Finance Board to Stay Part Time Till '94

WASHINGTON - The last-minute compromise on the banking bill leaves the Federal Housing Finance Board serving part time through 1993 before being converted to a fulltime agency.

The deal, struck at 4:30 a.m. last Wednesday by the House-Senate conference committee, ended a two-year spat over the agency that was created in 1989 to oversee the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

The Bush administration had wanted a part-time board, but Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., favored full-time status.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to schedule confirmation hearings early next year on four finance board nominations that have been pending since April 1990.

President Bush installed the four nominees - including Chairman Daniel F. Evans Jr., an Indianapolis lawyer - last December. Their terms were temporary and lapsed when Congress adjourned.

The president is expected to renew the appointments to enable the board to operate without disruption until the nominees can be confirmed. Failing that, the fifth board member - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp - would run the agency.

The compromise was a relief to thrifts, commercial banks, and credit unions that belong to the Home Loan bank system - a network of 12 institutions that channel liquidity to 3,000 mortgage-oriented lenders.

"We've been in suspense long enough. It's time to get these people confirmed so they can continue to do the fine job they've been doing," said Frederick Webber, president of the U.S. League of Savings Institutions.

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