Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., plans to start hearings on GSE regulatory reform in February, but he has not set a timetable for quick action on a bill this year.The chairman told reporters that the timetable and the content of the bill to create a new regulator for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks will depend on the hearings. Sen. Shelby stressed that he will only support "meaningful" reform and will continue to insist that the new regulator have receivership powers and the authority to approve new products and set minimum capital requirements for the government-sponsored enterprises. Concerning the restriction of Fannie's and Freddie's purchase of mortgage-backed securities, the chairman said, "I have not opened or closed the door" on that issue. "Wait for the hearings," he said. The Alabama senator did call for more disclosure and transparency of loan guarantee fees that Fannie and Freddie charge lenders.

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