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Inside Washington (01/17/2013)
  • WASHINGTON (1/17/13)--A Federal Reserve proposal to heighten its oversight of foreign banks in the U.S. also would widen the central bank's regulation of foreign broker-dealers (American Banker Jan 16). The proposal would effectively take over responsibility for foreign broker-dealer supervision from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bringing foreign bank broker-dealers under its umbrella is an indication the Fed is mistrustful of the SEC, said Margaret Tahyar, a partner with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. Some industry observers have said that the SEC's net capital rule, which allows large firms to increase their leverage, was a driver of the financial crisis …
  • WASHINGTON (1/17/13)--The National Consumer Law Center released a 90-page report  Tuesday criticizing the Consumer Protection Bureau's national servicing standards--even before the agency publishes its final rules. The law center's report, "At a Crossroads: Lessons from the Home Affordable Modification Program," advises that regulators can learn from lessons gleaned  through the  government's Home Affordable Modification program  and should include those lessons into national servicing standards. HAMP was generally deemed unsuccessful because of massive service noncompliance, according to the report. "National loan modification standards should incorporate the successes of HAMP, which provided for increased access to sustainable modifications for many homeowners," the report said. "But national loan modification standards must not fall into the same trap that HAMP did"…
  • WASHINGTON (1/17/13)--Major banks--which typically seek to keep the government at arm's length--are urging U.S. officials to block Iranian cyberattacks against American financial institutions. Banks already have spent millions fighting the attacks (The Wall Street Journal Jan 16). They say it is not their responsibility to fend of attacks from another government. Among the banks affected are PNC Financial Services Group Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. Financial-services groups last year fought legislation to establish online security standards for key private-sector businesses. Banks claimed the new laws would undermine protections already in place …


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