February 2, 2011
Registration for February 17 NCUA “Virtual Town Hall” is open
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has opened registration for its upcoming "Virtual Town Hall," which will take place on February 17. The town hall will address the agency's initiatives to reform the corporate credit union system, minimize costs to consumer credit unions, and promote financial literacy for credit union volunteers.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, in a statement, said that the meeting will provide "an ideal venue to listen, to learn and to engage NCUA as we work together to move the credit union industry forward."
The webinar, which will be free, will allow viewers to write in questions on any topic. The meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET and will last for 90 minutes. An archived version will be available on the NCUA website for those that are unable to participate.
To register for the webinar, use this link: NCUA Webinar Registration.
Agencies announce start of initial S.A.F.E. registration period
The federal bank, thrift, and credit union regulatory agencies, along with the Farm Credit Administration, announced that the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry is accepting federal registrations as of January 31.
Under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act) and the agencies’ final rules, residential mortgage loan originators employed by banks, savings associations, credit unions, or Farm Credit System institutions must register with the registry, obtain a unique identifier from the registry, and maintain their registrations.
Following expiration of the 180-day initial registration period on July 29, 2011, any employee of an agency-regulated institution who is subject to the registration requirements will be prohibited from originating residential mortgage loans without first meeting these requirements. The rules include an exception for mortgage loan originators that originated five or fewer mortgage loans during the previous 12 months and who have never been registered; they would not be required to complete the federal registration process.
The registry announcement is being made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Office of Thrift Supervision. Further information regarding the registry and the registration process is available at the registry’s website: NMLS Resource Center.
Panel recommends changes to private company GAAP
Standards related to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for public companies, and the standard setting process itself, should be reformed to "best meet the needs of users of private company financial statements," a blue-ribbon panel has recommended.
The panel consists of 18 members that represent a cross-section of financial reporting constituencies, including lenders, investors, and owners, as well as preparers and auditors. Karen Kelbly, National Credit Union Administration's chief accountant, contributed to the work of the panel as a participating observer, representing the U.S. Federal Financial Institution Regulatory Agencies.
The recommendations were provided in a report that was issued to the Financial Accounting Foundation's (FAF) Board of Trustees.
That report called for the establishment of a new board to focus on making exceptions and modifications to U.S. GAAP for private companies, which include credit unions, and recommends the creation of a new set of decision criteria to facilitate a standard setter's ability to make appropriate, justifiable exceptions and modifications, the FAF said. The new board would be overseen by the FAF, which also oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
The FAF noted that the report "does not advocate a move toward a separate, self-contained GAAP for private companies or a comprehensive reorganization of GAAP."
According to the report, the panel believes that the current system has not done a sufficient job of understanding the information that users of private company financial statements consider decision-useful and how those information needs differ from those of users of public company financials.
This and other issues "have caused a lack of relevance of a number of accounting standards for many users of private company financial statements and an overall level of complexity in U.S. GAAP that continues to concern preparers of private company financial statements and their certified public accountant (CPA) practitioners."
FAF President/CEO Teresa Polley said that her group "applauds the efforts of the blue-ribbon panel and will thoughtfully and thoroughly consider the issues raised by the panel, as well as the recommended solutions. The FAF will soon gather additional input on the panel's recommendations.