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Top Association CEOs list includes CUNAs Mica

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WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica has been named as one of 40 top association CEOs in CEO Update’s first-ever list of influential executives. CEO Update, a Washington bi-weekly publication that reports on association and non-profit executive careers and people, compiled its list from associations that serve all sectors of the economy, including the American Medical Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The publication notes that Mica, a former five-term congressman, has spent the “last 13 years promoting the interests” of credit unions, and “protecting them from the banks that, he says, are out to destroy them.” According to CEO Update, individuals were chosen to appear on the list by fellow CEOs, as well as executive recruiters. Among the criteria to consider in nominating a CEO: legislative success, leadership ability, skill in raising a group’s profile or managing a crisis; history of building coalitions and reaching consensus. Also named to the list from the financial services industry was Camden Fine, CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Among the other 40 CEOs on the list are Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Engler of the National Association of Manufacturers, Glenn English of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Dave McCurdy of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

Inside Washington (08/10/2009)

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* WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced that it has adjusted the fee-based trigger for additional disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act to $579, effective Jan. 1, 2010. The Fed’s yearly fee adjustment would affect home mortgage loans that bear rates or fees above a certain amount. However, the Fed said that the adjustment does not affect the new rules for “higher-priced mortgage loans” that the board adopted in July 2008. The rules are determined by the use of a different rate-based trigger ... * WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--Several analysts have weighed in on last month’s proposal by Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and Fed Gov. Elizabeth Duke to make consumer protection a core mission of the Fed instead of creating a separate agency. The Obama administration has proposed a separate agency. Some financial observers perceived their comments as a proposal to expand the Fed’s mandate to maximize employment and promote price stability to include consumer protection (American Banker Aug. 10). Placing consumer protection with the other mandates could be troublesome because price stability and employment are more important than consumer protection, said George Kaufman, Loyola University professor. Robert Litan, Brookings Institution fellow, said placing consumer protection as a core function of the Fed gives the central bank the impression that it’s okay to spend more money on the mandates. Kevin Jacques, finance department chair at Baldwin-Wallace College, said the Fed’s consumer protection proposal is just talk. The Fed’s job is to oversee the safety and soundness of the financial system, and consumer protection is “further down the line,” he said ...

Reg reform rollout to continue after summer break

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WASHINGTON (8/11/09)--Although debate on the Hill over regulatory reform has paused due to the ongoing district work period, reform will remain high on the congressional agenda once Washington returns to its normal schedule early next month. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) expressed confidence that the House would pass on a regulatory reform bill to the Senate by October, with President Barack Obama signing the completed legislation by the end of the year. Frank added that there was no conflict with other pending health care and environmental legislation. Frank has publicly expressed the need for a new regulatory regime that would hold regulators accountable to their responsibilities as overseers, limit some securitizations by requiring some risk retention and protect consumers. Consumer protection has been a frequent topic of debate, and several sources have indicated that the House could hold markup sessions as well as a vote on the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) in September. While many in the financial services industry have publicly opposed the CFPA, which would seek to protect consumers through various rulemaking, oversight, and enforcement tools, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said it is willing to work with legislators to ensure that the needs of credit unions are met by the legislation. CUNA has also met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in recent months, and Geithner showed an "intense interest" in the credit union-specific issues of member business lending and alternative capital. He indicated that he looks forward to working with credit unions to address some of the perceived deficiencies in the financial regulatory structure. Possible changes to financial regulation could also include limits on executive compensation, and this issue was addressed by legislation that passed the House on July 31. H.R. 3269, the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009, would seek to ensure that compensation structures do not encourage excessive risk-taking, and CUNA and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions have told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), that credit unions should be excluded from this legislation because they are not responsible for the financial issues the bill would address. While regulatory reform looks to be the most pressing issue, member business lending restrictions, interchange fees, and a number of other items that are of interest to credit unions could be addressed by the Congress soon.