Thursday, March 29, 2012

Credit Unions Worried about Dodd/Frank 342

According to recent news reports, the "Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has written NCUA's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion to urge the agency implement one of the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act with as little additional reporting requirements as possible."

The referenced section of Dodd/Frank requires regulators to report on diversity at the financial institutions they firms regulate. This is an entirely new reporting requirement, and the first time a diversity reporting rule has been applied so broadly in an industry. This is also the first time a federal financial institution regulator has been tasked with this work.

Credit Union executives met with NCUA's OMWI office director, Tawana James, "on February 29 and..have written her a letter on March 26 expressing concern about a possible requirement to assess the diversity practices of credit union contractors and suppliers."

We will cover this and other recent Section 342 developments in our webinar: Dodd-Frank Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (Section 342): Update and Review of Guiding Principles. Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (ET)

Register here: http://342update.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NCUA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Last week, the national Credit Union Administration released it's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. The Plan is an outline of the diversity goals of the Agency. NCUA is responsible for the supervision of the nation's credit unions.

The plan is a competent strategic document, but does not address diversity at the entities regulated by the NCUA.

A copy of the plan can be found at: http://www.ncua.gov/about/Documents/Agenda%20Items/AG20120315Item2B.pdf

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dodd-Frank Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (Section 342): Update and Review of Guiding Principles

Dodd-Frank Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (Section 342): Update and Review of Guiding Principles. Webinar. Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (ET).

To regisiter: http://342update.eventbrite.com

Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains a “provision creating an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at various agencies to monitor the diversity efforts of the agencies, the regulated entities and agency contractors.” We estimate new contract opportunities for woman and minority firms will total $205 million per year.

The Section requires the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, each of the Federal Reserve Banks, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to create “an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (‘OMWI’) to be responsible for all agency matters relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities.”

The Directors of the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) hosted an industry roundtable on January 26th with financial service trade associations. The roundtable was the first step in a collaborative effort to obtain guidance from and provide direction and information to industry participants regarding the implementation of Section 342 of Dodd-Frank.
OMWI Directors will hold meetings with market participants in February, March and April. They will use several fundamental principles to develop uniform OMWI standards. This Webinar will review the First Draft Fundamental Guiding Principles.

As one analyst noted, “In addition to developing standards for and monitoring the employment diversity of the respective agency, the OMWI will have authority over the entities regulated by the agency and contractors providing services to the agencies.” Service providers covered by the Section include “financial institutions, investment banking firms, mortgage banking firms, asset management firms, brokers, dealers, financial services entities, underwriters, accountants, investment consultants, and providers of legal services.”

Continuing Education Credit:
CLE - once attendance is verified, participants are emailed an official certificate of attendance which they submit to their respective State Bar Associations.
CPE - will apply for cerification as continuing professional education.
Office of Professional Responsibility, Internal Revenue Service: we will seek to meet the requirements of 31 Code of Federal Regulations, section 10.6(g), covering maintenance of attendance records, retention of program outlines, qualifications of instructors, and length of class hours. Our efforts and this notice does not constitute an endorsement by the Office of Professional Responsibility as to the quality of the program or its contribution to the professional competence of the enrolled individual.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Socially Responsible Goldman Sachs - NOT

An article in today's New York Times written by a soon to be former employee of Goldman Sachs starts with the admission that.."after almost 12 years at the firm..the trajectory of (the firm) is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."

The author goes on to state what many have long known, that "the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money."

This is news?

The writer blames Goldman's "current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn" for a "decline in the firm’s moral fiber.."

What moral fiber is he referring to? The fiber evident in multiple lawsuits and "S.E.C. investigations, Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids?" Read Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World if you really want to know.

The author then goes on to brag that "Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia."

Those clients should contact a lawyer right away and immediately review every transactions conducted with Goldman, since the article confirms that clients pay, unfairly, fraudulently, for the privilege of transacting business with the firm.

He is astounded that Goldman's senior management does not understand "a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you." One can only hope.

To show that he is still concerned about the firm, the author expresses his "hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors."

My hope is that this will be a wake up call to State and Federal Judges, regulators and clients.

Finally.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recent News Citations

Big banks: Too big to behave?
March 12, 2012: 10:28 AM ET

Given the level of repeat offenses at some of the largest financial firms, it's clear that the SEC needs to change its approach. By Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of The Value Alliance and Corporate Governance Alliance.

Minority banks are struggling, even with bailouts
March 11, 2012. By Beth Healy, The Boston Globe.

OneUnited Bank is facing a painful question: What purpose can a minority institution serve when its own community is turning against it?

That’s the situation the Boston bank, the nation’s largest black-owned bank, finds itself in after threatening to foreclose on Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the most revered black churches in Boston, which, like many borrowers, fell behind on its loans during the recent recession. Community leaders vow to organize a national boycott of the bank if it fails to renegotiate the church’s loans by Thursday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Boston's Mayor Sides With Church

According to the Boston Herald,

"Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is offering to help Roxbury’s historic Charles Street AME Church avoid foreclosure — and blasting the bank that’s trying to seize the house of worship.

Menino yesterday called the Rev. Gregory Groover Sr. — pastor of the church and chairman of the Boston School Committee — to offer help in the congregation’s fight with Hub-based OneUnited Bank.

The nation’s largest black-owned bank, OneUnited is threatening to foreclose on the church even though the company itself received $12 million in federal bailout funds in 2008.

OneUnited has scheduled a March 22 foreclosure auction of the church, some nearby storefronts and a Milton parcel that once served as the congregation’s parsonage.

Charles Street AME’s $1.1 million balloon mortgage recently came due, and the church says OneUnited hasn’t responded to an offer to keep making monthly payments while the congregation tries to refinance.

The two sides have long been locked in a bitter lawsuit over a separate $3.6 million construction loan that the church took out in 2006 to build an adjacent community center.

Construction stalled after OneUnited halted payment on the last $800,000 and sued to get funds it had already disbursed back.

Menino said he told Groover the city will do anything it can to help the 193-year-old congregation.

Once a hub of the anti-slavery movement, Charles Street AME offers key social and spiritual programs these days to its 1,000 parishioners and the wider Roxbury community."

OneUnited Bank
Customer Support
3683 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Phone: (323) 290-4848
Fax: (323) 389-0548
Web Site: https://www.oneunited.com/

Mayor of Boston
Thomas M. Menino
1 City Hall Square, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02201-2013
mayor@cityofboston.gov
Telephone: 617.635.4500