Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

No closed NCUA session Noralco bid still pending

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (12/11/07)—The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has no closed meeting scheduled for this week, although its online calendar published earlier in the year notes such a session. It is routine for a closed board session to follow an open board meeting and observers of the acquisition efforts surrounding Norlarco CU of Fort Collins, Colo. had been watching to see if the board took the opportunity of a December closed meeting to consider bids submitted by three credit unions. According to reports, Bellco CU, Greenwood Village; Ent CU, Colorado Springs; and Public Service Employees CU, Denver, have submitted bids to the NCUA. Colorado state regulators placed Norlarco into conservatorship in May after a number of construction loans it issued in Lee County, Fla., became delinquent. In July, the NCUA took control of the credit union and removed its board of directors. Norlarco's delinquent loans totaled more than $65 million.

CUNA urges Internet Gambling Act plan moratorium

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (12/11/07)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) today is urging a moratorium for implementation of provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. In a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica voiced concerns about a pending implementation plan issued by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board. The CUNA letter backed the law’s intent to crack down on illegal online gambling and added that credit unions support “reasonable efforts” to protect consumers from falling prey to unscrupulous unlawful gaming activities through the Internet. However, Mica said CUNA members are concerned that the current plan to implement the law will place “unforeseen regulatory burdens” on credit unions and other financial institutions. Noting that a Treasury-Fed comment period ends Dec. 12, Mica wrote, “We urge you to step in now to direct a moratorium on the implementation of the pending proposal, until a more reasonable approach can be considered by Congress and the regulators.” On another topic of key interest to credit unions, Mica commended Frank for his leadership, and that of Chairman Melvin Watt (D-NC) of the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations,. in May demonstrated by holding a hearing on Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). The CUNA letter said a full committee hearing addressing “the continuing issues” regarding the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) would be “extremely beneficial” and should look at the scope of BSA requirements that financial institutions must meet, as well as enforcement inconsistencies. “Credit unions are not looking for ways to simply avoid regulatory responsibilities, and they support efficient efforts to combat terrorism and regulate money laundering,” Mica wrote to the chairman. “However, the growing burden credit unions must bear is increasingly diverting them from meeting their primary objective of serving their members.”

Inside Washington (12/10/2007)

 Permanent link
* WASHINGTON (12/11/07)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) released its third-quarter banking report Friday financial on trends in all 50 states. The report shows each state’s employment growth rates, asset quality, capital and earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity and loan concentrations … * WASHINGTON (12/11/07)--The Basel II final rule will go into effect April 1, 2008, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. financial institution letter released Friday. The final rule applies to the determination of risk-based capital requirements for wholesale, retail, equity and securitization exposures and requires a financial institution to determine risk-based capital requirements for operational risk … * WASHINGTON (12/11/07)--Tax savings for small businesses will be the topic for the Small Business Administration (SBA’s) December web chat, scheduled for Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. (EST). Thomas P. Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), will answer questions about the importance of year-end tax preparation and planning for small business owners. He also will provide tax tips. Participants can join the live Web chat by going online to www.sba.gov, and clicking “Online Business Chat.” Web chat participants may post questions for Ochsenschlager before the chat by visiting …

Congress That busy unpredictable time of year

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (12/11/07)—It is shaping up to be a busy and unpredictable week in Congress, a situation that Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill noted Monday is nothing unusual for this time of year. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, has announced the House is in session this week and will conduct votes through Friday. This is an extension from a previously announced December House schedule and more changes are expected. However, Hoyer has stated intentions to complete the year’s legislative business by the end of this week. In the House that includes several suspension bills, which are considered noncontroversial and able to attract the necessary two-thirds vote for passage, as well as the Democrats’ omnibus appropriation bill. Also slated for the week, the House is expected to consider conference reports for the Intelligence Authorization Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, as well as a seven-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) program. Also possible, Magill said, is a House vote on an energy bill, and a State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill, as well as “some kind of a patch” on the Alternative Minimum Tax. On the Senate side, the Finance Committee Thursday has scheduled a hearing on housing issues under the committee's jurisdiction. Likely to be considered are proposals from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to aid homeowners by excluding debt forgiveness from taxation and making available tax-exempt financing for borrowers struggling to pay their mortgages. Also, on Thursday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is expected to chair a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on spending trends and consumer protection issues during the holiday season. Also possible, action on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and, possibly, an omnibus appropriations measure. And at the White House, President George W. Bush’s 2008 State of the Union address is now scheduled for Jan. 28.

Mortgage bankruptcy bill might get action says CUNA

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (12/11/07)--The House Judiciary Committee may mark up an amended version of its Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act (H.R. 3609), which seeks to revise sections of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and give judges power to modify certain terms in existing mortgages. The committee suspended consideration of the bill almost a month ago amid criticism by some in the financial services industry who opposed the idea of being forced by the courts to change loan terms. Ryan Donovan. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) vice president of legislative affairs, said Monday that the committee may vote on the bill Wednesday. He said CUNA has been meeting with both majority and minority staff seeking changes to the bill. As outlined in a CUNA letter sent in November, credit unions are seeking limits in the bill on what terms may be rewritten by bankruptcy court judges. Also, CUNA has recommended setting a timeframe on mortgages that would be eligible for alterations to reduce risks to financial institutions going forward into mortgage markets. “At this point we don’t know what compromises might be offered in a new version of the bill, but we have been very active in working for changes and will closely monitor progress of the bill,” Donovan said. H.R. 3609 was introduced by Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and 37 co-sponsors.