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Inside Washington (06/26/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (6/27/08)--Time is running short as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) struggle to pass housing legislation (American Banker June 26). Dodd said he has compromised with Senate Republicans as much as he can and met with Frank Tuesday to earn his support on the bill. Last week, Frank said he could not support the Senate package because measures to reform regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don’t provide enough time to implement a new supervisor. Dodd also is being pressured by a deal he made with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Shelby agreed to raise the enterprises’ conforming loan limits. The senators originally hoped to pass the legislation by July 4 ... * WASHINGTON (6/27/08)--Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair and Sir Callum McCarthy, chairman of the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority (FSA), yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will provide formal information-sharing and contingency planning arrangements in connection with cross-border banking activities in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The MOU is designed to enhance the ongoing working relationship between the two authorities, the FDIC said in a release. “The MOU will provide tremendous assistance to both countries in promoting opportunities to learn from each other's experience and expertise--and could serve as a template for future agreements with other countries,” Bair said ...

August deadline for MBL comments

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WASHINGTON (6/27/08)—Credit unions have until August 25 to respond to a recent National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) request for comments on proposed changes to Part 723 of its member business lending (MBL) rule. At its June 19 meeting, the NCUA acknowledged it has received a number of communications voicing concerns about the current rule. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), for instance, has repeatedly sought revisions in areas that are not dictated by statutory requirements, such as loan-to-value ratios and waiver provisions. The NCUA is seeking comment on whether the following sections of its rule should be revised and clarified:
* Loan-to-value ratio requirements; * Collateral and security requirements; * Credit union service organization involvement in the MBL process; * MBL loan participation; and * Waivers.
The NCUA is also seeking comments on any other aspect of the rule. "While we are reviewing the proposal, the NCUA’s action represents the kind of regulatory approach that is positive and much needed in the current climate of overregulation," said CUNA's Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn about the agency’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. CUNA is developing a comment letter with the CUNA Federal Credit Union Subcommittee and CUNA Lending Council. A CUNA Comment Call on the notice will be available shortly on CUNA's Regulatory Advocacy website. Use the resource link below for more information the NCUA request for comment.

NCUA to mark FCU Acts 75th year

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/27/08)—The 75th anniversary of when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took pen in hand and signed the Federal Credit Union Act will be marked by a two-day symposium next year, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced Thursday. NCUA board member Gigi Hyland said the symposium will be one in a series of commemorative efforts the agency will undertake to highlight the landmark anniversary. Roosevelt signed the FCU Act into law on June 26, 1934. The two-day symposium will be held in Washington, D.C., in early June 2009 and will focus on:
* The current financial marketplace; * The importance of federal deposit insurance; * Opportunities for credit unions to serve all segments of their field of membership; and * Opportunities for modernization of the Federal Credit Union Act.
“The purpose of this effort is to bring together a wide variety of representatives from all sectors of the credit union industry, as well as other interested parties, to hold a wide-ranging and frank discussion to determine whether there is a consensus on the vision for credit unions for the next several decades and beyond,” Hyland said in a release. She added that the symposium will be one in a series of commemorative efforts the agency will undertake.