providing guidance on how to address and serve
customers affected by the virus. (For more on policy options for financial services companies responding
to customers affected by COVID-19, see CRS Insight N 11244, COVID-19: The Financial Industry and
Consumers Struggling to Pay Bills.)


                                                                Congressional Research Service
                                                                https://crsreports.congress.gov
                                                                                     IN11278

CRS  NSMGHT
Prep-re for Members and
Committees of Congress ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................

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