Risk & Compliance

Regulator Hires Deloitte for Fannie Mae Exam

Following its Freddie Mac probe, OFHEO will search for control flaws and ''unusual transactions'' at Fannie Mae.
Stephen TaubFebruary 13, 2004

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has awarded a contract to Deloitte & Touche LLP to buttress the regulator’s efforts in conducting a special examination of Fannie Mae’s accounting.

Deloitte & Touche was selected from five vendors submitting competitive bids in response to OFHEO’s request for proposal. The contract, for up to $5.7 million, is funded by resources provided to OFHEO in fiscal 2004.

The exam of Fannie Mae, government-sponsored mortgage finance company, follows a special examination of accounting and management practices at Fannie’s sister company, Freddie Mac. Among other things, OFHEO will try to identify “any control weaknesses or unusual transactions” at Fannie Mae, according to a release issued by the regulator.

Earlier this month, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said he intends to install a tougher regulator for Fannie and Freddie.

In remarks before an American Bankers Association conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Shelby said that the OFHEO isn’t capable of properly supervising them, according to the Associated Press. “The agency was, in many regards, designed to fail in its mission,” Shelby said. “We cannot tolerate inadequate and ineffective regulation of entities as important to the U.S. home mortgage market as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

At the end of January, the OFHEO ordered Freddie Mac to increase its minimum capital requirement by 30 percent because of the higher operational risk arising from the company’s recent accounting scandal.