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Inside Washington (07/19/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (7/20/12)--Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Wednesday announced that he has dropped his opposition to a bill that prevents the public disclosure of sensitive consumer information from the Consumer Financial Bureau's regulated entities. Corker also announced that he is an original co-sponsor of legislation that combines the CFPB privilege bill with the ATM sign bill. That legislation is working its way through the Senate, bringing an ATM fix closer to a final vote (News Now July 19). The most recent Senate ATM action took place this week. Language that would revise Regulation E to only ATM fee disclosures to be presented only on an ATM's screen was combined with a CFPB provision that would address how the agency handles information from entities it regulates. Current law requires ATMs to notify customers of transaction fees, both through posted placards and information on the digital displays. This dual-notification requirement has generated lawsuits against ATM operators in cases in which signs were removed by vandals or plaintiffs. Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney recently encouraged the Senate to take up ATM disclosure legislation as soon as possible and provide credit unions with much needed regulatory relief. H.R. 4367, a House bill that addressed only ATM fee disclosure issues, passed the House last week by a 371 to 0 vote …
  • WASHINGTON (7/20/12)--A new poll indicates broad consumer support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other reforms in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), AARP, National Council of La Raza, and Americans for Financial Reform. About 73% of likely voters support Dodd‐Frank's expansion of federal oversight to include mortgage brokers, payday lenders and other financial entities not previously subject to federal regulation, versus 20% who oppose it. About 60% favor more oversight of financial companies such as banks, mortgage lenders, payday lenders and credit card companies, compared with 29% who say there should be less oversight. Roughly 73% favor tougher rules for Wall Street financial companies, versus 17% who oppose further regulation. Consumers also supported the CFPB, with 74% in favor of the agency, while 19% oppose it …
  • WASHINGTON (7/20/12)--Jeremiah Norton, a recently confirmed Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. director, Wednesday said he was unwilling to back a two-year delay of implementation of the Basel III capital accord. Norton and Thomas Hoenig were the only board members to raise concerns about three proposals for the Basel III capital accord at a June meeting (American Banker July 19). Norton called Basel implementation a "real issue" for small banks and suggested that another system be incorporated for small financial institutions …
  • WASHINGTON (7/20/12)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday said a bill that would increase Congress' authority to audit the Fed's monetary policy decisions would be a "mistake." The expanded authority would create a political influence on the Fed's monetary policy decisions, Bernanke said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee (American Banker July 19). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), would in effect give Congress permission to ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review decisions by the Fed about interest rates and examine discussions and policy actions undertaken by the Federal Open Market Committee. If the bill passed, Bernanke said a lawmaker could potentially challenge a decision to raise the federal funds rate by asking the GAO to obtain all records, transcripts and materials related to the Fed's deliberations to get an independent opinion if the right decision was made …
  • WASHINGTON (7/20/12)--Recipients of Veterans Affairs (VA) Chapter 35 education benefits recently received a check-insert encouraging them to switch to direct deposit for this benefit payment by contacting their VA regional office. Beneficiaries also may visit their financial institution branch to make the switch. However, only Veterans Affairs can make the switch. The Go Direct Online Enrollment system and call center cannot sign up VA Chapter 35 education benefits for direct deposit. The Go Direct enrollment system can only switch VA Compensation or Pension payments to direct deposit. If beneficiaries receiving a Chapter 35 education benefit would like to switch to direct deposit for Chapter 35 education benefits, they must provide their financial institution routing number and account number. They will then need to complete the direct deposit sign-up process as specified on the insert they received, either by calling 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (442-4551) or visiting their VA Regional Office …


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