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News Now

Washington
Inside Washington (05/21/2010)
* WASHINGTON (5/24/10)--After the Senate Friday approved a regulatory reform bill, the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) said it will continue to encourage the House and Senate to defend against further federal preemption, to ensure a seat at the table on systemic risk for state regulators and encourage partnership with the states on consumer protection. “As the [House and Senate] bills are reconciled, NASCUS is hopeful we can ensure state regulators are part of mechanisms for systemic risk mitigation and that preemption of state consumer protection laws is not taken any further,” said NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney. “It is critical that the state financial system is upheld and state regulators continue to play a role in consumer protection issues, systemic risk and national regulatory policy. State regulators’ local and regional supervisory roles are critical to the safety and soundness of our financial services system” ... * WASHINGTON (5/24/10)--Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not only de facto legislators of standards for home appraisals, they soon will also be enforcers, said American Banker. On Thursday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said the two enterprises will field complaints from consumers, appraisers and others about violations to the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. The enterprises plan to create a way for people to submit complaints online (American Banker May 21). Originally an independent entity, with seed money from Fannie and Freddie, was going to police the complaints as part of a March 2008 agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. However, the enterprises can’t fund an independent entity. An FHFA spokesperson said Cuomo has agreed to the plans ... * WASHINGTON (5/24/10)--Financial industry lobbyists already are focusing on flaws they’d like to fix in the regulatory reform bill--passed by the Senate Friday--before it is enacted. The bill arrived to the floor without a bipartisan agreement, so some amendments were added with little debate, said American Banker (May 20). Some provisions the lobbyists hope to eliminate include an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that would require the Federal Reserve Board to make sure interchange fees on debit cards are reasonable; Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) measure to prevent banks from counting trust-preferred securities as Tier 1 capital; and a provision from the Senate Agriculture Chairman, Blanche Lincoln (R-Ark.) that would force banks to give up their swaps desks. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) said it is concerned about interchange. CUNA cannot support the interchange provisions included in the Senate bill and must do all it can “to remove or improve them,” said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. CUNA supported the intent of the regulatory reform bill, noting that financial regulation needs to be improved (SEE RELATED: “Mica: Interchange amendment hurts CU capital condition” ...


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