The Federal Housing Finance Board is not trying to penalize the Federal Home Loan Banks for failing to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by reviewing dividend payments, according to one Finance Board insider.The Finance Board is satisfied with the banks' efforts to register, the insider told MortgageWire. However, the board wants to consult with the FHLBanks before paying dividends to ensure that they don't violate certain statutory requirements. The insider also noted that the board did not extend the Aug. 29 deadline for registering because the board members have no idea how long it will take the FHLBanks to resolve certain derivative hedge accounting (FAS 133) issues. "It made no sense to set another deadline," the insider said. "The SEC keeps raising FAS 133 issues, even though it is unlikely to have any material impact on capital." In the past two weeks, several FHLBanks have announced that they will not be able to meet the Aug. 29 deadline because the SEC has objected to their use of a "short-cut" accounting method under FAS 133. The Cincinnati and Chicago FHLBanks said Aug. 25 that they are withdrawing their securities registration applications because of ongoing discussions with the SEC over the use of the short-cut method on hedges involving certain advances. However, the San Francisco FHLBank became the first bank to complete the registration process by filing its second-quarter financial statement Aug. 25 with the SEC.

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