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CFPB wants comment on lending savings privacy

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WASHINGTON (6/2/11)—Regulations addressing lending, savings, and consumer privacy are among those that will be taken over when a number of finance industry oversight tasks are transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 21, and the CFPB is seeking public comment ahead of that deadline. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as regulations addressing electronic fund transfers, mortgage originator registration, and mortgage assistance relief services, will also come under the CFPB’s control later this year. The CFPB in the Federal Register listed 47 rules that will become its responsibility in late July. The CFPB is taking over authority of these and other rules from the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The list was developed after conversations with these regulators, according to the CFPB. Comments will be accepted until June 30. A final list will be published before July 21, the CFPB said. The CFPB is already developing a simplified mortgage disclosure document that combines the complicated documents required under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) into a single page, two-sided disclosure. The CFPB last week discussed the form with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) just before the comment deadline for the first draft of its combined form closed. Additional drafts are scheduled to be released, and CUNA has planned to meet with the CFPB when the second draft of its mortgage form is released later this month. For coverage of CUNA’s most recent meeting with the CFPB, and the full list, use the resource links.

Cheney writes Small Business Committee on MBL cap

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WASHINGTON (6/2/11)--Credit unions stand ready to help businesses grow and to create jobs – and could lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in the first year if legislation to raise their authority to make business loans is passed, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney told members of the House Small Business Committee in a Wednesday letter. The letter was sent to committee chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and ranking member Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), and was submitted for the record of a Wednesday hearing entitled “Access to Capital: Can Small Businesses Access the Credit Necessary to Grow and Create Jobs?” H.R. 1418, which was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) earlier this year, would lift the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5% of total assets, creating as many as 140,000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers. While the regulations that H.R. 1418 would address do not fall under the jurisdiction of the small business committee, Cheney encouraged committee members to support the legislation. The CUNA letter noted that “credit unions have proven the ability to do small business lending safely and soundly, demonstrating remarkably lower charge-off and delinquency rates than banks making business loans,” and added that credit unions have increased their work with small businesses in recent years as banks have limited their business lending portfolios. Cheney pointed out that, today, many credit unions are rapidly approaching the extant 12.25% cap on total business lending imposed by law on credit unions, while others choose not to engage in business lending because of the cap. In spite of the 12.25% cap, business lending is the fastest growing segment of credit union lending. For the full letter, use the resource link.

Foreign account report deadline extended for some

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WASHINGTON (6/2/11)--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) this week extended for some individuals the deadline for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) until June 30, 2012. The reports were due to be filed on June 30 of this year. The FBAR filing extensions are limited to:
* Officers and employees of credit unions and other financial institutions that have “signature or other authority over and no financial interest in a foreign financial account of another entity more than 50% owned, directly or indirectly,” by their employing institution; and * Officers and employees with no financial interest in the foreign financial accounts over which they have signature authority or other authority.
FBAR forms are filed annually and are used to report a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, bank accounts, securities, or other types of financial accounts in foreign countries. FBARs must be filed for accounts that hold over $10,000 in funds at any time during the year, and are required to be filed once per year. For the full release, use the resource link.

Inside Washington (06/01/2011)

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* WASHINGTON (6/2/11)--U.S. Reps. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) have introduced a bill that would exempt privately held banks with less than 2,000 shareholders from filing quarterly reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The law currently requires all banks with at least 500 shareholders to register with the SEC, even if their stocks are not traded on a major exchange (American Banker June 1). The threshold for de-registering would be increased to 1,200 shareholders from 300 shareholders. Community bankers maintain that the current standards, in place since 1964, should be raised to better reflect investor interest in local banks. Bank financials are already available to the public through call reports, according to bankers, who say that registering with the SEC is redundant and costly. The bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in March … * WASHINGTON (6/2/11)--David J. Stockton, director of the Federal Reserve’s division of research and statistics, will retire Sept. 30 after 30 years of service at the Fed, including 11 years in his current role. Stockton oversees the division’s 325 employees and is responsible for briefing the Federal Open Market Committee on the outlook for the U.S. economy. In that capacity, he has served under two Federal Reserve Chairmen: Ben S. Bernanke and Alan Greenspan. Before joining the board staff in 1981, Stockton was an instructor and lecturer at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. He started at the board as an economist in the wages, prices and productivity section, with responsibility for forecasting and analyzing inflation … * WASHINGTON (6/2/11)--The Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) will hold a public meeting on June 15 and submit its latest round of recommendations to IRS leadership. The ACT makes recommendations on operational policies and procedures regarding employee retirement plans, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments. Reports from five ACT subgroups are on the agenda, including: Exempt Organizations: Group Exemptions--Creating a Higher Degree of Transparency, Accountability, and Responsibility; and Employee Plans: Recommendations Regarding Pension Outreach to the Small Business Community. ACT reports are available on the IRS website