The Seattle Federal Home Loan Bank is trying to generate support among various trade groups for its application to start a mortgage-backed securities program, which has been pending before the Federal Housing Finance Board since July 20."I anticipate we will weigh in with the Finance Board," said American Bankers Association senior counsel Joe Pigg. "We have been getting positive feedback from our members." The MBS program would allow the Seattle bank to purchase highly rated senior MBS tranches from member banks and thrifts, with the option to resell the securities into the capital markets. Seattle FHLBank officials also briefed the Independent Community Bankers of America about the MBS program, but the trade group still has a lot of questions about the proposal, according to ICBA director Ann Grochala. "We are looking at how it would benefit small community bankers," Ms. Grochala said. "We want to know if it is just for the largest members." America's Community Bankers has not taken a position, either. The trade groups are sponsoring a forum on FHLBank issues in Washington Sept. 14-15, which is closed to the press. Seattle FHLBank executive vice president David Bley is scheduled to make a presentation about the MBS program.

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