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Inside Washington (09/26/2011)

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* WASHINGTON (9/27/11)--Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Assistant Director of Credit Unions and Community Banks Elizabeth Vale last week met with the Ohio Credit Union League and other Ohio credit union representatives as part of the Credit Union National Association’s 2011 Hike the Hill.
Ohio credit union representatives meet with the CFPB’s Elizabeth Vale (lower center, left). (Ohio Credit Union League photo)
The Ohio league reported that the main topics of discussion included financial education, compliance, and non-regulated competition, as well as the general role of the CFPB in financial markets (eLumination Newsletter Sept. 21). Potential CFPB leader Richard Cordray, who is a former Ohio attorney general, also met with the Ohio-based group. Cordray said the CFPB would continue its dialogue with credit unions and would work with them to write more practical regulations. The CFPB was also covered during a meeting with Sen. Rob Portman (R). The Ohio group also urged several other members of Congress to back lifting the member business lending cap… * WASHINGTON (9/27/11)--Standard & Poor’s positive 2007 rating of collateralized debt offerings that arguably contributed to the financial crisis could result in legal action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Times reported. The legal actions could include civil money penalties, fee disgorgements, or other actions, the Times added. Official action has not been taken, but the SEC last week delivered a Wells notice, which warns of potential enforcement actions…

Oct. 12 is MBL hearing date

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WASHINGTON (9/27/11)--The House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit’s upcoming hearing on credit union member business lending now has a definite date: Oct. 12. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has repeatedly emphasized the potential benefits that lifting the MBL cap could provide for an ailing economy in several ways, including ads in local newspapers and direct contact with legislators in letters and in the form of Capitol Hill visits during CUNA’s 2011 Hike the Hill. H.R. 1418, which was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), has a total of 80 co-sponsors, according to www.govtrack.us. Similar Senate legislation (S. 509) has also been introduced by Mark Udall (D-Colo.). That bill has 20 cosponsors. Although members of the House are in their home districts this week, CUNA continues to look for legislative vehicles for MBL cap lift legislation. CUNA has suggested MBL cap lift bills in the House and Senate should be added to the Obama administration's larger plan to reinvigorate the ailing economy. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney this month also encouraged members of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets and government-sponsored enterprises to add lifting the credit union member business lending cap to any discussion on capital creation. “You can’t credibly talk about the issue of job creation without also talking about MBLs,” Richard Gose, CUNA senior president of political affairs, said on Monday. Congress has to do something about the larger economic picture, he added. CUNA estimates that lifting the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25% of assets restriction, would inject more than $13 billion in new funding into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers. These funds could create 140,000 new jobs in the first year after enactment.

TCCUSF payments due today

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/27/11)--Payments for 2011 Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) assessments are due today. Semi-annual National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) 1% capitalization deposit adjustments must also be made by the end of today. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) last month assessed a 25 basis point (bp) TCCUSF premium for 2011. The premium, which is expected to bring in $1.96 billion in funds to help cover the costs of corporate credit union stabilization, should be expensed by credit unions in September. Credit unions should report the full expense on their Sept. 30 call reports, the NCUA said. The agency has said electronic payments will be automatically collected today. Payments may also be made via pay.gov, the electronic payment portal. The NCUA earlier this year said there is "no anticipated need" for an NCUSIF premium to be charged in 2011, and an NCUSIF premium "will not be necessary in 2012" if the number of credit union failures maintains its current pace. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz during last week's open board meeting requested that her staff provide the board with their "best possible estimate" of the year-end ratio of the NCUSIF at the upcoming November board meeting.

CUNA backs remittance rule change

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WASHINGTON (9/27/11)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a comment letter said it agrees with the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) interim-final rule implementing Dodd-Frank Act amendments to the Federal Credit Union Act that added remittance transfers as an example of international electronic fund transfer services that may be offered to persons in a federal credit union’s field of membership. The Dodd-Frank Act, however, did not make substantive changes to authorized federal credit union business activities because federal credit unions were already authorized to provide international electronic funds transfers to persons in their field of membership. Section 1073 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended a portion of the Federal Credit Union Act to add “remittance transfers, as defined in section 919 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act” as an example of international electronic fund transfer services that may be provided by a federal credit union to persons within its field of membership. CUNA noted that this amendment to the Federal Credit Union Act was only technical in nature, and did not have a substantive effect. For the full CUNA comment letter, use the resource link.