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Inside Washington (10/10/2011)
* WASHINGTON (10/11/11)--Saying she does not believe that big banks will be held accountable in multi-state negotiations, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said her office is preparing to file lawsuits against the nation’s largest mortgage servicers for illegal foreclosure practices. “I have lost confidence that the banks will bring to the table an agreement that properly holds them accountable for wrongful foreclosures,” Coakley said. “Because our office for some time has anticipated that result, we have begun preparing for litigation. Our office is aggressively proceeding with efforts to file lawsuits regarding creditor misconduct in connection with unlawful foreclosures.” Coakley is not withdrawing from the multi-state negotiations (American Banker Oct. 7.) California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris withdrew from the negotiations last week. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was removed from the talks after being accused of attempting to undermine the negotiations … * WASHINGTON (10/11/11)--Early indications are that the Volcker Rule will be difficult for regulators to implement and make it nearly impossible for banks to comply. The Volcker Rule, made law by the Dodd-Frank Act, prohibits banks from risking their capital through trading, and limits their involvement with hedge funds and private-equity entities. But it does allow exemptions, such as trading on behalf of customers. Wayne Abernathy, the director of regulatory affairs and financial institutions policy at the American Bankers Association, said he was “dismayed” that the preamble alone is more than 200 pages, an indication that the details of the regulation itself will be several times longer (American Banker Oct. 7.). Some observers suggested the plan is an opening statement in what may be a long battle over the final rule, according to the Banker … * WASHINGTON (10/11/11)--The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website notes that President Obama on Oct. 5 signed the continuing resolution that includes a provision reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Nov. 18. FEMA, the overseer of the program, promised, “We will continue to update you on the NFIP reauthorization status” … * WASHINGTON (10/11/11)--In a comment letter sent to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) last week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) generally supported proposed technical amendments and clarifications to the agency’s corporate credit union rule. The letter said, CUNA overall supports a “more consistent” regulation and encourages “further efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on corporate credit unions.” CUNA backed a proposed revision that weighted average life (WAL) violations would no longer be subject to capital category reclassification for purposes of Prompt Correction Action under Section 704.8, calling it appropriate and citing that it would reduce regulatory burden. CUNA also agreed a proposed revised definition of “net assets” that would exclude Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) stock subscriptions is appropriate because the credit risk of carrying CLF stock subscriptions is “minimal and should encourage the use of the CLF as a liquidity provider, which will benefit corporate and natural person credit unions” … * WASHINGTON (10/11/11)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) launched its 2011 Hike the Hill event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Wednesday’s activities included a brief business meeting and discussions with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Credit Union National Administration (CUNA). Elizabeth Vale, CFPB assistant director for community banks and credit unions for CFPB, described the new agency’s mission. Consumer protection and financial literacy are top priorities for CFPB. “Credit unions wrote the book on financial literacy,” said Vale. “You are the model and your practices are outstanding.” Buddy Gill, senior strategic communications advisor for NCUA, discussed regulatory initiatives. Staff from the association and CUNA talked about pending legislation, policy issues, and campaign finance. Committee members also met with U.S. Reps. Jason Altmire (D) and Glenn Thompson (R). On Thursday committee members met with U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R), a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Dina Ellis Rochkind, senior financial services counsel for Sen. Pat Toomey (R), a member of the Senate Banking Committee. CUNA and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions’ member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity for credit unions to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said …


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