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Inside Washington (12/26/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (12/29/08)--The Treasury Department announced last week that it had closed $2.8 billion with 49 banks Dec. 19 and $1.9 billion with 43 banks Wednesday through its Capital Purchase Program. The program is a part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was created to strengthen the financial system. The department allocated $250 billion under TARP’s Capital Purchase Program to invest in financial institutions. The department has made $162 billion in investments so far ... * WASHINGTON (12/29/08)—Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President-elect Joe Biden, visited her credit union, New Castle (Pa.) County School Employees FCU, two weeks ago, said the Delaware Credit Union League in its newsletter (Together Dec. 19). The credit union told the league that Dr. Biden was accompanied by the Secret Service. Pictured from left are: Dot Kenney, Shannan McMann, Alex Johnson, Lori Mays, Terri Keene, Dr. Biden, Jean Moore, Stephanie Mitchell, Sandra Toppin and Colin MacArthur. (Photo provided by the Delaware Credit Union League) ... * WASHINGTON (12/29/08)--Senior management staff of the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) met Dec. 19 with Sarah Vega, chief of staff and senior advisor in the office of National Credit Union Administration Chairman Michael Fryzel. The group used the meeting to discuss operational, regulatory and compliance issues critical to Illinois credit unions in light of the current economic conditions. ICUL staff also provided Vega with a league update on its key programs and initiatives, including the status of its 2008 state legislative agenda. From left are Keith Sias, ICUL director of state legislative affairs; Vega; Patrick Smith, ICUL director of strategic services; and Steve Olson, ICUL executive vice president, general counsel, and chief operating officer. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League) ...

Parity urged for noninterest transaction accounts

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WASHINGTON (12/29/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) last week again urged the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board approve full deposit insurance coverage for noninterest bearing transaction accounts--as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has provided for the banks it insures. CUNA’s request was included in comments on an agency interim final rule that will provide options for displaying the official share insurance sign to reflect the increase in the maximum share insurance amount from $100,000 to $250,000. CUNA in its letter noted that the NCUA Board has ample legal authority to increase the coverage for such accounts. “Some credit unions feel they have been disadvantaged by the lack of full insurance for these accounts because they have either lost out on accounts they might otherwise have had or members have taken deposits to competing institutions,” wrote CUNA. In regard to the share insurance sign, CUNA said it supports the increase in the share insurance limit to $250,000 and the flexibility that the rule provides in “displaying the official sign to reflect these new levels, which includes using current signs, new signs, or modifying the current signs.” CUNA also said supports the “expansion of share insurance coverage that will now insure the principal and interest portion of a borrower’s payment separately from the borrower’s individual accounts, which will be consistent with the deposit insurance rules, as administered by the FDIC.” Use the resource link below to read CUNA’s complete letter.

Fed raises HMDA reporting threshold

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WASHINGTON (12/29/08)--The Federal Reserve Board has adjusted its Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) asset size data collection requirement threshold for 2009 from $37 million to $39 million. The Fed's annual adjustment of the asset size of financial institutions required to comply with HMDA data collection requirements is based on the annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Financial institutions with assets of $39 million or less as of December 31, 2008, will be exempt from the data collection requirements in 2009, but reporting requirements for data collected in 2008 are not affected. The adjustment will be effective Jan. 1, 2009. HMDA requires most financial institutions to collect and report data on home mortgage loans, home improvement loans, and refinancings. The data reported include the type, purpose, and amount of the loan; the race, national origin, sex and income of the borrower; and the location of the property. The purpose of HMDA is to help the Fed and other government agencies determine whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities and assisting in fair lending enforcement. Use the link below to access CUNA's Final Rule Analysis, which provides additional information.