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Inside Washington (10/14/2011)
* WASHINGTON (10/17/11)--U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and House colleagues on Thursday called on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether big banks are coordinating their fee strategies in violation of federal anti-trust laws. In a letter to Holder, Welch and his colleagues highlighted public statements by banks and banking associations that point to possible efforts to coordinate fee increases. “It appears that banks are seeking to justify fee increases after Congress and the Federal Reserve Board recently limited banks’ ability to collude with networks to set debit interchange fees,” the lawmakers wrote. “Statements made by individual banks and their trade associations raise questions about whether some price increases that have occurred this year have actually been coordinated.” Three of the nation’s four largest banks--Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo--recently announced they will begin charging new debit card fees … * WASHINGTON (10/17/11)--The federal agencies that supervise credit unions, banks, thrifts and the Farm Credit System on Friday published guidance that updates the interagency questions and answers regarding flood insurance published in July. The guidance finalizes questions related insurable value and force placement of flood insurance. The agencies withdrew another question regarding insurable value. They requested comment on three additional proposed updates to questions and answers relating to force placement of flood insurance. Two answers have significantly changed. The third change, regarding force placement of flood insurance, revises a previously finalized question and answer for consistency with the proposed changes … * WASHINGTON (10/17/11)--Charlotte, N.C., the likely site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, may prove to be an uncomfortable location after President Barack Obama’s comment last week that the government may be able to stop banks from charging some fees (American Banker Oct. 14). Charlotte is a banking city, and the home of both Bank of America (BofA) and the 73,000-seat Bank of America Stadium, where the convention would likely be held. One industry source said he could not recall a similar instance of a president citing a specific company in comments. BofA has not responded publicly to the president’s comments …

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