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Inside Washington (04/11/2011)
* WASHINGTON (4/12/11)--Federal Home Loan Banks and their members are asking the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to drop a proposal that increases the requirements to be a part of the the cooperative bank system (American Banker April 11). The banks argue the plan is too limiting and would threaten the future of the Home Loan Bank System. William White, chairman and president of the $262.1 million asset Dearborn Federal Savings Bank in Michigan., said the new requirements, laid on top of changes brought about by the Dodd-Frank Act could bring the economy to a “screeching halt.” The proposal would require members to permanently hold at least 10% of their assets in mortgages, create long-term mortgage lending requirements, and stick to an explicit home financing policy. Failure to adhere to any of these requirements would end a bank's membership in the Home Loan Bank System. Currently, institutions must meet certain qualifications, such as the 10% threshold for mortgage assets, but do not have to maintain them … * WASHINGTON (4/12/11)--Proposed restrictions to the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) may lead some banks to forego the program. The bill, proposed by U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) would require banks to repay SBLF distributions within 10 years and prohibit institutions that received Troubled Asset Relief Program funds from participating (American Banker April 11). The fund would sunset after 15 years under the proposal. Snowe said she believes the program would be costly to taxpayers and encourage high-risk lending. “While I would prefer to terminate this fund altogether, it is unlikely based on the current political environment, which is why we must work to protect taxpayers from some of its most egregious provisions,” Snowe said in a press release announcing the bill. Kip Weissman, a partner at the law firm of Luse Gorman Pomerenk & Schick, said the contingencies could prevent the SBLF from meeting its objectives …


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