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Inside Washington (05/07/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (5/8/12)--
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    A credit union delegation was part of a White House briefing session last Friday organized by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA). Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Cooperative Alliances Committee Chairman Mark Cummins thanked the Obama administration for its support of member business lending (MBL) legislation and urged its continued assistance in the push for enactment. Cummins, who is also president of the Minnesota Credit Union Network, emphasized how much more credit unions could do to help small businesses and create jobs with the passage of the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act (S. 2231). "And it can be done at no taxpayer cost," he added. Co-op Alliances Vice Chair Diana Roberts, CEO of Hershey FCU, Hummelstown, Pa., also took note during the briefing of the growing regulatory burden credit unions face. Roberts pointed out smaller credit unions sometimes have to incur the added cost of outsourcing for compliance help (News Now May 7).  Members of the credit union delegation, shown here in front to the Old Executive Office Building, directly to the west of the White House, prior to the briefing are (from left): Tristram Coffin, CEO, Alternatives FCU, Ithaca, N.Y.; Cummins; Roberts; Mark Wolff,  CUNA senior vice president of communication; and Joe Bergeron, CEO, Association of Vermont Credit Unions. (Photo provided by National Cooperative Business Association) ...
  • WASHINGTON (5/8/12)--Regulation of nonbank players such as mortgage originators, mortgage servicers, payday lenders and private student lenders is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) top priority, the agency's director, Richard Cordray, said Friday. "With so many areas going unsupervised, at least at the federal level, it is no wonder that consumer financial markets are rife with concerns about how well they serve the public," Cordray said in remarks before the 2012 Simon New York City Conference. "Through our oversight, we are working to level the playing field and make sure that these businesses are playing by the rules and being held accountable for their actions." Cordray said the CFPB is working to build a consumer financial services marketplace where consumers can can see prices and risks up front and compare the pros and cons of different products. "We see financial education and disclosure as a problem of closing the sizeable gap between where consumers actually are in their financial capability and where they need to be to navigate consumer finance markets successfully, Cordray said. "We can close that gap in two distinct ways: by striving to elevate people's capacity to handle matters of personal finance, and by striving to reduce unnecessary complexity in the information provided in that marketplace" …
  • WASHINGTON (5/8/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Justice Department are in discussions to hash out details about how they will jointly enforce the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. CFPB is required to transfer cases to the Justice Department if it identifies a pattern or practice of discrimination (American Banker May 4). It also has the authority to file its own cases against banks and other financial institutions in federal court. Patrice Ficklin, the CFPB's assistant director for its Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, said at a panel discussion in Washington with Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, that her agency is trying to include, within settlement agreements, mechanisms that would help borrowers repair their credit and invest in the communities affected by discrimination--rather than provide direct financial compensation …
  • WASHINGTON (5/8/12)--Although President Barack Obama is considered the favorite in 2012 U.S. presidential race, the banking industry is supporting Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee (RNC) through political donations by nearly 2-to-1, according to a May 4 American Banker article. The banking industry's support of Romney is spurred by anger over the increased burden of regulation from the Dodd-Frank Act. Bankers believe Romney would support policies more favorable to banks than Obama would in his second term, according to the Banker. Even if bankers support the president, it is unclear if they would be able to affect policy during Obama's second term, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. In the 2008 presidential race, banking financial support was more evenly split between the two political parties. Commercial banks and their employees donated $3.4 million to Obama in 2008, and $2.4 million to Republican nominee John McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. However, commercial banks donated about $1 million more to the RNC than they did to the Democratic National Committee during the 2008 campaign …


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