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Inside Washington (06/02/2010)
* WASHINGTON (6/3/10)--The structure of a proposed consumer protection agency will soon be determined as lawmakers begin hashing out the House and Senate regulatory reform bills next week (American Banker June 2). The House bill would create an independent agency, while the Senate version would form an autonomous unit in the Federal Reserve Bank. Under the Senate bill, the agency also would be funded by the Fed--$500 million--while the House bill would fund the agency from 10% of the Federal Reserve System’s operating costs, assessments on large financial institutions and $200 million from Congress each year. Consumer groups and proponents of the agency as a stand-alone unit say the Senate’s funding approach is better because the House bill’s appropriations process could hamper the agency by adding conditions on how to use the funding it receives. The Senate bill also allows the agency to be run by an independent director appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The House bill provides for a director to be appointed by the president and then be transitioned to a commission structure. The Obama administration has said it has no preference on how the agency is housed ... * WASHINGTON (6/3/10)--The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) reiterated its position that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) should defer to state law for merger and conversion issues of federally insured, state-chartered credit unions. NASCUS’ comments were in response to NCUA’s proposed rule regarding mergers and conversions. NASCUS said it shares NCUA’s concerns that important decisions regarding the future governance of a credit union must be handled fairly and transparently. However, NCUA’s rulemaking should be limited to federal credit unions, NASCUS said. With regard to the provisions impacting credit union mergers into mutual savings banks, NCUA is substituting its standard of fiduciary duty for that of the states, which concerns NASCUS. NASCUS recommended that “NCUA work with state regulators of non-federally insured credit unions to craft mutually acceptable standards that would address NCUA’s concerns without eviscerating the state authority that allows credit unions to choose their share insurance option” ... * WASHINGTON (6/3/10)--The Federal Reserve Board has named Maeve Elise Brown, executive director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates in Oakland, Calif., to fill a vacancy on its Consumer Advisory Council. The council advises the board on its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other consumer financial services matters. Previously, Brown worked at the National Housing Law Project, where she directed the organization's initiatives on predatory lending, Section 8 homeownership and Rural Housing Service foreclosure avoidance. Brown also founded and served as the director of the community economic development unit at a community law center in Berkeley, Calif. Alan Cameron, president/CEO of the Idaho Credit Union League, is a representative on the council. His term runs through 2010 ...


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