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Inside Washington (09/27/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/28/11)--Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) recently introduced the Financial Regulatory Responsibility Act of 2011 (S. 1615), a bill that would force federal financial regulators, including the National Credit Union Administration, to provide a “rigorous, consistent economic analysis” of new regulations they propose. The economic impact of the rules, “including their effects on growth and net job creation,” would also need to be reported, according to a release. Reducing credit union regulatory burden is a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) priority and will be providing further analysis of this bill. … * WASHINGTON (9/28/11)--The Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is attributing lack of regulatory control on the part of the Office of Thrift Supervision for many recent thrift failures. The reviews indicate how Treasury envisions the role of the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC), which took over the regulation of thrifts in late July (American Banker Sept. 27). In 18 of 23 material-loss reviews of failed thrifts through Sept. 20, the OIG cited regulatory inadequacy as the primary reason for failure. The most-cited issue was the time OTS took to enforce a formal action after identifying a problem. In comparision, one of the 13 reviews of failed thrifts regulated by the OCC mentions a lack of timeliness from the regulator, according the Banker … * WASHINGTON (9/28/11)--Freddie Mac used a faulty loan review process to generate data for its landmark settlement with Bank of America Corp. (BofA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) inspector general said Monday (American Banker Sept. 27). Freddie’s failure to properly evaluate the underwriting of interest only and option adjustable-rate mortgages underwritten by Countrywide--now a part of BofA--are cited in a report. Although Freddie was warned it was not accounting for defaults that would likely follow the expiration of the mortgages’ teaser rates, the government-sponsored enterprise still made the $1.35 billion settlement with the FHFA’s approval. The settlement was “appropriate and reasonable” FHFA said in its written response to the inspector general’s report. … * WASHINGTON (9/28/11)--Following Hike the Hill visits from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) became the sixth and seventh representatives from Florida to co-sponsor HR 1418, legislation to raise the member-business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. The other co-sponsors from Florida include Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Jeff Miller, Bill Posey, Dennis Ross and Bill Young, all Republicans. The league is following up on all of its visits to make sure those that would like to co-sponsor the bill are well informed. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) told credit unions that there will be a sub-committee hearing on HR 1418 on Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is one of 20 co-sponsors for the Senate version of the same legislation. The Credit Union National Association estimates that lifting the MBL cap would inject more than $13 billion in new funding into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers. These funds could create 140,000 new jobs in the first year after enactment. Pictured, from left, are: John Deese, CEO, PBC CU, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Art Wood, CEO, Railroad and Industrial CU, Tampa, Fla.; Mary Wood, CEO, Florida West Coast CU, Brandon, Fla.; West; Pat Mason, CEO, Sun CU, Hollywood, Fla.; and Patrick La Pine, CEO, LSCU. (Photo provided by League of Southeastern Credit Unions). …


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