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CBAI Applauds Withdrawal of HUD Proposed Rules

February 14, 2012

A late October CBAI comment letter, and community banker responses to an Action Alert, have prompted the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to withdraw their Proposed Rule to enable Farm Credit System (FCS) lenders to participate in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs. Read Comment Letter

The HUD Proposed Rule was unnecessary and counter productive. Community banks already successfully serve rural communities and will continue to do so as the economy recovers. The Proposed Rule would undermine community banks at the expense of taxpayer-subsidized FCS lenders. We also opposed the Proposed Rule because Congress, not HUD, should be responsible for approving any expansion of FCS powers.

FCS lenders use their government-backed status and preferred tax treatment to unfairly compete with community banks. Many FCS offices have used these unfair advantages to cherry-pick the most desirable credits and gain market share which constitutes an abuse of the original Congressional intent for the FCS.

In addition to urging the withdrawal of the Proposed Rule, we encouraged HUD to work with community banks to remove the compliance and control requirements that serve as barriers to greater utilization of FHA programs by community banks.

Thank you to all of our members who responded to the CBAI Action Alert.

Your voice helped make the difference in convincing HUD to withdraw this misguided proposal!

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ADA ATM Compliance Deadline Nears

February 21, 2012

Banks have less than 30 days to comply with the Justice Department's final rule governing ATM accessibility for the visually impaired. As of March 15th, all ATM locations and bank self-service terminals must include an audio component for displayed information and additional ATM functions must be outfitted with audio headset capabilities. A safe harbor exception is available for banks if the rule results in an "undue burden", but it should only be implemented after consulting legal counsel and on an interim basis. Read More on the Rule and Compliance.

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Congress Sends CBAI-supported JOBS Act to the President

March 28, 2012

This week Congress passed and sent the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act to President Obama. This legislation will ease reporting and regulatory requirements for small businesses trying to raise capital and make it easier to hire workers and help boost the economy. One section of the legislation specifically impacting community banks raises the threshold that triggers SEC registration from 500 to 2,000 and raises the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200. These SEC reforms will make it easier for community banks to raise capital without incurring costly registration requirements and will also allow some banks to more easily deregister. Easing these thresholds were part of the ICBA's Communities First Act and CBAI applauds its inclusion in the JOBS Act.

On March 8th, the House passed the bill with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 390-23. All Illinois members voted to pass the bill with the exception of Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) who voted "No" and Danny Davis (D-7th) who was "Not Voting". The six bills combined into the JOBS Act had various bipartisan co-sponsors from the Illinois delegation including Bobby Rush (D-1st), Mike Quigley (D-5th), Joe Walsh (R-8th), Robert Dold (R-10th), Judy Biggert (R-13th), Donald Manzullo (R-16th), Bobby Schilling (R-17th), and Aaron Schock (R-18th).

The Senate also passed the bill with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 76-23 (with 1 not voting). Illinois Senator Richard Durbin voted "No" and Senator Mark Kirk, who is still recovering from his recent stroke, was "Not Voting". The Senate adopted the bill with an amendment which required further action in the House.

Yesterday, the House voted to concur with the Senate version by a vote of 380-41. All Illinois House members voted in favor of passage with the exception of Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) who voted "No" and Jesse Jackson Jr. who was "Not Voting". The bill now goes to the President for his signature, and he has signaled his strong support for this important legislation.

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CBAI Supports Confidential Treatment of Privileged Information

April 2, 2012

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act did not explicitly address the confidential treatment of privileged information provided to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) but did grant the Bureau the ability to promulgate rules addressing this important issue. The Bureau has now proposed a Rule that would codify protections for privileged information submitted to it by the financial institutions it regulates.

In a comment letter CBAI supported the confidential treatment of privileged information provided to the Bureau. CBAI also encouraged the Bureau eliminate any ambiguity or confusion in the Rule and protect all information provided to the CFPB from institutions the Bureau directly supervises (those with assets in excess of $10 billion) and community banks with assets of $10 billion and under.

Read CBAI Comment Letter

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Important Announcements from the FHLB of Chicago

April 23, 2012

Last week the Board of Directors of the FHLB of Chicago announced their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), agreed to terminate their Consent Cease and Desist Order effective immediately. CLICK HERE to read the Member Letter regarding the C&D.

In a separate Member Letter the FHLB of Chicago announced the second opportunity for member institutions to to have their excess stock repurchased by the Bank. Monday, April 30th at (5pm C.S.T.), is the deadline for submitting requests for repurchasing stock. CLICK HERE to read the Members Letter and to access the stock repurchase form.