* WASHINGTON (3/3/10)--Minority Leader John Boehner
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(R-Ohio) visited Kemba CU in West Chester, Ohio, on Monday. Credit union officials encouraged his support for raising member business lending caps for credit unions, and standing with credit unions against overdraft protection and interchange legislation. From left are: Tom Thole, Kemba CU board member; Raymond Schaefer, Kemba board chair; Boehner; Steve Behler, Kemba President/CEO; and Jerry Ziegelmeyer, Kemba board member. (Photo provided by Kemba CU) ... * WASHINGTON (3/3/10)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz and National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) President Colleen M. Kelly signed an agreement Tuesday creating an NCUA/NTEU Partnership Council. This is the first such agreement between a federal agency and NTEU responding to President Obama’s order on labor management collaboration. The council, headed by Matz and Kelly, includes six NTEU members and six NCUA management officials. The partnership recognizes employees as NCUA’s primary resource, and encourages active participation to ensure the agency delivers high quality service to credit unions and the public. The partnership also will encourage and enhance involvement of NCUA employees in the decision making process regarding issues in the workplace. The first meeting will take place this month in Washington, D.C. ... * CLEVELAND, Ohio (3/3/10)--The Federal Reserve Banks announced Tuesday that they have completed the reduction in paper check processing infrastructure that began in 2003. With the discontinuation of paper check processing at the Atlanta office on Friday, all paper check processing is now handled at the Cleveland, Ohio, office. The Atlanta office serves at the banks’ location for electronic check processing. Since 2003, the banks have reduced the number of locations where paper checks are processed from 45 offices to a single office in Cleveland. The changes were made in response to the significant rate of adoption of Check 21-enabled services and the shift from paper checks toward electronic payments. (SEE RELATED: CUNA Compliance: CUs need to review check-hold disclosures
... * WASHINGTON (3/3/10)--Donald Kohn’s pending resignation from his post as vice chairman at the Federal Reserve board is bringing back concerns over the Fed’s independence from the Obama administration. After Kohn leaves, there will be three vacancies on the Fed board (American Banker
March 2). The administration would then have the opportunity to have a long-term impact on the central bank by picking the next board members. President Barack Obama nominates board members for 14-year terms. Nominations are then confirmed by the Senate. The administration said Monday it would move quickly with Kohn’s successor. Kohn has worked for the Fed for 40 years and has been a board member since 2002 ... * WASHINGTON (3/3/10)--Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said Monday that regulators and financial institutions must protect safety and soundness over credit availability. In a speech Monday before attendees of a banking industry conference, Dugan said that regulators should err on the side of safety and soundness over longer-term enhancements to capital and liquidity requirements (American Banker
March 2). His comments come as a Senate Banking subcommittee was scheduled Tuesday to discuss small business lending and credit availability. On Friday, Dugan and other regulators testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the same topic. The Credit Union National Association also was present at the hearing to encourage lawmakers to lift the caps on member business lending at credit unions ...