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Inside Washington (09/26/2010)
* WASHINGTON (9/27/10)--The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) commended the National Credit Union Administration for “completing the enormous and complicated task of stabilizing the corporate credit union system and re-promulgating its corporate rule,” said NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney in a statement Friday. Her comments came after NCUA approved its final Part 704, Corporate Credit Unions, and presented its legacy assets plan. “From the start, state regulators and NCUA worked to address corporate credit union issues in an equitable fashion that protects safety and soundness with a focus on enhanced joint federal-state regulator supervision,” Fortney said. “NASCUS and state regulators anticipate continuing their active role as the final rule is implemented. NASCUS has always viewed improving the corporate system as an ongoing effort, and we will continue to work with NCUA on areas that remain of concern to the state system” ... * WASHINGTON (9/27/10)--President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law today a $30 billion small-business lending fund. The Treasury is expected to work with regulators within a week to create the program’s application and term sheet. Program funds could be available within two to three months, said American Banker (Sept. 24). However, it is not yet known how the capital will be treated, what the underwriting rules for small business loans will be, what criteria will be required for approving an application and how banks can convert Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) capital to the new program. Under the program, banks with less than $10 billion in assets can apply for capital with a dividend payment of 5%. The capital would be free of TARP-like restrictions, including executive compensation and warrants ... * WASHINGTON (9/27/10)--Lawmakers shared their concerns during a meeting Thursday about the future of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), said American Banker (Sept. 24). During a Senate Banking Committee hearing, panel members said they weren’t sure the agency would be able to bounce back because of its growing share of the mortgage market. However, David Stevens, FHA commissioner, said the agency’s third-quarter report indicates its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund increased by $450 million. It was originally projected to suffer a loss of $2.6 billion during the first three quarters of the year. Stevens said the agency is still vulnerable if prices drop, and that FHA remains cautious. Last month, Congress approved legislation that would allow FHA to raise annual premiums to cover losses in its trust fund and reduce up-front assessments. The reduction aims to make it easier for a borrower to sell a home. Congress also has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine FHA’s finances and come up with recommendations. One suggestion was to give FHA a timeline to restore its capital ratio to 2%. For the FHA to reach that goal, Stevens said, it would need to consider discount rates in the market, recovery of defaulted loans and the home price index ...


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