During February 1995 hearings before Congress, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Norman E. D'Amours vowed to expeditiously put in place new rules regulating investments by liquidity centers.

Eleven months later there is still no new corporate regulation. And, despite the hopes of some in the agency and the industry, a proposal won't be issued at the agency's open board meeting on Jan. 25.

"We could bring it up at the board meeting, but we feel we want to get it as close to perfect as possible," said Bob Loftus, director of public and congressional affairs for the agency. "We want to come up with what is close to a final rule."

Agency and industry sources blame the delay on bungling when the NCUA crafted a proposal it issued in March. In reaction to the failure of Capital Corporate Federal Credit Union, and to placate an angry Senate Banking Committee, the regulator issued a rule that many charged would put corporates out of business.

The agency withdrew the proposal in July.

Industry officials are pleased that the agency has sought more industry opinion in crafting the new proposal. Regulators have met with corporate officials to reach a regulation both can live with, and another series of discussions will be held early next month.

Unlike the first time around, the agency now is listening to the industry's suggestions.

"The last time it was just a railroad job," said one NCUA source. "It was just a really, really bizarre process."

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