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Apr 10, 2013

US lawmakers lambast Fed, others for hiding behind ‘trade secrets’

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – Two Democratic lawmakers
lambasted federal regulators whom they accuse of using an
obligation to protect bank “trade secrets” as an excuse not to
hand over details of a botched review of home foreclosures.

“Breaking the law is not a corporate trade secret,” Senator
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Elijah
Cummings of Maryland told the Federal Reserve and the Office of
the Comptroller of the Currency in a letter on Wednesday.

Apr 5, 2013

Two senators want banks to hold more capital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest U.S. banks would have to hold far more capital under a proposal from two senators that would toss out international bank capital rules, according to draft legislation.

The draft bill, which was obtained by Reuters, calls for regulators to throw out the Basel III capital accord and instead require U.S. banks to hold an equity capital ratio of no less than 10 percent of total assets.

Apr 4, 2013

Mortgage insurers, U.S. regulator settle over alleged kickbacks

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) – Four mortgage insurers
agreed to pay about $15 million to settle claims that they paid
kickbacks to mortgage lenders in exchange for business, the U.S.
consumer watchdog said on Thursday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the deals took
place over more than a decade leading up to the U.S. financial
crisis and may have boosted mortgage insurance costs for
consumers.

Apr 3, 2013

Fed adopts rule clarifying steps to tag nonbanks for oversight

WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve
said on Wednesday that it had approved a final rule to clarify
the process the new U.S. risk council will follow when it begins
designating nonbank financial firms for heightened oversight.

A group of regulators known as the Financial Stability
Oversight Council is responsible for determining which nonbank
firms are so critical that their failure could threaten the
financial system.

Apr 2, 2013

U.S. SEC says companies may announce key data on social media

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators said on Tuesday that companies can use Twitter, Facebook and other social media to make key announcements as long as they tell investors which sites they will use, an effort to help companies navigate the new media age.

The guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to clarify disclosure rules after the agency opened an inquiry into a post made last July on the personal Facebook page of Netflix’s chief executive, Reed Hastings.

Mar 28, 2013

Washington law firm sues bank regulator over foreclosure reviews

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) – A top Washington law firm
is suing regulators to hand over information about how it
selected consulting firms to participate in a
multi-billion-dollar review of banks’ past foreclosures.

The reviews, mandated by regulators in 2011 after widespread
foreclosure shortcuts came to light, proved slow and expensive,
and earlier this year 13 banks agreed to pay $9.3 billion to end
them and compensate foreclosed borrowers.

Mar 19, 2013

Senate banking panel approves Obama’s SEC, CFPB choices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel voted to move forward two of President Barack Obama’s choices to lead financial regulatory agencies, but his pick of Richard Cordray to lead the new consumer bureau likely still faces a tough path to final confirmation.

Democrats who control the Senate Banking Committee had enough votes to move ahead with Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but all 10 Republicans on the panel voted against him.

Mar 14, 2013

Fed tells JPMorgan, Goldman to improve capital plans

By Emily Stephenson and Rick Rothacker

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve told Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that they must fix flaws in how they determine capital payouts to shareholders, but still approved their plans for share buybacks and dividends.

In the second phase of the Fed’s annual stress tests of the 18 largest U.S. banks, the regulator said on Thursday that it had approved 14 firms’ capital plans without any strings attached.

Mar 12, 2013

SEC nominee White says her legal work no barrier to job

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – Mary Jo White, President
Barack Obama’s choice to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, told lawmakers considering her candidacy that her
past legal work for big Wall Street clients would not impede her
job at the agency.

White, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of
New York, has said she would step aside from work related to
clients in her most recent job representing big financial firms
as an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Mar 12, 2013

SEC nominee White to tackle questions on her work for NFL, banks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mary Jo White will likely face questions about her work for big Wall Street clients when senators on Tuesday consider her nomination to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, but one lawmaker wants to huddle about a field of another sort: football.

Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican and big New Orleans Saints fan, plans to ask White about legal work she performed while at Debevoise & Plimpton for the National Football League in the infamous “Bountygate” scandal.