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Inside Washington (05/14/2010)
* WASHINGTON (5/17/10)--Fourteen representatives from North Carolina credit unions traveled to Washington, D.C., last week. The group met with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), and an aide to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) Credit unions discussed interchange fees with the lawmakers just as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was on the Senate floor trying to build support for an amendment to the regulatory reform bill that would authorize government intervention in the payment card system. Durbin had tried to allay credit unions’ fears by increasing an exemption in the bill to institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, but credit unions were still fundamentally concerned, said the North Carolina Credit Union League (Weekly Update May 14). The Senate did pass the interchange amendment Friday. The Credit Union National Association said the amendment could negatively impact credit union interchange revenues and that it will continue to address its concerns with the measure ... * WASHINGTON (5/17/10)--A provision in the proposed regulatory reform bill that would require banks to divest their swaps trading desks would be counterproductive, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told three senators in a letter Wednesday. Bernanke sent a letter to Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.); Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). The provision would make the financial system more susceptible to systemic risk and would weaken risk-mitigation efforts of banks (American Banker May 14) ... * WASHINGTON (5/17/10)--Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) and 13 co-sponsors are working toward an amendment to prevent state attorneys general from enforcing federal laws against national banks (American Banker May 14). Carper said the group is continuing to get co-sponsors. The White House has increased its opposition of the measure Thursday, saying that a strong patrol would ensure national banks would not engage in abusive lending. Under the current regulatory reform bill, state attorneys general could enforce federal and state laws against all banks, regardless of charter ... * WASHINGTON (5/17/10)--The central bank is working on getting banks to lend to small companies by urging examiners not to cause lenders to be too conservative, said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday. Examiners need to strike “the right balance” by not allowing terms that are too easy, but also not making it too tough to get credit, he said (American Banker May 14) ...


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