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Senate Committee to Resume Housing-Finance Markup Thursday
The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to meet this Thursday to continue considering legislation to reform the housing-finance system.

The committee reconvenes following an April 29 markup on the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217). The legislation was introduced by committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

At the April 29 meeting, the panel postponed a vote on the legislation to allow members to continue working to find common ground. Johnson said at the time that the bill has enough votes to pass the committee.

Six committee members said last week that they will vote against the legislation. The six Democratic senators are Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Jack Reed, Chuck Schumer (N.Y), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).

ICBA has worked closely with members of Congress and the administration on the legislation and recently sent committee members a letter on some of the association’s concerns with the bill. Housing-finance reform also was a top policy priority in congressional meetings at ICBA’s recent Washington Policy Summit.

Federal Reserve Offers Seven-Day Term Deposits
The Federal Reserve said it plans to conduct a series of eight consecutive operations offering seven-day term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility (TDF). Individual operations will be held on the first business day of each week beginning next week.

The Fed anticipates that over the first four operations, the maximum award amount will be increased gradually to an amount not to exceed $10 billion and that the interest rate paid on these initial four operations will be maintained at 26 basis points. Over the subsequent four operations, the Federal Reserve expects to increase the interest rate paid in small steps to a level not to exceed 30 basis points.

The Fed will announce details for each of the weekly operations, including the maximum award amount, rate offered and other terms, near the time of each operation on the Federal Reserve Board website.

The TDF is a program through which the Fed offers interest-bearing term deposits to eligible institutions. The Fed uses the TDF to facilitate the conduct of monetary policy by providing a tool that may be used to manage the aggregate quantity of reserve balances held by depository institutions.

Any increase in term deposits outstanding drains reserve balances because funds to pay for them are removed from the accounts of participating institutions for the life of the term deposit. Therefore, term deposits cannot be used to satisfy reserve balance requirements or clear payments but can be used as collateral for discount window advances or for payment system risk purposes.

Banks interested in signing up should allow a two-week period to complete the paperwork and get approval. More information is available on the Fed’s website or by calling the Fed at 202-452-2955.

CFPB Launches Electronic Truth in Lending Tool
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an electronic format of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act. The CFPB said the new online format, set up as part of the bureau’s eRegulations tool, is intuitive and easy to navigate.

The site displays the current version of Regulation Z, previous versions beginning Dec. 30, 2011, and any planned versions that are not yet in effect but are published in the Federal Register. Users can also compare different versions of a regulation.

The CFPB said the online format will help mortgage stakeholders better understand and comply with new ability-to-repay rules, integrated mortgage disclosures, and other changes.

Fannie Announces ICBA-Advocated Enhancements
Fannie Mae announced several ICBA-advocated enhancements on mortgage loans acquired on and after July 1, 2014.

According to Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2014-05, rep and warrant relief will be granted based on relaxed payment history criteria or new criteria based on a successful quality control review. There is also a new option for lenders in dealing with mortgage insurance rescission.

Additionally, for loans acquired on or after January 2013, Fannie Mae will send lenders loan-level reports identifying loans that are eligible for relief.

Through the ICBA Housing Policy Task Force, ICBA has advocated improved clarity around relief of selling reps and warrant issues on loans sold to the government-sponsored enterprises. Fannie Mae’s announcement is a big step in the right direction toward getting that clarity, which in turn will improve access to credit.

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Small Business
Celebrate Small Business Week with Custom Release
ICBA is recognizing National Small Business Week by offering a customizable news release that community bankers can use to celebrate in their communities.

The custom news release, which community bankers can use to reach out to local news media, emphasizes the critical role community banks play in supporting small businesses.

Scheduled to run through Friday, National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

Also this week, ICBA debuted a video on how Washington, D.C., baker Sandra Panetta developed the Community Banking Month cupcake.

ICBA encourages community bankers to use the #SBW2014 hashtag on Twitter to share their small-business stories as part of Small Business Week. Access Customizable Release.

FDIC Hosting Webinar on Financial Capability
The FDIC is hosting a webinar later this month featuring leading practitioners in the growing financial capability movement. “Innovation at Work: Financial Empowerment Programs,” scheduled for noon (Eastern time) Friday, May 30, is part of a series of webinars highlighting strategies institutions can use to promote community development and expand access to the banking system. Learn More from FDIC.

Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week’s Quick Poll on regulatory relief legislation, and view results from the previous poll on tiered regulation.
View the Archive.

ICBA Audio Call Covers Robber-Proofing Your Bank
When it comes to robbery prevention, apprehension and recovery, community banks can never be too prepared. An ICBA audio conference scheduled for 4 p.m. (Eastern time) Tuesday, May 20, will provide knowledge to train employees to help spot and prevent robberies and aid law enforcement in apprehending thieves and recovering funds. “Robber-Proofing Your Bank ” will feature robbery-prevention expert Troy Evans, who has interviewed more than 300 bank robbers. Register Today.

Products and Services
Webinar: Why a SERP Still Makes Sense
ICBA Preferred Service Provider M Benefit Solutions will demonstrate to bankers what a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP) is and why banks utilize this recruiting, rewards and retirement strategy. Scheduled for 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, May 21, the webinar will cover basic SERP design options; legal, tax and 409A considerations; and the pros and cons of different payout options. Register Now.

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