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Congress
Senate Committee to Resume Housing-Finance Markup Today
The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to meet today to continue considering legislation to reform the housing-finance system. The committee reconvenes following an April 29 markup on 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 Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217) to allow members to continue working to find common ground. The committee is expected to advance the legislation.

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.


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

The CFPB also is seeking survey feedback on whether to expand and maintain its eRegulations tool.

The Regulation Z page displays the current version of the regulation, 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.

View the Reg Z Page. Take the CFPB Survey.


Regulation
OCC Chief Discusses Threat of Regulatory Capture
While the dual banking system’s reliance on assessments of regulated institutions enables independent supervisory judgment, it also leaves regulators vulnerable, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said.

Speaking to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Curry said regulatory capture—in which regulators are overly influenced by the industries they regulate—is a real threat.

While the dual banking system uses competition to promote a healthy, safe and sound banking system, regulators should be cautious of allowing it to result in lax supervision, Curry said.


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Regional News
OCC: Central District Community Banks Improve Performance
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported that the financial condition of community national banks and federal savings associations in its nine-state Central District improved in 2013 as they focused on strengthening risk-management systems to help boost their performance.

The OCC said more than 85 percent of the 491 community national banks and thrifts located in the district are top-rated, 1 or 2, on the five-point scale, a level not seen since early 2009. The OCC also reported that the number of problem banks in the district fell to 72 institutions, down from a peak of 146 in 2011.


Economy
Producer Prices Rise 0.6 Percent in April
Producer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in April, the Labor Department reported. This increase followed a rise of 0.5 percent in March and a decline of 0.1 percent in February. The Producer Price Index was up 2.1 percent from a year ago, the largest 12-month advance since March 2012.


Commentary
Fine: Too-Big-To-Jail Talk is Cheap
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent declaration that there is no such thing as too-big-to-jail does not mesh with reality, ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine wrote in his latest blog post.

Fine wrote on his Finer Points blog that Holder’s statement directly contradicts congressional testimony he gave last year. Further, there are no results to back up Holder’s current claims, Fine wrote. Read the Blog Post.



Poll
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.


Education
ICBA Workshop on Buying and Selling Slated for August
ICBA and Gerrish McCreary Smith are hosting a unique community bank merger-and-acquisition workshop. Community Bank Buying and Selling, scheduled for Aug. 6-7 in Colorado Springs, Colo., will work through an actual acquisition agreement and show both buy and sell strategies. Attendees will work through sample pricing models and structuring techniques from the buyer's and seller's standpoint and discuss actual due diligence issues encountered in the past 12 months. Register Today.


Products and Services
Webinar: What You Need to Know to Drive Fee Income
Bank Intelligence Solutions from Fiserv, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, offers a webinar on May 22 title “Leveraging Analytics to Drive Fee Income and Engage Customers.” Does your bank know how to use checking product design and bundling that boosts profitable transactional behaviors? This complimentary webinar will demonstrate how to leverage benchmarking and segmentation analysis to identify the best opportunities to target, engage and retain customers. The results have driven fee income growth and improved customer satisfaction. Register Online.









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