Merging Regulatory Agencies Endorsed

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Clinton administration proposal to consolidate financial regulatory agencies into a single institution won endorsement Monday from former federal regulators.

"The presence of such a distinguished group here today shows that support for our reform proposal cuts across regulatory lines and it cuts across party lines," said Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, who introduced the former officials at a news conference.

"They recognize that we have far too much duplication," he added. "And they recognize that it puts a burden, a costly burden, on our financial institutions.

"The only way the institutions can make that up is through higher costs for American consumers, so it means that everyone of us pays more for banking services than we really need to."

The administration proposes creation of a Federal Banking Commission that would assume the regulatory functions of the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The Fed would continue to set monetary policy through its ability to control interest rates. And the FDIC would continue to insure deposits of federally insured bans and thrifts and resolve failed or failing institutions. …