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Inside Washington (08/07/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (8/8/2011) --The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) should consolidate insurance rules, modify loan participation rules and make other changes, the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) wrote in a comment letter to the agency.  NASCUS Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brian Knight wrote that the agency should consolidate all share insurance rules applicable to federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) into a single chapter or consecutive chapters. He said this change is needed because "identifying which rules incorporated by reference apply to (FISCUs) and which rules do not apply has caused confusion among credit unions and state and federal examiners.''  He also suggested the agency change the rule so that FISCUs don't have to get permission from their NCUA regional director approval before purchasing loans or assuming an assignment of deposits, shares, or liabilities from any entity other than another FISCU. Federal credit unions have fewer restrictions in this area, Knight noted. He also recommended that the NCUA change its rules to let states set thresholds acceptance of public deposits rather than require waivers. He added that state law should control whether FISCUs may issue secondary capital accounts. NASCUS  also recommended that the agency "defer to state rules governing FISCU conversion to federally insured non-credit union status and provide for an exemption under this provision."  The letter is the trade association's annual letter that is sent as part of NCUA's annual review of its Rules and Regulations. ...
  • WASHINGTON (8/8/12)--The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is investigating the business practices of state force-placed insurance providers. Financial institutions purchase force-placed insurance when mortgage borrowers stop paying for homeowners insurance (American Banker Aug. 7). Although forced-place insurance is legal, investors and consumer advocates have charged that some banks charge a premium for the policies in exchange for kickbacks from insurance companies. Consumer advocates Birny Birnbaum and Robert Hunter allege that servicers and insurers inflate the price of force-placed policies and split the proceeds, creating a climate they call "reverse competition." In an interview Friday, Kevin McCarty, Florida's state insurance commissioner, said the growth of the marketplace has raised concerns in light of those allegations …
  • WASHINGTON (8/8/12)--The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight said Monday  it has selected five companies to oversee compliance by the five mortgage servicers that are subject to a $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement. Joseph A. Smith Jr., monitor of the national mortgage servicing settlement, has selected BKD LLP, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Crowe Horwath LLP, Grant Thornton LLP and McGladrey LLP to oversee the implementation of the settlement involving 49 states, the U.S. government and five of the nation's largest banks. The primary role of each firm is to assist the primary professional firm--BDO Consulting--by conducting the evaluation of one servicer that is party to the settlement. The five companies in the settlement are Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial …
  • WASHINGTON (8/8/12)--The National ATM Council (NAC), a trade group representing independent ATM providers, urged Senate leaders to support S. 3394, a bill to eliminate a requirement for a duplicative, external consumer fee disclosure on ATM machines. "The current fee sticker law provides no useful consumer protections and instead has only given rise to a deluge of frivolous litigation against ATM owners nationwide. It is harming a vital industry sector that provides ready access to the cash that helps make our economy tick," wrote NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky..) last week. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supports legislation to eliminate the dual ATM disclosure requirements.  CUNA has said that unless such legislation is enacted, credit unions and other ATM operators will continue to be required to expend resources documenting compliance with a regulatory requirement that is outdated and unnecessary, and will continue to be subject to lawsuits despite their efforts to comply.  A comparable House bill (H.R. 4367) to S. 3394 awaits action in that chamber  …


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