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New Fed Rule Means Capital Plans, Stress Tests for Banks

Fed

Under a final rule, banks with $50 billion or more in assets will need to submit capital plans to the Federal Reserve, which will also begin performing stress tests for the largest financial institutions next year. In accordance with the rule, the Fed will take responsibility for annual evaluations of each institution├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós capital adequacy, internal assessment processes, and capital distribution plans, including dividend payments and stock repurchases.

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Insured Banks Tallied $35.3B in Q3 Earnings: FDIC

Balance sheets improved steadily for commercial and savings financial institutions over the third quarter, according to the FDIC, with those insured by the federal agency offering $35.3 billion in profit margins. Loan portfolios snagged an updraft over the third quarter, posting an increase for the second consecutive quarter as loans and leases went up by $21.8 billion. Residential mortgage loan balances climbed by $23.7 billion. Notably, the FDIC's "Problems List" contracted for the second consecutive quarter.

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New Bill Aims to Create Appeals Process for Bank Complaints

If a new bill becomes law, it would establish a central appeals hub for financial institutions with concerns about actions taken by bank examiners, corralling the activities of several regulatory agencies for review. Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and Carolyn Maloney recently co-sponsored the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, or H.R. 3461, which aims to create an Office of Examination Ombudsman responsible for any complaints from financial institutions about examiners.

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Lackluster Spending Tilts Against Homebuying: Freddie

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac tied weak homebuyer demand to a drop in consumer expenditures in an outlook it released Monday. The GSE captured a look at the financial mood of consumers by releasing the U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, which makes forecasts according to key economic indicators that it uses. The outlook indexed overall economic health for the nation, finding a small uptick by domestic aggregate demand as it climbed to 3.6 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the second largest gain over the last five years.

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Nevada Attorney General Charges Two from LPS

Lender Processing Services is under examination from the Nevada Attorney General for issues encompassing specific incidents with the company's document processing and practices. The state's Attorney General recently indicted two employees within LPS on 606 counts of fraud, alleging that the two forged signatures and notarization on mortgage-related paperwork.

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Bank Failure Tally Hits 90 as Regulators Close Two

Defying forecasts for a slowdown, the national tally for bank failures this year hit 90 as two financial institutions went under in Iowa and Louisiana. State regulators shuttered Johnston, Iowa-based Polk County Bank and Lacombe, Louisiana-based Central Progressive Bank, appointing the FDIC receiver. Grinnell-based Grinnell State Bank and New Orleans-based First NBC Bank scooped up branches, assets, and deposits in purchase-and-assumption agreements. Century-old Polk County closed its doors.

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Obama, Congress Raise Conforming Loan Limits for FHA

After several weeks of intense deliberation, with backers and supporters on both sides, Congress again raised limits for Federal Housing Administration conforming loans to $729,750, which President Barack Obama signed off on Friday. House lawmakers included an amendment to raise the limits in a stopgap spending measure cobbled together by both houses to keep the government running through December this year. The House voted for the bill by a 298-121 margin, which the Senate followed with 70 yeas and 30 nays. Trade groups rushed to extol the raised limits.

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Senators Grill Obama Administration Nominees

The Senate Banking Committee pressed nominees for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós major financial services and housing agencies over a myriad of recent issues Thursday, with insolvency for the Federal Housing Administration and an increasing number of bank failures prevailing in discussions. The nomination hearing for the three Obama administration prospects ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô FHA commissioner-nominee Carol Galante, FDIC vice-chairman nominee Thomas Hoenig, and HUD deputy secretary-nominee Maurice Jones ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô quickly transitioned from congratulatory to tense and at times awkward.

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