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Inside Washington (05/08/2009)
* WASHINGTON (5/11/09)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel Thursday reiterated his support for maintaining an independent federal credit union regulator and share insurance function. However, he said he recognizes the “significant policy benefit” that an expanded systemic risk regulator could have on standard setting and financial oversight. Fryzel said the NCUA should be included as a member if Congress moves toward a plan, suggested in testimony last week by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, to establish a broad-based, systemic risk council aimed at monitoring financial entities that are “too big to fail” ... * WASHINGTON (5/11/09)--Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed hopes that Congress will consider revising provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to ensure that supervisors of financial institutions have all of the resources they need to address safety and soundness concerns. Bernanke spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference on Bank Structure and Competition via satellite Wednesday. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which allowed investment and commercial banks to consolidate, contains provisions that limit the Fed from obtaining reports from or taking action with respect to subsidiaries supervised by other agencies. The controls have helped “clarify the protocols for relying on other supervisors and identify cases in which we need to take a more active role,” but the restrictions present challenges because of different supervisory models, Bernanke said. “For example, those favored by bank supervisors and those used by regulators of insurance and securities subsidiaries and differences in supervisory timetables resources and priorities,” he added. The Fed last year issued guidance on compliance risk, which stresses the need for supervisors and bankers to understand risks within and across business lines, legal entities and jurisdictions ... * WASHINGTON (5/11/09)--If the Obama administration’s strategy was procrastination when it ordered stress tests at 19 of the nation’s largest banks, its strategy may have worked, according to Kip Weissman, partner at Luse Gorman Pomerenk and Schick PC. Banks have more options than they did two months ago, he said (American Banker May 8). The tests bought time, agreed Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial. However, time is an enemy, noted Cornelius Hurley, professor of the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law at Boston University. The release of the results also could lead the public to believe they deserve greater disclosure going forward, said Wayne Rushton, managing director at Promontory Financial Group. Douglas Landy, partner at Allen and Overy, said bank exams shouldn’t be used for investor information and that other banks could view the tests as a precedent ...


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