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Inside Washington (01/07/2013)
  • WASHINGTON (1/7/13)--The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said Thursday banks will be provided more time to comply with restrictions on swaps activities outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act. Under Dodd-Frank, banks are prohibited from using federal assistance such as federal deposit insurance or access to the discount window to support swaps activities (American Banker Jan. 4). The new rules will in effect force some banks to stop or divest their swaps businesses. Regulators, including the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., had previously set an effective date of July 16. But Dodd-Frank allows a financial institution's primary regulator to extend the transition period. "An insured Federal depository institution that is or will be a swaps entity and that seeks a transition period for its nonconforming swaps activities should formally request a transition period from the OCC," said in the guidance. "The OCC is prepared to consider such requests favorably, provided that the requests conform to the guidance provided" …
  • WASHINGTON (1/7/13)--President Barack Obama must decide whether to re-nominate Tony West to become associate attorney general (American Banker Jan. 4). West's Senate confirmation process was disputed over when it is appropriate to charge banks with fair-lending violations. Last year, in a behind-the-scenes deal with the Justice Department, St. Paul, Minn., city officials agreed to drop their Supreme Court appeal of a case that many observers say would curtail the federal government's use of a controversial legal theory in fair-lending cases. In exchange for dropping the case, the Justice Department agreed not intervene in an unrelated lawsuit that could have yielded at least $180 million in damages for U.S. taxpayers, according to congressional Republicans. West, formerly the head of the Justice Department's civil division, was involved in the internal discussions that led to the St. Paul deal …


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