Experience gained in the United States in moving housing funds from capital surplus areas to parts of the country where money for home loans is scarce is now being exported to Latin America.
A combination secondary mortgage market and Home Loan Bank System, patterned after such U.S. government creations as the Federal National Mortgage Association, has begun operations to help families in Latin America secure housing finance.
Within months, the new Inter-American Bank for Savings and Loan Associations is expected to draw up to $3 million in investment funds from thrift institutions in the U.S.
Legislation enacted by Congress late last year permits savings and loan associations in the U.S. to invest up to one per cent of assets in the one-year-old Inter-American Bank for S&Ls. The only obstacle to such investment is the issuance of implementing regulations from the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, which is said to drawing up the rules.
What those rules should look like, and the attitude of lenders in the U.S. and Latin America toward the Bank for S&Ls, are expected to be major topics of discussion at the 15th Inter American Savings and Loan Conference, scheduled for March 20-24 at the Sheraton Park Hotel here.
One U.S. savings and loan official eager to see the Bank Board issue the regulations soon is Rex G. Baker Jr., chairman of Southwestern Group Financial, Inc., Sugar Land, Tex. Baker is president of the Inter-American Savings and Loan Union this year - and sees the new secondary mortgage market operation in Latin America as "a major step forward toward bringing more families throughout the hemisphere into the homeownership stream."
Baker points out that while the Congress voted to allow savings and loans here investment authority of up to one per cent of assets in the Inter-American S&L Bank, based in Santiago, Chile, actual investment will probably not exceed $3 million - "because the Bank doesn't want to be dominated by any single country or investment group.
"That $3 million from U.S. associations is very small in relation to the leverage it will provide the bank in its secondary mortgage market operations," Baker said.