The American Bankers Association's lobbying team has recruited a new member.

On Monday, Alan Greenlee will begin his new job as senior federal legislative representative for the trade group.

His lobbying responsibilities will include real estate finance and housing issues. He will also act as the ABA's liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Mr. Greenlee is filling the post left open by Judith E. Knight, who was promoted to director of the ABA's Center for Community Development in February.

Mr. Greenlee comes to the ABA from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., where he was a federal relations manager.

The new lobbyist will work under Ms. Knight. However, since the Center for Community Development was moved under the ABA's government relations wing when Ms. Knight moved up, Mr. Greenlee also will report to Floyd Stoner, the trade group's director of legislative affairs.

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The Florida Bankers Association recently honored one of its favorite lawmakers.

The state trade group threw a cocktail reception for Rep. Bill McCollum in Orlando on Aug. 22.

The heads of 25 banks from the Republican's district attended, including Tom Yochum, president of Barnett Bank of Central Florida, and Ted Hoepner, chairman and president of Sun Bank in Orlando.

As a token of their appreciation, the Florida bankers gave the lawmaker a framed copy of the June 27 issue of the American Banker that featured him on the front page.

A plaque on the bottom of the frame read: "In appreciation for all you've done for the banking industry."

Although the executives applauded Rep. McCollum's work in Washington, Jeff Grady, vice president of the Florida Bankers Association, said the discussion grew a little heated when rescuing the thrift fund came up.

"Things got somewhat contentious on what banks are going to get out of the plan," Mr. Grady said.

Rep. McCollum's plan to capitalize the thrift insurance fund would force banks to shoulder 75% of the thrift industry's tab of bailout bonds.

The only other slightly rough spot during the evening came when the bank group made a routine complaint, Mr. Grady said.

"We always pound him on having credit unions chip in to the solution," he said.

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House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach headed west during the August recess to sing the praises of a colleague, Republican Edward Royce of California.

At an Aug. 26 fund-raiser for Rep. Royce in Orange, Calif., the fellow banking committee members traded kudos in front of about 100 financial industry representatives.

The Iowa Republican then took center stage for a half-hour and gave what one California bank lobbyist described as a "professorial, but not political" talk about the state of the financial services industry.

"He said that the great mark of the American financial system is that it is the most ethical in the world," recalled the lobbyist.

"Unlike some other countries, you don't have to give a bribe to get a financial institution to help you out," he added.

Rep. Leach also said that while in the past the United States' military may have been its greatest asset, the country's most valuable possession is now its "financial capability."

"He said the people in the financial industry are the new peacemakers," the lobbyist said.

He also said that Rep. Leach didn't reserve all of his praise for Rep. Royce - he saved a good part for his favorite banking agency: the Federal Reserve.

"He said that in his travels around the world, the Fed is one branch of government that always gets the highest ratings," the lobbyist said.

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