WASHINGTON (12/27/11)--An overwhelming, yet growing, regulatory burden on smaller institutions presents very serious concerns for credit unions – and can be addressed by a presidential executive order calling for a moratorium on new rules, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said in a recent letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The letter, which was sent to OMB Administrator Cass Sunstein, urged the administrator to call on President Barack Obama to issue another executive order to independent regulatory agencies calling for a moratorium on new rules that would impose "regulatory burdens that are not required by statute or necessitated by serious, material, quantifiable and well-documented safety and soundness concerns."
Obama in an executive order issued earlier this year called on the National Credit Union Administration and other regulators to improve the regulatory environment for entities under their jurisdiction, and to report back to OMB how they were taking action. This was a positive step, Cheney said, but credit unions and other financial institutions "are in great need of meaningful regulatory relief – the kind of relief that they have not seen as of yet."
Cheney said CUNA was not suggesting that regulators ignore "significant safety and soundness issues or statutory directives," but said a regulatory moratorium could help regulators fully examine the impact of their current rules, and assess the results of any regulatory cutbacks they have made following this year's executive order.
The CUNA leader also urged the OMB chief to consider establishing an Office of Regulatory Burden Monitoring, which would focus on measuring and scrutinizing the extent of the regulatory burdens that entities, such as credit unions, must bear. "Such an office could also give regulated entities additional recourse in terms of having their regulatory burdens reviewed," Cheney wrote.
For the full CUNA letter, use the resource link.
WASHINGTON (12/27/11)--Thirty-year fixed mortgages reached a new low in the week ended Dec. 22, averaging 3.91%, Freddie Mac reported last week.
The previous record low of 3.94% was set the week ended Dec. 15.
Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages remained steady, continuing at last week's record low average of 3.21%.
Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that the historically low 30-year fixed mortgage rates, which have been "at or below 4% for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below where they were at the beginning of the year," are helping homebuyers save $1,200 more per year on a $200,000 loan.
Adjustable-rate mortgages also reached all-time lows last week, as five-year, Treasury-indexed, hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.85% and one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.77%.
"This greater affordability helped push existing home sales higher for the second consecutive month in November to an annualized pace of 4.42 million, the most since January," and new construction and homebuilder confidence have also been on the uptick, Nothaft added.