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Inside Washington (06/18/2009)
* WASHINGTON (6/19/09)--Under President Barack Obama’s plan for regulatory reform, national banks would be required to comply with consumer protection laws in all 50 states. The plan would allow states to be stricter than the federal government on consumer protection, and state law enforcement agencies could enforce the laws and federal standards against federally and state-chartered institutions (American Banker June 18). Obama’s pre-emption proposal comes as the U.S. Supreme Court decides on the case of Cuomo v. Clearinghouse Association LLC, which will determine whether the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) can enforce laws--even state laws--against national banks. The case involves a 2005 investigation by then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who requested data from banks to see if they engaged in discriminatory practices. The OCC argued it had visitorial powers, or powers to inspect an entity. The Supreme Court will decide the case this month ... * WASHINGTON (6/19/09)--President Barack Obama’s plan to reshape the financial regulatory system has parts that could be enacted--including creating a consumer protection agency, allowing the government to take over systemically important institutions, eliminating the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and regulating derivatives (American Banker June 18). However, other parts of the plan may not pan out--including eliminating thrift and specialty charters, scaling back national banks’ pre-emption powers and giving the Federal Reserve Board the power to oversee risks in the financial system. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he doesn’t support eliminating the thrift charter. Lawmakers have supported combining the OTS and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, they have said they want to ensure the charter isn’t used to “play games with,” Frank said, adding that eliminating the charter would be a mistake ...


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