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Inside Washington (07/01/2010)
* WASHINGTON (7/2/10)--The conference committee of the regulatory reform bill Wednesday approved a 20 basis point hike for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) minimum ratio of reserves to insured deposits for banks (American Banker July 1). It also limited the higher premiums to banks with more than $10 billion in assets, triggering concerns from lawmakers and bankers. There are 69 banks with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion that will now have to pay higher premiums as a result of the bill. Some banks said they didn’t cause the financial crisis, but now are being required to pay for it. Gerald Howard Lipkin, chairman and president of Valley National Bank, Wayne, N.J., said his institution didn’t make subprime mortgages and didn’t securitize products that were bad for consumers or the nation. Others said the premiums made sense because without it, the FDIC would have had to raise the reserve ratio on its own. The new provision builds on the overall framework of changes to deposit insurance, which are intended to and will punish banks based on size, Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., told American Banker (July 1) ... * WASHINGTON (7/2/10)--The solutions needed to foster a healthy credit environment are complex and will take time to develop, according to Federal Reserve Board Gov. Elizabeth Duke in a speech Monday. Duke discussed the condition of the banking system, the regulatory environment, borrowers’ financial conditions and the economy’s strength. “There really is no single step that can be taken to quickly unclog all the lending markets,” she said. “Just as the causes for the decline in lending are multifaceted and complex and took time to evolve, the solutions will likely be equally difficult and will take time to fully work.” Returning to a normal lending environment, she said, will require constant collaboration and communication among policymakers, bankers, regulators, investors, consumers and businesses ...

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