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Inside Washington (07/01/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/2/09)--Federal credit union, bank and thrift agencies have released for public comment proposed interagency guidance on funding and liquidity risk management. According to a release, the guidance seeks to “communicate consistent expectations on sound practices for the management and funding of liquidity risks, and to strengthen liquidity risk management practices.” The guidance also “emphasizes the importance of cash flow projections, diversified funding sources,” and stress testing, among other items. The agencies will accept public comment on the guidance for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register… * WASHINGTON (7/2/09)--In a Wednesday conference call, the Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection Eric Stein said that the Obama administration’s proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, if created, would monitor the financial markets for harmful business practices and seek to head off any potential problems before they grow into larger issues. The agency, which would hold sole supervisory authority over consumer financial protections, would take a “balanced but not heavy-handed” approach to its enforcement, supervisory, and rule writing responsibilities. The agency would also need to detail the benefits and costs of any new regulations before they could be enacted, Stein added... * WASHINGTON (7/2/09)--The Treasury has added Pasadena, Calif.-based Wescom Central CU and San Jose, Calif.-based Technology CU to its list of approved lenders under the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable Program. The Treasury program aims to stabilize the housing market and offer assistance to millions of homeowners by reducing house payments to affordable levels and preventing avoidable foreclosures. The two credit unions will be able to service qualifying loans to refinance troubled mortgages until Dec.31, 2012, and could be approved for further participation in the program following that initial period … * WASHINGTON (7/2/09)--Bankers are ready to push against President Barack Obama’s financial regulatory revamp plan--specifically, plans to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). The agency, funded by bank fees and assessments, would write, supervise and enforce consumer protection regulations on financial products (American Banker July 1). On Tuesday, the Treasury provided lawmakers a proposal on how the agency would be run. Some financial industry observers said Monday’s Supreme Court decision--which said federal banking regulations do not pre-empt the rights of state attorneys general to enforce otherwise non-preempted state consumer protection laws using the court system harmed bankers’ ability to fight the new agency. The consumer protection agency proposal does not have the full support of some moderate Democrats, but John Irons, research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute, said some version of the agency would be inevitable. On the credit union side, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael E. Fryzel plans to propose the creation of an NCUA Consumer Protection Office in the 2010 Agency Budget. The new office would consolidate existing consumer protection functions already administered by NCUA and would create a liaison relationship with relevant external parties, such as the CFPA (News Now July 1). ...


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