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Inside Washington (05/03/2011)
* WASHINGTON (5/4/11)--Banks are more willing to make consumer installment loans than at any other time since 1994, according to the Federal Reserve’s senior loan officer survey, released Monday. About 20% of banks reported having eased standards for approving credit card applications, with most of the easing concentrated at large banks. Standards for loans to purchase new and used autos were eased by about 15% of banks. Roughly 25% of banks reported that demand for auto loans had strengthened. Standards on prime closed-end residential real estate loans and home equity lines of credit were unchanged during the first quarter. The April survey showed that 15% of banks reported having eased standards on commercial and industrial loans to large and middle-market firms and to small firms in the first quarter, as did 20% of foreign banks. The summary is based on responses from 55 domestic banks and 22 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks. Increasing the member business lending cap for credit unions from to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% remains a top priority for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). CUNA economists have estimated that increasing the cap would add $13 billion in small business loans in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers … * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/4/11)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Gigi Hyland participated in a podcast on April 15 regarding current issues facing the credit union system. The podcast was hosted by Tom Field, editorial director, Information Security Media Group Corp., and covered the state of the nation’s credit unions today; which current information security threats pose the biggest challenges; how Dodd-Frank and other regulatory reforms impact security and risk management; and how pending Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council guidance on authentication and online banking will help institutions improve security and fight fraud. In response to a question about which types of fraud are impacting credit unions the most, Hyland remarked, “In the area of electronic fraud, plastic card fraud and member identity theft are by far the largest threat and concern for credit unions. We have tracked some limited breaches, but the control of non-public information and protection of the member’s private information is the greatest challenge, and what seems to be the area of greatest exposure for credit unions” …


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