The Federal Housing Finance Board has approved a final rule that requires the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks to register their stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission.FHLBank member organizations had urged the Finance Board to delay action, but the board voted 4-0 to approve the final rule, which will require the individual FHLBanks to register with the SEC in time to file their second-quarter 2005 financial statements with the commission. The board members expressed confidence in an opinion by the board's general counsel that the agency has the legal authority to compel SEC registration and in a commitment by the SEC to issue no-action letters to the new registrants that will resolve many accounting and disclosure issues that are unique to the FHLBanks. Board members Franz Leichter and Allan Mendelowitz also praised Chairman Alicia Castaneda for her leadership on this issue. And they stressed that the board can delay registration if unexpected issues turn up. Meanwhile, America's Community Bankers is talking with its members to decide whether it the will carry out a threat and sue the Finance Board to stop SEC registration.

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