Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

Congress returns to busy week

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/29/11)--Credit unions will want to keep an eye on hearings and, potentially, floor votes this week as Congress returns from the Thanksgiving break.

The key bills for credit unions this week are H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, and possibly H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act). The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently spoke out in support of H.R. 3010, saying it would "give credit unions and others new tools and procedures that would help protect against arbitrary regulatory burdens" and "would significantly enhance the interaction between industry and federal administrative agencies."

The Regulatory Accountability Act would revise the Administrative Procedure Act to require agencies to consider the costs and benefits of new rules and other regulatory actions, and would require federal regulators to conduct public hearings for most rules estimated to have an aggregate impact on industry of over $1 billion. The legislation also sets new data quality standards for agency fact finding in the rulemaking process.

Portions of the bill that add cost benefit analysis and information reporting requirements "would be far more effective than the closest existing parts of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act," CUNA said.

The first hearing of this week will take place later today when the House Financial Services Committee marks up H.R. 3213, the Small Company Job Growth and Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, H.R. 2682, the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act of 2011, H.R. 2779, to exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and H.R. 2586, the Swap Execution Facility Clarification Act.

That committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations will on Wednesday hold a hearing on Federal Housing Finance Agency oversight, and the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday will cover legislation related to capital formation.

CUNA Retiring Rep. Frank a CU friend

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (11/29/11)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who on Monday announced he would not seek reelection for his House seat next November, "has been a friend to credit unions throughout his career" and "has always understood and appreciated the credit union difference, and the important role that credit unions play in the lives of their members."
Frequent credit union supporter Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Monday announced he would not seek reelection next November after serving nearly 30 years in the U.S. House. (CUNA Photo) 


Frank is a 16-term member of Congress, and is the former chair and current ranking member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. As chairman of the Financial Services Committee, he was one of the architects of the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Act, which was the most sweeping financial reform package in decades.  He ensured that language that exempted small institutions from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight was included in this bill.

Massachusetts Credit Union League President/CEO Dan Egan said the Dodd-Frank Act "stands as a testament to Barney's commitment to the rights of consumers and his recognition of the fact that credit unions, as consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives, are unique in the way that they provide for working class families in the U.S."

Frank was also instrumental in the enactment of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Act, the CARD Act fix, and also recently worked to address credit union concerns regarding interchange regulations, warning earlier this year that the implementation of those regulations, if not properly crafted, may have unintended consequences for credit unions and consumers.

"He used his position during the most difficult economic times in generations to ensure that credit unions were not adversely affected by the reforms aimed at the large for-profit financial companies that caused the financial crisis," Cheney added.

Frank noted several times before credit union audiences at CUNA's annual Governmental Affairs Conference and other events that if all financial entities had acted like credit unions act, the financial crisis might have been avoided.

The Massachusetts Credit Union League noted that the league, and credit unions, have supported Frank since he made his first run for Congress in 1982.

The 71-year-old legislator in a Monday press conference said he had long planned to retire around this time. His district, the 4th district of Massachusetts, has also been redesigned, excising portions of the state that had long supported him and adding more conservative areas near his home base of Newton, Mass.

Inside Washington (11/28/2011)

 Permanent link
  • WASHINGTON (11/29/11)--The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has offered to release banks from some loss-mitigation liability on delinquent Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-insured loans under settlement negotiations with the largest mortgage servicers. The settlement talks among state attorneys general, federal officials and mortgage servicers are focused on illicit foreclosure-related practices, including so-called robo-signing of foreclosure documents (American Banker Nov. 28). The parties to the talks hope to complete the settlement by Christmas, according to the Banker. The government sued Deutsche Bank in May for $1.2 billion, claiming underwriting and quality-control violations. The suit left open the possibility of similar action against Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which hold billions of dollars each of delinquent FHA-insured loans. If a bank files an FHA mortgage-insurance claim, and HUD finds evidence that it improperly serviced the underlying mortgage, a bank may be held liable for triple damages, or fined three times the sum of the original. Under the settlement, HUD would release banks from that liability and not seek the fine …
  • WASHINGTON (11/29/11)--Citigroup and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)will prepare for trial after a federal judge rejected a proposed settlement plan between the two parties. Citigroup had agreed to pay $285 million to settle charges that it misled investors about an investment tied to the deteriorating housing market in 2007 (Washington Post Nov. 28). Betting against the housing market, Citigroup made $160 million in profit, while investors lost more than $700 million. But U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff rebuked the SEC for charging Citigroup with negligence instead of fraud as part of the settlement. Rakoff also criticized the agency for following its standard practice of allowing defendants to settle charges without admitting or denying any wrongdoing …

NEW CUNA lauds retiring Rep. Frank as CU friend

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 2:45 P.M. ET, 11/28/11)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney today said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who earlier this afternoon announced he would not seek reelection for his House seat next November, "has been a friend to credit unions throughout his career" and "has always understood and appreciated the credit union difference, and the important role that credit unions play in the lives of their members."

Frank is a 16-term member of Congress, and is the former chair and current ranking member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. As chairman of the Financial Services Committee, he was one of the architects of the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Act, which was the most sweeping financial reform package in decades.  He ensured that language that exempted small institutions from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight was included in this bill.

Massachusetts Credit Union League President/CEO Dan Egan said the Dodd-Frank Act "stands as a testament to Barney's commitment to the rights of consumers and his recognition of the fact that credit unions, as consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives, are unique in the way that they provide for working class families in the U.S." 

Frank was also instrumental in the enactment of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Act, the CARD Act fix, and also recently worked to address credit union concerns regarding interchange regulations, warning earlier this year that the implementation of those regulations, if not properly crafted, may have unintended consequences for credit unions and consumers.

"He used his position during the most difficult economic times in generations to ensure that credit unions were not adversely affected by the reforms aimed at the large for-profit financial companies that caused the financial crisis," Cheney added.

Frank noted several times before credit union audiences at CUNA's annual Governmental Affairs Conference and other events that if all financial entities had acted like credit unions act, the financial crisis might have been avoided.

The 71-year-old legislator in a Monday press conference said he had long planned to retire around this time. His district, the 4th district of Massachusetts, has also been redesigned, excising portions of the state that had long supported him and adding more conservative areas near his home base of Newton, Mass.