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Jan 14, 2014

U.S. regulators tweak Volcker rule for some securities

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five U.S. bank regulatory agencies on Tuesday approved a tweak to the Volcker rule that would allow banks to keep interests in certain funds backed by trust-preferred securities.

The change was aimed at easing the concerns of small banks that they needed to dump certain investments they thought would be allowed under the rule, losing money in the process.

Jan 14, 2014

Fed considers new limits on banks in physical commodity trade

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal
Reserve on Tuesday took a first formal step toward restricting
the role of Wall Street banks in physical commodities markets,
seeking feedback on ways to limit the “catastrophic” risks of
dealing with oil tanks or power plants.

In a 6-0 vote, the Fed board agreed to publish a preliminary
notice laying out its concerns and potential remedies, following
months of growing public and political pressure to check banks’
decade-long expansion into the raw materials supply chain.

Jan 13, 2014

U.S. Fed set to push ahead on new commodity trade rules

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal
Reserve is set to take its first formal step toward limiting the
role of Wall Street banks in physical commodities markets this
week by issuing a notice to seek public comment on the topic,
sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The Fed will publish an “advance notice of proposed
rulemaking” on Tuesday, laying out the issues it is considering,
one day before a second Senate banking committee hearing on the
matter, the sources said.

Jan 9, 2014

Analysis: Housing experts warn of hiccups as new U.S. mortgage rules go live

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. banks and housing groups are bracing for paperwork headaches and delays as major post-crisis mortgage reforms take effect later this week, but experts say prior warnings of a blow to the housing recovery will not be proven right.

On Friday, lenders must be prepared to verify that borrowers can repay their home loans, under rules written by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street oversight law.

Dec 22, 2013

Insight: U.S. early warning system for financial crises gets low marks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In June 2009, a small group of academics sent an envoy to a Washington, D.C., think tank to pitch their vision for a research office to help the nation avoid the next financial crisis.

The idea was to create a premier U.S. data powerhouse that would be a National Weather Service for financial storms, with up-to-the-minute information on transactions and the analytical juice to anticipate where systemic risks were quietly growing.

Dec 22, 2013

U.S. early warning system for financial crises gets low marks

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – In June 2009, a small group
of academics sent an envoy to a Washington, D.C., think tank to
pitch their vision for a research office to help the nation
avoid the next financial crisis.

The idea was to create a premier U.S. data powerhouse that
would be a National Weather Service for financial storms, with
up-to-the-minute information on transactions and the analytical
juice to anticipate where systemic risks were quietly growing.

Dec 19, 2013

U.S. orders mortgage servicer Ocwen to help borrowers with $2 billion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials on Thursday ordered the largest nonbank mortgage servicer to provide $2 billion in help to underwater borrowers to resolve allegations of misconduct that led to thousands of people losing their homes.

Ocwen Financial Corp must reduce loan balances for struggling homeowners and refund $125 million to foreclosed borrowers under an agreement with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and officials from 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Dec 19, 2013

US orders mortgage servicer Ocwen to help borrowers with $2 bln

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – U.S. officials on Thursday
ordered the largest nonbank mortgage servicer to provide $2
billion in help to underwater borrowers to resolve allegations
of misconduct that led to thousands of people losing their
homes.

Ocwen Financial Corp must reduce loan balances for
struggling homeowners and refund $125 million to foreclosed
borrowers under an agreement with the U.S. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau and officials from 49 states and the District
of Columbia.

Dec 16, 2013

U.S. consumer bureau sues loan servicer CashCall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. consumer watchdog and several state attorneys general on Monday sued a California-based servicer of online loans, accusing the company of wrongly collecting on loans that were made in violation of state laws.

CashCall Inc. serviced online loans that broke consumer protection laws in at least eight states and collected money that borrowers should not have had to repay, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.

Dec 12, 2013

U.S. Treasury calls for more federal insurance oversight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department’s insurance office called for a bigger federal government role in insurance regulation, including new standards for mortgage insurers, and said state officials should improve oversight of the entire industry.

The Federal Insurance Office’s report to Congress on Thursday on ways to revamp U.S. insurance regulation was required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 after taxpayers bailed out massive insurer American International Group during the financial crisis.