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News Now

Washington
Inside Washington (10/05/2009)
* WASHINGTON (10/6/09)--A delegation of 16 individuals representing 15 credit unions recently spent two days in Washington, D.C., lobbying legislators as a part of the Illinois Credit Union League’s annual "Hike the Hill” event. The delegates attended a presentation by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) at Credit Union House, and participated in a briefing with Credit Union National Association legislative and public affairs staff.
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The credit union representatives then traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers and discuss their opposition to interchange fees and Community Reinvestment Act regulation for credit unions. They also talked about support for increasing member business lending caps and maintaining the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) as the independent federal credit union regulator. In addition, the group met with Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and attended an NCUA board meeting. “Our political success over the years has been due in large part to organized events to educate lawmakers about credit unions,” said Dan Plauda, Illinois league president/CEO. “This year’s ‘Hike the Hill’ was another opportunity for attendees to visit their federal lawmakers and NCUA regulatory officials to maintain a strong political and regulatory future.” Pictured are the Illinois representatives in front of Credit Union House. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League) ... * WASHINGTON (10/6/09)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) circulated a discussion draft of legislation that would regulate over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Frank also said that the committee will schedule a hearing for Wednesday to discuss the reform of the OTC derivatives market and the discussion draft, which was released Friday ... * WASHINGTON (10/6/09)--Financial services representatives are debating whether a single bank regulator could threaten the dual banking system (American Banker Oct. 5). Community bankers and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair say that a single regulator would focus attention on the nation’s largest institutions, which could disadvantage smaller banks. They also argue that eventually, banks would not have a reason to opt for a state charter since they would have an additional regulator but no benefits of a national charter. However, single regulator proponents--like Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)--say that a single regulator can be created without disadvantaging small financial institutions. The end of a dual banking regulator is just a scare tactic, said Lawrence Kaplan, a lawyer at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLP. It’s unlikely anyone would get rid of state regulation, he said. Kip Weissman, a partner at Luse Gorman, added that a single regulator would weaken the state charter, so companies would switch to a federal charter. However, Doug Elliot, Brookings Institution economic studies fellow, said the concerns are just a “resistance to change.” Dodd has assured credit unions that plans for a single regulator would not apply to credit unions (News Now Sept. 30) ...


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