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Inside Washington (08/11/2008)
* WASHINGTON (8/12/-08)—The Federal Reserve Board Monday announced a restructuring of its check processing operation in its fourth district. As of Oct. 18, the Cincinnati branch office of the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Cleveland no longer will process checks. Financial institutions currently served by that office will be reassigned to the head office of the FRB of Cleveland. Routing numbers associated with the Cincinnati branch office are reassigned to the Cleveland head office. As a result of these changes, some checks deposited in the affected regions that currently are nonlocal checks will become local checks that are subject to shorter permissible hold periods... * WASHINGTON (8/12/08)--Bankers are working to kill a proposal by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Federal Reserve Board and the Office of Thrift Supervision that would crack down on deceptive credit card practices by limiting or prohibiting seven credit card practices and two practices relating to overdraft protection plans. Bankers and trade groups argue the plan would increase costs and limit access to credit (American Banker Aug. 11). The Credit Union National Association supports the proposal and wrote in a recent comment letter that regulatory action on the issue is appropriate because consumers have been subject to predatory practices in the financial marketplace ... * WASHINGTON (8/12/08)--Joseph Stilwell, an activist shareholder, is trying to block a rule change by the Office of Thrift Supervision that would let recently converted thrifts limit the stocks a shareholder can own (American Banker Aug. 11). The rule is scheduled to become effective Oct. 1. An investor currently can own up to 10% of shares. Stilwell says the rule is unlawful and has filed a petition against it ... * WASHINGTON (8/12/08)--The Treasury Department isn’t planning to put more money into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Sunday (Bloomberg Aug. 11). The government-sponsored enterprises reported losses three times larger than estimated. Paulson said their losses were not a surprise, and that the housing crisis is the economy’s biggest threat. Paulson also said a second economic stimulus package, called for by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is not needed yet ... * WASHINGTON (8/12/08)--J. Richard (Dick) Harvey Jr. will serve as senior advisor to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Doug Schulman, effective Sept. 2, the IRS said Monday. Harvey is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he serves as the U.S. banking and capital markets team leader. He will provide guidance on policy and tax administration. He also will maintain a partnership between the commissioner’s office and business units such as the Large and Mid-Size Business Division ...


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