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News Now

Washington
Inside Washington (11/17/2008)
* ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/18/08)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel last week reiterated the agency’s ongoing initiatives to protect consumers. They include the agency’s: multi-faceted media campaign to communicate facts about the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) to credit union members and the general public; enhancement of NCUA’S Consumer Assistance Hotline, including expanded hours and number of available lines; continued close supervision of credit unions, particularly those dealing with exposure to a declining housing market and simultaneous credit crunch, and with additional attention to credit card and home equity delinquencies; performing comprehensive "stress tests" to gauge the NCUSIF’s ability to withstand potential losses during market dislocations; daily monitoring of the liquidity position of corporate credit unions and establishment of a team of capital markets specialists to aid the corporate credit union network; and a proposal to return to a 12-month supervisory contact/examination schedule for all federally insured credit unions. Fryzel made his remarks at the California/Nevada Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting and Convention in San Francisco. Fryzel challenged credit unions to develop fresh ideas about what they can do better and to reconnect to the philosophy of people helping people … * WASHINGTON (11/18/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) loan modification plan is better than other government and industry plans to stop foreclosures, observers say (American Banker Nov. 17). It is still unclear if the proposal will solve conflict between investors and mortgage servicers, but the plan could “make a difference,” according to Ellen Seidman, director, New America Foundation’s Financial Services and Education Project. The proposal has safeguards so that it won’t become a catalyst for service to dump bad loans, she added. Congress supports the plan and hopes Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will support it when he testifies today at a House Financial Services Committee hearing. The Bush administration opposes the plan ... * WASHINGTON (11/18/08)--Regulators Friday agreed to join efforts to oversee credit default swaps, with plans for at least one clearinghouse to be in place by the end of 2008. The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission signed a memorandum of understanding to share information (The Washington Post Nov. 15). Wall Street had been pressured by government officials to create a small clearinghouse to soften losses from the failure of a credit default swap dealer. Credit default swaps were developed about 10 years ago so bondholders could protect themselves against borrower defaults ... * WASHINGTON (11/18/08)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network updated its BSA electronic filing specifications. New error codes for e-filing have been added ...


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