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Regulators update business continuity manual

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/20/08)—-The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), as part of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), has updated its business continuity planning booklet for financial institutions. The updated information is included in the “Business Continuity Planning Booklet,” which was issued in March 2003. The guidance is intended to help examiners, financial institutions, and technology service providers identify business continuity risks and evaluate controls and risk management practices for effective business continuity planning, according to the agency. NCUA said the revised booklet includes enhancements to the business impact analysis and testing discussions, and addresses emerging threats and “lessons learned” in recent years. The booklet also stresses the responsibilities of each institution’s board and management to address business continuity planning. The must consider technology, business operations, communications, and testing strategies for the entire institution. Key elements of the FFIEC’s December 2007 Interagency Statement on Pandemic Planning have been added to the booklet. Access electronic versions of the “Business Continuity Planning Booklet” and other examination handbooks using the link below.

Inside Washington (03/19/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The Small Business Administration (SBA) yesterday released a revised Standard Operating Procedure manual for lenders and development company loan programs. The document was reorganized and cut to 400 pages from 1,000. The electronic version can be downloaded as a PDF. Though the agency made significant structural changes, policy changes and clarifications to the document were limited ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has expressed concerns about commercial real estate (CRE) lending in a financial institution letter. Given the weakness in the housing market, banks with CRE concentrations should take steps to strengthen their overall risk-management framework and maintain strong capital and loan allowances, said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--Freddie Mac is looking for comment from the mortgage industry on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, which provides standards designed to improve appraiser independence. The code is being adopted as a part of a March 3 agreement with the New York Attorney General and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Starting Jan. 1, 2009, the enterprise will buy mortgages only from lenders who adopt the code. Comments most be postmarked by April 30 ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The U.S. Census Bureau is reminding U.S. businesses which received the 2007 Economic Census form that the forms must be returned within 30 days of receiving it. The old deadline was Feb. 12, and in most cases, the March reminder includes a fresh copy of the required form. Businesses can get help with their form, via the U.S. Census Bureau website or by calling 800-233-6136 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday...

GAC photos available online for attendees

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WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--Attendees of this year's 2008 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), held March 2-6 in Washington, D.C., now can view hundreds of scenes from the event and order photographic prints. After more than 30 years at the Washington Hilton, CUNA brought its GAC—and a record-breaking crowd—to the Washington Convention Center this year. More than 4,500 credit union activists attended the event, including a record 580 first-time attendees. CUNA also has made available online copies of the association's daily on-site conference publication, GAC Daily. Use the resource links below to access both.