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Inside Washington (05/06/2010)
* WASHINGTON (5/7/10)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board member Michael Fryzel met with credit union CEOs during the New York State Large Credit Union CEO Roundtable in West Point, N.Y. They discussed member business lending, 12-month examinations, alternative capital, corporate credit unions, legacy assets, mergers, private insurance, NCUA audits, NCUA’s Consumer Protection Office, community charters and state budgets. Fryzel emphasized the importance of open community between the regulator and the regulated. He also said NCUA is devoting time to dealing with corporate credit unions and its plan to remove the riskiest legacy assets from ongoing corporates. The roundtable began in the mid-1990s and takes place twice per year. CEOs from credit unions with $50 million or more in assets can attend ... * WASHINGTON (5/7/10)--Regional and community banks are dealing with some challenges as the number of those institutions considered weak is still increasing, and their loan losses likely will remain elevated this year, said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Wednesday. “The most significant areas of concern are residential mortgages and commercial real estate loans. Also, with credit demand tepid and the economy still under stress, profitable lending opportunities have been relatively scarce for many of these banks,” he said. The Fed has not attempted to stress test the banks, but has worked with them individually to evaluate their capital needs. The results vary, but prospective losses indicate the institutions may need more capital over the next few years. However, smaller banks generally have fewer alternatives that big banks have to raise capital. “Recognizing these difficulties, we will continue to work closely with smaller banks as they rebuild their financial strength,” Bernanke said. “For example, we continue to receive numerous proposals from private equity investors to take stakes in regional and community banks, and over the past two years we have approved many of these proposals, including some that bring both new capital and management to the organization and some that provide new capital through minority investments” ... * WASHINGTON (5/7/10)--Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) are working on a compromise to split the Fed’s authority with other regulators. Under their measure, the Fed would still oversee the nation’s 845 state-chartered banks, but its oversight of holding companies would go to other regulators (American Banker May 6). Under the current regulatory reform bill, the Fed would oversee only holding companies that have more than $50 billion in assets. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) also has proposed an amendment that would allow the Fed to keep its authority over state-chartered banks and holding companies. She has 11 co-sponsors for her amendment ...


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