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Inside Washington (02/14/2012)
  • VIENNA, Va. (2/15/12)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued its final rule defining non-bank residential mortgage lenders and originators (RMLO) as loan or finance companies for the purpose of requiring them to establish anti-money laundering programs (AML) and report suspicious activities (SAR) under the Bank Secrecy Act. When proposed, FinCEN noted in its Federal Register document, the rule suggested that the AML program and SAR filing regulations for RMLOs would be issued as the first step in an incremental approach to implementation of regulations for the broad loan or finance company category of financial institutions. "Thus, the definition of 'loan or finance company' would initially include only RMLOs, but would be structured to permit the addition of other types of loan and finance-related businesses and professions in future amendments." The effective date of the rule is April 16 and the compliance date is Aug. 13 …
  • WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--A proposed fee that big banks would pay for their role in the financial crisis will be more than doubled, the Obama administration announced Monday. Banks with assets of $50 billion or more, or 32 institutions, would be responsible for paying $61 billion in the course of 10 years, beginning next year, according to the Treasury Department (American Banker Feb. 13). The fee would be based on a bank's covered liabilities--its consolidated risk-weighted assets subtracted by its capital-insured deposits and certain loans to small business. Banks would be charged 17 basis points, but would be able to apply a 50% discount to more stable funding sources, such as long-term liabilities …
  • WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) budget (CFPB) will increase 32% in fiscal year 2013, according to President Barack Obama's budget, released on Monday. The increase will account for compensation and benefits costs as CFPB continues to add employees. The CFPB's budget, which will total $448 million, comes from mandatory transfers from the Federal Reserve System (American Banker Feb. 13). The agency can request up to $597.6 million in 2013, and may ask for $200 million more in discretionary appropriations from Congress until 2014, but it does not expect to make further requests, according to yesterday's proposal. CFPB plans to hire more than 400 employees next year, increasing its staff from to about 1,359 in fiscal 2013 from about 942 in fiscal 2012 …
  • WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will announce more premium increases for home buyers in next week in an effort to improve the agency's finances and avoid a taxpayer bailout. A key FHA account, which holds reserves that exceed expected losses, will be depleted in the next year, according to the Obama administration's budget proposal, which was released Monday (American Banker Feb. 13). That account's balance has fell to $4.7 billion, which is below the requirement, established by Congress, that the fund remain above 2% of the FHA's total loan guarantees. But Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which includes the FHA, said Monday the budget proposal does not account for an additional $900 million to $1 billion that the FHA will receive from last week's mortgage settlement with five large banks, and other possible settlements. The proposal also does not include the additional FHA premium increases that will be announced within the next week, Donovan said …
  • WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director and new Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) Vice Chair Richard Cordray in a Tuesday release said he is proud to work with his fellow FLEC members, adding that that group shares "a common vision of sustained financial well-being for all Americans." Cordray took part in his first FLEC meeting at the U.S. Treasury offices in Washington. The FLEC is comprised of representatives from the National Credit Union Administration, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House, and other governmental groups. Tuesday's meeting was the first of 2012. The FLEC meets every four months. During Tuesday's meeting, the FLEC focused on ways that third party vendors could use technology to help consumers better compare financial products. Cordray in a blog posted following the meeting said "the ability to understand and control one's finances is one of the most important life skills," and "creates a path to economic independence and mobility."...
  • WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week published its semiannual report, which details the agency's plans between October 2011 and October 2012, in the Federal Register...


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