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Inside Washington (03/02/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (3/5/12)--Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) Thursday criticized Bank of America after a Wall Street Journal article reported that BofA is considering new checking account fees. BofA would charge checking account holders who do not bank online, maintain a certain minimum balance or buy other products, according to the article (American Banker March 2). In 2011, BofA considered charging a $5 monthly fee on checking account holders who did not maintain a specified balance. That plan was shelved following consumer outcry, including the grassroots creation of Bank Transfer Day Nov. 5. "I call on Bank of America--and all of the nation's banks--to immediately adopt a clear, simple and upfront checking account fee disclosure form so consumers know exactly what fees are associated with each account," Durbin said in a press release. "With effective transparency and competition, we can ensure that consumers on Main Street do not get nickled and dimed while trying to access their own money" …
  • WASHINGTON (3/5/12)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that U.S. regulators are carefully considering criticism from foreign banks and governments on how their sovereign debt will be handled in a proposed ban on proprietary trading by banks (American Banker March 2). The plan, also known as the Volcker Rule, also would limit bank investments in private-equity and hedge funds. The plan exempts U.S. Treasury securities, but not the sovereign debt of governments in other countries, such as those belonging to European Union, Canada and Japan. The governments of those countries have questioned the fairness of the proposal. In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday, Bernanke said U.S. regulators are taking comments from foreign governments "very seriously" and are in discussions with them …
  • WESTBROOK, Maine (3/5/12)--Maine Credit Union League President John Murphy offered his appreciation for the service to credit unions provided by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who announced last week she has decided to not seek re-election to the Senate (Weekly Update March 2). "During her more than three decades of serving the people of Maine, Sen. Snowe has proven to be a great friend of credit unions," Murphy said. "Sen. Snowe was a true public servant and we will miss her leadership and support to the people of Maine on many of our important issues" …


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