Regulatory
CFPB Announces Reg E Webinar, Releases Safe Harbor List of Countries
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time), please join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a webinar regarding the new requirements in Regulation E for remittance transfer providers. During the webinar, the Bureau will present an overview and answer questions about the remittance rule. This webinar will be useful for money transmitters, banks, credit unions and other companies that send money abroad for consumers, as well as other organizations that work with or represent consumers who send money abroad.

To participate in the webinar, please RSVP to CFPB_RemittanceRule@cfpb.gov by Oct. 9. Also, please send questions for the presenters to CFPB_RemittanceRule@cfpb.gov by Oct. 5. For more information about the rule, click here.

Additionally, the CFPB published a
list of countries where estimates are allowed because the provider cannot determine exact amounts becasue of the laws of the recipient country. The remittance rule generally requires disclosure of, among other things, exact amounts to be received in a foreign currency, fees and taxes, but estimates of these amounts are permitted in several situations. The CFPB's rule regarding certain  electronic transfers of funds to other countries (“remittance transfers”) will go into effect on Feb. 7, 2013.

Legislation
ICBA Reiterates Support for Municipal-Advisor Registration Exceptions
ICBA sent a thank-you letter yesterday to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for introducing a Senate bill that would provide important relief for community banks and their employees from new municipal advisor registration requirements. Sen. Wicker’s bill, S. 3620, is identical to an ICBA-backed bill in the House, H.R. 2827, introduced by Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.). H.R. 2827 passed the House of Representatives last month. Congress is scheduled to return to Washington for a lame duck session following the November elections, and ICBA will continue to urge final passage of legislation that would provide this necessary and reasonable regulatory relief for community banks and their employees that provide traditional banking services to municipalities. View ICBA’s letter.


Advocacy
Fine Holds Meetings with Key Regulators on Community Bank Priorities
In separate meetings last week, President and CEO Cam Fine and other ICBA staff met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neil Wolin to discuss a wide range of community bank issues, including Basel III, TAG and pending rulemaking on mortgages.

During the discussions, Fine emphasized that proposed Basel III rules, if implemented, would be devastating to community banks. He said that the proposal’s new risk weights on mortgages, particularly if other proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules become final, would force many community banks to exit the mortgage business altogether. “Applying a complicated capital standard like Basel III to the community banking industry will encourage consolidation and make many bankers reconsider the community bank business model,” Fine said. He also criticized other provisions of Basel III, including the inclusion of accumulated other comprehensive income as regulatory capital, the phase out of trust preferred securities as Tier 1 capital for bank holding companies under $15 billion, higher risk weights for past-due loans and certain types of commercial real estate loans, and proposed limits on mortgage-servicing rights as regulatory capital.

During the meetings, Fine also solicited administration support for an extension of FDIC coverage of noninterest bearing accounts and expressed community bank concerns about pending CFPB rulemaking, particularly a proposed definition of “qualified mortgage.” The SEC rulemaking on municipal advisers was also discussed.

Association
2013 National Community Bank Service Awards Announced
Every year, we honor community banks and their employees that have gone above and beyond to improve their communities through their commitment of time and resources. If you are a community bank with a community service or volunteer program, no matter how big or small, we want to hear from you. Describe your bank’s program and how it positively impacts your community and the people involved.  Help us recognize your commitment to strengthening communities across the nation.

Nominations must be received by December 3, 2012.

About the Awards:
The National Community Bank Service Awards program acknowledges the valuable role community banks play in sustaining communities across the nation, and nationally recognizes community banks for their outstanding volunteer efforts.

All community banks with a community service or volunteer program helping to strengthen communities across the nation are eligible to be nominated for the 2013 National Community Bank Service Awards. Entry is free for all community banks and multiple entries are encouraged. You may nominate your own bank. Nominations must be received by December 3, 2012.

Award recipients will be recognized in April as part of Community Bank Month. National Award recipients are also acknowledged in ICBA Independent Banker Magazine, and have the chance to receive $500 or $1,000 to use toward future community service work.

Click Here to Learn More and Nominate Your Bank Today!

Economy
Minn. Community Banker Gives Perspective on Fed Stimulus Debates
In a National Public Radio report Friday, President and CEO of Grand Rapids State Bank of Grand Rapids, Minn. Noah Wilcox voiced community bank concerns with the Federal Reserve’s renewed efforts to inject major inflows of money into the economy to keep down interest rates and stimulate economic activity and lending to avoid another possible recession. Wilcox explained how a lingering consumer debt load from the Wall Street financial crisis continues to deter everyday Americans from ordinary spending and borrowing, a problem the Fed’s QE3 monetary prescriptions don’t directly remedy.

Wilcox also pointed to uncertainty about the outcome of November’s presidential and congressional elections and fears over the federal government’s unaddressed and impending “fiscal cliff” deadlines has businesses paralyzed, another major factor holding back a full economic recovery.


Economy
Manufacturing Sector Expands in September
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September following 3 consecutive months of contraction, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index. The index was up 1.9 percentage points to 51.5 percent, in contrast to August’s reading of 49.6 percent indicating a return to expansion after contracting for 3 consecutive months. The New Orders Index increased 5.2 percentage points to 52.3 percent, and the Prices Index rose 4 percentage points to 58 percent.


Economy
Construction Spending Up in August
Construction spending was up a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in August, according to the Commerce Department. The August figure is up 6.5 percent from a year ago. During the first eight months of this year, construction spending was up 9 percent from the same period in 2011. Spending on private construction was down 0.5 percent, and public construction spending was down 0.8 percent. Read More.

Poll
Take This Week’s Quick Poll
Take this week's poll regarding community banks and violations of the Regulation E ATM disclosure placard requirements, and view results from the previous poll on mobile phone use.






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