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Nussle takes helm of CUNA today

WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--Jim Nussle today formally begins his tenure as president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, the nation's largest advocacy group for credit unions.
Click to view larger image CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle speaks to attendees at the Iowa Credit Union League convention last week. Nussle formally takes leadership of the national trade association today. (Iowa Credit Union League Photo)
Nussle, a former Iowa congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is taking the reins just as the credit union movement is celebrating the achievement of reaching 100 million memberships.
"The individuals who make up the more than 100 million memberships at credit unions trust their credit unions to provide them, their families and their small businesses with the financial services they expect and need," Nussle said, adding that he will work to ensure the credit union message and policy priorities are heard on the Hill and nationwide.
Nussle, 54, served in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007 as a Republican representative for Iowa's 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. He also served as chair of the House Budget Committee, which oversees the federal budget process, including review of all bills and resolutions on the budget.
Under President George W. Bush, Nussle was the 36th OMB director, serving from 2007 to 2009. He also was a member of the president's National Economic Council, National Security Council, Homeland Security Council and National Domestic Policy Council.
Most recently, Nussle was president of Growth Energy, a trade association of renewable energy companies and industry partners focused on alternative energy sources, such as ethanol.
Nussle also has been a contributor and guest host for CNBC 's "Squawk Box" and "The Kudlow Report" and has appeared on MSNBC and CNN .

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Comments on customer due diligence, fixed assets, Reg. C due in Oct.

WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--Comments on proposals from the National Credit Union Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are due during the month of October. The Credit Union National Association is also collecting comments on the proposals in question.

The proposals are:
  • FinCEN, customer due diligence. The proposal would amend Bank Secrecy Act regulations by strengthening customer due diligence obligations for financial institutions to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers. Comments are due to CUNA today and to FinCEN Oct. 3;

  • NCUA, fixed assets. The agency has proposed to remove the waiver requirement for federal credit unions to exceed the 5% aggregate limit on investment in fixed assets. The proposal would allow credit unions to exceed the 5% limit if it implements a fixed-assets management program. Comments are due to CUNA by Oct. 1 and to the NCUA by Oct. 10; and

  • CFPB, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Regulation C. The proposal would revise tests for determining which institutions are covered under the HMDA. Covered entities, including credit unions that trigger Regulation C compliance, would be required to report HMDA data if they originate 25 covered loans other than open-end lines of credit and commercial lines of credit, in the previous calendar year. Comments are due to CUNA by Oct. 15 and to the CFPB by Oct. 29.
Use the resource links below to access CUNA's regulatory advocacy comment call homepage, as well as previous News Now coverage of the proposals in question.

FSOC lacks approach to ID emerging fin. threats: GAO

WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) "still lacks a comprehensive, systematic approach to identify emerging threats to financial stability," according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week.

The report was done as a follow-up to recommendations given by the GAO to the council in September 2012.

The FSOC was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to identify and address threats to financial stability. The council consists of 10 voting and five nonvoting members. The 10 voting members include nine federal regulators and an independent insurance expert.

In September 2012, the GAO gave the council nine recommendations involving three areas: emerging threats and risks identification; transparency and accountability; and collaboration and coordination.

The recent report states that:
  • The Office of Financial Research (OFR) has made some progress in developing data tools to support FSOC since the 2012 report, but GAO's observations of two of these tools suggest that one tool does not focus on risks to the financial system, while another remains in a prototype phase;

  • FSOC has taken steps to improve its communication with the public but could do more to improve transparency and accountability, such as with a transparency policy approved in May. But FSOC staff said that they did not intend to keep detailed minutes of meetings because of the confidential information discussed;

  • FSOC staff also said that the impact of designating nonbanks for enhanced supervision would be assessed as part of a mandated January 2016 study. However, FSOC has not begun to prepare for this study; and

  • FSOC has taken steps to improve collaboration and coordination among member agencies but does not plan to act on some of GAO's recommendations on coordination. Staff said they did not plan to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the council, the OFR and member agencies because the overlapping responsibilities for monitoring systemic risk had not been problematic.
According to its report, the GAO "maintains that action is needed as its past work has shown that the lack of clear roles and coordination can lead to duplication, confusion and regulatory gaps."

Information for the GAO's study was obtained from June through September from staff and documents relating to the GAO's 2012 recommendations.

Use the resource link to access the complete report.

Inside Washington (09/22/2014)

  • DETROIT (9/22/14)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will hold its third event to reach homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in Detroit Oct. 2. The event will highlight the benefits of HARP and provide tools to help community leaders reach the more than 27,000 Detroit area residents still eligible to benefit substantially from a HARP refinance.  These borrowers could save more than $1,800 per year by refinancing. FHFA officials and panelists will also discuss FHFA's Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI),which entails both pre- and post-foreclosure strategies for assisting borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. Detroit is the first pilot city for this new initiative. Borrowers are considered "in-the-money" if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of  $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their mortgage of greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5% higher than current market rates ...

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