CU Figure Nominated To FHLB Oversight Panel

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Former NCUA Board member Geoff Bacino, now an executive with Centrix Financial, was nominated by President Bush to a seat on the Federal Housing Finance Board, the panel that regulates the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks. Bacino, who has spent the last 20 years in the credit union movement, will fill the vacant fifth seat on the panel, if confirmed by the Senate. "This is a great honor," said Bacino. "I appreciate the confidence that the president has put in me."

The appointment of Bacino would give credit unions a voice on the government-sponsored enterprise as they grow to be a larger presence among the FHLBs. The credit union movement has failed to gain a single board seat on the 12 banks, even as the number of credit union members of the banks has grown five-fold to more than 1,000 over the past decade.

The appointment also displays the political dexterity of Bacino, who was appointed to the NCUA Board in 1999 by Democratic President Clinton, and now to the FHFB by Republican President Bush.

Bacino has had a career steeped in the movement, helping to start Callahan & Associates after his father worked at NCUA, then serving as a lobbyist for CUNA, and later heading the National Association of State Chartered CUs.

The FHLBs were founded in the Depression to provide low-cost mortgage funding for the nation's savings and loans and membership was expended during the 1980s S&L crisis to include credit unions, insurers and other mortgage lenders.

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