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Inside Washington (02/07/2011)
* WASHINGTON (2/8/11)--As federal agencies remain deadlocked over new loan servicing rules, more observers are calling for Congress to settle the debate (American BankerFeb. 7). Regulators cannot decide whether to use the authority granted by Dodd-Frank legislation to create the new rules or direct other vehicles to mandate the handling of foreclosures. With the issue unresolved, some observers say Congress is most likely to create a single solution, or at least get the process started. What regulators do agree on is the need for loan servicing standards, created by servicers’ poor handling of foreclosures, modifications and buyback requests and other issues related to the mortgage crisis. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. advocates making standards part of risk retention rules for securitized loans, which are mandated by Dodd-Frank. But other agencies are opposed to that approach. Though observers agree that Congress should be involved on some level, it remains to be seen if any legislation could garner enough votes for passage. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has yet to clarify his position on the issue. But Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the former committee chair, said he fears Republicans will give low priority to the issue … * WASHINGTON (2/8/11)--Michael H. Krimminger has been named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) new general counsel. The FDIC general counsel is in charge of the legal division, which is responsible for legal work on regulatory issues, and FDIC transactions, litigation, and corporate and commercial claims. The legal division has more than 800 employees nationwide. As deputy to the chairman for policy at the FDIC since 2009, Krimminger has served as the chairman’s advisor and has directed policy initiatives on banking and financial institution crisis and resolution, mortgage finance, international coordination, capital markets, and legal issues … * WASHINGTON (2/8/11)--Deposit insurance will climb and bonus pay sink for top executives under two regulations approved on Monday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The new large bank pricing system will result in higher assessment rates for banks with high-risk asset concentrations, less stable balance sheet liquidity, or potentially higher loss severity in the event of failure. Over the long term, large institutions that pose higher risk will pay higher assessments when they assume these risks rather than when conditions deteriorate. The compensation rule requires that at least 50% of incentive-based payments be deferred for a minimum of three years for designated executives. Moreover, boards of directors of these larger institutions must identify employees who individually have the ability to expose the institution to substantial risk, and must determine that the incentive compensation for these employees appropriately balances risk and rewards according to enumerated standards … * WASHINGTON (2/8/11)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Monday issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to improve consumer awareness of deposit insurance coverage. The proposed rule would require certain bank staff to receive annual training on the basic principles of deposit insurance coverage with the FDIC providing the materials--a computer-based module--with no recordkeeping required of the insured institution. The rule would limit the required training to those employees who open accounts or are authorized by the bank to answer deposit insurance questions. The rule achieves the balance of minimizing regulatory burden while ensuring that depositors are better informed, according to an FDIC release …


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