Financial Regulatory Forum

Fannie, Freddie regulator pitches new housing goals

By Al Yoon

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday proposed an overhaul of government rules on how the mortgage funding giants serve low-income homeowners while limiting their risks.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency wants new goals that would target borrowers with lower incomes than in the past — including families with incomes at or below 80 percent of their area’s median, down from 100 percent — while giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more flexibility in measuring success.

In a twist from past practices, the proposals would prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two biggest sources of U.S. housing finance, from buying home equity loans and Wall Street’s mortgage securities to satisfy the goals.

Analysts said the proposals are likely aimed to balance the companies’ support of the housing market while preventing them from making hazardous expansions to fulfill requirements.

Both companies are still reeling from purchases of some of the riskiest loans during the housing boom, which have caused billions of dollars in losses that are now being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury.

UBS won’t sue its former executives on subprime, U.S. tax

By Emma Thomasson

ZURICH, Dec 15 (Reuters) – UBS AG will not sue its former bosses after risky bets on subprime mortgages and a strategy of helping U.S. clients dodge taxes by hiding money in secret accounts brought the Swiss bank to its knees.

Zurich state prosecutors also said they would not open criminal proceedings against UBS employees as there was no evidence of a breach of Swiss law.

UBS said bringing charges would only draw negative attention as the wealth management group seeks a fresh start to win back trust after massive withdrawals by rich clients.

EU raises doubts about ING, Dutch loan deal

By Ben Berkowitz
AMSTERDAM, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The European Commission has extended a review of a 22 billion euro ($32 billion) loan portfolio guarantee between ING and the Dutch state, saying the government may have paid too much.

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US’s Geithner- will work with Congress, but regulatory overhaul essential

Treasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerWASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday he was willing to work with lawmakers on shaping an overhaul of financial regulations but insisted major changes are necessary. The financial crisis of the past two years show the financial system “failed in its most basic responsibility” to supply credit and protect consumers and that cannot happen again, he said in prepared testimony for delivery to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. (more…)

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