News

It's rumored that Abbey National Bank is planning to open a broker/dealer in Stamford Connecticut during the summer of 2001. The bank is looking for more direct access to the U.S. dollar conduit market. Marketing officials at the bank have started visiting U.S. portfolio managers to make them aware of the developments.

A Fannie Mae spokesman has called its critic FM Watch "disingenuous" in its lobbying of Europe's Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regarding Fannie Mae's regulatory status. FM Watch recently asked the committee to permit U.S. regulators to treat the government-sponsored enterprise as a private corporation for the purpose of assigning capital requirements to its debt and mortgage securitizations. The spokesman said Fannie Mae views the watchdog group's lobbying as disingenuous because FM Watch "argue[s] to Basel that our ties to the government should be ignored, while the ties to the government of the banks that formed FM Watch should not be ignored." Meanwhile Freddie Mac, whose securities are similarly mentioned in FM Watch's letter to the Switzerland-based committee, has said it will comment on the issue when the committee indicates what guidance it may give on this point.

Fitch has introduced review and assessment criteria for structured finance trustees involved in commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities transactions. The rating agency said it will conduct reviews, perform assessments, and issue "Acceptable" status ratings to trustee operations and the services they provide in such transactions. "The formal review of trustee operational capabilities will enhance Fitch's internal ratings analysis as well as create a forum for the exchange of best practices and expanded discussions of trustee-related issues," said M. Diane Pendley, a Fitch managing director. "There is significant variation in operating practices among trustees, which can affect the performance of structured finance transactions through the timing and manner in which they carry out their duties."

Ultraprise Corporation and LoanTrader Merge. Maryland-based Ultraprise Corporation and California-based LoanTrader, Inc., leading mortgage technology companies, have merged to form a new company called Ultraprise Loan Technologies, Inc. The merged entity is said to be the first integrated loan automation solution for all kinds of loan delivery channels. It aims to provide a mortgage infrastructure technology for processing loans from origination to securitization. The Web-based program includes loan and pool pricing, automated underwriting, and a Web-based point-of-sale system. It also features real-time analytics, commitment creation and tracking, as well as pool and whole loan deliveries.

People Moves

Last Friday was the last day for Jeff Young, manager of securitization for Ford Motor Credit. He will be replaced by David Kimball, who will report to David Brandi. Young is moving to a new position within the company but not related to securitization.

Calendar

June 20-23: Barcelona, Spain-Frank Fabozzi, Inc. presents the fifth annual Global Asset Securitization. For more information visit www.imn.org.

June 25-26: New York, NY-The Institute for International Research will host The CDO Summit. For more information call 888-670-8200 or visit www.iir-ny.com.

Sept. 30-Oct.3: Southhampton Princess, Bermuda-The Strategic Research Institute presents The Bermuda ABS 2001 Symposium. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com or call 888-666-8514.

Oct.1-3: Washington, D.C.-International Venture Partners, LLC will host the Latin Summit and Expo Americas, the premier conference for investing in the Americas. For more information, visit www.latin-summit.com

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