Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

Washington Archive

Washington

Inside Washington (09/07/2012)

 Permanent link
  • WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--As part of its ongoing efforts to wind down and recover its remaining Capital Purchase Program (CPP) investments under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the U.S. Department of the Treasury Thursday announced it will sell preferred stock CPP investments in four banks. Treasury will conduct auctions for its preferred stock positions in Alpine Banks of Colorado, Glenwood Springs, Colo.; First Community Financial Partners Inc., Joliet, Ill.; F&M Financial Corp. , Clarksville, Tenn.; F&M Financial Corp., Salisbury, N.C; and Yadkin Valley Financial Corp., Elkin, N.C. Treasury said it expects to begin the auctions today …
  • WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--The Federal Reserve has introduced a magazine and website (http://www.communitybankingconnections.com/subscribe.cfm) dedicated to community banking issues. The quarterly magazine, Community Banking Connections, was created by the Fed to improve communication between the Federal Reserve and community bankers," according to a message from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. "We also hope it will inform and clarify expectations and give a better sense of the Federal Reserve's perspectives on supervisory matters," Bernanke said. "It is critical to keep the communications channels open if supervisors and banks are to work together constructively." The website also features compliance and policy guidance and a comments section …

Early voting begins well ahead of election day CUNA reminds

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--Campaigns nationwide are ramping up their operations ahead of this year's official election day, Nov. 6, but Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins noted that early voting has already begun in some states.

Absentee ballots were issued in North Carolina on Friday. Ballots for 31 other states and the District of Columbia will be issued ahead of Nov. 6. Early voting is allowed as late as the Friday before Nov. 6 in some states. Early and absentee voters may submit their ballots through the mail, and, in some cases, may vote in person at an election official's office or other remote voting locations.

Early ballots are counted as soon as Sept. 21 in South Dakota, and the schedules of other states are staggered between late September and early November.

Approximately 30%, or 39.7 million of 2008's presidential election votes, were cast by early and absentee ballots, according to George Mason University's U.S. Elections Project statistics. George Mason Professor  Michael McDonald predicted that absentee and early ballots could account for 35% of 2012's votes in a Friday Huffington Post blog post.

According to CUNA estimates, over 42% of all registered voters belong to a credit union. "If credit unions don't vote, we cannot expect our voice to be heard on Capitol Hill or in the state house," Hawkins said.

CUNA has provided information for voters and an online tool to help them determine where they can apply for early voting applications, on cuna.org. For the CUNA elections website, use the resource link.

CUs can view Wed. CUNA press event on MBLs

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--A Wednesday press event in Washington highlighting how member business lending (MBL) legislation will help small businesses and create new jobs--and featuring key U.S. Senate and House supporters--will be streamed across the Internet so that congressional offices and credit unions can watch. The event gets underway at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The event, which will feature remarks from key MBL sponsors Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), as well as Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and MBL coalition partners, comes as members of Congress return to Washington this week. Washington political newspaper The Hill is presenting the MBL event as part of its "Issue Forum" series, and representatives from the paper will moderate presentations about the MBL legislation and what it could mean to small businesses in need of capital.

As part of the program, Rhett Buttle, of The Small Business Majority, and Eli Lehrer, of the R Street Institute--both respected leaders of their respective Washington think tanks--will also present a joint research report focusing on job growth, the role small business plays in the economy and the support that credit unions can offer to small business in the economy's recovery with expanded business lending authority. Credit union and small business representatives will also speak.

The event will be live streamed online, and will be available to the credit union community, members of Congress and their staff. To watch the event on Wednesday, go to thehill.com and follow the instructions. The event will be held in room 50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

"We believe this event will reinforce to Congress the urgency of enacting MBL legislation at a time when job creation continues to be a huge policy concern," said Cheney, pointing to last Friday's jobs report showing unemployment still above 8%.

"I urge credit unions to take advantage of the opportunity to view the event themselves via the live webcast," Cheney added. "The issues forum will drive home the point that credit unions have a long and successful track record of small business lending, but some of the credit unions that have been most successful are being forced to curb or stop lending because they are bumping up against the MBL cap. This type of forum is one way that CUNA, credit unions and our supporters in Washington can help draw attention to the boost an MBL cap increase could give the economy," he said.

Bills that would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, from 12.25%, have been introduced in the House and Senate. Members of both parties support the MBL cap increase bills, and H.R. 1418 has 140 cosponsors. S. 2231 has 21 cosponsors, and Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on the MBL legislation.

CUNA has estimated that an MBL cap increase would create 140,000 jobs and inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy during the first year after enactment. Both benefits would come at no cost to taxpayers.

iCompBlog Wrap-Upi reports on CUNA lending school more

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--In the August edition of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) CompBlog Wrap-Up, CUNA Federal Compliance Counsel Colleen Kelly lays out the latest compliance tips from this summer's new CUNA Lending Compliance School, and provides details on the eight regulatory proposals that are currently out for public comment.

The CUNA Lending Compliance School, which was held in Las Vegas early last month, addressed, among other items:

  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act;
  • The National Flood Insurance Program;
  • Decoding lending examinations;
  • The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act;
  • Tips on fair lending compliance; and
  • The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
Credit union compliance experts from across the country gave their tips on how best to stay out of regulatory trouble, and some of their comments are covered in this month's Wrap-Up.

The latest edition of the Wrap-Up also offers a question and answer section on international remittances, and details on several NCUA letters about topics ranging from multi-featured lending plans to interest-rate risk.

As it does every month, the August CompBlog Wrap-Up lists the upcoming effective dates of new regulations, important compliance articles and reports to read, as well as CUNA training programs.

For more of the CUNA CompBlog Wrap-Up, and other compliance gems, use the resource links.