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Washington Archive

Washington

Fed Reserve amends check routing number guide

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WASHINGTON (7/21/09)--The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve has amended its routing number guide to next-day availability and local checks in Regulation CC to reflect recent changes in the Fed’s check processing operations. Under the Fed’s technical amendment, references to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will be replaced by references and routing numbers that correspond to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, effective Sept. 12. The Fed in May approved amendments to Appendix A of Regulation CC regarding the restructuring of check processing operations, transferring the check-processing operations of the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

CDFI applicants seek 9.8M through Native American program

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WASHINGTON (7/21/09)--A total of 17 applicants from 11 states have applied for a combined $9.8 million in financial assistance through the 2009 supplemental round of the U.S. Treasury’s Native American Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Two of the 17 institutions that requested funds are credit unions, according to a U.S. Treasury release. An equal number of banks, thrifts or holding companies also applied for funding. CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell awarded $8 million in financial aid and $3.6 million in technical assistance funds to CDFIs that serve the Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities on July 1. A further $3.7 million in funds will be distributed to the highest rated applicants in a combined pool that includes those who applied in response to the amended Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and those who applied under the original FY 2009 NOFA but did not receive an award in the first funding announcement.

Govt student loans a valuable option CUNA says

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WASHINGTON (7/21/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a Monday letter to Congress urged legislators to retain the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), a program that allows over 1,000 credit unions to provide student loans to their members. As currently written, H.R. 3221, The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, would eliminate the FFELP program. The bill is scheduled for a House Committee on Education and Labor markup later today. In the letter, which was sent to House committee chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) and ranking member John Kline (R-Minn.), CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said that CUNA was “concerned” by the prospect of eliminating the FFELP program. The elimination of this program would prevent some credit unions that specialize in educational loans and provide “much needed and individualized assistance if difficulties arise with regard to loan repayments” from offering the “valuable option(s)” to students. Over the last several years Congress has identified, and enacted legislation to address, several problems in the private student lending market. CUNA added that congressional remedies to issues in the private student lending market have “affected” credit unions that were “neither the target of the legislation nor the source of the problems,” with many credit unions having ceased to offer student loans and associated services to their members “as a result of the amendments to the Higher Education Act enacted last year.”

Inside Washington (07/20/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (7/21/09)--Financial industry representatives continue to debate the feasibility of giving the Federal Reserve Board sole responsibility of systemically significant institutions. The Obama administration has expressed interest in giving the Fed this role, but critics say the central bank already has its hands full (American Banker July 20). The move also would be politically unfeasible, said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank once supported giving the Fed systemic risk oversight responsibility. Michael Barr, Treasury Department assistant secretary for financial institutions, said the proposal to give the Fed more oversight power only builds on the responsibilities the central bank already has. The Fed is already regulating the largest firms in the nation, so overseeing systemic risk is a “modest expansion” of that power, he said Friday. The Fed’s current responsibilities include controlling the nation’s monetary policy, and overseeing payments systems, holding companies and some state-chartered banks. If the Fed doesn’t oversee systemic risk, a new agency could be created. The agency should be independent and chaired by a presidential appointee, said William Isaac, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman ...

Congress this week NCUA confirmation on tap

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WASHINGTON (7/21/09)--Credit union issues will remain on lawmakers calendars this week. The nomination hearing for potential National Credit Union Administration Chairman Deborah Matz and a possible House mark-up of the Obama administration's Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) legislation are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Matz’s nomination hearing will take place before the Senate Banking Committee at 3 p.m. on Wedensday. If, as is expected, she is onfirmed, Matz would serve on the NCUA board for a second time. The President has said he intends to designate her as chairman. Though it is not officially on the schedule, the House Financial Services Committee has tentatively scheduled a full committee markup session for Thursday, and it is thought that the CFPA Act could be marked up at this time. The House will also discuss regulatory perspectives on the current financial regulatory reform proposals on Wednesday and Friday, with Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Shapiro and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler scheduled to testify on Wednesday. Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke on Tuesday will testify on the semiannual monetary report before the House Financial Services Committee, with similar testimony before the Senate Banking Committee scheduled for Wednesday. Both House and Senate committees will hold hearings on systemic risk regulation later in the week.

NCUAs new online reporting rule topic of Aug. 12 webcast

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/21/09)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced an Aug. 12 webcast to provide details of its upcoming web-based financial reporting system to credit unions. The new web-based reporting regime, which was approved as a final rule at the NCUA’s board meeting last Thursday, will provide a secure internet portal for federally insured credit unions to submit financial reports, reports of officials, and other information online. The new reporting system, which will replace the current 5300 call report system for natural-person credit unions, will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2009. The 5310 call report system for corporate credit unions will be replaced in 2010. The NCUA will provide further information on the program in an early September letter to credit unions. The system should be mandatory for credit unions with internet access by Oct. 1. The new system, which should eliminate many of the redundancies that occur under the existing reporting regime, will also collect information on all services provided to credit unions by CUSOs. The current system only collects information on the primary services performed. According to an NCUA release, the webcast will “provide a description of the new online reporting system and key items credit unions will need to transition to the online system.” The NCUA will also give credit union officials a chance to ask direct questions to NCUA staff. The NCUA will provide registration information for the webcast in early August.