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Washington Archive

Washington

Senate committee to take up Matz nomination Tues.

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WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--The Senate banking committee during a Tuesday executive session will discuss the nomination of Deborah Matz to the board of the National Credit Union Administration. The discussion of Matz’s nomination, which will coincide with debate on portions of the Obama administration’s financial system reform plan that address insurance, follows a Senate committee nomination hearing that took place last Wednesday. Matz, who, if confirmed, is expected to be named to the role of NCUA chair, on Wednesday told the assembled legislators that she would work to "make certain" that the NCUA would "thoroughly" apply relevant consumer protections, promote "improved financial education," and encourage member credit unions to "reach out to serve all eligible consumers."

CUNA Exclude CUs from exec comp bill

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WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a letter sent Friday to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and ranking member Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) argued that the not-for-profit, cooperative operational motive of credit unions should exclude them from recently proposed executive compensation legislation that seeks to curb abuses. In the letter, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said that including credit unions under the purview of H.R. 3269, the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009, is “unwarranted.” While CUNA understands public and congressional concerns regarding the role that some “compensation structures that encourage excessive risk-taking” can play in “the safety of financial institutions and the economy,” the structure of credit unions as well as the “strong compensation regulations” that are already in effect have helped credit unions avoid the financial and the public relations damage that “excessive and unsafe risk-taking” has wrought on some for-profit financial services providers, the letter said. According to Mica, CUNA could not support the legislation as it is currently written, but would be open to working with the committee to amend the legislation to exclude credit unions. “Credit unions are unique, member-owned, not-for-profit, financial cooperatives, and they simply do not have the same operational motives as for-profit depository institutions,” the CUNA leader pointed out. “As a result, credit unions are risk-averse institutions operating in the best interest of their members.” He added that National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) already has compensation regulations in place that are designed “to prevent the types of dangerous compensation structures that exist in other sectors.” For a copy of CUNA’s letter, use the resource link.

Inside Washington (07/24/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair proposed an alternative strategy Thursday for President Barack Obama’s regulatory restructuring plan, arguing that a regulatory council should oversee systemic risk. Senate Banking Committee members largely supported her approach (American Banker July 24). The administration’s proposed risk council is too weak, she said. Bair also supports creating a new agency for consumer protection, but she said banking regulators should retain their enforcement powers over banks. Handing those powers over to the new agency would disrupt the FDIC, she added. However, the agency could enforce powers over nonbanks, she said. There would be better coordination between the agency and regulators if regulations were on its board. The consumer protection supervisor could sit on the FDIC board, she added ... * WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--The Federal Reserve Board would receive the fifth seat on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) board, according to new legislative language in the Obama administration’s regulatory restructuring proposal. The Fed would receive more power under the Treasury’s regulatory restructuring plan and would partially control the FDIC (American Banker July 24). Having the central bank on the FDIC board is a bad idea because it is a conflict of interest, according to one banking trade group. Former FDIC chairman Ricki Tigert Helfer said having the Fed sit on the board could be helpful because the FDIC has been called to address the problems of the financial crisis. The Treasury said it is just trying to fill a seat left open by the Office of Thrift Supervision, which the administration has proposed to eliminate ... * WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--House Small Business Committee members could propose legislation to revamp Small Business Administration (SBA) programs--including the 7(a) and 504 lending programs (American Banker July 24). Lender trade group representatives present at a finance and tax subcommittee hearing Thursday said SBA borrowers should be allowed to refinance with new loans, and that 7(a) criteria be expanded for development projects. Lawmakers appeared receptive. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) said more must be done to meet small business’ capital needs ... * WASHINGTON (7/27/09)--Credit unions whose yearly gross receipts are below $25,000 will take interest in recent Internal Revenue Service changes to some current reporting requirements. The IRS changes would amend current notification rules to require some tax-exempt organizations with under $25,000 in gross receipts that do not file yearly information returns to submit yearly electronic notifications. The changes, reported in the Federal Register, are effective as of July 23, 2009, and will apply to all yearly periods beginning after 2006...