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Short NFIP extension could get House vote

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WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--Legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 60 days is expected to be considered by the U.S. House today, one day before the NFIP is set to expire.

The 60-day extension was approved by the Senate last week. With House approval, the bill would just need the president's signature to extend the program for two months.

Legislation that would extend the NFIP for five years has been approved in the House and by the Senate Banking Committee. In April, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced a bill that would authorized a longer-term extension of the program, but not as long as the House bill. His bill (S. 2344) would extend the NFIP through the end of this year.

The Senate, which is out this week due to the Memorial Day district work period, is expected to consider some form of a long-term extension of the NFIP when it returns to session in June.

This week, meetings this on the House committee schedule, in the financial services area, include:

  • A Thursday House Financial Services Committee markup of the Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act (H.R.1588) and H.R.3128, which would amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to adjust the date on which consolidated assets are determined for purposes of exempting certain instruments of smaller institutions from capital deductions; and
  • A Friday House Financial Services capital markets subcommittee hearing entitled: "Cyber Threats to Capital Markets and Corporate Accounts."

CUNA files with ICANN for .creditunion name

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WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has submitted an application for the ".creditunion" domain name to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN has been taking applications from individuals and groups interested in buying the rights to new "top level domain names." Domain names are the words to the right of the dot in an Internet address (URL).

ICANN said it expects thousands of applications for specific domain names to be filed by this week. The domain name applications can encompass communities of businesses or services, such as ".creditunion" or ".news," and can also be used to market specific brands or products.

The ".creditunion" top level domain, if obtained, would be available to credit unions to supplement or replace their existing Web names at a roughly estimated cost of $100-$200 annually per credit union, according to CUNA.

Approved domain names will likely go live in 2013.

CUNA President/ CEO Bill Cheney said the move to reserve a credit union-specific top-level domain "ensures this important identifier will stay in credit union hands and will allow the credit union movement to collectively take full advantage of the next stage of the Internet's development and growth."

A CUNA survey of member credit union CEOs and others found that nearly 60% of respondents favored purchasing the ".creditunion" domain name. Nearly 70% said they would create an additional ".creditunion" domain name, or move their existing Web page to a new ".creditunion" address, if the new top-level domain name is approved.

Cheney Small biz CUs keep steady push for MBLs

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WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--With the Senate still to vote on credit union member business lending legislation, credit unions and small business owners must keep up the pressure on the U.S. Congress to increase small business' access to much-needed credit by raising the MBL cap, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said on Tuesday.

Representatives from CUNA, credit union leagues, individual credit unions, and small business owners that have worked with their credit unions have met with staff of every U.S. Senate office ahead of a potential Senate vote on member business lending cap increase legislation, and these efforts "must continue if we are to be successful," he added.

Pending Senate and House bills would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets, up from 12.25%, under certain conditions, and CUNA has estimated that this increased MBL authority would help to inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers.

Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on the MBL legislation; a voting date has not yet been determined.

Cheney and CUNA staff have also met personally with 35 senators, and have plans to meet with more in the coming weeks, Cheney said.

"CUNA will work with leagues to ensure that every senator and every representative hears from small business owners and credit unions about this bill–not just once or twice, but on a very regular basis. We need a steady stream of contacts not only in Washington, but also in every state and every congressional district across the country," he added.

To help these ongoing MBL advocacy efforts, Cheney emphasized that credit unions that lend to small businesses must reach out to those they have served and encourage them to write, call and meet with their senators or their staff.

Credit unions that do not lend to small-business owning members should reach out to their senators and representatives and let them know that it is important that more small business credit is made available, because if small businesses are successful, credit unions will be successful, he said.

For more News Now MBL coverage, use the resource links.

Inside Washington (05/29/2012)

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  • WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--The Senate Banking Committee has invited JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon to testify before the panel on June 7, committee chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) announced Friday. A JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman would not confirm Dimon's appearance on that date. Johnson had previously said he would ask Dimon to answer questions about JPMorgan's $2 billion trading loss, but no date for the invitation had been announced (American Banker May 29). "In calling for Mr. Dimon to testify, I expect him to inform the committee of the details surrounding what has been reported to be a very complex trade," Johnson said last week …
  • WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--Jerome H. Powell on Friday took the oath of office as a member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. The oath was administered by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Powell Dec. 27, and the Senate confirmed him May 17. Powell was nominated to an unexpired term ending Jan. 31, 2014, which was vacated by the resignation of Frederic S. Mishkin on Aug. 31, 2008. Prior to his appointment to the board, Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he focused on federal and state fiscal issues. From 1997 through 2005, Powell was a partner at The Carlyle Group. He served as an assistant secretary and as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush, with responsibility for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market and related areas …
  • WASHINGTON (5/30/12)--For the first time, a financial regulator must meet with small financial institutions before proposing any rule that would significantly impact them. The change, deemed revolutionary by some industry observers, comes as the result of a Dodd Frank Act clause that extended The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) to include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (American Banker May 29). Previously, SBREFA applied only to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The new requirement gives small businesses an opportunity help the CFPB shape its rules at an early stage, said Richard Eckman, a consumer financial lawyer with the law firm Pepper Hamilton. Under the SBREFA statute, when the CFPB believes it has a rule that will have significant impact on small businesses, the agency must form a panel that includes representatives from the Small Business Administration's chief counsel for advocacy and the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs …

CU theft prompts NCUA prohibition order

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/30/12)--A former Capstone FCU employee, Alexander Baduria Flores, has been prohibited from future work at any federally insured financial institution by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) following his conviction on grand theft charges. Capstone is located in Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Flores was sentenced to 120 days in prison and three years of supervised probation. He will also pay an unspecified amount in restitution, according to an NCUA prohibition order released Monday.

Violation of a prohibition order is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

Use the resource link below to access NCUA enforcement orders online.