Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the US government sponsored housing financiers, 'remain a significant supervisory concern' and still needed better internal controls, corporate governance and risk management, their regulator said yesterday.

The findings in the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s annual report to Congress represent an obstacle to plans to grant Fannie and Freddie greater flexibility to support the US housing market.

Ofheo wants Fannie and Freddie to make improvements before it will further reduce a regulatory capital surcharge imposed on them after past accounting scandals. The charge was cut from 30% to 20% this year.