HousingICBA Urges Community Bank Access Following Senate Release of GSE Bill TextFollowing the release by Senate Banking Committee leaders of legislative text to reform the housing-finance system, ICBA said community banks must continue to have access to a financially strong, reliable and impartial secondary mortgage market. Among its provisions, the legislative text released by Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) would establish a mutual cooperative jointly owned by small lenders to ensure institutions of all sizes have direct access to the secondary market. The mutual cooperative would provide a cash window for individual eligible loans, and small lenders could retain servicing rights. ICBA said in a statement that the community banking sector needs to access the secondary market without the complexity and costs associated with securitizing loans. Following last week’s announcement of an agreement between Johnson and Crapo on housing-finance reform, ICBA said it will continue working to ensure any congressional reforms to the housing government-sponsored enterprises:
ICBA said it looks forward to reviewing the legislation and will continue working with Congress and the administration to ensure housing-finance reforms meet the association’s principles. Read ICBA Release. Read Legislative Text. Read Section-by-Section Outline. Read Legislative Summary. RegulationCurry: Stricter Compliance Accountability Needed at Large BanksWhile accountability and lines of responsibility are usually crystal clear at community banks, those lines are often blurred at large and complex institutions, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said. He asked whether it’s time to require large banks to establish clear lines of accountability that make it possible to hold senior executives responsible for serious compliance breakdowns that lead to Bank Secrecy Act violations. Curry said deficiencies underlying BSA infractions fall into four key areas: the culture of compliance within an organization, the resources committed to BSA compliance, the strength of the organization’s information technology and monitoring process, and the quality of risk management. He said management at large banks needs to eliminate compliance weaknesses so that institutional structural flaws do not become an excuse for a lack of accountability. ICBA NewsWatch Today is sponsored by FIS:When it comes to serving community banks, FIS is right in your neighborhood. FIS understands that you’re more than a bank. You’re a vital resource to your community. That’s why we offer a wide range of integrated solutions that can be tailored to the unique needs of your valued customers. To stay competitive in an ever-changing banking landscape, you need to be more connected with your customers than ever before and FIS is focused on connecting the best people, processes and technology to your business to help you succeed. Learn more about FIS’ solutions at the “2014 FIS InfoShare – Future Forward,” April 8 – 11, 2014, at The Gaylord Palms and Resort Convention Center, Orlando, FL and register for our EMV pre-conference Workshop, “EMV Migration and Chip Card Fundamentals.” For more information on FIS’ complete suite of technology solutions, visit www.fisglobal.com.EconomyBuilder Confidence Rises Slightly in MarchBuilder confidence in the market for newly-built, single-family homes rose slightly in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB index increased one point to 47 as builders continued to be affected by poor weather and difficulties in finding lots and labor. Current sales conditions and buyer traffic increased, while sales expectations were down.EconomyIndustrial Production Rises in FebruaryIndustrial production increased 0.6 percent in February on the largest increase in manufacturing since August, the Federal Reserve said. At 101.6 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production was up 2.8 percent in February from a year ago. The capacity utilization rate for total industry increased in February to 78.8 percent, which is 1.3 percentage points below its long-run average.PollTake This Week’s Quick PollTake this week’s Quick Poll on the 2014 ICBA Washington Policy Summit, and view results from the previous poll on the impact of winter weather on job and economic growth. View the Archive.EducationICBA Webinar Features Reserve Calculations and How Data May Cost YouThe allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) represents one of the most complex yet significant estimates in an institution's financial statements and regulatory reports. An ICBA webinar scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, March 19, will explain how to use data to minimize the impact of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s proposed “expected loss” accounting model. Additionally, participants will review how other institutions are already preparing and the most important data-collection elements within ALLL. Learn More and Register.Products and ServicesWebinar This Week Covers Preparing for Spring Severe WeatherIf your organization is affected by adverse weather conditions, how well will you be prepared to serve those who depend on you in their time of need? Join ICBA Preferred Service Provider Agility Recovery at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) this Thursday for practical, applicable tips and best practices to mitigate the risks posed by spring weather conditions. These recommended steps and strategies are based on the thousands of successful recoveries conducted by Agility over 25 years, including those related to flooding, tornadoes and severe storms. Register Now.Products and ServicesWebinar: Loan Review Best PracticesWebEquity Solutions, an ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is hosting a webinar at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) this Thursday titled “Loan Review Best Practices—Focusing on Credit Risk.” The webinar will feature the critical role community bank loan-review programs play in providing a sound framework for identifying and minimizing credit risk. It will feature the fundamentals of loan-review programs, critical skills required of your staff, and what the examiners will be looking for in their assessments. Register Online.Products and ServicesFree Webinar to Introduce New PSP for Compliance ManagementContinuity Control, a new ICBA Preferred Service Provider, is hosting a free webinar to demonstrate its Compliance Management Platform. ICBA members will learn how Continuity Control provides a single solution engineered to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle, including regulatory update management, policy management, risk assessment, vendor management, custom controls, audit management and regulatory diagnostics and reporting. Register to attend “Introducing NEW Compliance Management System PSP” at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) this Thursday. Register Online.