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Inside Washington (02/16/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (2/17/12)--People seeking a review of their mortgage foreclosures under the federal banking agencies' Independent Foreclosure Review have until July 31 to submit their requests. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board Wednesday announced that the deadline for submitting requests the Independent Foreclosure Review has been extended. The new deadline provides an additional three months for borrowers to request a review if they believe they suffered financial injury as a result of errors in foreclosure actions on their homes in 2009 or 2010 by one of the servicers covered by enforcement actions issued in April 2011. The deadline extension provides more time to increase awareness of how eligible people may request a review through the Independent Foreclosure Review process and to encourage the broadest participation possible, the two regulators said …
  • WASHINGTON (2/17/12)--Two experts on executive compensation in the financial industry testified Wednesday that a pay proposal issued last April by banking regulators leads bank executives to take excessive risk. Robert Jackson of Columbia Law School said the proposal, required by the Dodd-Frank Act, leaves bonuses completely unregulated for employees who take risks at the largest banks (American Banker Feb. 16). Jackson also said that 4,742 bankers at JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo received incentive pay of more than $1 million in 2008, the year the financial crisis began. Lucien Bebchuk of Harvard Law School said the regulators' proposal leads banks to take risks because it focuses on short-term, rather than long-term, results and the companies' stock prices at the expense of shareholders, bondholders and depositors …
  • WASHINGTON (2/17/12)--In the future, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will provide more detail to Congress and the public on its spending, the agency's director told a House panel on Wednesday. CFPB Director Richard Cordray, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, said Republican concerns about information on the bureau's budget were fair (American Banker Feb. 16). He said the bureau's needs for its $448 million 2013 budget were more comprehensive because it adds staff in its second year. Republicans continued to argue they should have some authority in the CFPB budgeting process. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that  the CFPB lacks oversight and accountability because it receives funding from the Federal Reserve Board. Democrats noted that Congress still has significant authority to oversee the bureau's activities. Wednesday was the sixth oversight hearing Congress has held in regard to the agency, said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) …
  • WASHINGTON (2/17/12)--U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen, in a statement Thursday, said the U.S. welcomes the completion of the Financial Action Task Force's  (FATF) work to revise and strengthen its recommendations to combat the global threat of money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF is an intergovernmental organization focused on developing and promoting national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The body's recommendations have been revised, the Treasury statement said, to provide governments with stronger tools to take action against financial crime and protect the integrity of the international financial system. At the same time, the new standards address new priority areas such as proliferation finance, corruption and tax crimes. The revisions are meant to reflect a risk-based approach, strengthening safeguards in areas that pose higher risks, and providing more flexibility to simplify measures in areas that pose a low risk for abuse …
  • WASHINGTON (2/17/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed adding debt collectors and consumer reporting agencies to the list of firms it oversees under its nonbank supervision program. The CFPB rule would subject debt collectors and credit reporting agencies that qualify as larger participants to the same supervision process that that agency applies to financial institutions, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a release. Debt collectors and credit reporting agencies have not been subject to federal supervision in the past. Debt collectors with more than $10 million in annual receipts from debt collection activities would be subject to supervision, a threshold that the CFPB said would bring 175 debt collection firms under agency oversight. These 175 firms account for 4% of all debt collection agencies, but handle 63% of the market. Consumer reporting agencies with more than $7 million in annual receipts from consumer reporting activities would be subject to supervision, the CFPB said. This would bring 30 consumer reporting agencies, which account for 94% of the yearly profits made in that market, under CFPB supervision. The CFPB's proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register...


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