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Inside Washington (08/06/2008)
* WASHINGTON (8/7/08)--The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Tuesday issued an interim final rule that provides guidance to national banks investing in public welfare projects (American Banker Aug. 6). Banks can invest in the projects regardless of community income levels under a provision in a recently approved housing rescue law. Banks have been able to participate in the projects since 1963, but in 1992, Congress capped the investments at 10% of a bank’s capital. John Dugan, comptroller of the currency, headed lobbying efforts for the change ... * WASHINGTON (8/7/08)--Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and members of the House Financial Services Committee sent letters to banking trade groups, the government-sponsored enterprises and mortgage servicers asking them to use a refinancing program that becomes effective Oct. 1. The program would allow the Federal Housing Administration to insure more mortgages (American Banker Aug. 6). Recipients of the letters include JP Morgan Chase and Co., Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, Option One Mortgage Corp., HSBC Holdings PLC and Litton Loan Servicing LP. The lawmakers requested a response by Aug. 31. Frank’s committee scheduled a hearing on the matter Sept. 17 ...


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