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Inside Washington (06/04/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (6/5/12)--Former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said Thursday that JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) estimated $2 billion trading loss supports the case that Congress must enact legislation to prevent large banks from taking excessive risks. Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act, which Dodd co-wrote with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), includes a provision that would implement the so-called Volcker Rule, which would put restrictions on banks' proprietary trading (American Banker June 4). Dodd now heads the Motion Picture Association of America. In April, a group of 22 senators in a letter called on regulators to meet the July 21 deadline to write the rule (News Now April 27).  The letter lists specific issues with the proposed Volcker Rule, but asks that it not be delayed or scrapped. It urges lawmakers to eliminate loopholes; draw clear lines based on objective data and observable markets; strengthen CEO and board-level accountability and public disclosure; and provide coordinated and consistent enforcement, including data sharing by regulators …
  • WASHINGTON (6/5/12)--Financial industry representatives Friday urged lawmakers to pass a cybersecurity bill that would allow for more sharing of information between the private sector and the federal government (American Banker June 4). Greater public-private information exchange would allow financial institutions to enlist the federal government in tracing down hackers and their targets, supporters said. Sharing information about breaches would allow institutions to take action sooner and prevent fraud against their customers, said Paul Smocer, who heads the Financial Services Roundtable's technology policy division, at a House financial institutions subcommittee hearing. Democrats, including President Barack Obama, are concerned that the bill does not offer enough privacy protections. Credit unions are not expected to be affected by the legislation, said Ryan Donovan, Credit Union National Association senior vice president of legislative affairs
  • WASHINGTON (6/5/12)--The Office of Comptroller of Currency's (OCC) examination procedures during the period 2008 through 2010 were insufficient to identify weaknesses in national banks' foreclosure practices, the Treasury Department's Inspector General (IG) said in a report released Thursday. "OCC did not consider foreclosure documentation and processing to be an area of significant risk and, as a result, did not focus examination resources on this function," the report said. "The nature and extent of concerns found by OCC during its inter-agency horizontal review of mortgage foreclosure processes at major mortgage servicers indicate that OCC underestimated the level of risk in the function during the period we reviewed." The report recommended to increase examiner focus on operational risk in its examination planning; and determine whether a more specific coding of foreclosure related complaints would improve the agency's ability to identify  servicer problems. Treasury's IG also recommended OCC update and require regular review its Mortgage Banking Comptroller's Handbook …
  • WASHINGTON (6/5/12)--More than 30 Michigan credit union leaders flew to Washington last week for the Michigan Credit Union League's (MCUL) annual lobbying event (Michigan Monitor June 1). The MCUL held a luncheon featuring National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz. Also in attendance were Matz's Chief of Staff Steve Bosack and Senior Adviser Buddy Gill. The Michigan group also received a political briefing from senior Credit Union National Association (CUNA) government affairs representatives at CUNA's headquarters. The league hosted an evening reception on Capitol Hill at the Credit Union House, where Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) made a special candidate appearance with credit union leaders. On Thursday, credit union leaders headed to Capitol Hill for office visits with representatives Michigan's 17 U.S. House and Senate member offices. Credit union leaders discussed legislation to raise the credit union member business lending cap, increase credit union access to supplemental capital, and to eliminate unnecessary ATM disclosures. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) who currently serves in leadership as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 3993, legislation to permit credit unions access to supplemental forms of capital. Also, Reps. Dale Kildee (D-Flint) and Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak) signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 4367, legislation to eliminate the physical fee disclosure requirement on ATMs. Pictured from left Kieran Marion, MCUL; Dave Brandt, E&A CU, Port Huron; Charles Canvasser, EECU Community CU, Jackson; Phil Matous, Total Community CU, Taylor; Justin Bamford, Muskegon (Mich.) Co-Op FCU; Don Yuvan, Eaton County Educational CU, Charlotte; Phyllis White, and Melissa Zylema, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Pontiac (Mich.) FCU. Five other states will visit Capitol Hill this week: Maine, Kansas, Oregon, Washington and Oklahoma. (Photo provided by Michigan Credit Union League) …


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