* WASHINGTON (3/31/09)--The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund Monday announced the appointment of José Villar to serve as its chief operating officer (COO), effective immediately. As the COO, Villar will serve as CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell’s principal executive for operations and program processes. He will primarily be responsible for managing day-to-day activities of the CDFI Fund and “ensuring that operational infrastructure can support enhanced business practices.” Prior to the CDFI Fund, Villar has held several positions within Treasury. Most recently, he served as the director of the Office of Financial Management, where he was responsible for managing the budget, accounting and procurement functions, and travel services for all of Treasury’s 32 program offices ... * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/31/09)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael E. Fryzel last week highlighted the importance of an early start on financial education during a tour of
Click for larger view
a Virginia high school student-run branch. Fryzel visited Arlington Virginia FCU’s student-run Triple $ branch. The branch, named to stand for “Students Serving Students,” is part of the school’s business and finance curriculum. “It is always both rewarding and impressive to see hands-on, useful financial skills being taught to students. This branch is one of many I have had the opportunity to observe in action, and I am optimistic that the students learning lessons of today will become the savvy, financially literate consumers of tomorrow,” Fryzel said. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Administration) ... * WASHINGTON (3/31/09)--Starting in June, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will gather more information from large banks--those that exceed $10 billion in assets--on derivatives, the agency said Friday. All commercial banks will be required to comply (American Banker
March 30). The agency said it is collecting the information to get a better idea of the banks’ credit risk. Commercial banks reported a $9.2 billion trading loss for the fourth quarter of 2008, the agency said in a release
. For 2008, banks reported an annual trading loss of $836 million, compared to trading revenues of $5.5 billion in 2007 ... * WASHINGTON (3/31/09)--“Healthier” banks may be the first to apply for the Treasury Department’s Public-Private Investment Program, causing it to have a rough start, financial industry observers said (American Banker
March 30). The program needs to attract the participation of banks carrying bad assets on their books that prevent them from raising capital. Ken Zerbe, Morgan Stanley analyst, said most banks likely to use the program already have written down their toxic assets. Some of those banks include Marshall & Ilsley Corp., East West Bancorp. Inc. and First Horizon National Corp. Weaker institutions may not participate if they will take hard losses on their loans that affect their capital ratios, said Maclovio Pina, equity analyst with Morningstar Inc. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) said it may be open to allowing banks that have sold loans into the program to receive a stake in the funds that acquire the assets. If bankers see things are moving along, they may want to join, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said ...