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OIG Finds Inconsistencies in FHLB Expenses

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released findings on the reporting of Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) director expenses. The OIG found, "FHFA has not included information about FHLBank director expenses in its annual reports to Congress, as required by HERA."

HERA, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, required FHLBank director expenses to be reported to Congress in its annual report. The OIG report found that director expense reports contained "inconsistencies and limitations that diminish their usefulness."

"An FHFA official told us that, in the course of this evaluation, the Agency realized that it should have been reporting this information all along, and that it would begin doing so with its 2013 annual report, which will be published in 2014," the report said.

From 2000 to 2008, the compensation that the FHLBanks could pay to members of their boards of directors was limited by law. However, expenses could be reimbursed if they were connected with their service as members of the board.

When HERA was enacted in 2008, it removed the caps on FHLBank director compensation, but provisions remained ensuring compensation was reasonable. Other provisions of HERA allowed FHLBanks to reimburse expenses when performing their duties, which must be reported in its annual reports to Congress.

The report commented, "In March 2013, FHFA's Division of Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation (DBR) completed a horizontal review of the FHLBanks' and Office of Finance's compliance with the Agency's 2010 FHLBank director regulations."

The review found that in 2012, only two FHLBanks were in full compliance with regulations.

The OIG recommends the FHFA "review the 2013 director expense data submitted by the FHLBanks to identify and correct any inconsistencies and inaccuracies prior to the publication of the 2013 annual report," and "issue guidance designed to ensure the consistency and utility of the director expense data."

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.
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