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ICBA Disappointed at FHFB Decision to Require SEC Registration

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2004) - "We are disappointed that the Federal Housing Finance Board adopted a final rule today to require Securities and Exchange Commission registration for the Federal Home Loan Banks," said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. "We would have preferred that the Finance Board respond to the request by all the nation's major bank trade associations to re-propose the rule and provide an opportunity for additional comments from the system's stakeholders and their associations."

The Finance Board unanimously passed the final rule requiring each FHLBank to register a class of its equity securities with the SEC under the registration provisions of Section 12(g)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The FHLBanks must comply by June 30, 2005. Finance Board members stated that they expect to receive an interpretive letter from the SEC addressing the treatment of a number of operational issues unique to the FHLBank system.

While ICBA strongly supports enhanced disclosures for the FHLBanks, it believes that the Finance Board should retain disclosure oversight rather than cede its disclosure oversight authority to the SEC.

"ICBA will closely review the final rule and the forthcoming interpretive letter from the SEC to determine how the Finance Board's action today will impact the FHLBank system's stakeholders. The FHLB system is owned by thousands of financial institutions and it is their best interests that are ICBA's chief concern," said Fine.