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Inside Washington (04/29/2010)
* WASHINGTON (4/30/10)--National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz (pictured) visited a student-run credit union branch at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday. The credit union is open five days a week during the school year and has more than 400 student members. CommonWealth One FCU, Alexandria, has a relationship with seven area schools, including T.C. Williams. “This student-run branch was impressive not only because it gives high school students a firsthand opportunity to manage their own credit union, but also because of practical money-management experience it provides,” Matz said. “Financial literacy is not something to be put on the shelf and read in a classroom setting once or twice a week. It’s an everyday, living activity, and the efforts that the credit union industry is putting into basic financial education are bound to pay dividends far into our future,” Matz said. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Administration) ... * WASHINGTON (4/30/10)--Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is questioning the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) about why it waited so long to close a bank owned by the family of a U.S. Senate candidate. Issa is referring to the scrutiny involving the closure of Broadway Bank, which cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $394.3 million. Issa said regulators knew long ago the bank had problems. Broadway is a community bank owned by the family of Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a Democratic candidate for the Senate ... * WASHINGTON (4/30/10)--A Supreme Court ruling this week could help banks fight consumer class-action suits on overdraft fees and other practices, said American Banker (April 29). The court ruled 5-3 Tuesday in Stolt-Nielsen SA v. Animalfeeds International Corp. that Animalfeeds, a shipping firm, was not obliged to face a class arbitration with commercial customers even though it had individual arbitration agreements with them. Some retail finance agreements contain clauses in which customers agree to give up the right to pursue class actions, Banker said. If banks persuade courts that the waivers in consumer contracts are valid, overdraft claims could be pursued only by individuals. The small dollar amounts per person could mean that it’s unlikely many would pursue arbitration. Many suits have recently been filed by banking customers who say they were involuntarily enrolled in predatory overdraft protection plans, the publication said. ... * WASHINGTON (4/30/10)--President Barack Obama nominated Janet L. Yellen Thursday for vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board (The New York Times April 28). Yellen, a former Fed governor and macroeconomist, would replace Donald Kohn. She currently is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Obama also will nominate Peter A. Diamond, economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Sarah Bloom Raskin, Maryland commissioner of financial regulation, to fill two remaining seats on the board of governors ...


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