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Inside Washington (03/09/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (3/12/12)--The Senate Thursday passed an amendment to combat offshore tax havens and help reduce the deficit. The amendment, which the Senate adopted as part of the surface transportation bill now under consideration, will allow the Treasury Department to implement a range of measures against foreign governments and financial institutions that significantly impede U.S. tax enforcement. Under Section 311 of the Patriot Act, the Treasury Department can take measures against foreign governments or financial institutions that engage in money laundering. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) gives Treasury the same tools to combat foreign governments or financial institutions that impede U.S. tax enforcement. For example, Treasury could prohibit U.S. banks from accepting wire transfers or honoring credit cards from banks found to have significantly hampered U.S. tax enforcement efforts …
  • WASHINGTON (3/12/12)--The House on Thursday passed legislation that eases regulations on small businesses and makes capital formation easier. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act passed 390 to 23 (American Banker March 9). The bill contained a measure that allows small community banks to grow and raise capital without submitting to costly Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called for the Senate to pass the House bill as it is. The JOBS Act will get small businesses and entrepreneurs back in the game by removing costly regulations and making it easier for them to access capital," Cantor said. "This legislation also paves the way for more startups and small businesses to go public, which will attract new investors and allow the small businesses to grow and create jobs" …
  • WASHINGTON (3/12/12)--A group of business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter Thursday requesting regulators to hold a hearing on plans to designate non-bank financial institutions as systemically important (American Banker March 9). Those firms would be supervised by the Federal Reserve Board under criteria described in the Dodd-Frank Act. Among the factors to be considered are size, interconnectedness and complexity. In the letter, organizations such as the American Council of Life Insurers, Business Roundtable and Competitive Enterprise Institutes said they have a number of concerns to address that were raised in previous comment letters. A public comment period ended Dec. 19 …
  • WASHINGTON (3/12/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) exam procedures, and while CFPB examiners will not oversee the majority of credit unions, the Credit Union National Association has suggested that all credit unions that offer mortgage loans review the procedures. The interagency procedures lay out the background and requirements of the SAFE Act and Regulation G concerning federal registration. The SAFE Act procedures will serve as a guide for CFPB examiners to use in overseeing depository institutions with more than $10 billion in assets and their affiliates, and non-depository consumer financial service companies…


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