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Inside Washington (05/24/2010)
* WASHINGTON (5/25/10)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Michael Fryzel praised the Michigan Credit Union League’s commitment to credit unions and their members at the league’s annual convention in Detroit Friday. He also discussed corporate credit unions, member business lending, legacy assets, 12-month examinations and assessments. Last week “the administration joined numerous members of Congress who have said they support raising the cap on member business loans. In fact, as federal regulator and insurer, NCUA has said the cap should be totally eliminated and the agency should be given authority to set the rules that govern how much individual credit unions can lend. These rules will be based on a credit union’s safety and soundness, capital structure and ability to be involved in that product” ... * WASHINGTON (5/25/10)--President Barack Obama proclaimed May 23-29 as National Small Business Week. The U.S. Small Business Administration observes National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., May 23-25. “Small business owners embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and strong work ethic that lie at the heart of the American dream,” he said. “They are the backbone of our nation’s economy, they employ tens of millions of workers, and in the past 15 years, they have created the majority of new private sector jobs.” Obama has proposed creating a $30 billion lending fund to help increase the flow of credit to small businesses and called on Congress to pass the legislative quickly. Also during the week, entrepreneurs are honored with awards, including the National Small Business Person of the Year for 2010, and state small business winners ... * WASHINGTON (5/25/10)--The Treasury Department has lowered its estimate of the cost to taxpayers for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to $105.4 billion, down from its most recent estimate of $117 billion (Dow Jones May 24). Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had predicted earlier this month that TARP would cost less than $100 billion. The latest revision reflects rising prices for Citigroup common stock, of which Treasury is a major holder. On Friday, shares closed at $3.75. When Treasury obtained 7.7 billion Citigroup shares each had a value of $3.25 ... * WASHINGTON (5/25/10)--The regulatory reform bill the Senate passed last week will do little to restructure financial regulatory framework, with the exception of eliminating the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), said American Banker (May 24). Many financial observers had said the reform legislation was a good opportunity to rework the supervisory structure, which currently includes four banking regulators. However, the administration had other priorities, said Michael Barr, Treasury assistant secretary. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) originally proposed combining the regulators into one agency in his initial regulatory reform bill last fall. However, after revisions, the bill this spring only would eliminate the OTS and strip the Federal Reserve Board of most of its supervisory powers. The powers have since been restored. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) also successfully lobbied on behalf of credit unions in regards to the bill to ensure the National Credit Union Administration would remain the prudential regulator for credit unions ...

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