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Regulatory Relief Likely Dead

WASHINGTON-A bill to provide credit unions and banks with regulatory relief is expected to die again this year in the Senate, even as the House prepares to vote on the credit union-backed measure.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-L) told credit union representatives during a closed door meeting last week that his committee's agenda is too busy, especially with the onset of Hurricane Katrina-related priorities, and that there is not enough time to fully debate a regulatory relief bill this year. The banking panel, Shelby said, is expected to spend a lot of its time debating the controversial bill to reform the secondary mortgage market and oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving little time for non-Katrina related matters, sources attending the meeting told The Credit Union Journal.

Still, the banking committee could still debate and vote the regulatory relief bill next year, in the second session of the 109th Congress. The failure to act on the Reg Relief bill also means the Senate is highly unlikely to entertain credit unions' own regulatory relief package, known as the CU Regulatory Improvements Act, or CURIA.

FHLB Plans Katrina Assistance

CINCINNATI-The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati said last week it will add $15 million to its affordable housing grants over two-years to provide housing assistance to people displaced to Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee by Hurricane Katrina. All three states are seeing an influx of refugees from the massive hurricane. The FHLB of Dallas also said it has established a special $5 million Disaster Relief Grant Program to help fund housing for Katrina refugees in Louisiana and Mississippi. The grants will be awarded through FHLB Dallas institutions and can be used for a variety of purposes, including rehabilitation, construction, working capital, and infrastructure.

Checking Account For Teens

SAN DIEGO-Cabrillo CU said it has introduced a special checking account for teenagers. The Self-Organized Cabrillo Account Life-or SOCAL-will provide teens 14 to- 8 years old with a debit card, home banking, and monthly statements. Teens who apply for the account must complete an educational workbook before obtaining a credit/debit card. An auto loan application is sent for the teen's 16th birthday. (c) 2005 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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