Convention Notes - amid an off Year for Profits, Securities Association's Executives Voice Concern about Bank Involvement and a Changing Industry

By Albert, Andrew | American Banker, December 4, 1984 | Go to article overview

Convention Notes - amid an off Year for Profits, Securities Association's Executives Voice Concern about Bank Involvement and a Changing Industry


Albert, Andrew, American Banker


BOCA RATON, Fla.-- Wall streets's left this plush resort last weekend with a cautious, if not worried, view of their declining profits and the ever-threatening banks.

Robert F. Shapiro, president of Wertheim & Co. and new chairman of the Securities Industry Association, left trade group members with more of a challenge than a sense of optimism.

He closed this year's annual gathering with a speech that delivered more questions and concerns than concrete statements about the future of the brokerage industry.

"Is the public really clamoring for expanded bank power?" he asked in his inaugural speech. "And finally, would the health and vitality of both the banking and securities industries be jeopardized by an ill-conceived expansion of bank powers?"

Mr. Shapiro was alluding to the upcoming congressional battle over the 50-year-old Glass-Steagall Act, which separates banking from most other forms of commerce. The SIA won its 1984 lobbying effort by successfully killing legislation that would have allowed banks and thrifts to offer securities underwriting services. Attendance Down, Too

Mr. Shapiro addressed the group just one day after SIA President Edward I. O'Brien revealed preliminary figures showing that the securities industry's after-tax return on equity will range between 7% and 9% this year

If the so-called "sender net-debit cap" established had been equal to two times an institution's primary capital, two of the 45 surveyed banks would have been affected, the analysis found. The two institutions would have had to reduce their maximum daylight over-draft exposures by a total of $9.3 billion over two weeks.

If the limit had been equal to the level of primary capital, eight banks would have been affected, necessitating a reduction of $71.7 billion.

With a cap set at 50% of primary capital, 16 banks would have had to reduce their exposures by a total of $164.3 billion over the two weeks.

And, finally, if no daylight overdrafts had been permitted, 41 of the 45 banks would have been affected. As a group, they would have had to reduce their overdrafts by $321.4 billion to comply with the processing restrictions. More Dangerous Games

The issue of risk in the payment system was clearly the dominant theme at the conference.

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