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Inside Washington (02/23/2011)
* WASHINGTON (2/24/11)--Observers are divided on whether the financial system reforms outlined by the Dodd-Frank Act will be undermined by missed regulatory deadlines (American Banker Feb. 23). Regulators are required to complete roughly 170 new rules by July, one year after Dodd-Frank’s enactment, but many still-unfinished rules must be done by April. Many rules that are the responsibility of a single agency have already been adopted, but those involving multiple agencies remain a concern, according to observers. Seven agencies, for example, are writing the risk-retention rule, and they remain deadlocked on whether it should include national servicing standards. Regulators have indicated they may fail to meet many deadlines. John Walsh, the acting comptroller of the currency, said that a joint rule curbing risky incentive-based compensation structures may not make its April deadline, and it is not the only rule in such jeopardy. Observers said regulators may be able to extend the process if they can at least issue a proposal before the deadline for a final rule … * WASHINGTON (2/24/11)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) has issued letters to former executives of the failed bank Washington Mutual (WaMu), advising them of possible legal action (American Banker Feb. 23). Among the purposes of such letters, which can be a precursor to a lawsuit, is to encourage executives to reach a settlement under their directors’ and officers’ liability insurance. The FDIC has reportedly talked about potential damages of $1 billion in a lawsuit against WaMu, according to a person familiar with a matter. The size of such a claim would likely be announced in the next month, the person said. The executives who would be charged in any legal action have not been identified. WaMu was largest institution to be seized by regulators during the financial crisis, and the largest-ever U.S. bank failure …


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