Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

Inside Washington (05/18/2009)

 Permanent link
* WASHINGTON (5/19/09)--The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility could attract more demand next month, according to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke (American Banker May 18). In a letter to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), he said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York received $10.9 billion of loan requests under the program compared with $1.7 billion in April. Ellison had written Bernanke for information on how healthy the financial markets are regarding asset-backed securities and asked how the Fed could trust the triple-A ratings attached to the collateral under the facility. Bernanke said the market is improving ... * WASHINGTON (5/19/09)--Newsweek interviewed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., about the economy and Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. Newsweek hosted the event live via Facebook. Roughly 950 individuals indicated via Facebook that they planned to watch the interview ...

SBA to launch no-fee guaranteed loan program

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (5/19/09)—Credit unions are among the lenders that may participate in a new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan program, one that features interest-free loans and deferred payments of up to $35,000. The SBA announced Monday that its new program, America’s Recovery Capital(ARC), will begin June 15. It was created under the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act. ARC will provide no-interest, deferred payment loans to help small businesses that have a history of good performance, but which are struggling to keep up with payments because of the tough economy. The ARC loans will be disbursed over a six-month period. The funds may be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities. Repayment is not required until 12 months after the loan’s final disbursement. After the 12-month deferral period, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years. ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not the SBA directly. The loans are 100% guaranteed by the SBA, and have no SBA fees associated with them.

Congress may complete housing credit bills this week

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (5/19/09)—The Senate will resume its discussion of H.R. 627 today. Among the items to be debated are amendments addressing credit card protections for small businesses, issues surrounding stored value gift cards, and an amendment addressing specific interest rate issues in the state of Arkansas. There may also be a “manager’s amendment.” The bill could see a final Senate vote later this week. The House may consider Senate amendments to H.R. 627 late in the week, but it is believed that Congress is crafting the bill to limit disagreements between the two legislative bodies and ensure quick passage. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to have the final legislation to his desk by Memorial Day. The House Rules Committee on May 18 considered Senate amendments to S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, and the House could offer further amendments this week. The Senate could then pass the final bill by the end of this week, with or without any potential House modifications. The National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) corporate credit union stabilization plan will be discussed in a May 20 hearing before the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit. Service 1st FCU President/CEO Bill Lavage will represent the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) on the panel. (See related story: Lavage is CUNA witness on corporate stabilization. The House will also hold hearings on “Capital Loss, Corruption, and the Role of Western Financial Institutions”, “approaches to Improving Credit Rating Agency Regulation”, and student loan reforms during the coming week. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will appear before the House to discuss the Treasury Department on May 21. Secretary Geithner will also discuss oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program before a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday.

Fair Credit Reporting among NCUA agenda items

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/19/09)—The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) agenda for the upcoming May 21 board meeting includes two Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) actions that were removed from last month’s agenda. During the early session, NCUA will discuss a final rule governing the accuracy of information that is furnished to consumer reporting agencies. The rule should also address consumers' direct disputes with furnishers of credit report information. NCUA may also issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing Part 717, Subpart E, Sections 717.40-717.43, Appendix E of NCUA regs. This proposed rule would seek to clarify the definition of "integrity" under FCRA and would set out the standards that would make a credit report have integrity. The NCUA will also consider its monthly Insurance Fund Report at this week's meeting. As is routine, a closed session of the NCUA board will follow the early open session.

NCUA launches revamped home page

 Permanent link
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/19/09)—The National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) homepage will feature a changed look and enhanced navigability beginning today. The redesigned NCUA.gov will contain a series of drop-down menus
Click to view larger image NCUA’s new home on the web.
that will allow users to access most of the information on the site, including NCUA publications, outside resources, data and services for NCUA constituents, and more general topical information. The most recent NCUA developments will be displayed under the “Latest Headlines” banner, in the center of the page. There will also be a right-hand column with information on upcoming events and share insurance. Content on the right hand column will change as needed. For a preview of the new look of ncua.gov, see the accompanying picture.

Lavage is CUNA witness on corporate stabilization

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (5/19/09)—When a House Financial Services subcommittee turns its attention Wednesday to the Credit Union Share Insurance Stabilization Act, Bill Lavage, president/CEO of Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa., will be testifying on behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The bill, H.R.2351, was introduced by Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.). It proposes to increase the borrowing authority of the National Credit Union Administration and establish a National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund restoration plan period. It also would assess insured credit unions for the costs associated with the corporate credit union stabilization effort on an anti-cyclical basis. Lavage will tell the subcommittee that CUNA strongly supports the legislation—considers it critical and timely. The CUNA testimony will spotlight the continued underlying strength of the credit union system, but will remind lawmakers that credit unions, and particularly corporate credit unions, have been buffeted by the economic conditions that have caused broad turmoil. If enacted into law, the provisions of H.R. 2351 would help ensure that credit unions remain a bulwark for the 92 million individuals and small businesses that look to them for financial strength and support, CUNA will point out. The National Credit Union Administration confirmed Monday that its chairman, Michael Fryzel, would be testifying on his agency’s behalf. Also expected to testify are representatives of the National Association of State Credit union Supervisors and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.